Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer Blame Critics for 'Lone Ranger' Crash and Burn

Why did "The Lone Ranger" perform so poorly at the box office — earning just $86.7 million domestically on a $215 million, James Cameron-sized budget — and put such a stinky critical egg in the faces of director Gore Verbinski and stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer?

'Cause the movie sucked, you say? Well, they beg to differ.

According to the filmmakers and lead actors of "The Lone Ranger," it's American critics who are squarely to blame for "slit[ting] the jugular" (yes, those words were used) of the movie before it reached audiences.

"This is the deal with American critics," Hammer explained to Yahoo! Movies UK, above the suggestive background coughing of his publicist, while promoting the film's Aug. 9 release there. "They've been gunning for our movie since it was shut down the first time. I think that's probably when most of the critics wrote their initial reviews."

The Deppness, for his part, completely agreed with that bold accusation, adding "I think the reviews were probably written when they heard that Gore and Jerry and I were going to do 'Lone Ranger.' ... I think the reviews were written seven, eight months before we ever released the film."

So, essentially, here's what these two think of your 28 percent, Tomatometer people.

"If you go back and re-read a lot of the reviews, most of them don't actually have anything to do with the content of the movie but more what's behind it," Hammer added.  "While we were making it, we kind of knew that people were gunning for it. I think it was the popular thing when the movie hit rocky sort of terrain to jump on the bandwagon and try and bash it. They tried to do the same thing to 'World War Z,' and it didn't work. It was successful. Instead, they decided to slit the jugular of our movie."

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer also chimed in on the issue to infer the reviewers were even being hypocritical (see what we did there?) for giving his movie such a hard time, saying they "keep crying for original movies, then you make one and they don't like it."

He also suspects a change of opinion on the film after a few years. "It's one of those movies that whatever the critics missed at this time, they'll re-review it in a few years and see that they made a mistake." Okay. We'll wait to see if that happens with bated breath, then.