Movie Review: Conviction

By Drum Digital
23 February 2011

Rating 2/5

Drama. With HILARY SWANK, SAM ROCKWELL and MELISSA LEO. Director: Tony Goldwyn. 16LV. Opens 4 March.

What’s it about?

Betty Anne Waters, a single mom, works herself to a standstill trying to pay the rent while studying for her law degree. When her brother is charged with murder she tries to prove his innocence.

Who will enjoy it?

Perhaps admirers of Hilary Swank – she’s a brilliant, intense actress. But this film lacks the urgency to keep you glued from scene to scene. It’s almost like a history lesson where the teacher just relates fact after fact instead of telling a compelling story. And it may be based on a true story but the direction tends to be tired and slow. Yet you can’t stop watching. Perhaps it’s just to find out who did commit the murder, and if and how Betty will manage to get her irresponsible brother out of jail – even if his nonchalant, disaffected attitude to his fate means you don’t have much sympathy for him. Even though the film does realistically reflect the characters’ middle-class lifestyle, and their wrong-side-of-the-tracks culture is accurately portrayed, you never feel entirely involved in Betty’s story and you eventually wish for the end to arrive. If you like the pace of TV courtroom dramas you’ll be very disappointed indeed.

Similar films

The Next Three Days, Ghost Writer

Popcorn fact

* Swank has won two Best Actress Oscars, for Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby.

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