Joker Movie Poster

Joker

User Rating: 82%
Language: English
Runtime: 122 min

About Movie

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.

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Basic Details

Release Date:

02 October 2019

Genres:

Crime, Thriller, Drama

Production Country:

Canada, United States of America

Original Language:

English

Runtime:

122 min

Production Company:

DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Comics, Joint Effort, Village Roadshow Pictures, Bron Studios, Creative Wealth Media Finance, DC Films

Budget:

$55,000,000.00

Revenue:

$1,072,417,782.00

Tagline:

Put on a happy face.

Movie Crew

Characters:

Bob Kane

Producer:

Emma Tillinger Koskoff

Producer:

Bradley Cooper

Director:

Todd Phillips

Producer:

Todd Phillips

Characters:

Bill Finger

Characters:

Jerry Robinson

Movie Cast

Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix
Arthur Fleck / Joker
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Murray Franklin
Zazie Beetz
Zazie Beetz
Sophie Dumond
Frances Conroy
Frances Conroy
Penny Fleck
Brett Cullen
Brett Cullen
Thomas Wayne
Shea Whigham
Shea Whigham
Detective Burke
Bill Camp
Bill Camp
Detective Garrity
Glenn Fleshler
Glenn Fleshler
Randall
Leigh Gill
Leigh Gill
Gary
Josh Pais
Josh Pais
Hoyt Vaughn
No image to show
Rocco Luna
GiGi Dumond
Marc Maron
Marc Maron
Gene Ufland
Sondra James
Sondra James
Dr. Sally
Murphy Guyer
Murphy Guyer
Barry O'Donnell
Douglas Hodge
Douglas Hodge
Alfred Pennyworth
Dante Pereira-Olson
Dante Pereira-Olson
Bruce Wayne
Carrie Louise Putrello
Carrie Louise Putrello
Martha Wayne
Sharon Washington
Sharon Washington
Social Worker
Hannah Gross
Hannah Gross
Young Penny
Frank Wood
Frank Wood
Dr. Stoner
Brian Tyree Henry
Brian Tyree Henry
Carl (Arkham Clerk)
April Grace
April Grace
Arkham Psychiatrist
Mick Szal
Mick Szal
Woman on Subway
Carl Lundstedt
Carl Lundstedt
Wall Street Three
Michael Benz
Michael Benz
Wall Street Three
Ben Warheit
Ben Warheit
Wall Street Three
Gary Gulman
Gary Gulman
Comedian
Sam Morril
Sam Morril
Open Mic Comic
Chris Redd
Chris Redd
Comedy Club Emcee
Mandela Bellamy
Mandela Bellamy
Mother on Bus
Demetrius Dotson II
Demetrius Dotson II
Boy on Bus
Greer Barnes
Greer Barnes
Haha's Clown
Ray Iannicelli
Ray Iannicelli
Haha's Clown
Bryan Callen
Bryan Callen
Haha's Stripper
Peter Benson
Peter Benson
Good Morning Host
Vito Gerbino
Vito Gerbino
Street Kid
Adam Quezada
Adam Quezada
Street Kid
No image to show
Xavyer Ureña
Street Kid
Evan Rosado
Evan Rosado
Street Kid
Damian Emmanuel
Damian Emmanuel
Street Kid
Mike Troll
Mike Troll
Clown Protestor
Jane Fergus
Jane Fergus
IBN Anchorwoman
David Gibson
David Gibson
WBC News Anchor
Tony D. Head
Tony D. Head
WGC Anchorman
Jeff McCarthy
Jeff McCarthy
NCB Anchor
Kim Brockington
Kim Brockington
NCB Co-Anchor
No image to show
Troy Roberts
NCB News Reporter
Lou Young
Lou Young
ANC News Reporter
Michael-Scott Druckenmiller
Michael-Scott Druckenmiller
Paramedic
No image to show
Craig Austin
Paramedic
John Cenatiempo
John Cenatiempo
Aftermath Police Officer
Danny Schoch
Danny Schoch
Aftermath Police Officers
Keith Buterbaugh
Keith Buterbaugh
Band Leader
James Ciccone
James Ciccone
Murray Franklin Band
Rich Campbell
Rich Campbell
Murray Franklin Band
Roger Squitero
Roger Squitero
Murray Franklin Band
Steven Elson
Steven Elson
Murray Franklin Band
No image to show
Graham Mabry
Murray Franklin Band
No image to show
John Alldred
Murray Franklin Band
Alonzo Wright
Alonzo Wright
Murray Franklin Band
No image to show
Jack Wilkins
Murray Franklin Band
No image to show
Richard Baratta
Murray Franklin Band
Jolie Chan
Jolie Chan
Street Worker
Mary Kate Malat
Mary Kate Malat
Murray Franklin Intern
Adrienne Lovette
Adrienne Lovette
Middle Aged Woman
Justin Theroux
Justin Theroux
Ethan Chase (uncredited)
No image to show
Alissa Bourne
Anna (uncredited)
No image to show
Jamaal Burcher
Hospital Visitor / Mfs Audience (uncredited)
No image to show
Dj Nino Carta
Orderly (uncredited)
John Cashin
John Cashin
Arkham Patient (uncredited)
No image to show
Jason John Cicalese
Protester / Rioter (uncredited)
Brendan Patrick Connor
Brendan Patrick Connor
Mr. Slotnick (uncredited)
Blaise Corrigan
Blaise Corrigan
Taxi Driver (uncredited)
No image to show
Dennis Jay Funny
Gotham Citizen (uncredited)
Matthias Sebastiun Garry
Matthias Sebastiun Garry
Arkham Patient (uncredited)
No image to show
James P. Harkins
Thomas Wayne's Body Guard (uncredited)
No image to show
Joseph Hernandez
Protester / Rioter (uncredited)
No image to show
Ben Heyman
Protestor (uncredited)
Michael Lepre
Michael Lepre
Arkham Insane Patient (uncredited)

