Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
When she lands the right part, Swank delivers with as much conviction as anyone working in Hollywood today.
Goldwyn and his cast and crew have made a movie as well-made as it is well-intentioned, but its noble glowing warmth could have used a lot more fire.
New York Times:
The talents of a number of superb actors are stifled by an airless, by-the-numbers story.
Wall Street Journal:
The quality of the acting is consistently high and Mr. Rockwell's crackling energy goes a long way toward compensating for the film's predominantly earnest tone.
Tony Goldwyn's Conviction tells a great story that deserves a great movie, but settles for a mediocre one.
There are times when cliches can be comforting and even profound in their familiarity, and then there are times when they're just, well, cliches. Conviction largely traffics in the latter.
The acting certainly elevates the movie -- Minnie Driver, Juliette Lewis and Melissa Leo are also quite good -- but Conviction remains a good movie that should have been better.
J. R. Jones,
Tony Goldwyn directed a cast that ranges from the excellent (Minnie Driver as a fellow attorney, Melissa Leo as a crooked cop) to the laughable (Juliette Lewis as a trashy woman whose perjured testimony helps put the brother away).
Little by little, performance by performance, director Tony Goldwyn's fact-based rouser develops into something fresh and fully inhabited.
Dallas Morning News:
In the hands of Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell and a strong supporting cast, this earnest film manages to tug a few heartstrings and say something important in the process.
It's a solid if somewhat straightforward story of sacrifice and allegiance.
A tale of justice served told with respectful restraint by director Tony Goldwyn (A Walk on the Moon) and screenwriter Pamela Gray (ditto).
Swank and Rockwell are very effective as siblings locked at the hip and their scenes together smack of a real shared history.
Los Angeles Times:
The film falls short of delivering the outrage and uplift that should have come easy for this true-life fight against justice denied.
Even Lifetime isn't making Lifetime movies like this anymore. And there's a reason for that.
New York Daily News:
Swank's strength as an actress is in the integrity she gives working-class characters, and her steeliness helps Tony Goldwyn's movie move past its by-the-numbers structure.
New York Post:
Two-time Best Actress Oscar winner Swank needn't clear any space on her mantel for acknowledgment of her participation in this soapy redneck opus, which really belongs on Lifetime rather than in theaters.
New York Observer:
Filled with nuance, intricate emotion and a refreshing absence of melodramatics, Conviction is a moving exploration of light and love shining through the darkness of despair. Its impact cannot easily be shaken.
A Best Picture hopeful? Or a watered-down marriage between The Hurricane and Erin Brockovich? Perhaps both.
Hilary Swank shines in the kind of role she specializes in: gritty, determined, single-minded and stubborn.
The story generates that kind of urgency we feel when a character is obviously right and is up against stupidity and meanness. It delivers.
Conviction sweetens the true story it's based on, and director Tony Goldwyn dutifully connects the dots in Pam Gray's screenplay.
Conviction is an inelegant but compelling mishmash, worth seeing for a terrific female-centric cast...
San Francisco Chronicle:
Swank's purity of essence is nicely paired with Rockwell, who is more arch and complicated and would look guilty doing mission work in Mumbai. It's a special quality Rockwell has.
Globe and Mail:
Just because some truth is stranger than fiction doesn't necessarily make it better than fiction, more compelling or more dramatic or even more convincing than fiction.
More cable TV heart-tugger than major motion picture, Conviction nevertheless hits home on the strength of three solid performances.
Mary F. Pols,
While Swank is at her most earnest here, she's very good; and as a guy only a sister could love, Rockwell gives a beautifully nuanced, unexpectedly touching performance.
Traditional and unambitious it may be, but 'Conviction' is a good tale persuasively told.
Swank continues to show startling skill in fully inhabiting a character, as does Sam Rockwell, who plays her brother, Kenny.
An inspiring true story is told with too many false notes and unexamined questions.
Swank's unsubtle performance is often an extension of the bluntly dumb lines she and other cast members must deliver.
[Swank] fails to ever really make us care about, let alone buy into, Betty Anne as a human being.