Drama based on a true story about high school dropout Betty Anne (Hilary Swank), who spent nearly two decades working as a single mother while tirelessly trying to overturn her brother Kenny's (Sam Rockwell) unjust murder conviction.... More

Kenny is arrested for murder and sentenced to life in 1983. Convinced of his innocence, Betty Anne puts herself through high school, college and, finally, law school in an 18 year quest to free Kenny. With the help of best friend Abra Rice (Minnie Driver), Betty Anne pores through suspicious evidence mounted by small town cop Nancy Taylor (Melissa Leo), meticulously retracing the steps that led to Kenny's arrest.Hide

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Flicks Review

The first things you notice about this movie are the wealth of on screen talent and the hoary old chestnut of a plot. Throughout the running time, these two elements fight it out, a battle between potential Oscar bait and TV movie schmaltz.

The cast try its hardest to pull off a salvage job. Hillary Swank is a total pro and her New England accent is credible while Sam Rockwell steals scenes in each of the limited chances he gets. Juliette Lewis’ unhinged cameo is the undoubted bright spot – from this point on, every flailing movie should be legally obligated to give her a white trash supporting role in an effort to right the course.

All this good work, however, can’t enhance a storyline as predictable as the one they are working with. The premise is given the most basic treatment as it jettisons any extraneous detail, leaving nothing but a morality play extolling the virtues of hard work. You can see the feel-good ending coming a mile off, but the lack of character depth or real conflict leading up to it neuters its emotional potential.

The film only succeeds in showing that sometimes quality performances don’t necessarily translate into a quality film, playing out more like a poor man’s Erin Brockovich instead.

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 4 ratings, 4 reviews
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Very predictable and slow paced but a decent film with a lot of heart.

BY Jade-Francis superstar

Even tho you know whats gonna happen at the end of the movie, i didnt know how and when, it is amazing this womans struggle to free her wrongly convicted brother of murder. the whole movie i was like when is he gonna get out. its a touching story to watch like erin brokovitch and i think it does it justice

BY JamesW lister

Although slowly paced, (I found myself getting a little distracted by my friends in the cinema) the film is very decent. Nothing new, and you can see the outcome, but there are a few moments of some really great performance that drive the film on. Because it is based on a true story it needed to stick to the real circumstances, but there are some decent lows and highs during the film and it is visually a really nice easy watch.

BY Deb superstar

Brother and sister from a disfunctional family grow up in constant contact with the law. Little wonder the brother ends up in prison and no surprise his sister thinks he's innocent. The criminal apprenticeship of the siblings is well described by the film. A good film which could have been great but for Hilary Swanks and Minnie Driver who together make an Erin Brokovitch wanna be but both are wall paper characters. Sam Rockwell has great material however and completely saves the film.

The Press Reviews

67% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • It would be easy to dismiss Conviction on the ground that it plays like a made-for-television movie, but the truth is that, as often as not, movies made for the small screen are better than this: braver, darker, more willing to explore odd corners of feeling. Full Review

  • Swank and Rockwell elevate a solid drama that tells its tall tale with, yes, conviction. It’s not exactly the whole truth, though. Full Review

  • Although fiercely committed performances by Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell provide director Tony Goldwyn's film with a core of emotional integrity, a less heavy-handed, more informative approach would have served them and the audience better. Full Review