×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Sees Mixed Reviews as Critics Praise Rami Malek

It turns out if anybody can find them somebody to love in the biographical musical film “Bohemian Rhapsody,” it’s star Rami Malek and his portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. Across the board, critics have praised Malek’s performance as one of the year’s best, while panning some of the film’s otherwise lackluster qualities, like its sanitization of Mercury’s sexuality and failure to live up to iconic band’s electrifying essence. Reviewers also noted the film’s behind-the-scenes tumult, with Malek replacing Sacha Baron Cohen, and Dexter Fletcher taking over as director. Bryan Singer, who was fired midway into the shoot after leaving the production without authorization, still retains the directing credit.

Read what critics have to say below:

Variety’s Owen Gleiberman:

“So with a performance as commanding as Rami Malek’s at its center, why isn’t ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ a better movie? Despite its electrifying subject, it’s a conventional, middle-of-the-road, cut-and-dried, play-it-safe, rather fuddy-duddy old-school biopic, a movie that skitters through events instead of sinking into them. And it treats Freddie’s personal life — his sexual-romantic identity, his loneliness, his reckless adventures in gay leather clubs — with kid-gloves reticence, so that even if the film isn’t telling major lies, you don’t feel you’re fully touching the real story either.”

IGN’s Jim Vejvoda:

“Bohemian Rhapsody was always going to be utterly reliant on whoever played Freddie Mercury and, fortunately, Rami Malek is more than up to the task, capturing the magnetism of the operatic, often campy performer. Offstage, his contrasting mix of vulnerability and self-assurance keeps the viewer invested in Freddie the character and in the movie even when the script is going through its cliche rise and fall of a rock star motions. Expect Malek to earn a lot of awards season buzz for his flashy performance here.”

USA Today’s Brian Truitt:

“Other than a solid job by Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”) as magnetic frontman Freddie Mercury, a few exciting musical sequences and a couple of moments of actual greatness, the film is mostly a paint-by-numbers behind-the-music journey through the ups and downs of the iconoclastic British rock band.”

The Guardian’s Steve Rose: 

“A bolder film might have explored the relationship between Mercury’s hedonism, his mostly closeted sexuality and his on and off-stage personas in a more nuanced way. … Bohemian Rhapsody honors Mercury the showman but never really gets to Mercury the person.”

US Weekly’s Mara Reinstein: 

Using gusto and soul, the actor delivers one of the most outstanding performances of the year. And he single-handedly turns the formulaic biopic Bohemian Rhapsody into a riveting character piece.

Digital Spy’s Ian Sandwell:

“You don’t come away feeling like you know more about Queen or how they came up with their biggest hits, while not enough time is devoted to Mercury’s life to make you feel like you know more about him either. However, this could be a minor issue for a Queen fan going to the cinema just to see the story of their favorite band play out on the big screen. It’s very much an ode to Queen and the boundless talent of Mercury and, to that end, it succeeds.”

Entertainment Tonight’s John Boone:

“There’s a version of Bohemian Rhapsody that is maybe a little darker, a little deeper, that may cover less ground, overall — I’d love to see a movie that’s just about the year or so immediately leading to Live Aid (undeniably the best, most thrilling sequence in the movie) — but as is, it plays like a Greatest Hits album. … It’s big and shiny and loud and, certainly, there is enjoyment to be had along the way, but, unlike a standard album, there aren’t any risks or surprises and there are no deep cuts.”

 

 

More Film

  • BRAZILIAN FLAGFRENCH OPEN TENNIS, PARIS, FRANCE

    Brazil’s Ancine Freezes Incentives, Threatening Film-TV Industry Paralysis

    Brazil’s Ancine agency, its foremost public-sector source of film funding, has frozen all of its incentive programs, potentially near paralyzing new production in Latin America’s biggest film-TV industry. The dramatic decision, which has left Brazil’s industry is a state of shock and intense fear for its future, comes as it has taken further hits. In [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez

    Jennifer Lopez Reteams With STXfilms on Romantic-Comedy Co-Starring Owen Wilson

    Jennifer Lopez is reteaming with STXfilms on the upcoming romantic-comedy “Marry Me.” Kat Coiro is directing the film and Owen Wilson is in final negotiations to join the pic, which will likely shoot this fall. The script was written by John Rogers and Tami Sagher, with a rewrite by Harper Dill. Lopez and Wilson both [...]

  • Steve Golin The Revenant Spotlight Producer

    Steve Golin, Prolific Producer and Founder of Anonymous Content, Dies at 64

    Steve Golin, an Oscar-winning producer who was founder and CEO of Anonymous Content, has died of cancer. He was 64. Golin was a pioneer in blending the business of talent management with production. Anonymous Content, which Golin founded in 1999, worked with a stable of big name artists such as Steven Soderbergh, Emma Stone, Edgar [...]

  • Kelly McCormick David Leitch

    'Hobbs & Shaw' Director David Leitch, Kelly McCormick Sign First-Look Deal With Universal (EXCLUSIVE)

    Universal Pictures is signing David Leitch, his longtime producing partner, Kelly McCormick and their recently founded 87North Production banner to a first-look production deal. “David and Kelly have established themselves as a distinctive, stylish filmmaking team who can do it all, from contained thrillers to franchise tentpoles,” said Universal’s president Peter Cramer. “We are confident [...]

  • Still from cannes competition film "Parasite"

    Cannes: Bong Joon-ho Says ‘Parasite’ Is too Local to Win Competition

    Having been partially responsible for the Netflix fall out with the Cannes Film Festival, “Okja” and “Snowpiercer” director Bong Joon-ho returns to Cannes competition this year with conventionally- financed “Parasite.” But the Korean-language film is a tragicomedy that Bong says may be too nuanced for the festival. “Cannes always makes me feel excited, fresh, and [...]

  • Summer Box Office: 'Avengers: Endgame,' 'Lion

    Summer Box Office: Five Weekends to Watch

    Popcorn season is upon us, and it’ll be up to comic-book heroes, a wise-cracking genie, and a lion who would be king to ensure movie theaters are still the hottest place to spend the summer. Last summer, blockbusters like “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” Ocean’s 8,” and “The Meg” drove moviegoers to their [...]

  • Critics Week

    Cannes Critics’ Week Unveils Its Lineup

    Lorcan Finnegan’s science-fiction thriller “Vivarium” with Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots, Jérémy Clapin’s fantasy-filled animated feature “I Lost My Body,” and Hlynur Pálmason’s Icelandic drama “A White, White Day” are among the 11 films set to compete at Critics’ Week, the section dedicated to first and second films that runs parallel with the Cannes Film [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content