Movie Review

msbreviews

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Obviously, Joker is one of my most anticipated movies of 2019. I mean, how couldn't it be?! Besides belonging to the superhero genre, DC has been on a streak of great films within its universe, so an isolated installment definitely excites me, especially about one of the evilest villains ever. It's by far one of the less comic-book-y flicks of the century. It doesn't follow the generic origin story formula, it avoids any cliches associated with the genre, and it's the type of movie that's becoming more and more rare nowadays. It's a character study like we haven't seen in a long time.

I'll simply begin with the person that elevates the entire thing: Joaquin Phoenix. Now, if there's something I'm not going to do is compare his performance with Heath Ledger's. That's the number one mistake people are going to keep making forever. First of all, The Dark Knight and Joker couldn't be more distinct films, even if they belong to the same genre (despite Joker being unique, it's still about a famous comic-book villain). Then, despite Phoenix and Ledger portraying the same "version" of the clown (crazy, sadistic psychopath), the former is 90% Arthur Fleck while the latter is 100% Joker, throughout each of their movies. Finally, Phoenix is the sole protagonist of this feature, while Ledger had the best live-action Batman sharing the spotlight.

In conclusion, it's both unfair, and a bit unreasonable to compare both interpretations since their roles have a different impact on the narrative, as well as each film being entirely different. In the end, both are impressive. However, let's switch to Phoenix since he's the star of this show … He has 2019's best performance, by far! With a strong marketing campaign, I'm sure he'll get that Oscar. I hope so! It's so well-deserved. Todd Phillips and Scott Silver developed a brilliant screenplay, but Phoenix elevates it to a whole other level.

Throughout the entire runtime, I felt weird. Perturbed. Even uncomfortable with what I was watching and consequently feeling. It's a dark, brutal, violent, emotionally powerful origin of a villain who I feel disturbingly empathetic towards. Phoenix makes the story work due to its remarkably captivating display of someone who's mentally ill. Arthur Fleck slowly becoming crazier is due to how society behaves and not due to some chemical pool that transforms his skin white and hair green (nothing wrong with this, but I know which origin story I prefer). "The world is getting crazier out there", and it becomes excruciatingly painful to deal with it, especially when so much is going on with Arthur’s personal life, and most of it he doesn't even realize because he tries to hide everything behind a smile.

