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Conviction (2010)

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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.



4,072 ( 2,416)
9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Law Professor (as Thomas Mahard)
Law Professor 2
Rusty Mewha ...
Desk Sergeant
Officer Boisseau
Young Betty Anne
Young Kenny
Frank Zieger ...


Betty Anne Waters (Swank) is a high school dropout who spent nearly two decades working as a single mother while putting herself through law school, tirelessly trying to beat the system and overturn her brother's (Rockwell) unjust murder conviction. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The incredible true story of Betty Anne Waters See more »


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

16 March 2011 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Betty Anne Waters  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$12,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$102,351, 17 October 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,783,129, 26 December 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Hilary Swank didn't meet her real-life character Betty Anne Waters until just before the filming began. She says she wanted to get into the character, not just mimic someone. See more »


At one point Betty Anne Waters Hilary Swank tells Kenny Sam Rockwell that it's a good thing Massachusetts doesn't have the death penalty or he could already be dead. This however is incorrect. Massachusetts still had the death penalty in 1983, when Kenny was convicted. It was abolished the following year in 1984. See more »


Betty Anne Waters: You are innocent!
Kenny Waters: Are you sure about that?
Betty Anne Waters: [crying] How can you ask me that? How can you ask me that?
See more »


Referenced in Maltin on Movies: Unknown & Cedar Rapids (2011) See more »


My Sharona
Written by Doug Fieger (as Douglas Fieger) and Berton Averre
Performed by Andrew Fairgrieve, Robert Piela, Hunter Dixon & Chris Fichter
Licensed by Arrangement with Wise Brothers Music LLC (ASCAP), Eighties Music (ASCAP) and Small Hill Music (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

An inspirational true story of commitment & life's struggles

(Synopsis) Conviction is based on an inspiring true story of Betty Anne Waters (Hilary Swank), a high school dropout who over 18-years put herself through law school to represent and hopefully overturn her innocent brother's, Kenny Waters (Sam Rockwell), murder conviction. Betty Anne is a working mother of two boys who believes that her brother was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to life in prison for a 1980 bloody murder of a woman living in a trailer next door to him in Ayer, Massachusetts. Kenny's ability to appeal his conviction using public defenders has been exhausted and without a lawyer, he will die in prison. That is when Betty Anne decides to dedicate her life to save her brother. With a newly earned law degree in hand, she hopes to exonerate her brother with new evidence and the new science of DNA.

(My Comment) This is a story of what a devoted and inseparable loving sister can do for her brother when he needs her most. Their family bond for each other, while growing up on a farm, is stronger than any prison can break. The movie shows Betty Anne Waters' commitment in freeing her brother as the only thing that will make her life complete. The struggles she endures to become a lawyer, and her willpower to save her brother from any further pain is inspirational. The bond between Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell seems very real, including the steps that she takes as an obsessed lawyer to set him free. Their performances were brilliant, and I believe that both of them will be nominated for an Oscar. This is a movie to see. Footnote: The Innocence Project using DNA matching since 1989 has freed over 254 innocent people from prison in the United States. (Fox Searchlight Pictures, Run Time 1:46, Rated R) (8/10)

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