Movie Review: 'Conviction'

Movie Review: 'Conviction'

Summary: Based on a true story, Betty Anne Waters' (Hilary Swank) brother, Kenneth Waters (Sam Rockwell), is wrongfully convicted of murder in 1983.

Published December 7, 2010

Summary : Based on a true story, Betty Anne Waters' (Hilary Swank ) brother, Kenneth Waters (Sam Rockwel l), is wrongfully convicted of murder in 1983. Knowing her brother was innocent, Betty Anne, a high school dropout, earns her GED, bachelor's, master's and eventually a law degree. She became her brother’s lawyer and proved through DNA evidence that he was innocent, eventually getting him out of jail after 18 years.

Review : As we all know, there have been hundreds of people who were wrongfully convicted of a crime and later freed due to DNA evidence. However, since DNA evidence is fairly new, one can only imagine the thousands of people who were wrongfully convicted of a crime, spent the rest of their lives in prison or maybe even faced execution. For that reason, Conviction is one of the most important movies of the year; not a prefect film but the fact-based message overrules any movie-making flaws.

Directed by Tony Goldwyn , Conviction isn't one of those, "What's going to happen next?" dramas. The resolution is obvious. This film isn't about the unpredictable but more about the journey that one woman will take to save her family. Sure, it's not terribly original and script is choppy in moments, but the excellent ensemble cast elevates Conviction to Oscar-worthy status.

Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank can effortlessly play a down-and-out chick. The role is no stretch for her, she is sincere in every moment with no residuals of her characters in Boys Don't Cry or Million Dollar Baby . Sam Rockwell , who was just in Iron Man 2 , plays opposite Swank and convincingly captures the frustration of so many inmates. Also, we can't forget Juliette Lewis. While she only has two scenes, they are some of the most memorable moments in the film. She is unrecognizable with a transformation so extreme that if she had more screen time she could've been the Mo'Nique in Precious of 2010 . Nonetheless, her performance is still award-worthy and she is overdue. Hand over Juliette Lewis' Oscar already!

Conviction is a story that rises above race and class.  Considering prisons are predominately African-American and Latino, regardless if you've heard the story before, this injustice is relevant, powerful and needs to be told.

Conviction is in theaters now.

Written by Clay Cane

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