It's a screenplay filled with narrative twists that not only pack a punch of surprise but leave you feeling extremely upset. The last act is one of the best in the last few years. If the second act is an enormous build-up, the last one is a terrific payoff. I can't remember the last movie I saw where I loved 100% every single narrative decision. I wouldn't do any of the big moments differently. There are so many excellent references hidden in plain sight that comic-book fans (and fans of the TDK trilogy as well) will love just like I did. In the ending, there's one pivotal moment in particular that serves as the absolute climax … I got chills all over my body. They couldn't have done that scene more perfect. I only have one tiny nitpick with the way some scenes feel repetitive since they neither move the plot forward or give us anything new. Some of these still help to create tension, some feel like they're just… there.

A Best Picture and Best Actor nominations seem to be on its way, but these are not the only achievements that deserve to be recognized. The original score by Hildur Guðnadóttir is incredibly addictive, so much that I'm listening to it while writing this review. It definitely helps to generate tremendous build-up, and it elevates the sinister environment of Gotham City. Lawrence Sher's cinematography is utterly stunning. The underexposure of some scenes is glorious. Sher paints the screen with so many gorgeous shots, especially with his close-ups on Phoenix, where the latter is able to shine. Jeff Groth is also impeccable in the editing room. There are several long takes with Phoenix just giving his all and letting all his emotions out (or keeping them all contained), which is always something I deeply appreciate since it helps with the flow of the narrative.

Regarding the film's controversy surrounding its messages and the incentive to violence, I really don't know what to say. It's ridiculous. I remember those times when going into the movie theater was a surreal experience. It was the number one place for people to forget about their lives, jobs, everything. Joker is a fictional story! It's the origin of one of the worst psychopaths in the history of comic-books and cinema. If people expected to leave the theater "happy" or "joyful", then at least one of the film's message is right: society really is getting crazier. Have people forgotten who Joker is? What could you possibly expect from his origin story?!

Nowadays, no one knows how to behave (social media is the primary source for spreading hate). No one respects the fellow citizen or even the world itself. More and more people only look at their own bellies. Political agendas are everywhere. New extreme movements are created every other year. Social hypersensibility is exponentially growing. The same way some people will hate this movie for not being able (or simply not wanting) to accept that they feel empathy towards a murderer, people all around the world behave like their actions don't reflect on another person's life and on their own planet. If people get ruthlessly violent because they watched Joker, how can someone complain that the film's message is bad when it's eventually true?

All in all, Joker is one of the best movies of the year, and it's definitely on my Top3 at the date of this review. Joaquin Phoenix delivers my favorite male performance of 2019, by elevating a script about the origin of one of the evilest villains ever. The way he gradually becomes more insane is worthy of study, but it's how he's able to make the audience create empathy towards a psychopath that leaves me disturbingly captivated. Todd Phillips produces a character-study filled with an astonishingly tense build-up and one of the most chill-inducing payoffs of the last few years. With every single narrative decision nailed perfectly, Hildur Guðnadóttir's score and Lawrence Sher's cinematography stand out. The lack of restraint in showing the unmerciful violence (physical and mental) that society inflicts on one another is what makes us feel unsettled. Because we know it's mostly true, and we refuse to accept it. It's not a film about the Joker. It's a very realistic portrayal of someone (anyone!) who can become someone like him. And it's disturbingly brilliant!

PS: Robert DeNiro (Murray Franklin) and Zazie Beetz (Sophie Dumond) are also great. Phoenix's performance is so mesmerizing that I almost forgot there were other actors in the movie.

Rating: A

solstafir7

Joker. The character that has existed since 1940, has become so heavy with so many different portrayals, different origins, that it feels impossible for any mortal man alive to impersonate the scattered personalities. It is an insurmountable task for any director to digest it all and still produce one more.

