DEVOTION: Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell portray siblings in the melo­dramatic yet realistic story of a sister’s refusal to give up on her wayward brother.

A review of Conviction and Secretariat

Directed by Tony Goldwyn / Directed by Randall Wallace

Two of this season's movies, both based on true stories, remind us of the underrated pleasures of conventional filmmaking. Conviction, an account of how Betty Anne Waters sprang her wrongly imprisoned brother Kenny, and Secretariat, the tale of the legendary racehorse, are the most engrossing and emotionally engaging of the recent crop of releases.

In Conviction, director Tony Goldwyn and a seasoned cast bring a wealth of character detail to Pamela Gray's effective screenplay. Kenny Waters (Sam Rockwell) is sent to jail for murder on the testimony of two ex-girlfriends with axes to grind. (They've both seen his capacity for violence.)


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