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film review: Conviction

by Leonard Maltin
October 15, 2010 4:00 AM
4 Comments
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I know, I know: this sounds like TV-movie fodder. But Conviction isn’t a formulaic feel-good saga. It is based on a true story that takes many unexpected turns, and I found it quite moving. Hilary Swank plays a working-class Massachusetts woman in the 1980s who vows to go back to school and earn a law degree so she can help her innocent brother beat a murder rap that’s put him in prison for life. Sam Rockwell is the brother, a lifelong hellraiser who can’t believe his sister has that kind of devotion—

—and determination.

Pamela Gray’s script steers wide of clichés, and in the hands of such skillful actors, under Tony Goldwyn’s sure-footed direction, Conviction spells out its story step by step. Minnie Driver, Juliette Lewis, Melissa Leo, and Peter Gallagher head a solid supporting cast.

But the double-meaning of the title is well served by its two leading actors: they are committed to these characters, and it shows in their sincere, well-modulated performances.

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4 Comments

  • Rob | October 16, 2010 11:40 AMReply

    Oops, I used a defunct email address for that last post. I know that you are probably a very busy man, so I do not expect you necessarily to answer.

  • Rob | October 16, 2010 11:37 AMReply

    I think that TV movies get a bad rap. I am actually kind of disappointed you stopped including them in your movie guides. Do you think that you will ever release a guide or supplement for TV movies, or are there any such guides that you can recommend?

  • Matthew | October 15, 2010 10:08 AMReply

    So many stories like this end up as sappy TV movies, when so many deserve to be much more. Can't wait for this one, especially given all the names mentioned in your review.

  • anis | October 15, 2010 6:26 AMReply

    Looks good. I should check it out then!

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