Todd Phillips had a crazy challenge. He brought in one of the best actors alive to lift it with him, Joaquin Phoenix. Together, they have built a mass-market masterpiece which is just above the crop. It is appropriately crazy and completely focussed on the central character. The narrator goes close to the shores of that craziness, wets his feet but remains dry to tell this story. It is like those news reporters which go closer to the burning amazon, but it is impossible to step in the fumes. In no way, Joker is telling his story. Instead, his story is told to us and there are pillars of sanity (like the detectives, asylum clerk etc.) which remain steadfast to give a strong anchor to the audience. This dilutes the effect of the film.

With the copious amount of material on Joker already, I wished to consider this film as a standalone character study vaguely inspired by the batman universe. But this is not entirely possible. I was forced to think about it on two levels. With Batman and Without Batman.

With Batman, The Joker is on the home turf. There have been many renditions of Joker, and Heath Ledger's portrayal is still vivid in my mind. I knew that Arthur here will go on to become someone who is going to say, “‎Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos...”. When I was thinking Joker in the context of Batman, I could not keep Ledger's joker too far away. I was searching for a path for Arthur to go from the mentally unstable to the calculating anarchist. I was left searching for that path when the movie ended. To remain as the crown prince of crime, and to justify the title of the greatest adversary of Batman, just mental instability isn't good enough. He needs to be much more intelligent, much more cunning. These traits are often visible early, In the case of Arthur, I could not find that complete foundation upon which the later psyche can stand. This reminded me of Cameron Monaghan's Jerome Valeska. The joker of my understanding is somewhere between the cruelty of Jerome and pitiable delusions of Arthur. Also, the iconic Batman moment was not needed in this. I kept feeling that Joker is trying to stand with the support of Batman's tale as a clutch. A safety net enforced by the producers.

On the other hand, if I consider this movie as a standalone tale, then it was a bit more satisfying. There are tearjerker movies where nothing good ever happens with the protagonist. A series of bad lucks, or difficulties keep blocking a normal life. He is most definitely poor, has a sub-optimal family background, has a medical affliction which is unique and provides a foundation of the pity I felt. This is not very far from Rani Mukharjee's Hichki if you only consider the medical condition. Rani's Naina had Tourette syndrome while Joaquin's Arthur suffers from pseudobulbar affect. The setting and genre make the two films vastly different. More often than not, I have noticed these disorders lift a lot of burden from the narrative. In the case of Joker, couple his disorder with usually being in the wrong place at the wrong time, you have a travesty of human life. Add to that, an unstable parent, amplify it with the volatile societal conditions, you have a perfect decoction of what Joker is made of. As a tale of its own, it works. The delivery is great thanks to the spectacular performance. It also helps to increase the awareness of mental health. But when you strip off all the Batman context, it remains a well-acted and averagely written tale.

Unfortunately, this is a single film, and I felt it is torn between these two polarising treatments. It wants to find its ground, which it finds. But that ground is far from being sensational. It remains somewhat indecisive. It can not be well soaked in Batman lore like James Gordon's tale, Gotham is. I am considering Gotham because both Gotham and Joker do not feature Batman, but they both have Bruce. Gotham understands its lore and fully embraces it but Joker does not want to. At the same time, as a tale of the psychologically troubled protagonist, Joker tries to play safe with the aim to please audience en-mass. I kept thinking about American Psycho and The Machinist. (Coincidently, both star ex-Batman Christian Bale). Those two take you in the psyche of the protagonist. Those take you inside the burning Amazon and not stand at a safe distance. Joker does not aim to do so.

I am not at all qualified to talk about the acting performances. Joaquin Phoenix is in every frame and the way he waltzes between emotions is terrifyingly amazing. The Tai Chi to calm himself down, the menacing stare when finally becomes the Joker, those are chilling. He lives the character to the best of his abilities. Regrettably, he does not have the same level of writing support which Heath Ledger had and so due to no fault of his own, Joaquin could not topple Heath Ledger's portrayal of the crown prince of crime.

If I consider Todd Philips's entire resume, this was a genre shift for him. He knew very well that the biggest trump card is Joaquin Phoenix, so he takes no risk. He keeps him in focus, almost always all the setting and cinematography works for him. The only exception being Robert De Niro. Robert is allowed to carry his scenes quite independently. I think Todd Philips relied on both these giants to carry their parts. Sadly, I had gone to a theatre which had a bad print or screen so I think I will have to watch it again sometimes to enjoy the cinematography.

