Taylor Hackford built his reputation early with hits like An Officer and a Gentleman and Everybody’s All-American, before giving us two of the smartest and most atmospherically memorable thrillers of the Nineties, Dolores Claiborne and The Devil’s Advocate. President of the Directors Guild of America and Mr. Helen Mirren, Hackford seems like a guy with an earned, solid reputation and plenty of friends. Not someone to get feverish about, but a trustworthy craftsman with eclectic taste—a mainstream toiler that auteurists can fly the flag for.
His choice to tackle this fictionalized story of Nevada’s notorious Mustang Ranch, the state’s first legalized brothel, marked a chance for him to reconnect with Devil’s Advocate sleaze, but Love Ranch’s tameness and sentimentality hints that the 65-year-old, whose most recent movie was 2004’s Ray, is softening. Read Justin Stewart’s review of Love Ranch.