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Won't Back Down [2012] [PG] - 1.2.3



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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Inspired by actual events: When a woman (Maggie Gyllenhaal) believes that her young daughter is being left behind at a failing elementary school, she takes matters into her own hands to try to rebuild the school and give her daughter a brighter future. Also with Viola Davis, Oscar Isaac, Holly Hunter, Rosie Perez and Lance Reddick. Directed by Daniel Barnz. [2:01]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A man and a woman kiss in a few scenes. A man and a woman flirt as they walk along a street.
 A woman calls a man "Sexy Texy." A woman makes a remark about a man's buttocks.
 A woman is shown wearing a camisole that reveals cleavage, bare shoulders and tattoos on her chest. A woman wears low-cut tops that reveal cleavage in several scenes throughout the movie. A woman's top reveals part of her bare back at the hip and her lower abdomen in a few scenes. We see a mural on a wall that depicts men wearing tank T-shirts that reveal bare backs and shoulders and one man is bare-chested.

VIOLENCE/GORE 2 - Two girls tug on a backpack until it rips and the owner of the backpack is very upset and cries. A young girl struggles to read in a classroom and her classmates tease her.
 A woman yells at a man and she throws things off a table in his office. A young girl yells at her mother and tells her, "You make everything bad." Several people yell at two women who knock on their doors. A husband and his wife argue about their son. A man and a woman argue and the woman tells the man to leave her apartment (he leaves). A man and a woman talk about their son being behind in his schoolwork.
 A woman tells her young son that she drank a lot of wine one night and drove with him in the car, but she did not buckle his seat belt properly and she crashed the car; she went on to say that she feared that the accident might have caused him some brain damage. We hear about protests and see people on a TV news broadcast throwing bricks. A principal orders one of his teachers to lie about attendance. A woman says, "I marry losers."
 A woman spits while brushing her teeth. We hear that a young girl was not permitted to use the bathroom and had an accident.

PROFANITY 3 - 1 scatological term, 2 anatomical terms, 6 mild obscenities, name-calling (idiot, stupid, jerk, dumb, stupid cow, dead beat, drama queen, retard, checked out zombies, losers, Sexy Texy, poor, legally dead, lost causes, queen bureaucrat, insane), exclamations (shut up). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - People in a bar drink alcohol in a couple of scenes, a man drinks a beer, and a woman tells her young son that she drank a lot of wine and drove with him in the car and had an accident.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Teaching, taking responsibility, dyslexia, unions, making a difference, parenting, single parenting, drinking and driving, drugs, gang, changing a failing school, public education standards, unions, luck, passion, civil rights, failsafe law, lying, human nature, fear, bullying, social Darwinism, tenure, bureaucracy, hope, judgment, dreams.

MESSAGE - Unions protect their members without regard for the larger community. There are good teachers and there are bad teachers.

Special Keywords: S1 - V2 - P3 - MPAAPG

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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