John Travolta's latest film — a biopic about infamous New York mob boss John Gotti — has been given a shakedown by critics.

Gotti, which sees Travolta playing the titular lead character, has received a zero per cent score on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.

Of the 23 write-ups from professional critics so far collated, not one has deemed it worth seeing, delivering it a solid "rotten" rating.

It's rare for a movie to achieve such a wretched score; among others to have been similarly panned are Jaws: The Revenge, Return to the Blue Lagoon, National Lampoon's Gold Diggers and Look Who's Talking Now! — another Travolta film.

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Gotti is told from the point-of-view of the protagonist's son, John Gotti Jr. (played by Spencer Rocco Lofranco), and charts the mobster's journey to becoming head of the powerful Gambino crime family. Travolta's real-life wife, Kelly Preston, also stars as Gotti's wife in the movie.

But it seems Travolta's performance is not the reason for the critical pasting it's received.

In a withering one-star review headlined "A mobster biopic that deserves to get whacked", Rolling Stone takes issue with the movie's direction and screenwriting, but absolves Travolta himself of blame, noting that "under more astute guidance Travolta could have played the hell out of this complex role".

The movie was directed by Entourage star Kevin Connolly.

The Los Angeles Times' review takes a similar view, saying that while the film is "mostly well-acted and frequently entertaining, it bites off more than it can — or even needs to — chew".

And Entertainment Weekly's Chris Nashawaty highlighted the "buckshot storyline" as a problem.

"Connolly keeps hurtling ahead from scene to scene trying to touch every base in Gotti's life of crime without every [sic] letting any one moment breathe long enough for it to resonate."

The film does not yet have a New Zealand release date.