ONE of the stars of blockbuster flop The Lone Ranger has launched an extraordinary attack against critics for "slitting the jugular of our movie".

The comments came from Arnie Hammer, who plays The Lone Ranger in the big budget film, and were backed up by co-star Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinksi, reported The Huffington Post.

With a reported budget of US$250 million, The Lone Ranger was a failure in theatres, taking in just $175m, it was reported.

It has approval ratings of just 37 per cent on Metacritic, and 28 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.

In an interview with Yahoo UK, Hammer blamed critics for the film's poor performance.

"This is the deal with American critics: they've been gunning for our movie since it was shut down the first time; that's when most of the critics wrote their initial reviews," Hammer said.

"While we were making it we knew people were gunning for it. I think it was the popular thing when the movie hit rocky terrain they jumped on the bandwagon to try and bash it.

"They tried to do the same thing with to World War Z, it didn't work, the movie was successful. Instead, they decided to slit the jugular of our movie."

Depp also thought negative reviews saw the film underperform.

"I think the reviews were written seven or eight months before we released the film," he said.

"I think the reviews were written when they heard Gore and Jerry (Bruckheimer) and me were going to do The Lone Ranger.

"They had expectations that it must be a blockbuster. I didn't have any expectations of that. I never do. Why would I?"

Verbinksi told Huffington that the film's widely reported shutdown was typical of a big budget film, and it had nothing to do with the end result.

"Every movie gets shut down - especially the big ones," he said.

>>More Movie Reviews