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By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Intense, fact-based crime drama celebrates family ties.

Movie R 2010 107 minutes
Conviction Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 15+

Absolutely wonderful!

Conviction was a very good film!! Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell were amazing together. Lots of popular actors in this one that I didn't see coming...I love Minnie Driver and her character was fun-loving and I didn't expect to see Juliette Lewis who also did a fantastic job (Clea Duval is another one!). The movie is very sad sometimes especially the fact that it's based on a true story. It deals with lots of family drama and a courageous woman who would give her life for her brother. Growing up in a bad environment and being sent to over seven foster homes, Betty (Swank) and her brother Kenneth (Rockwell) only had each other, they were best friends and looked out for one another. Everything seemed to work out as adults, Betty has a nice family with two great sons but a non-supportive husband causes a divorce. Kenneth has a baby girl. One day, for no explanation at all, Kenneth was wrongly accused of a crime he never committed. It drives Betty crazy to see her brother go through life in prison, so she decides to become a lawyer! No matter how long it takes (ended up taking 18 years), she's determined to prove that he is innocent. The violence includes fighting, lots of arguing, a man shows his slit wrists from trying to commit suicide, close children (brother and sister) separated with screaming and crying, gory photos of a murdered woman. Language is very strong with lots of f-words, sh*t, b*tch, d@mn and more. Sexual content is mild but has nudity at a bar of a man who strips for comedy but you see him from behind (bare butt and everything), a few kisses by a married couple. There is smoking and drinking (man gets tipsy at a bar). GREAT messages and role models. Overall, wonderful film, a definite must see. 15+ viewers.
age 12+

A must see movie

Great movie about a heartbreaking situation for the Waters family.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (1 ):

If CONVICTION were a present wrapped up in shiny paper and tied with a big red bow, it would have "Happy Oscar nomination!" stamped on it specifically for Swank. The film seems engineered for maximum make-the-audience-feel effect, with a compelling storyline and a heartwarming message about family loyalty and tenacity. Swank cries, persists, moves, overcomes, and survives: the perfect awards concoction. The movie is inspirational with a capital "I."

Despite that transparency and that fact that it follows the typical conventions of the courtroom-drama-with-uplifting-ending genre, Conviction is, cynicism aside, quite moving. How can you not sympathize with a woman who isn't merely a figment of some screenwriter's imagination but an actual human being who displays such fortitude and faith? How can you not admire a sibling relationship that encourages such dedication? Rockwell gives his performance ample bite without undercutting the film's tender message; whenever he's onscreen, he compels. And though there's something a little mechanical in Swank's Best-Actress-y repertoire, she makes us forget that she's a Hollywood actress playing make-believe. Art imitates life, and what a powerful movie it made.

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