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Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: 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, meticulouslyConvinced 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.(Fox Searchlight) Collapse
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Oct 27, 2010
    88
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Oct 21, 2010
    80
    A stirring, unforgettable motion picture experience, a superbly acted and courageous story of one woman who made a difference.
  3. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Oct 21, 2010
    75
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Oct 21, 2010
    63
    What Conviction lacks in characterization (the people here are monochromes - bright ones, but monochromes nonetheless) it makes up for with personality.
  5. 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.
  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: 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.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Apr 12, 2011
    9
    This movie was really worth watching. Story flow is very smooth. It shows how easily one can get convicted based on some lies, the biggestThis movie was really worth watching. Story flow is very smooth. It shows how easily one can get convicted based on some lies, the biggest problem of the legal system. These mis-convictions can become really costly to individuals and families. The movie also shows how many loop-holes there are in the legal system, and because of that, it can take up to a few decades to resolve a case. Expand
  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. Expand
  3. 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! Expand
  4. Feb 24, 2011
    7
    Rockwell and Swank give it all in this unbelievable true story. In the hands of a different director this could easily have been a veryRockwell and Swank give it all in this unbelievable true story. In the hands of a different director this could easily have been a very strong Oscar contender. Expand
  5. Jun 2, 2011
    6
    The roles of three of its actors (Swank, Rockwell, and Leo) turn this inspiring courtroom/crime drama into a spectacle that owns yourThe roles of three of its actors (Swank, Rockwell, and Leo) turn this inspiring courtroom/crime drama into a spectacle that owns your attention, and in its moments, softens the most hard of hearts. What the viewer sees and feels is the avidity of deep-rooted dauntlessness versus the resistance of being told "no." Swank brings us there both with a vibrant smile that breathes optimism and a grimmace of heart rending dejection and despair. Rockwell also is impressive as he takes on a stock character--an arrogant, loud-mouthed yet charismatic drunkard, and a wrongly accused prisoner who is dark, mysterious, and increasingly more morose. Watching him deal with his battle against the clock, abated by his sister's similar scenario, is the familial compassion that spikes the film's pulse. Leo and Lewis are also very convincing in their respective roles as well. My only problem lies in certain points in the film (Swank and Driver "upping" their wardrobes to "look" like a lawyer) come across a bit too Disney and seem more fitting for Lifetime than the theater. The pathos brought about by the characters is excellent, only, when you start watching the continual tears run down Swank's face, you can feel the falsity, then you see the on-screen action take on the form of an acting audition--forced emotions and many eyedrops. The direction of the film is also "too good too be true" at times, again falling into the realm of "made-for-tv" entertainment. Overall, viewed topically, the film is a must-see, popcorn, Friday- night flick. Expand
  6. Nov 14, 2010
    6
    Conviction really is what many have coined as 'Oscar-bait'. It's one of those films that plays heavily to the emotion of it's audience,Conviction really is what many have coined as 'Oscar-bait'. It's one of those films that plays heavily to the emotion of it's audience, attempting to ignite that emotional reaction from you, at any costs. However, in Conviction's case, like Secretariat a few weeks back, it works and succeeds at that goal. It's a film with good acting, direction, and a solid script. Sure, it's kind of Erin Brockovich with some tweaking and tinkering, but Erin Brockovich was a damn fine movie, and Conviction is solid, even if on a lesser level. Sam Rockwell offers a huge breath of fresh air with a funny and moving performance as the imprisoned brother, even though most of the movie is kind of 'been there, done that'. Expand
  7. 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. Expand

See all 12 User Reviews

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