'Bohemian Rhapsody' reviews are in: Rami Malek's good, but the movie isn't
Actor Rami Malek had to learn the piano before playing iconic singer Freddie Mercury in new biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody." His bandmate co-stars were equally as inexperienced with their instruments before they were cast. (Oct. 22)
According to reviews, "Bohemian Rhapsody" won't exactly rock you.
Ahead of the Queen biopic's Nov. 2 release, critics have shared their thoughts on the film starring Rami Malek with fake teeth as the legendary Freddie Mercury. The consensus? It seems to be that Malek hits a high note. The movie, however, does not.
Here's a look at reviews that helped the film earn a 53 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes at publication time:
USA TODAY's Brian Truitt gives the movie ★★ out of four: "Other than a solid job by Rami Malek ... 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.
"Freddie Mercury (is) played with magnetism and breathtaking physicality by Rami Malek ... (but) the rough edges of Freddie Mercury's story might be smoothed over in this telling, the indulgences and debauchery sugarcoated," writes Sheri Linden in a mixed review for The Hollywood Reporter.
AV Club writer Jesse Hassenger says in his review, "'Bohemian Rhapsody' is not a subtle movie, nor is it a very good one. But it runs through the greatest hits with a lot of energy."
IndieWire critic David Ehrlich says, "(It's) a broad, frivolous, and uselessly formulaic biopic. ... If not for Rami Malek’s feral posturing as one of rock history’s greatest front men, a deep roster of killer songs, and the long shadow of his band’s iconic 1985 performance at Live Aid, this movie could effectively be about any musicians, at any time, rolling through any part of the United States."
"It’s not just fantasy. Using gusto and soul, (Malek) delivers one of the most outstanding performances of the year," says Mara Reinstein of Us Weekly. "The movie itself, however, won’t make you stomp your feet and clap your hands in unbridled joy."
Owen Gleiberman writes in Variety, that "Rami Malek, the 37-year-old Egyptian-American actor from 'Mr. Robot,' takes on the role of Freddie Mercury as if born to it. ... So with a performance as commanding as Rami Malek’s at its center, why isn’t 'Bohemian Rhapsody' a better movie?"
"Can anybody find me a movie to love," asks New York Post critic Johnny Oleksinski. "'Rhapsody' has a shallow script, oversize performances and looks like it was shot in a sauna."