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Conviction (2010)

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A working mother puts herself through law school in an effort to represent her brother, who has been wrongfully convicted of murder and has exhausted his chances to appeal his conviction through public defenders.



3,971 ( 899)
9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Law Professor (as Thomas Mahard)
Law Professor 2
Rusty Mewha ...
Desk Sergeant
Officer Boisseau
Tobias Campbell ...
Frank Zieger ...


Betty Anne Waters (Swank) is a high school dropout who spent nearly two decades working as a single mother while putting herself through law school, tirelessly trying to beat the system and overturn her brother's (Rockwell) unjust murder conviction. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


An extraordinary journey of how far we go to fight for our family. See more »


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

5 November 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Betty Anne Waters  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$12,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$102,351 (USA) (15 October 2010)


$6,783,129 (USA) (24 December 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The rights first flowed to Andrew S. Karsch because he had a connection to attorney Scheck, Barry of the Innocence Project; for starters, they are neighbors in the same Brooklyn Heights building. See more »


In various scenes where Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell's characters are meeting in the jail, the Sprite that Hilary drinks from has the new logo from 2005 consisting of two yellow and green "halves" forming an "S" lemon/lime design. This logo had not yet been created during the implied times of these scenes. See more »


Betty Anne Waters: You are innocent!
Kenny Waters: Are you sure about that?
Betty Anne Waters: [crying] How can you ask me that? How can you ask me that?
See more »


References Police Woman (1974) See more »


Whiskey in the Jar
Public Domain
Performed by Chris Hewitt and David Bagnall
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User Reviews

A simple, dramatic story told well through emotional performances
30 October 2010 | by (Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Conviction" is a simple, dramatic story, told well. Betty Anne (Hilary Swank) puts herself through law school for the sole effort of freeing her innocent brother Kenny (Sam Rockwell) from a life-sentence in prison for murder. Swank and Rockwell both carry this emotional film on their very strong shoulders.

There are very few courtroom scenes, very few law school scenes, but it is filled with emotional connections between brother and sister as she visits him in prison, and as she tries living her own life. The characters dominate the beginning of the film, and the steps Swank has to take to free Rockwell keeps the film going towards the end.

It is shot well, as this is clearly Massachusetts and it set the right feelings for the film without overpowering it. The highlights are Swank and Rockwell as they both play characters with elements that we have seen before that have given Swank Oscar wins and have given Rockwell popularity. Here, he has toned down his comic antics just enough for his performance to remain popular but should also give him his first Oscar nomination.

The story may be missing a few elements that would have given it more substance to make it more interesting, but it seems to me, that's because the film-makers had a few restrictions in keeping to the true story. This may actually be a true story and not just based on one.

I recommend "Conviction" for its emotional performances and for telling its simple story well.

42 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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How does a high school dropout and single mom afford law school? dipads
How Are Nancy Taylor and Martha Coakley Alive Still? mantalcore
hard to get into when the brother was so unsympathetic scottcloney
Juliette Lewis should get an Oscar nomination lucyy
The murder victim's family EmmyMorgan76
Was the evidence really lost/destroyed and then recovered? deflime
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