xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
Kenny Waters might not have been a very nice man, but he was an innocent one. By considering his innocence and not his personality, “Conviction” puts the focus where it belongs: on the sister who reshaped her entire life to win his freedom. Her determination is fierce, her rebirth is inspiring, and in Hilary Swank, the film finds the right actress to embody gritty tenacity.
You can hardly imagine anyone else playing Betty Anne Waters. She's a working-class woman from a hard childhood. She and her brother, Kenny (Sam Rockwell), had an absent father and a mother who might as well have been absent, and were shuffled through a series of dismal foster homes. But they stuck together and helped each other, almost as Dickensian survivors. Her gratitude to him is boundless.
(Spoilers ahead:) The movie doesn't avoid that Kenny gets wild when he gets drunk. He displays the personality changes of an alcoholic. He can be mean, and everybody knows it. In many circles, this is seen as a trait and not a symptom. A local woman is murdered, he's arrested on suspicion and makes the mistake of behaving insultingly to a cop (Melissa Leo, from “Frozen River”). He will pay for that. A few local women, including a ditzy witness (Juliette Lewis) sorta are kinda sure they musta seen him at the crime scene, and the vengeful cop railroads him into jail.
Waters dedicates her life to proving her brother's innocence. This involves reinventing herself. She gets a high school diploma, a college degree and enrolls in law school. One cost of this is her marriage. It's an intriguing possibility, untouched by the movie, that after a certain point in her re-education, she simply outgrew her earlier life and carried on for her own sake as well as her brother's.