When my parents rented this movie, and I saw Lorenzo Lamas on the cover, needless to say, I was more than skeptical of the quality of this film. It still holds the trademarks of a made-for-TV movie with its cheesy dialogue and cheesy acting (particularly Ernesto), but "Hope Ranch" is a nice film with a positive message.
This movie is even more meaningful for my family and I, as my mom works in a juvenile corrections facility. While that job sounded pretty daunting at first, its purpose is commendable; that is to rehabilitate troubled youth and turn their lives around. "Hope Ranch" illustrates one way programs can do that by laying out discipline and responsibility on the kids for practically the first time in their lives. They show that through hard work and dedication, kids learn that they really are important and can contribute something meaningful to society.
To my surprise, I actually recommend this movie. It has a great message and shows that we shouldn't give up on people. Don't expect Oscar-worthy performances, a groundbreaking story, or anything like that. It is, after all, a movie made for the cable channel Animal Planet. Despite its budgetary constraints, "Hope Ranch" still gives a positive message out in a very effective way.
My IMDb Rating: 8/10. My Yahoo! Grade: B+ (Memorable)
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