Film Critics Have Mixed Reviews Of “Joker”

After reviews and a Golden Lion win at Venice Film Festival, Todd Phillips’ Joker divided critics.

Here’s what some of the critics who weren’t so impressed had to say.

Associated Press:

Joker… is a calculatedly combustible concoction, design, like its chaos-creating character, to cause a stir. To provoke and distort. I wish it was as radical as it thinks it is. Instead, Joker is a mesmerizing, misjudged attempt to marry the madness of a disturbed individual to today’s violent and clownish times. It’s a shallow, under-examined movie that renders the dark descent of a troubled man with an operatic fervor.

Slate:

Joker is a bad movie. Yes: It’s predictable, clichéd, deeply derivative of other, better movies, and overwritten to the point of self-parody… The experience of sitting through it is highly unpleasant, but that unpleasantness has less to do with graphic violence—there are only one or two scenes that go hard, gore-wise—than with claustrophobia and boredom.

The New Yorker:

Phoenix, alternately brooding and exulting, dancing extravagantly in his underwear or in a resplendent costume or seething with rage, cringing with horror, or camping it up with an affected accent, isn’t so much unhinged as unmotivated and, to all appearances, undirected. What he delivers is less a performance than a display of his bag of actorly tricks—and they’re pretty wonderful, but they adorn a character who’s an empty framework, and, to all appearances, empty by design, for fear of alienating the target audience.

On the opposite,here’s what the critics who loved it had to say:

Hollywood Reporter:

Built around a credible spiral from lonely outsider to deranged killer, it’s as much a neo-noir psychological character study grounded in urban alienation and styled after Taxi Driver as a rise-of-the-supervillain portrait. It’s arguably the best Batman-adjacent movie since The Dark Knight… The must-see factor of Phoenix’s riveting performance alone — it’s both unsettling and weirdly affecting — will be significant.

Variety:

Many have asked, and with good reason: Do we need another Joker movie? Yet what we do need — badly — are comic-book films that have a verité gravitas, that unfold in the real world, so that there’s something more dramatic at stake than whether the film in question is going to rack up a billion-and-a-half dollars worldwide. Joker manages the nimble feat of telling the Joker’s origin story as if it were unprecedented.

Rolling Stone:

In Joker, Joaquin Phoenix digs into the title role, kicks out the jams, and stamps the character with a danger all his own. “Phenomenal” is a puny word to describe his gut-punch performance… As entertainment and provocation, Joker is simply stupendous.

A movie being divisive among critics is all the more reason to go and see it for yourself. You might find yourself agreeing with the reviewers who were disappointed by Joker but, on the other hand, you just might discover your favorite movie of the year.

Let take a look at some audience reviews for Joker:

A Nightmare on Bread Street

Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in Joker Movie is nothing short of Oscar-worthy and he fully commits to the role mentally and physically. Todd Phillips delivered a game-changing comic book film, and I cannot wait to see it again.

Awais Irfan

Joker is a masterpiece. This film is sinister and uncomfortable in the best way; I’m actually just shocked it exists… This is a DC film. And it is DARK AND DISTURBING. I am in pure awe and I’m actually delirious.

Olivier Sarbil

Joker was just… Just, just WOW. The Academy Award for Best Actor must go to Joaquin Phoenix

Brandon Davis

I saw Joker  and it is unlike anything before it. The movie is dark, thrilling, and chilling. An insane masterpiece.

The movie absolutely transcends being a comic book film and acts as a character study which, at times. The movie will make audiences uncomfortable in wild ways. 10/10

Erik Davis

JOKER is a bold, bodacious love letter to Scorsese’s TheKing Of Comedy, told through the lens of DC’s most iconic villain. Dark, disturbing, brutal & sad, it’s about an abused man who doesn’t start living until he’s dead inside. Joaquin Phoenix is so damn good Joker Movie

Erik Davis

What I love most in JOKER – aside from Phoenix’s guttural performance & some terrific cinematography- is seeing the humanity in this character, even if that humanity slowly slips away. It’s unlike any comic book origin story you’ve seen. Divisive? Probably. But ferociously unique

Movie Joker Info:

Rating: R (for strong bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language and brief sexual images)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: Todd Phillips
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz
Written By: Todd Phillips, Scott Silver
In Theaters: Oct 3, 2019 Wide
Runtime: 122 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

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