Movie Review: Conviction & Unstoppable

So I fell really far behind in my movie reviews, so I’m going to crank out a bunch of these in short order and without much detail.

Movie – Conviction

Director: Tony Goldwyn (The Last Kiss, A Walk on the Moon)

Screenwriter: Pamela Gray (A Walk on the Moon)

Starring: Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby, Insomnia, Boys Don’t Cry), Sam Rockwell (Moon, The Green Mile, Matchstick Men) and Melissa Leo (The Fighter, 21 Grams, Frozen River)

Theater – The Fleur Cinema – Des Moines, Iowa

Companion – Sara Junck

Food – Mezzodi’s

Intellectual Honesty

I didn’t bring much to this movie. I enjoy Hilary Swank’s acting, but I don’t think that I’m partial to her in a way that impairs my judgment.


None. Don’t have a strong dislike for anybody in this film.

Synopsis from IMDB

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.


This is a fascinating true story, but it doesn’t really come off as that interesting in the movie. A woman without even a high school diploma goes back to school in the hopes of eventually getting a law degree and then getting her brother out of prison for a crime he didn’t commit. And she does it!

There is nothing wrong with this movie and the performances are solid, but this is the type of white trash that overcomes incredible adversity character that Hilary Swank plays in her sleep. Sam Rockwell is solid as the brother. Melissa Leo is impressive as the cop that frames Sam Rockwell, but she has an even more impressive performance that I’ll get to in a later movie review.

What isn’t covered in the movie is what happens after the brother gets out of prison. A year after he won his freedom he fell of a wall and died. How tragic is that? What I think is also fascinating about this woman that spent years and years trying to get her brother out of prison is that after she gets him out, she stopped being a lawyer. She went back to being a bartender. That is a fascinating person.

If this thing interests you, check out this link:

The Innocence Project

Rating: 3.5/5 Caramels

Buy on DVD

Not likely, but I would definitely watch it again.

2010 Ranking

I don’t think this really has a ranking. I guess it would sit just out of the Top Ten Movies I’ve seen this year.

Bonus Information

Before the movie I developed a love for boursin cheese. Thank you Mezzodi’s and Sara!

Movie – Unstoppable

Director: Tony Scott (Man on Fire, Top Gun, Domino)

Writer: Mark Bomback (Race to Witch Mountain, Live Free or Die Hard)

Starring: Denzel Washington (American Gangster, Glory, Malcolm X, Training Day) and Chris Pine (Star Trek, Just My Luck)

Companion – Nader Parsaei

Food – Probably but can’t remember.

Intellectual Honesty

I love Denzel Washington. I’ll watch him in just about anything and makes almost everything better. I like train movies. If I were to ever make films, one would definitely involve a train wreck. A real train wreck. No CGI!


I think Tony Scott is a merciless hack and one of the worst filmmakers in the world.

Synopsis from IMDB

With an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train barreling toward a city, a veteran engineer and a young conductor race against the clock to prevent a catastrophe.


Unstoppable? Unbearable is more like it.

You want to make a Tony Scott movie, here is his style in a nutshell:

Zoom camera. Cut to: Camera panning in a circle. Repeat until audience is nauseous.

For the most part, the acting in this movie was okay, but the action sequences were dreadful and the “ideas” these people had for stopping the train were laugh-out-loud ridiculous.

Plus here is free advice for Tony Scott. Next time you are trying to make a train look like it is going faster than it really is, even if you speed up the film rate, it is still obvious how slow the train is moving when you include so many other moving points of reference in the shot.

This film isn’t really worth any more discussion.

1.5/5.0 Caramels

Buy on DVD

Not even for a buck.

2010 Ranking

Probably the worst action movie I saw in 2010.

Bonus Information

Nothing to report.