Conviction 2010

Critics score:
67 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

David Germain, Associated Press: When she lands the right part, Swank delivers with as much conviction as anyone working in Hollywood today. Read more

James Rocchi, MSN Movies: 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. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: The talents of a number of superb actors are stifled by an airless, by-the-numbers story. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: [A] lumpy, based-on-a-true-story slab of uplift. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Swank is overeager and humorless, and I got tired of looking at her big choppers, but for all that I liked her. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, 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. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Tony Goldwyn's Conviction tells a great story that deserves a great movie, but settles for a mediocre one. Read more

Noel Murray, AV Club: 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. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: 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. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: It's better than some network shows. It's a cable movie. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: 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). Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Little by little, performance by performance, director Tony Goldwyn's fact-based rouser develops into something fresh and fully inhabited. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: What makes Conviction worth seeing is its depiction of a self-immolating crusader. Read more

Anthony Kaufman, 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. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: It's a solid if somewhat straightforward story of sacrifice and allegiance. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: A tale of justice served told with respectful restraint by director Tony Goldwyn (A Walk on the Moon) and screenwriter Pamela Gray (ditto). Read more

Ray Bennett, Hollywood Reporter: Swank and Rockwell are very effective as siblings locked at the hip and their scenes together smack of a real shared history. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, 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. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Even Lifetime isn't making Lifetime movies like this anymore. And there's a reason for that. Read more

Joe Neumaier, 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. Read more

Lou Lumenick, 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. Read more

Rex Reed, 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. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: It's a noble enterprise, and a remarkable story, but it's not a movie that will set you free. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: A Best Picture hopeful? Or a watered-down marriage between The Hurricane and Erin Brockovich? Perhaps both. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Hilary Swank shines in the kind of role she specializes in: gritty, determined, single-minded and stubborn. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The story generates that kind of urgency we feel when a character is obviously right and is up against stupidity and meanness. It delivers. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Conviction sweetens the true story it's based on, and director Tony Goldwyn dutifully connects the dots in Pam Gray's screenplay. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Conviction is an inelegant but compelling mishmash, worth seeing for a terrific female-centric cast... Read more

Mick LaSalle, 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. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: It's better than OK, a worthy, well-told story, but less than brilliantly entertaining. Read more

Rick Groen, 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. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: More cable TV heart-tugger than major motion picture, Conviction nevertheless hits home on the strength of three solid performances. Read more

Mary F. Pols, TIME Magazine: 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. Read more

Tom Huddleston, Time Out: Traditional and unambitious it may be, but 'Conviction' is a good tale persuasively told. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Swank continues to show startling skill in fully inhabiting a character, as does Sam Rockwell, who plays her brother, Kenny. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: An inspiring true story is told with too many false notes and unexamined questions. Read more

Melissa Anderson, Village Voice: Swank's unsubtle performance is often an extension of the bluntly dumb lines she and other cast members must deliver. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: [Swank] fails to ever really make us care about, let alone buy into, Betty Anne as a human being. Read more