Reviewed by: Steve Warburton
|Featuring:||Hilary Swank (Betty Anne Waters), Sam Rockwell, Juliette Lewis, Minnie Driver (Abra), Ari Graynor, Clea DuVall, Melissa Leo, Peter Gallagher, Bailee Madison (Young Betty Anne), more »|
|Producer:||Pantheon Entertainment Corporation, Oceana Media Finance, Innocence Productions, more »|
|Distributor:||Fox Searchlight Pictures|
“The incredible true story of Betty Anne Waters—an extraordinary journey of how far we go to fight for our family.”
“Conviction” tells the story of Betty Ann Waters (Hilary Swank), a woman who gets her law degree just so she can free her brother, who she believes is wrongfully imprisoned for first degree murder. The story is based on real life, so I can go ahead and tell you that he is wrongfully imprisoned, and he is eventually exonerated—thanks to the hard work and dedication of his sister. That’s not a spoiler. This movie is not a suspenseful courtroom drama. It’s about the power of love and the need to work hard so that justice can be served.
Betty Ann’s brother, Kenny, is no saint. He drinks too much, womanizes too much, and confesses that his life is a piece of something that rhymes with “wit.” He’s not a good guy. But he’s also not a murderer. In a sense, “Conviction” asks some of the same questions that 1988’s “The Accused” asks: Is justice for everyone, or is it just for the good decent folk who go to church, pay their bills, and contribute to society?
Through liberal use of flashback, we see that Kenny and Betty Ann were happiest when they were together. Their home life was far from stable; they relied on each other for pretty much everything. Incalculable damage may have been done when they were separated and sent off to foster homes. These kids needed each other, and they still need each other in their adult lives.
I’m not sure what else to say about this movie. It worked. It’s about family, and it’s about justice.
The most objectionable thing about this movie is the language. There’s a lot of profanity, and we hear the Lord Jesus Christ’s name taken in vain several times. If that’s a dealbreaker for you, then this is a movie to avoid.
Profanity: Extreme—over 50 “f” words, 16 “s” words, “G-damn” (6), “Oh my G-d” (4), “Jesus” (3), “Jesus Christ” (1), “For Christ’s sakes” (2), “God,” “Godforsaken,” etc.
Sex/Nudity: Moderate to heavy—primarily vulgarity, scene with full rear male nudity, but no sex scenes
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.