Brief review: Based on the true story of Betty Anne Waters, an unemployed single mother who, with the help of attorney Barry Scheck, exonerated her wrongfully convicted brother, "Conviction" is an inspirational character-driven drama about loyalty, devotion, struggle and courage, that shows how even situations that seem hopeless are not always lost. However, "Conviction" is all about the performances. Hilary Swank, one of the finest actresses working today, delivers a powerful and extremely convincing performance as the determined and fierce Betty, devoted to her unjustly accused brother. Sam Rockwell also gives an astounding performance as the troubled rebel, Kenny Waters. Minnie Driver also shines as Betty's best friend, Abra, and though her screen time is very limited, she's an absolute joy to watch. Though, "Conviction" has this made-for-TV feel about it, it looks slick enough, visually. The muted, yet saturated color palette represents the 80's era well, and suits the tough and dramatic subject matter of the film. Tony Goldwyn's direction is competent, if unremarkable, and the simplicity of the story is compensated by a clever structure and a smooth editing.
Overall summary: Though traditional and often predictable, "Conviction" is a solid, emotionally-charged and brilliantly-acted drama, that inspires as well as entertains.