Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Oct 21, 2010
    60
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Oct 21, 2010
    60
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Oct 21, 2010
    60
    The story is so bounteous that Goldwyn can't quite get a grip on it.
  4. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Oct 21, 2010
    58
    Conviction is like "Erin Brockovich" meets "Rudy."
  5. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    What's really missing from Conviction are the thorny questions it refuses to take up with any depth.
  6. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    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.
  8. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    In all fairness, Swank's unsubtle performance is often an extension of the bluntly dumb lines she and other cast members must deliver.
  9. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    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.
  10. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    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.
  11. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    A story based on exceptional facts gets converted into an unexceptional movie.
  12. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    Really belongs on Lifetime rather than in theaters.
  13. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Oct 21, 2010
    40
    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.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Oct 31, 2010
    9
    I'm surprised none of these critics gave "Conviction" a four-star review. This is a touching, compelling story with a pitch-perfect cast.I'm surprised none of these critics gave "Conviction" a four-star review. This is a touching, compelling story with a pitch-perfect cast. Each and every player is dynamite, especially Sam Rockwell and Juliette Lewis. A definite must-see! Full Review »
  2. May 25, 2015
    9
    A lot of film are made that are based on a true story, and most of these films claim to be inspirational, but seldom are. Finding a trulyA lot of film are made that are based on a true story, and most of these films claim to be inspirational, but seldom are. Finding a truly inspirational film, that is based on a true story, is like finding a needle in a haystack, in this case, that needle is called Conviction. Betty Anne Waters (Hilary Swank) came from a dysfunctional family, dropped out of High School, got married, and had kids, while she was still a child herself. She never wanted to be anything more than a housewife, until her brother, Kenneth (Sam Rockwell), was convicted of a murder she knew he couldn't have committed. It took fifteen long years, but Betty Anne got her GED, finished college, and went to law school, with the hopes of one day getting her brother exonerated. Hilary Swank stars and thrives in roles like this one. Despite her beauty and talent, she is one of the most down to earth people in Hollywood, and is always very believable as a normal, every day person. In most of her films, she is the kind of person audiences empathize with and cheer for, making her perfect for this role. She is paired with Sam Rockwell who is one of the most underrated stars in Hollywood. The man has immense talent, but is seldom talked about, because of the awful films he decides to star in. I have admired Rockwell for a long time, but this is the first time I can remember rating a film he was in higher than three stars. Conviction is a real story, written by the people who lived through it. It is heartfelt, inspirational, and most importantly real. The film may have bombed in theaters, but it is a true gem that was seriously overlooked. Full Review »
  3. Oct 23, 2011
    2
    This movie was more of a drama. It may have been touching to some with a heartfelt story to it, but it put me to sleep in the first 30minutesThis movie was more of a drama. It may have been touching to some with a heartfelt story to it, but it put me to sleep in the first 30minutes and as I was hoping it got better but it got even more boring as they literally put you in her shoe's. Not my piece of cake. Full Review »