Ryan Gosling's latest directorial effort, Lost River, stars Christina Hendricks as a mother struggling to protect her children in a dreamlike city. Meanwhile, her eldest son gets into trouble with the town's feared bully, while trying to get some money to help his mother.

Ryan GoslingRyan Gosling's Lost River hasn't gone down too well with critics

It's just not very good. Lost River pulled in mainly negative reviews following its premiere at Cannes in 2014, with the Guardian's Peter Bradshaw saying the film was "colossally indulgent, shapeless, often fantastically and unthinkingly offensive and at all times insufferably conceited."

Now, ahead of its release in the U.S and UK, the rest of the critics have been having their say - and it isn't pretty for Gosling.

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"The film proves that Gosling has refined taste in movies, and that he's a quick study, but not that he has much to say as an artist. Not yet, anyway," wrote A.A Dowd of the A.V Club.

"The story, more a tangle of violent, symbolic gestures, regards economic exploitation with fetishistic, impossibly overdetermined abandon," wrote Ed Gonzelez of Slant magazine.

"These days models turn designer, footballers become managers - and actors direct. Why not? Lost River, Ryan Gosling's directorial debut, is why not," said David Sexton of This is London.

"With his writing-directing debut, Ryan Gosling shows audacious skill as a visual artist but never quite manages to recount a story that grabs hold of the audience...," wrote our very own Rich Cline.

"Everything in it passes before the eyes before seeping out of the memory, which, given how ugly some of it is, is just as well," wrote Matt Prigge of the Metro.

Lost River is out in the U.S and UK from Friday (April 9, 2014). 

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