Conviction (2010) - Biography, Crime, Drama

Hohum Score



A working mother puts herself through law school in an effort to represent her brother, who has been wrongfully convicted of murder and has exhausted his chances to appeal his conviction through public defenders.

IMDB: 7.2
Director: Tony Goldwyn
Stars: Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell
Length: 107 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 11 out of 111 found boring (9.9%)

One-line Reviews (62)

She's natural but intense as Betty Anne, and she can really pull at the heartstrings.

Worth watching!

'Conviction' is a compelling watch.

The truth is far more fascinating.

It may be cliché-ridden to a point that might seem unbearable to some.

Worth watching for the performances.

That is amply illustrated in this compelling movie about a man who is a victim of a miscarriage of justice.

If you like films based on real events (Like Erin Brockovich) you will enjoy this: it is well made, well acted, and a fascinating look at how drive and determination can, against all odds, sometimes win...

An Admirable Performance By Hilary Swank In A Somewhat Plodding Movie .

At last, Hilary found a great friend with Minnie and this unexpected reunion is great, even though it's a bit sad that those two great actresses can't found a more decent movie.

Sam Rockwell is, as usual, breathtaking.

It would be easy to dismiss this as just another melodrama, but it is really fascinating to see what the love of a sister can accomplish.

Betty Ann's domestic problems which include her husband leaving her and her teenage sons' decision to live with the father, are dull subplots that take us away from arriving at the happy resolution.

Driver's work as Abra also did provide the picture some well-needed comic relief from an otherwise gripping & serious dramatic narrative.

A lone camera walks through a seemingly empty trailer home in Ayer, Massachusetts in 1980 quietly showing us a gruesome murder scene.

This is a fine film with a touching, exhilarating story, a compelling script, top-notch production values and tight direction.

The most compelling drama is whether Kenny is actually guilty.

The only person who seems convinced about his innocence is his sister and that made the film all the more compelling.

Poor characterization and the predictable plot won't allow me to award "Conviction" anything more than three stars.

Smooth treatment of a compelling story that with more realism could have been a lot better.

Then its downhill until the denouement, where the slow pacing and awkwardness of the plot undermine the overall narrative.

I think the bizarreness of that alone, adds greatly to an already compelling story.

The most compelling part is the sheer will of this woman to keep fighting even when all seemed lost.

Absorbing Drama with Competent Acting .

This movie is an unexpected find.

It seemed like a long, plodding story - even though its runtime is less than two hours.

Therefore, I was hoping the great Sam Rockwell could perform the miracle to elevate this movie from the usual Hillary sad-sack story into something more thrilling.

It tried to combine emotionally engaging shots and great cinematography with "flat" filming, thing that I disliked.

Based on a compelling true story and spurred by a "60 Minutes" segment, the film tells the story of Betty Anne Walters (Hilary Swank) who dedicated 18 years of her life to proving the innocence of her incarcerated brother, Kenny (Sam Rockwell).

This movie is worth watching.

Directors often "Hollywoodize" compelling and exciting real-life cases, "dumbing down" the American legal system, and adding unnecessary dramatic factors that actually result in making them cheesy, hokey, or outright ridiculous.

Compelling .

The amount of Loyalty, Emotion and Love involved in this movie is so intense.

The script never rises beyond the melodramatic, cheesy, predictable stuff.

Unfortunately, it quickly devolves into a lifetime network cliché.

"Director Tony Goldwyn (yes, the actor who plays the villain in Jerry Zucker's GHOST, 1990) clearly knows he has a life-affirming story extraordinaire at hand, and according to whom, the most sensible way to tell it is to lay bare Betty Anne' travails, setbacks and elation along the way as formulaic as possible, and let two-times Oscar winner Swank have another showcase to magnify an ordinary woman's indomitable fortitude, and honestly, Swank excels in bringing about a compelling and four-square performance although the characterization never trespass out of the safe zone of respectability, the only time Betty Anne's monomania shows up its underside is when she blows a fuse toward her friend, Abra Rice (Driver), a fellow johnny-come-lately attorney who is designed with a pure angelic heart with a big mouth, which later she patches up with ease.

Additionally, the director somehow manages to lose the audience with how disjointed his interpretation is.

Beyond Swank's sterling work, Sam Rockwell brings an unpredictable furor and a surprising vulnerability to the showier role of Kenny.

Beyond Swank's sterling work, Sam Rockwell brings an unpredictable furor and a surprising vulnerability to the showier role of Kenny.

Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell give strong, compelling performances as the sister and her victim brother.

Juliette Lewis has a stunning cameo as a seedy ex-girlfriend of Kenny, Clea Duvall is the gritty wife of Kenny, Bailee Madison and Tobias Campbell play Betty Anne and Kenny as children, Ari Graynor as Kenny's grownup daughter Mandy, and of course the above mentioned Melissa Leo and Minnie Driver in well- developed central roles.

My girl friend really enjoyed it too.

Goldwyn's directing is more than adequate and the script is well written (although the real life story, which you can read online, would have made an even more compelling film).

There are some contrasts though that I found deeply moving like the empty court-room at the end and the press waiting outside the "liberty" doors.

This film has a great cast to bring home this great story, and it makes for compelling viewing.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz .

And then moments later she's a sad panda, because some obstacle, unforeseen by her but totally predictable by the rest of us, pops up.

Engaging and well done .

The true story is unquestionably compelling: Betty Anne Waters (Hilary Swank) goes to law school to become her brother, Kenny's (Sam Rockwell) lawyer for the purpose of proving him innocent of a murder for which he is spending his life.

This story and this film have all the ear marks of being a riveting and stunning film.

My hubby and I cried and thought that all of us should have families as loving and as loyal like this..Anyway, the movie is beautifully written, with a story line that is unpredictable.

FINAL VERDICT: A little long but worth watching for Swank's performance.

All of this comes together in this striking film that actor turned director Tony Goldwyn makes so compelling.

Rated: R, strong language, violent images In "Conviction," performances overcome the weaknesses and flaws in a story that is more gripping in real life than it is on the screen.

However, the movie is very realistic, and relies on its compelling story and convincing actors, rather than Hollywood courtroom gimmicks.

The difficult lives of the people in the community where this happened and the very questionable actions of the police and district attorney Martha Coakley (who subsequently was defeated in the recent US Senate race in Massachusetts to replace Kennedy) was brought out by a stunning performance of Juliette Lewis who played one of the witnesses who recounts what really happened to make her testify against Kenny.

It's too bad that such a good story got wasted with such a bland and unremarkable film.

The translation to the screen is formulaic and documentary-like in its series of predictable scenes leading to Kenny's release.

And while this makes for interesting viewing, it also is rather formulaic as we have seen this scenario many times before.

Good story, entertaining film, well worth seeing .

Ordinarily, a screenplay this dry, plain, dull, and lengthy would turn me off right away.

But because it shrugs off many intriguing aspects about Betty Anne's struggles, it fails to reach its potential as great cinema.