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Winnipeg Free Press - Section D - - ENTERTAINMENT -

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.

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