Critic Reviews



Based on 23 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Mirren maintains her class throughout Love Ranch. She may deserve another Oscar just for keeping a straight face while reciting a ridiculous speech about the Donner Pass tragedy on her way to a tryst with her character's lover.
Mirren tricked out in mid-70's pimp wear -- ahead of her time, she even brandishes a cane -- has a certain charm, but novelty alone can't keep Love Ranch's tiresome tropes and plodding storyline from dragging the film down through the Nevada dust.
A marvelous thought, credited to Orson Welles: You can handle shit with velvet gloves, but the gloves only get shittier; the shit doesn't get glovier. As wondrous as the regal Helen Mirren can be, it's a sad day when her queenly demeanor gets dunked in doo-doo.
Thanks to the great Helen Mirren as the wife and Spanish actor Sergio Peris-Mencheta as the boxer, the film does create a convincing portrait of a late-flourishing love that takes everyone by surprise.
A tawdry look at the early days of Nevada's legalized brothel business that plays more like Lifetime fodder than the Martin Scorsese pictures that serve as its model.
Mirren cuts the figure of a bodice-ripping paperback heroine, a withering desert flower who blooms in the arms of a swarthy prizefighter roughly half her age. Mirren embodies the fantasy beautifully -- but Hackford's feature-length valentine to her all but sabotages the rest of the movie.
So with two great, ideally cast actors and such potentially fascinating subject matter, why does Love Ranch feel like a clumsy TV movie?
In Ms. Mirren's first film to be directed by her husband, Taylor Hackford, since "White Nights" in 1985, her formidable dramatic resources can't camouflage flat writing that eventually veers into gloppy sentimentality. At times even Ms. Mirren, who adopts a regionless American accent, seems uncomfortable.
Village Voice
Hackford's pacing throughout is continuously off, with scenes extending several beats too long, his two leads adrift and bored.
It is a colossal bomb, an epic miscalculation, an excuse for actor self-indulgence and for what sounds very much like bad improvisation.

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