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.
“Conviction” is based on a real life situation that happened in Ayer, Massachusetts. It stars Sam Rockwell as the sort of ne’er-do-well brother of Hillary Swank, who is his protector, although she beats the daylights out of him when they’re kids. The two of them are very close in lieu of a clearly incompetent mother. The cast is terrific. Melissa Leo plays a tough cop. Peter Gallagher plays Barry Scheck. The idea is that Sam Rockwell’s character gets sent to prison for a murder that he maintains he didn’t commit, even though he’s a wild guy. His sister, who doesn’t even have a high school education, decides to go to law school to be able to defend him, and it takes years and years. She keeps believing in him, and we don’t know whether to believe him or not because when DNA testing comes out, he’s reluctant. So, we’re thinking, a-ha, maybe he really did it. Minnie Driver plays the best friend, the side kick. It’s just very well acted. Very well directed by Tony Goldwyn, who we’re more used to seeing in front of the camera than behind it. It does go a little bit long, probably could’ve been shortened, but it’s very well acted, you care about all the issues, you care about the people and it’s just wonderful to see. This is probably Hillary Swank’s best role, and I know she’s won two Oscars. But, in this one you have much more a sense of depth– it’s a less flashy performance.t. Sam Rockwell has always been good in everything he does. This shows some depth to him as he ages rather than being the wild child, which he is at the beginning of the movie. I give this one four and a half stars.