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During the 1980s, a failed stand-up comedian is driven insane and turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City while becoming an infamous psychopathic crime figure.


Asia Cureton Profile picture for Asia Cureton

As someone who is not interested in superhero or comic book inspired movies, this movie really surprised me. I was enthralled from start to finish. The performances were stellar, and Joaquin Phoenix really made me feel for Arthur Fleck's character. By then end of the film, I was rooting for him wholeheartedly, which kind of scared me. It was easily one of my favorite movies of 2019. A sympathetic look at the effect of poverty on mental illness, and a demonstration of how a class-based society, not much unlike our own, can create violent conflict and uprisings.

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Empire by

Bold, devastating and utterly beautiful, Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix have not just reimagined one of the most iconic villains in cinema history, but reimagined the comic book movie itself.

TheWrap by Alonso Duralde

The broadness of Phoenix’s work allows the rest of the ensemble — particularly Conroy, Zazie Beetz as a single-mom neighbor, and MVP character actors like Bill Camp, Shea Whigham and Brian Tyree Henry — to dial it down and give effectively human-size performances.

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

It’s good enough to be dangerous, and bad enough to demand better. It’s going to turn the world upside down and make us all hysterical in the process. For better or worse, it’s exactly the movie the Joker would want.

The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

This is Phoenix's film, and he inhabits it with an insanity by turns pitiful and fearsome in an out-there performance that's no laughing matter. Not to discredit the imaginative vision of the writer-director, his co-scripter and invaluable tech and design teams, but Phoenix is the prime force that makes Joker such a distinctively edgy entry in the Hollywood comics industrial complex.
50 by Glenn Kenny

As social commentary, Joker is pernicious garbage. But besides the wacky pleasures of Phoenix’s performance, it also displays some major movie studio core competencies, in a not dissimilar way to what “A Star Is Born” presented last year.

IGN by Jim Vejvoda

Featuring a riveting, fully realized, and Oscar-worthy performance by Joaquin Phoenix, Joker would work just as well as an engrossing character study without any of its DC Comics trappings; that it just so happens to be a brilliant Batman-universe movie is icing on the Batfan cake. You will likely leave Joker feeling like I did: unsettled and ready to debate the film for years to come.

Total Film by Jordan Farley

More character study than comic book movie, and anchored by an Oscar-worthy Joaquin Phoenix, Joker is a bravura blockbuster that proves you don’t need superpowered scraps to dazzle.

Time Out by Phil de Semlyen

Joaquin Phoenix is devastating as the villain-in-the-making in this incendiary tale of psychological escape and psychopathy.

The Telegraph by Robbie Collin

A part of me found Todd Phillips’s radical rethinking of the Batman villain Joker thrillingly uncompromising and hair-raisingly timely. Another thinks it should be locked in a strongbox then dropped in the ocean and never released.

The Film Stage by Rory O'Connor

For all its merits, however, Joker relies on perhaps a touch too much exposition as it attempts to shape a digestible origin story.