Bohemian Rhapsody reviews round-up: What the critics are saying about new Queen film

It's praise for Malek  but not for the remainder of the film

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 24 October 2018 15:53
Bohemian Rhapsody- exclusive trailer

The reviews of Bohemian Rhapsody are flooding in following the film’s London premiere.

Rami Malek stars as music legend Freddie Mercury in the Queen film named after one of the rock group’s most beloved songs – and while critics are particularly fond of his performance, they’re less enthusiastic about the remainder of the film.

According to its synopsis, Bohemian Rhapsody charts “the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound, their near-implosion as Mercury’s lifestyle spirals out of control and their triumphant reunion on the eve of Live Aid.”

The film’s production was rocked after Bryan Singer was fired as director midway through the shoot paving the way for Dexter Fletcher to step in.

You can read what the critics are saying about the film below.

The Independent – Clarisse Loughrey – 2 stars

The live performances are shot with a vitality that does genuinely capture the band’s vim, but Bohemian Rhapsody suffers from conflicting intentions: it both wants to be a celebratory skip through the band’s history while also serving as a satisfying biopic of Mercury. The latter is the most harshly underserved, despite Malek’s very best efforts.

The Guardian – Steve Rose – 2 stars

Rami Malek’s excellent performance aside, it feels less a pioneering musical odyssey than a really good covers band.

Variety – Owen Gleiberman

With a performance as commanding as Rami Malek’s at its centre, why isn’t Bohemian Rhapsody a better movie? Directed by Bryan Singer, who is now officially credited (after rumours that his name might be taken off the picture due to his failure to show up on set during the final weeks of filming late last year), the movie, despite its electrifying subject, is 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.

IndieWire – David Ehrlich – D+

It’s insulting to see the lengths to which this film tries to capture the melodrama of Queen’s music, and humiliating to see the lengths by which it fails. The critical failure of Bohemian Rhapsody is that, 134 minutes after the lights go down, the members of Queen just seem like four blokes who’ve been processed through the rusty machinery of a Hollywood biopic.

The Telegraph – Tim Robey – 3 stars

The story of Freddie Mercury and his band, which has finally reached us on film, plays out a little like that. It strains effortfully for the top notes and vaguely growls the low ones.

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Bohemian Rhapsody also stars Lucy Boynton, Ben Hardy, Aiden Gillen and Mike Myers as EMI executive Ray Foster.

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