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Abigail Brooks (Thomas) has spent her lifetime trying to win an Olympic rowing medal, sacrificing friendship, love, and a "normal life" along the way. When she is named an alternate on the Olympic team she quits in haste. Defeated, Abi moves back home with her widowed, workaholic mother (Margaret Colin). Tension builds as Abi's mother urges her to "move on" from the rowing life that Abi's father, a coach, introduced her to. Unable to do so, but needing an immediate job, Abi seizes an open crew coach position at her alma mater, Union High. There, the head of… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 28%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Passably pleasant but thoroughly predictable."
‑ Joe Leydon, Variety
"The neatness of the plotting becomes almost comical after a while. Construction is one thing; contrivance is another."
‑ Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
"Backwards" is obvious at times, but what makes it stand out are the details that Thomas imbues in her character."
‑ Molly Eichel, Philadelphia Daily News
"Drama is bland but teaches girls about competitive rowing."
‑ Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
"A movie whose main virtue was its honesty ultimately lands in a place that feels canned and unsatisfying. But on the way there, Backwards isn't so bad."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"Although this modest indie may not make a huge splash, it just might inspire some hearty younger viewers - especially women - to grab a set of oars and find their bliss."
‑ Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
"Corny and predictable, sure, but Backwards will appeal to a few junior oarswomen around Seattle."
‑ Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly
"Likable in spurts but too safe by a long stroke, "Backwards" would be right at home as a cable movie airing on ABC Family."
‑ Dustin Putman,
"The biggest problem ... is the characters who populate the film. For the most part, they're one-dimensional caricatures."
‑ Stephanie Merry, Washington Post
"Hickernell soft-pedals the material into a blandly feel-good dramedy."
‑ Sara Stewart, New York Post
"Even James Van Der Beek, so natural as a high school athletic director that you can't help but wonder if he's actually spent time in that job, can't save this film from drowning."
‑ Jake Mulligan, Boston Phoenix
"Streamlines its busy set of plots into a 90-minute sprint, throughout which characters often confront and overcome their obstacles within the same scene."
‑ Tomas Hachard, Slant Magazine
More reviews for Backwards on Rotten Tomatoes