Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the highly anticipated new movie in the action sci-fi franchise, had received less than impressive reviews ahead of its official release this week. Dark of the Moon stars Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who replaced the outgoing Megan Fox.

Despite the massive hype surrounding Bay's third Transformers movie, critics have taken issue with the movie's plot in particular. Elizabeth Weitzman of the New York Daily News awarded the film just one star, saying, "There's no arguing you'll leave feeling like you were assaulted by an army of alien robots yourself. Anyone hoping to engage even a single brain cell, however, is out of luck". After calling for the reinstatement of Megan Fox, Weitzman adds, "Bay misses every opportunity to make something interesting out of his characters." Chicago Tribute movie critic Michael Phillips called the flick a "work of ineffable soullessness and persistent moral idiocy", noting that none of the 153 minutes of Transformers could be compared to any one minute of Steven Spielberg's 'War of the Worlds'. 'Dark of the Moon', which will be presented in regular 2D, 3D and IMAX, had a reported budget of $195 million. Its predecessor 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' cost $200 million but eventually grossed $836 million worldwide.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon hits cinemas in the UK and the US from tomorrow (29th June 2011).