Movie: Conviction

By admin
28 February 2011


With Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell and Melissa Leo.

Director: Tony Goldwyn.


Opens 4 March.

Rating: 2/5

What’s it about?

When her brother is charged with murder Betty Anne Waters, a single mom, works herself to a standstill to pay the rent and study for a law degree so she can prove his innocence.

Who will enjoy it?

Perhaps admirers of Hilary Swank because, let’s be honest, she’s a brilliant, intense actress.

But the film lacks the urgency needed to keep one glued from scene to scene to see what happens next. It’s more like a history lesson where the teacher relates fact after fact instead of telling a compelling story.

The film may be based on a true story but Tony Goldwyn’s direction tends to be tired and slow.

Yet you can’t stop watching – perhaps just to find out who actually committed the murder, and if and how Betty will manage to get her laidback brother out of jail.

His indifferent attitude to his fate also means you don’t have much sympathy for him.

But the film does succeed in realistically reflecting middle-class lifestyles. Directors tend to look down on ordinary people surviving their ordinary circumstances but here the wrong-side-of-the-tracks culture is also accurately portrayed.

Unfortunately you never feel entirely involved in Betty’s story and you eventually wish for the end to arrive.

See the film as a tribute to a sister’s love for her brother and the extremes to which families will go to help their own.

If you like the racy pace of TV courtroom dramas you’ll be disappointed.

Similar films 

The Next Three Days, Ghost Writer.

Popcorn fact

*Hilary Swank won best actress Oscars for Boys Don’t Cry (2000) and Million Dollar  Baby (2005).

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