The Hollywood Reporter was one of the first outlets to review it. "Who says every rock 'n' roll bio-pic has to wallow in Behind the Music confessionals?... This is a bio-pic that favors sensory experience over exposition. It understands what pure, electrifying fun rock 'n' roll can be... The finished product is energetic, if not always smooth, its affection for Freddie Mercury and Queen indisputable even when the drama is undernourished... The rough edges of Freddie Mercury's story might be smoothed over in this telling, the indulgences and debauchery sugarcoated. Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? It's a little bit of both."
Bottom line: "The full-blast music says it all; the drama's too often on mute."
And other reviews:
The Guardian gave it two out of five stars, saying, "Rami Malek's excellent performance aside, it feels less a pioneering musical odyssey than a really good covers band. 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. Or at least...played it with some melodramatic abandon."
USA Today also gave it two stars: “There’s a sequence in which the screen is peppered with all the harsh words that critics had back in the day for 'Bohemian Rhapsody' the song, ending with 'perfectly adequate.' That’s the kindest thing one can say about the new Queen bio-pic and also the most damning."
Time Out gave it three stars out of five, saying it “may well rock you, but it's unlikely to shock you."
New York Post: "The best part of the movie is -- shocker -- hearing Queen's timeless songs. The wild-haired actors look the part, but they're given sitcom-grade material… What we ultimately wanted from Bohemian Rhapsody was not carbon-copied concerts, but behind-closed-doors insight into a deeply private, complicated, internationally beloved superstar."’