These days, I'm getting more used to Hillary Swank films disappointing than succeeding, and Conviction looks to continue that trend. I pointed out from the beginning that this film looked like absolute Oscar bait, just from the trailer. It was pushing to the front every cliche from past winners, and it just wasn't working to its advantage. You can't blame the actors for anything other than signing onto the script, because they're usually pretty good in their roles. However, the roles just aren't good enough for them.
Brad Brevet (Rope of Silicon): "Beginning in 1980 with the bloody murder of Katharina Brow, Conviction tells the true story of Betty Anne Waters (Hilary Swank) and her pursuit of a law degree in an effort to free her brother, Kenny (Sam Rockwell), of a wrongful murder conviction. Directed by Tony Goldwyn (The Last Kiss), Conviction is a rather simple film, but the emotional impact of the story comes through in the end after what is a rather mundane and cliched story of the innocent man in jail and the person working hard on the outside to get them out. At no point does this seem like new territory, but outside of being about ten minutes too long it's a decent film despite its rather traditional dramatic nature."
Ray Bennett (Hollywood Reporter): "Goldwyn and screenwriter Pamela Gray have a fine grasp of classic storytelling and while the pace never slackens, they always find time for the small but important touches that add to a film's depth. Swank and Rockwell are very effective as siblings locked at the hip and their scenes together smack of a real shared history. Driver adds some important pepper to the proceedings and Juliette Lewis makes a vital impression in two scenes as a bedraggled, not very bright witness."