I realised, I kept writing a lot and this is already over a thousand words. If you are here and reading still, I must say thank you. To summarise, The Joker worked for me and I enjoyed it, but I would not consider it the best depication of the iconic villain from comic books. The best may yet come.

ikomrad

The Joker is similar to the DC Joker character but is not a criminal genius. The movie was a great depiction of how a person who has been mistreated, lied to, and ignored, totally lacking access to human compassion, can snap. The acting is top notch, and it puts a spotlight on the importance of mental health in modern times.

Sheldon Nylander

Okay, this film has already been so widely debated that I’m not sure what I can really add to the conversation. So, I’ll just give my thoughts.

“Joker” is a fairly basic character study of Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill man who feels increasingly marginalized by an uncaring and brutal society in Gotham City. To start, the characters, except for Arthur himself, are pretty flat. They seem to have little purpose other than to further Arthur’s story. This includes Thomas Wayne, who in other media is portrayed as a man of many dimensions, wealthy but caring, and instilling these values in his son Bruce. Here, he is portrayed as much more uncaring and elitist. Which gives much less of an impact in the inevitable alley scene we see in everything remotely related to Batman. More on this in a minute. It’s important to the point.

Arthur suffers a condition that makes him burst into laughter at inappropriate times. He also has other unspecified mental illnesses. We’re never given the specifics. This is actually a little troubling because of the general depiction of mental illness. It almost seems like they are saying that if someone is mentally ill then they are a ticking time bomb and it’s only a matter of time before they go off. This is not a good look.

After a series of events, Arthur begins spiraling downward, but at the same time realizes how much influence he can have over other people, an aspect of the Joker that isn’t often explored. And this is where the characters other than Arthur being rather flat comes into play.

There’s more than one indication that we are actually witnessing these events through Arthur’s eyes. And this creates a brilliant depiction of a narcissistic personality. The only character that gets fully fleshed out is Arthur himself, but he can’t or won’t connect with other people to see their depth. As such, we get to see narcissism from the inside, no connection to others and in fact seeing them as pawns in his own schemes. It’s subtle and definitely not in your face, but if you look carefully, the hints are there.

Those who fear that "Joker" would glorify incel violence or otherwise can rest a little easier, but as I mentioned, the film isn't without its troubling portrayals. It does vilify the mentally ill, which creates a whole host of other issues. The movie swings wildly between "excellent" and just "okay," and sometimes even "meh." As such, it gets a recommendation, but only a mild one.

Leno

*A Masterpiece*.

The movie shows the escalating events that made Arthur become the Joker. Initially an inoffensive poor and sick man, Arthur suffered a tide of unfortunate events that pushed him closer and closer to the edge.

Ignored and despised by everyone, sick and alone in the world, and neglected by the State, Arthur becomes progressively more violent until he breaks.

Much more than one more Super-hero movie, *Joker* uses well-known characters to promote the reflection on the "ignored" ones. At least, ignored until they become a Joker.

Wuchak

***Not fun, but absorbing, artistic and tragic***

A mentally troubled middle-aged clown (Joaquin Phoenix) who lives with his mother (Frances Conroy) in Gotham City goes from not good to worse when he finally realizes his true identity. Robert DeNiro plays a talk show host and Zazie Beetz the friendly girl down the hall. Brett Cullen is on hand as Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s rich father.

"Joker" (2019) is an arty, slow-burn character study of the popular DC Comics’ villain, but it’s more of a psychological crime drama/thriller and tragedy than a superhero flick (or, in this case, supervillain). The movie’s captivating from the get-go and practically everything works for a broodingly superb cinematic experience.

There are several amusing bits, but this ain’t a fun flick. It’s heavy and tragic. But what’s the message? Simply that this is how a quirky man who wanted to make people laugh became The Joker. He’s a little reminiscent of the clown in Steve Gerber’s “Night of the Laughing Dead” in Man-Thing #5 (1974).

