So didactic that viewers are likely to feel less uplifted than lectured.
However you take its politics, the film upholds a dreary tradition of simplifying and sentimentalizing matters of serious social concern, and dumbing down issues that call for clarity and creative thinking.
Americans desperately need to have some difficult conversations about the state of public education, but Won't Back Down goes about the task too awkwardly to be helpful or interesting.
A film where typecasting and color-coding makes it easy to predict which characters are good or bad.
The plot is just a clothesline on which to hang an unabashedly biased diatribe.
Teachers unions are by no means perfect, but Won't Back Down turns them into public school enemy number one.
"Won't Back Down" lives down to its bland, us-against-them title with a simple-minded assault on the ills of public schools that lumbers along like a math class droning multiplication tables.
The big moments work, the big scenes pay off and the big emotions are earned in this plucky movie about a couple of people realizing that they can make a difference.
Grossly oversimplifying the issue at hand, writer-director Daniel Barnz's disingenuous pot-stirrer plays to audiences' emotions rather than their intelligence.
In Davis's case, marveling at yet another fine performance doesn't stop you from wishing that her first leading role was in a worthier vehicle.
It's rich territory for human drama; unfortunately, the film is more interested in slapping a charter-school Band-Aid on the gushing wound than exploring dramatic possibilities.
A propaganda piece with blame on its mind.
Inept and bizarre ... a set of right-wing anti-union talking points disguised (with very limited success) as a mainstream motion-picture-type product.
As a message picture, its heart is in the right place. Too bad it doesn't always manage to rise above a swirl of predictable Hollywood clichés.
The hot-button issue of public school reform gets unsubtle treatment in this pedestrian and insultingly tendentious drama.