Conviction is an eye opening true story. Kenny Waters (Sam Rockwell) is the local troublemaker, known for starting fights and as the youngster who use to cause havoc for the small town. Kenny is a grown man now but trouble has found him as an adult. This time the trouble turns out to have erectable damage. Kenny is arrested for murder and convicted after testimony leads to him as the main suspect. With no DNA testing back in the early 1980’s Kenny is sentenced to life in prison for a murder he insists he never committed.
The only person standing by his side fighting for him is his loyal sister Betty Anne (Hilary Swank). A small town girl who is the wife and mother of two that dedicates her life to proving her brother’s innocence. She begins this process by getting her GED followed by college and then finally law school. She is determined to be the attorney advocating for his release. But eighteen years pass by and when it comes time to fight for Kenny she runs into a few hurdles.
Betty Anne must prove Kenny’s innocence with DNA evidence and she must do so using the evidence from his trial of almost twenty years ago. Only problem is the courthouse is telling her that it was destroyed. With the help of her good friend Abra Rice and their constant persistence they discover the evidence still exist and Kenny’s road to freedom is only days away.
Conviction is an inspirational true story that is hard to believe. As much as I admire Betty Anne giving up her life to help prove her brother’s innocence she also gave up much more. Including her marriage and her children’s childhood. That did offer a sour note to the film but aside from that the chemistry was remarkable between Rockwell and Swank. Both had amazing performances. Overall it is a great true story to witness…but not Oscar worthy.