The movie runs 2 hours, 2 minutes, and was shot in New York City (Bronx, Harlem, Manhattan) and nearby New Jersey (Jersey City & Newark).

GRADE: A-/A

JPV852

_Joker_ is a tour-de-force of a movie, not quite like anything I've seen, maybe since Taxi Driver. At its core it's a movie about the breaking point of a broken man, wrapped under the banner of a comic book movie that, take out the Waynes, works on its own.
Joaquin Phoenix truly gives a transformative performance (not unlike Heath Ledger) and will say is deserving of an Academy Award. The supporting cast all did well, though, and it is a small role, Zazie Beetz was great and De Niro had his moments, particularly at the end.

Got to hand it to Todd Phillips, between this and the good, albeit flawed, War Dogs, has proven to be more than those Hangover movies.

No, this isn't a feel-good movie and while it does sit at the top of my 2019 list, not entirely sure when I'd revisit. **4.75/5**

Matthew Brady

the ‘Hangover 2 & 3’, the two most uncomfortable comedies he’s ever directed that felt more crime drama than anything funny. There’s also some dark humor in ‘Joker’ that involves a door chain. It’s silly, yet absolutely terrifying with the given context. A complete departure from his other work and that’s why I think it’s one of his best. I honestly think he made something so unique and meaningful. Seriously, I do.

The score by Hildur Guðnadóttir helped set the tone tremendously. A melancholy tone with a chaotic twist. A representation of Arthur slowly drowning in his own misery and pain. A little fun fact: The score for the film were written based on the script even before the actual filming of the movie started, which I think is the best way to do it, if you ask me. Someone to imagine movie by songs and incorporate their interpretation through music.

The cinematography was gorgeous and there’s a handful of shots that has imprinted into my memory. Lawrence Sher does an excellent job off showing the decaying Gotham city and the sewer waste look of the city. Bright neon lights with striking colors that manage to make the most run down of places look pretty.

I like how they actually gave Thomas Wayne a character rather than “guy gets shot in alleyway”. He’s portrayed as a ruthless man with blunt ways of saving Gotham City. However he loves his wife and son, so his unforgiving attitude was all for the shake of keeping his loved ones safe. He’s also a massive movie buff where he often goes to watch the classics on the big screen. So it’s an interesting take on the character viewed in somebody’s else perspective.

There’s a scene where Arthur goes to watch a comedy standup show to take notes on a comedians act. Every time a joke is told and everyone laughs, his face is frozen in place with an unsure grin while his eyes look around the room wondering why everyone’s laughing, but when the laughter dies down he jumps to live with a delayed laugh. It’s moments like that are simple, yet says a lot about him. Basically showing how disconnected he is with humor and everyone else.

Now lets talk about the controversy that's been surrounding this movie:

This is one of the most ludicrous controversy in recent memory. The movie will not cause or inspire violence, but shows why violence happens. I mean, there probably has been incidents when somebody committed a horrendous crime because their were influenced by a movie or a game. However, it’s he/she that should be brought into question, not the creators. Maybe this movie could inspire people to think twice about how they treat others. Why not think about the positives? If “Joker” is going to be responsible for violence and mass shootings, then so is every other movie with any form of violence ever. If people really care about how violence is portrayed in movies, then Rob Zombies ‘3 From Hell’ should also receive the same attention. Just imagine ‘Natural Born Killers’ times 100, but I guess it’s not mainstream enough for any of that. And sure, there’s some brutal and raw approach to violence in ‘Joker’, but we all have seen worst. ‘Deadpool’ is more graphic than this. It's not the directors duty to teach morals to the viewer. People will never learn to stop pointing fingers at things to blame and actually do something about it! People often understandment how much power their got.

Anywhere, sorry about that folks, just had to get that off my chest. Go and check it out.

Overall rating: “Send in the clowns” ⇠ you’ve gotta sing that like Frank Sinatra.

lamachat

It is intersting to analyze this movie in a context of global increase of violent social movements against the Establishment. Joker succeed in making me accept a violent reactions without really explicit political fundation.

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