Convinced that her brother, Kenneth (Sam Rockwell), has been unjustly convicted of murder and incompetently defended by court-ordered attorneys, high school dropout Betty Anne Waters (Hilary Swank) puts herself through law school in order to represent him in his appeal. Inspired by a true story, director Tony Goldwyn’s stirring drama also stars Melissa Leo, Minnie Driver, Peter Gallagher and Clea DuVall.
Rating: 8 out of 10
This is the kind of story that is too good for a writer to make up. I loved the idea of a sister being hell-bound to prove the innocence of her brother after he was sentenced to life in prison.
The director, Tony Goldwyn, weaves a nice story, telling both the back story of the brother, the sister, and their childhood. We also get the narrative of the present, as the sister uncovers the mystery of proving her brother’s innocence. I was glued to the story and never bored. It never felt long or drawn out, despite the many legal hurdles they the siblings face throughout.
The performances in this film are excellent. Rockwell and Swank deliver memorable roles. This is a really well made film that didn’t get a lot of love. It should have.