Love Ranch


Love Ranch

Critics Consensus

Despite its saucy setup and the always marvelous Helen Mirren, Love Ranch is disappointingly flaccid.



Reviews Counted: 52

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User Ratings: 1,236


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Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 2.6/5

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Movie Info

"Love Ranch" is a bittersweet love story that turns explosive when the players in a romantic triangle lose control and cross the line. Set in the late-1970s, the film depicts larger than life personalities living on the edge, Grace Bontempo and Charlie Bontempo, the husband and wife team who own and run Nevada's first legalized brothel. Their lives are suddenly altered when Armando Bruza, a husky, world famous heavy weight boxer from South America is brought to the Ranch to train as part of Charlie's ever-expanding entrepreneurial empire. Plans quickly go awry when Bruza comes between Grace and Charlie as an unforeseen love triangle develops that erupts into uncontrollable passion and murder.

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Helen Mirren
as Grace Bontempo
Joe Pesci
as Charlie Bontempo
Sergio Peris-Mencheta
as Armando Bruza
Bai Ling
as Samantha
Bryan Cranston
as James Pettis
Rick Gomez
as Tom Macy
M.C. Gainey
as Warren Stamp
Gil Birmingham
as Johnny Cortez
Emily Rios
as Muneca
Raoul Trujillo
as Hernan Prado
Bo Brown
as Leroy Colter
Wendell Pierce
as Naasih Mohammed
Harve Presnell
as Dr. Smathers
Leslie Jordan
as Martin Hainsworth
Dylan Kenin
as McMurphy
Suzanne Michaels
as Stella Sands
Roseanne Vau
as Mary French
Mia Stallard
as Chrissy
Stephen Eiland
as Fat Customer
Mark Sivertsen
as Horny Fan
Chad Brummett
as Drunken Fan
Dale O'Malley
as Second Drunk
Ryil Adamson
as Bellner
Maulik Pancholy
as Dr. Singh
Vic Browder
as Orderly
Rocky Burke
as Fight Referee
Daniel Caplin
as Ring Doctor
Guadalupe Contreras
as Ring Announcer
William E. Marshall
as Colter's Manager
Robert Padilla
as Bruza's Cut Man
Dominic Orlandini
as Sports Reporter
Rio Hackford
as Ranch Bartender
Bob Harvey
as New Years Even John
Jerry Gardner
as Ranch John #1
John Hardman
as Ranch John #2
Luce Rains
as Ranch John #3
Christopher Hagen
as Ranch John #4
Alan Pacheco Dent
as Ranch John #5
Neil Summers
as Drunken John
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Critic Reviews for Love Ranch

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (23)

Audience Reviews for Love Ranch


In "Love Ranch," Charlie(Joe Pesci) and Grace(Helen Mirren) are a married couple who a run a brothel together near Reno, Nevada. As besieged as they are by religious elements that seek to shut them down, Charlie disversifies their interests by buying the gambling debts of Armando Bruza(Sergio Peris-Mencheta), a once promising boxer. His idea is for Armando to fight his way back into contention and to challenge Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight crown. The only problem is that Charlie is a convicted felon and hence cannot manage him. So, he puts Grace in charge. As it turns out, she might not have that much time left which she learns from her doctor(Harve Presnell). Unexpectedly the unorthodox pairing of Joe Pesci and Helen Mirren does not create a massive implosion and actually works quite well. He is not that bad of an actor and, despite being acting royalty, she is unpretentious enough to have fun in the role. Sadly, that's about the only thing that truly works in this mess of a movie which may have once sounded like a great idea but could not find the right tone in front of the camera. Maybe it is about seeking respectability in the new west but it is not really about either Charlie or Armando who drive most of the action. Nor do any of the working women stand out in any way. Grace takes center stage but mostly through default as she is a passive, thinly drawn character who only achieves any depth through the massive force of will of Helen Mirren.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Fair movie. Joe Pesci brings nothing new to his character. It's as if I were watching another actor imitating Joe Pesci in a thug role. The only reason to watch this is for Helen Mirren. Why she took this part is anyone's guess, but even she didn't make this movie interesting...even though she tried.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


This film is a fictionalized account of the story of the first legal brothel in Nevada. It had the potential to be an excellent and insightful film. What it turns out to be though, is a half-assed, tired, and bland film that, even though it does have some good scenes and moments, is a really big disappointment and doesn't do justice to a story that deserves it. I mostly place blame on the script. The story is fine, but the film is in dire need of a rewrite. The film decides to not really give a narrative that tells the history of the place, and instead focuses on a few of the characters (in depth) in the context of the ranch. It would be a better film had it been a more balanced account that provides a history of the ranch, as well as great insights into the people who worked there- kinda like Casino or Boogie Nights. In fact, for many reasons I don't even need to explain, this made me think about Casino a lot, and I kinda wished I was watching that instead. Even with the characters who get focused on a lot, they still seems a little thin, and could have been developed a lot mroe and better. There's almost an hour of deleted scenes on the DVD, and while watchjing those, I saw plenty of stuff that could have been kept in the film (with some other stuff taken out). It made me realize that they didn't really have the film planned out fully. EIther that, or they should have just lobbied to go all and make an epic instead of having to pick and choose (and do so sloppily). This film isn't terrible though, even if I am ripping into it. The cast is good, and it is nice to see Joe Pesci come out of retirement. Too bad he, Mirren, Sergio Peris-Mencheta (a guy who does a really great job) and all the others couldn't save it. I'm just disappointed that the film is just all over the place and doesn't do what it could have given the subject matter and particular story. Hackford an okay director, but I don't know what the hell went wrong here, or what he and the rest were thinking. I wasn't bored by this film, but all the crap that's wrong with it makes me feel like I should just split it down the middle and give it an even "Gentleman's C".

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Cast: Helen Mirren, Joe Pesci, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Gina Gershon, Ling Bai, Taryn Manning, Scout Taylor-Compton, Elise Neal, Bryan Cranston, Rick Gomez, Gil Birmingham Director: Taylor Hackford Summary: Inspired by the story of the couple who introduced legalized prostitution to Nevada with the opening of their Mustang Ranch brothel, this Taylor Hackford-directed drama focuses on the devastating consequences of infidelity in the land of sex for pay. Helen Mirren stars as Grace Bontempo; Joe Pesci plays her husband, Charlie; and Sergio Peris-Mencheta plays the boxer who, on entering their world, sets into motion a violent chain of events. My Thoughts: "Although the story isn't well written and the chemistry between Mirren and Pesci is more awkward then believable, I still found the story interesting. I adore Helen Mirren and am willing to watch anything she is in. But this film was not up to her potential. Sergio Peris-Mencheta as Bruza, was likable and interesting, but some of his parts felt a little to over dramatic He needed to bring it down a notch. There's a decent supporting cast as well. But overall, the script isn't great and the story is a bit all over the place trying to fit in many things. But the story mostly focuses on the deteriorating relationship between Grace and Charlie. By far not the greatest film I've seen this year, but still not the worse."


Super Reviewer

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