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Biography . Drama

When Betty Anne Waters' older brother Kenny is arrested for murder and sentenced to life in 1983, Betty Anne, a Massachusetts wife and mother of two, dedicates her life to overturning the murder conviction. Convinced that her brother is innocent, 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, Betty Anne pores through suspicious evidence mounted by small town cop Nancy Taylor, meticulously retracing the steps that led to Kenny's arrest. Belief in her brother - and her quest for the truth - pushes Betty Anne and her team to uncover the facts and utilize DNA evidence with the hope of exonerating Kenny.

Actors: Jordan Monaghan , Ethan Cutkosky , Marc Macaulay , Karen Young , John Pyper-Ferguson , Loren Dean , Bailee Madison , Minnie Driver , Hilary Swank , Gordon Michaels , Sam Rockwell , Owen Campbell , Thomas D. Mahard
Directors: Tony Goldwyn
Country: USA
Release: 2010-11-05
More Info:
  • Roger Moore

    The magic in the film is in the actors. Only somebody who has stripped himself emotionally bare for the camera could achieve the level of performance that Goldwyn gets from every single SAG member on this set.

    Orlando Sentinel Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    This is an inspirational true story worried less about turning dramatic screws than earning its feeling through character.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Emerges as a potent inspirational story on the strength of its two lead performances.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The ever-magnetic Sam Rockwell is Kenny, Minnie Driver is full of beans as Betty Anne's best friend, Melissa Leo is wicked good as an ornery cop, and, in her two chewy scenes, Juliette Lewis reminds fans why we want her to run free forever.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Ray Bennett

    The film is in the tradition of fighting-the-system stories drawn from real life such as "Erin Brokovich," and its powerful emotional appeal should draw a substantial grownup audience.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Pete Hammond

    A stirring, unforgettable motion picture experience, a superbly acted and courageous story of one woman who made a difference.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    The story is sustained by the stubborn love between the siblings and by the conviction of the two fine actors who portray them.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    It's an amazing story, one that would seem too far-fetched if it weren't true.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    In Hilary Swank, the film finds the right actress to embody gritty tenacity.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    It's a noble enterprise, and a remarkable story, but it's not a movie that will set you free.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    Filled with nuance, intricate emotion and a refreshing absence of melodramatics, Conviction is a moving exploration of light and love shining through the darkness of despair. Its impact cannot easily be shaken.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    There is one aspect of Conviction that is a real cheat. No mention is made that Kenny, six months after his release from prison, accidentally fell and fatally fractured his skull. Did the filmmakers think that our knowing this would wreck a happy ending? For a film that prides itself on its realism, this omission is unspeakably wimpy.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Swank and Rockwell, both typically great in almost everything they do, act as if their lives depended on it - their lives, not their characters'.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Mary Pols

    What takes Conviction out of the "Erin Brockovich" inspirational orbit - and gives it fresh interest - is the fact that Betty Anne is never portrayed as a fish suddenly taking brilliantly to judicial waters. Instead of being a legal savant, she's a persistent lunatic tilting at windmills for the sake of a familial love no one else can quite understand.

    Time Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    Sam Rockwell plays the brother, and in his handful of scenes he skillfully tracks the character's slow decay from cocky loudmouth to thoroughly beaten man; Swank, delivering her usual spunky turn, suffers badly by comparison.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    Imagination is the key element that Conviction lacks.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Sam Rockwell has yet to find a movie as good as he is (Moon comes closest). He's still looking.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    What Conviction lacks in characterization (the people here are monochromes - bright ones, but monochromes nonetheless) it makes up for with personality.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    The strongest, most consistent performance is provided by Sam Rockwell, who displays a wide and convincing range of emotions.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Michelle Orange

    The story is so bounteous that Goldwyn can't quite get a grip on it.

    Movieline Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Based on a true story, the movie's best scenes involve its heroine breaking down barriers by force of will as much as by legal wrangling.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Some of the movie's most stirring scenes take place during Betty Anne's prison visits, when the laughter has stopped and her innocent brother contemplates his shattered life.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Noel Murray

    Conviction is like "Erin Brockovich" meets "Rudy."

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    What's really missing from Conviction are the thorny questions it refuses to take up with any depth.

    NPR Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Really belongs on Lifetime rather than in theaters.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    A story based on exceptional facts gets converted into an unexceptional movie.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    Ultimately, though, it's a little schizo, like a depressed dude in a clown suit, or a Theodore Dreiser novel hopped up on not enough happy pills. Full Review
  • Melissa Anderson

    In all fairness, Swank's unsubtle performance is often an extension of the bluntly dumb lines she and other cast members must deliver.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    The film falls short of delivering the outrage and uplift that should have come easy for this true-life fight against justice denied. Unfortunately, that makes Conviction more a trial than a triumph.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    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.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    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.

    Variety Full Review
  • Keith Uhlich

    For those of us with a love of actorly indulgence, though, the film is a treasure trove, filled with enough molten-gold performances to gild a thousand Oscars.

    Time Out New York Full Review
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