'Gotti' Earns Extremely Rare 0% Rating On Rotten Tomatoes

Critics have whacked Gotti, the new mob movie starring John Travolta as the Teflon Don. 45 producers (!) struggled for almost a decade to bring this biopic to the big screen. Perhaps they should've waited a little bit longer – Gotti reviews have earned the movie a rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Gotti trailer

The long, strange saga of John Travolta's Gotti is at an end, and all it has to show for its troubles is a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film, which was primarily spearheaded by John Gotti Jr., son of the late John Gotti, former boss of Gambino crime family, had a very bumpy road to the big screen.

The rights to the film were purchased from Gotti Jr. in 2010. At the time, Barry Levinson, director of BugsyWag the Dog and other films, was attached to helm. Names like Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and (surprisingly) Lindsay Lohan were thrown around as potential cast members, but Levinson, Pacino, Pesci and Lohan all departed eventually. Kevin Connolly, AKA E from the HBO show Entourage, ended up directing the film, with a cast that includes Kelly Preston, Stacy Keach, and Pruitt Taylor Vince, all orbiting around Travolta's larger-than-life take on the crime boss.

Gotti was originally set for a December 2017 release through Lionsgate films. But the studio sold Gotti back to the producers, postponing the release. Now, Vertical Entertainment have released Gotti in 503 theaters this weekend. Critics are less-than-thrilled, as the film's 0% RT score proves. Here's a sampling of what critics are saying.

The New York Times declares:

"That the long-gestating crime drama "Gotti" is a dismal mess comes as no surprise. What does shock is just how multifaceted a dismal mess it is.

Let's start at the beginning when the title character, based on the real-life New York mobster who died in 2002, stands before the East River. Played by John Travolta, this is John Gotti ostensibly at his dapper peak. Mr. Travolta's charismatic, high-voltage smile is wide, and he approximates the real-life Gotti's speech credibly. So far, so good. Then you hear the words coming out of his mouth. Mobsters such as himself end up "dead or in jail," according to his little speech. "I did both.""

RogerEbert.com says:

"Gotti resided over a tumultuous time in the history of the mob, and how he got there and the way he wielded his power could make for an interesting film. It would have to be one that focused more tightly on a portion of his life, or possibly turned into a series. And it would have to be one that relied less on music, makeup, and clichés than "Gotti," which never gets as deep into the life of its title character. He may have been a murderer, but even Gotti deserved better than this."

Variety's review adds:

"While not quite hagiographic, the film certainly flatters the "Dapper Don." Elegantly dressed, standing proudly erect in court, face fixed in a defiant scowl, Travolta is frequently shot from low angles, holding the pose. His performance ain't lousy, but the movie that surrounds it is, and it's almost laughable to see this iconic star trying so hard on behalf of a project that is so compromised in its intentions."

And IndieWire proclaims:

"Written by Lem Dobbs and Leo Rossi, and finding its way to screens after a long and circuitous process that peaked with Lionsgate selling the direct-to-video title back to its producers last December, "Gotti" is a low-rent sideshow from the moment it starts."

Zero Percent On Rotten Tomatoes

A 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes is rare, but it's not unheard of. Gotti joins an unfortunate list of films that failed to garner a single good review from a smattering of critics. As bad luck would have it, two other films on the list also feature Travolta. Here's a sampling.

Look Who's Talking Now

The original Look Who's Talking franchise – which began with Bruce Willis as the voice of a baby – ended with this third entry, Look Who's Talking Now. Original stars John Travolta and Kirstie Alley returned, and this time the family added a pair of conversing canines, voiced by Danny DeVito and Diane Keaton. Yeah, it's bad.

Critics Consensus: Rotten Tomatoes doesn't list a consensus for this one, but the late, great Roger Ebert wrote:

The first film had maybe a shred of realism to flavor its romantic comedy. This one looks like it was chucked up by an automatic screenwriting machine.

Staying Alive

Here's the other Travolta movie with a 0% Rotten Tomatoes score. Staying Alive is a sequel to Saturday Night Fever, directed by Sylvester Stallone (of all people). In the sequel, Travolta's Tony Manero is now a dance teacher in New York, dreaming of making it on Broadway. Fans of Saturday Night Fever were unimpressed.

Critics Consensus:

This sequel to Saturday Night Fever is shockingly embarrassing and unnecessary, trading the original's dramatic depth for a series of uninspired dance sequences.

Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever

The awkwardly titled Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever stars Antonio Banderas and Lucy Liu as warring secret agents. It's a film bathed in blue light and void of anything resembling coherence. Best of all: the movie's director is credited as Kaos (!!).

Critics Consensus:

A startlingly inept film, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever offers overblown, wall-to-wall action without a hint of wit, coherence, style, or originality.

Dark Crimes

After a four-year break from leading a film, Jim Carrey returned with Dark Crimes, a thriller finished in 2016 but not released until this year. Inspired by a true story, Dark Crimes found Carrey playing a weary cop trying to catch a killer who flaunts his crimes in one of his novels. Maybe Carrey should've waited a little longer for his comeback.

Critics Consensus:

Dark Crimes is a rote, unpleasant thriller that fails to parlay its compelling true story and a committed Jim Carrey performance into even modest chills.