A HYPED film starring Lindsay Lohan in her comeback role and Kiwi actor Grant Bowler has been written off as "woeful" and a "train wreck" in early reviews.
Liz & Dick charts the turbulent love story of Hollywood superstar Liz Taylor and the actor she married and divorced twice, Richard Burton.
Lohan stars as Taylor while Bowler, who also starred in the Kiwi drama Outrageous Fortune, plays Burton.
The film was billed a comeback for Lohan, who has been plagued by legal trouble and drug and alcohol problems in recent years.
However, early reviews have been scathing, with The Hollywood Reporter calling it "half train wreck, half SNL skit".
It panned Lohan's performance as "woeful".
"There is not one minute in this film where she's believable."
The film was written off as "spectacularly bad", overly hysterical and badly directed.
"It's an instant classic of unintentional hilarity. Drinking games were made for movies like this."
Bowler escapes comparatively unscathed, getting some praise for delivering most of the film's "small" supply of good dialogue.
"He at least gets to play drunk half the time, deliciously mean a quarter of the time and, well, you'll be staring at Lohan all the time anyway."
Other reviews were more charitable, saying the film had some good moments but ended up feeling lifeless and flat.
The New York Daily News said Liz & Dick failed to capture the true over-the-top theatricality of Burton and Taylor's real-life romance.
"Elizabeth Taylor loved diamonds. This new movie about her life feels more like rhinestones."
Newsday said Lohan could not capture Taylor's larger-than-life character.
"Lohan's no Taylor (not that anyone is or ever could be). But poor Linds doesn't stand a chance. As seen here, her skills are rudimentary - made rustier by a long absence and a lot of other extracurricular activities."