Joker

2019 • 121 minutes
4.5
5.39K reviews
68%
Tomatometer
R
Rating
Eligible
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About this movie

“Joker” centers around the iconic arch-nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. The exploration of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.
Rating
R
4.5
5.39K reviews
Steven O'Loughlin
January 10, 2020
Politics aside, this movie is a great existential struggle of a mentally ill man. This could easily have not even been in the DC universe and been a standalone success like, "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" or "Clockwork Orange". It's Cinematography is great -it's pure and simple. You generally feel sympathy for a weak man struggling with mental illness, until you see how his sickness causes him to go over the edge to make you then be angry at the people who took his innocence away. Addressing politics:, I think it is more of a social commentary and revelation that we make the Ted Kaczynski's, Eric Harris's, and Dylan Klebold's. They were mentally unwound by 1,000 paper cuts. Society wants to blame the bad guy and definitely not take responsibility for it's own callousness toward the struggle of the every day man while the elite find his weakness and his struggle as inconvenient, blaming his defects as evil. These killers would dare hold up a mirror to us, as if to say, "I can judge you too -and, more harshly". Joker spared the one man who was kind to him -which is to hint, we should be more like that humble guy because we wouldn't want the backlash of our own judgments..
780 people found this review helpful
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Pro Meliora
January 8, 2020
There is a difference between the concept of violence and actual violence. We can contemplate that difference without exposure to actual violence because our entertainment has incorporated depictions of it for so long. Reflection upon art helps us to conceptualize ideas about reality that in turn improve our lives. Joker accomplishes many things. It completes a character whose portrayal was first perfected by Heath Ledger, preserving his work in so doing, without making Phoenix's portrayal derivative. That in and of itself is noteworthy. The attention to detail in the film is outstanding. Example: There are two detectives who resemble Keaton's Bruce Wayne and a crooked cop from the first Batman film. A kind nod to past work. Joker also shows us a vibrant depiction of the concept that villains are not born; they are made. This concept has been neglected throughout history, as justice has required that we don't sympathize with those to be punished, and victims rather than criminals have deserved our sympathy. It is just and right that it has been so, except that neglecting the origin of violent psychoses has made it more difficult to prevent. It has permitted a continuation of behaviors that produce tragic results over and over again. Entertainment is the way to encourage consideration of that observation without directly sympathizing with offenders and without encouraging a motivation toward acts of violence by those seeking sympathy. Joker is a cautionary tale with the moral that we must be mindful of how we treat each other. In this way, it is precisely the opposite of what alarmists have gleaned from their first impressions of it. The above is 270 words, and many thousands more could follow if I go on. Suffice to say, this film is a landmark in a saga whose telling has been polished and perfected for more than half a century. It features a performance worthy of awards. It's a dissertation of a character whose psychology has been analyzed and puzzled over by millions. It's one of those few rare films that simply shouldn't be missed, as it offers more than its considerable entertainment value.
444 people found this review helpful
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T XTII Js-XTII
January 15, 2020
Excellent film from start to finish. The movie opens to what I would almost describe as a sort of a Nicholas Cage/Leaving Las Vegas vibe. Though some on social media liken the gradual decay of Arthur Fleck to Robert DeNiro's Travis Bickle. I'd say it's much too deeper; much too involved much too surreal transition. By the end of the film the musical score sets the perfect hollow toned environment Joker creates when he dances atop the smashed police vehicle. In that moment I think he says to himself exactly what Lucifer does. It is better to rule in Hell (Gotham) than to serve in Heaven. I don't know if anyone else agrees with me but by the end of the movie; I also come away feeling a Stanley Kubrick (Eyes Wide Shut) vibe as well. I can see why it makes the list of Academy Award nominations for best picture. Todd Philips did great. Up until seeing this film; I only thought James Mangold's 2017 Logan was this level of perfect. I was wrong.
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