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Conviction Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Can't find a good lawyer? Become one yourself. Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

Compelling but misguided Oscar bait. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Some of the movie's most stirring scenes take place during Betty Anne's prison visits, when the laughter has stopped and her innocent brother contemplates his shattered life.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Ray Bennett

    The film is in the tradition of fighting-the-system stories drawn from real life such as "Erin Brokovich," and its powerful emotional appeal should draw a substantial grownup audience.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The ever-magnetic Sam Rockwell is Kenny, Minnie Driver is full of beans as Betty Anne's best friend, Melissa Leo is wicked good as an ornery cop, and, in her two chewy scenes, Juliette Lewis reminds fans why we want her to run free forever.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Emerges as a potent inspirational story on the strength of its two lead performances.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Conviction reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 16+

Intense, fact-based crime drama celebrates family ties.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fact-based drama celebrates one woman's tenacity and loyalty to her brother. It's uplifting and fairly moving, but given the heavy subject matter -- crime, prison, and difficult odds -- it's too intense for younger viewers. Some scenes depict characters examining graphic crime scene photos of a murdered woman, and the film begins with cameras moving through a house in which someone has been killed in a violent crime. There's also frequent swearing (including "s--t" and "f--k") and references to suicide.

  • Families can talk about Betty Anne's unwavering faith in her brother. Why does she believe in him so steadfastly? Do you think she ever had doubts? If so, why might the filmmakers decide not to dwell on that?
  • How does the film depict Betty Anne's journey? Has it been sugar coated, or does it seem realistic?
  • What is the film saying about the criminal justice system? How does it compare to most movies depicting a crime and its consequences?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Two messages come across clearly: First, that loyalty is a virtue, especially when bolstered by faith and love. Betty Anne never wavered in her belief that her brother was innocent, and it strengthened both of them. (The downside was that she clashed with others who did have doubts, sometimes destroying relationships.) Second, that you can achieve anything with focus and hard work. No matter how long it took, Betty Anne was determined to become a lawyer.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: The siblings' support and love is truly admirable, especially in light of their difficult upbringing. Their parents weren't role models; they only had each other. And though they're different in many ways, Betty Anne and Kenneth respect each other as individuals. Neither was saintly, but being a good person doesn't mean being perfect.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Disturbing images from a crime scene; graphic photos of a body are shown during trial. Much discussion of how a victim is killed. A man head-butts another during a bar fight. A character shows cuts he made on his wrists in an attempted suicide.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Couples kiss and flirt.

  • language false4

    Language: Language includes many uses of "s--t" and "f--k," plus "bitch," "c--ksucker," "damn," "hell, "ass," goddamn," "oh my God," and more.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Signage and logos for Coca-Cola, Bushmill, Boston Globe.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adult characters smoke cigarettes; they also drink in bars, sometimes to the point of inebriation.