An amazing true-life tale told in mundanely conventional Hollywood fashion, Conviction charts Massachusetts native Betty Anne Waters’ (Hilary Swank) unerring 16-year crusade to free her brother Kenny (Sam Rockwell) from prison, where he was serving a life sentence for murder. The hook to director Tony Goldwyn’s film is that, in order to exonerate her troublemaking sibling, Betty Anne got her GED, bachelor’s and law degrees to become Kenny’s lawyer, which then allowed her to prove via DNA evidence that he was innocent. Such surefire uplifting material inevitably resonates as a rousing portrait of love, loyalty and dedication, even given that – aside from some terrible Bahstan accents perpetrated by almost every primary player involved, notably Minnie Driver – Swank and Rockwell only adequately express their characters’ fears, torment, desperation and determination. Yet as befitting such a big-budget adaptation of actual events, Goldwyn blunts every potentially sharp edge from his film, eschewing any serious consideration of his subjects’ tumultuous emotions for dramaturgy primarily concerned with neat-and-tidy parallels (especially regarding themes of abandonment), predictable heartstring-tugging and swift, uncomplicated narrative momentum. First awkwardly jumping back and forth between time and, later, gliding over decades in a manner that reveals its desire to focus solely on an inspirational narrative arc, Conviction hits its proscribed beats but offers no richness of character or scenario, as content to remain superficial as its double-meaning title – Kenny was convicted, and Betty Anne has conviction! – is cute.