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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
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Malek does an impressive job of re-creating Mercury's moves onstage, but the core of the performance is Malek's intensely thoughtful, insight-rich channelling of Mercury's hurt, his alienation and isolation even at the height of his fame.
Ideally, a film like this would attempt to add to, or to contextualize, a legacy. Instead, "Bohemian Rhapsody" tries to sanctify it, pack it in bubble wrap to protect it from causing, or being caught in, any friction.
It's meticulously staged on a grand and exhilarating scale and the figure of Malek, strutting and capering before that swaying, chanting mass of humanity seems to embody all rock stars in both their vanity and their courage.
The biopic reaches out for the very last row, and in doing so, it becomes unfortunately basic, flattening out the fascinating character while sanding down and rearranging elements of the story to serve the band.
When all was said and done, Queen just wanted to have fun. Which is why I'm inclined to cut much slack for Singer's approach, which follows a Rock 101 storytelling template: Levis to leather pants, superstardom to squabbles, leave-taking to Live Aid.
In struggling to make a salable PG-13 movie out of an R-rated rock life, this Queen biopic stumbles. But there's only praise to heap on Rami Malek whose tour de force performance as Freddie Mercury will definitely rock you.
A baroque blend of gibberish, mysticism and melodrama, the film seems engineered to be as unmemorable as possible, with the exception of the prosthetic teeth worn by the lead actor, Rami Malek, who plays Freddie Mercury, Queen's lead singer.
It's hard to come up with someone who would have been better than Malek. To his credit, he does the one thing that would most seem impossible: In the stage scenes, he makes you believe he's Freddie Mercury.
The broad and larky tone suits the early days of wide-eyed tours and Top of the Pops. But as the script frantically scrolls through the band's Wikipedia page, the cast rarely have the chance for more than mimicry.
Like a lot of depictions of rock music on film, Bohemian Rhapsody lacks both the stylistic daring of a music video and the outright euphoria of a proper musical, but it gets closer to both with the Live Aid sequence.
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.
An object example of how a film can be entertaining and even exhilarating without being particularly good, Bohemian Rhapsody has the driving energy of a stadium anthem and the fizzy meaninglessness of a bubblegum pop song.
Frankly, if you are not cheering along with the crowd as Mercury belts out an ultra-satisfying rendition of "We are the Champions," then a doctor should check your pulse. Somewhere, an outrageous artist knows that his Queen movie rules.
To the filmmakers' credit, and even though they don't entirely avoid the clunky factoid-itis that often plagues the genre, this is a biopic that favors sensory experience over exposition. It understands what pure, electrifying fun rock 'n' roll can be.