Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis Globe, Grant Park, Kildonan Place, Polo Park G 121 minutes
½ out of five with bureaucrats is about as interesting as watching behind-the-scenes preparations for a school fundraiser.
They go door-to-door gathering signatures, they argue with educators fearful of losing their jobs, they encounter union reps whose priority is to protect teachers, both good and bad, with seemingly no consideration for the children.
And it’s the children who suffer in Won’t Back Down. Other than some token scenes involving Jamie and Nona’s kids, the students are mere extras in a drama that spends most of its time prattling on about how the children are what matter most.
Jamie and Nona face predictable hurdles as virtually everyone schemes to dash their plans. The supporting cast is wasted in shallow roles, among them Rosie Perez and Oscar Isaac as fellow teachers, Ving Rhames as a charter-school principal and Holly Hunter as a conflicted union official.