Joker, the year's most important movie

Not only is this a masterpiece, but it’s a miracle that this movie got made and be this great. In my opinion, this is the best movie of the year. Director Todd Phillips and his co-writer Scott Silver have created a character study to one of the greatest villains in comic book history, one that is interested in the mental, moral, emotional and physical make-up of an ignored man who becomes the Clown Prince of Crime. This would be just as engrossing even without the DC Comics references, but they are fun to spot.

Joaquin Phoenix, an actor I greatly admire in Gladiator, Walk the Line, The Master, and Her, earns our sympathy for this downtrodden man who seeks human connection but is beaten by people on every level. Throughout I was constantly tensed at not knowing what he would do to achieve liberation. Looking rail-thin with a lifetime of misery etched onto his face and having uncontrollable laughter that pains him, we witness his transformation as the much confident and livelier Joker than he ever was before as Arthur Fleck. These tiny nuances that Phoenix captures reveal so much of a disturbed soul. His performance will be studied for years to come just like this film.

As for the controversy surrounding the film’s depiction of violence, I argue that this is an important movie to see for that very reason. Joker, the film and the character, exposes the hypocrisy of a callous society too comfortable with apathy. A serious conversation about the importance of mental healthcare and the governments not taking care of its people is started that warns us if we abandon those that desperately need help or simply don’t show kindness, we are capable of creating villains worse than the Joker. The fact that a comic book-movie makes us think this way is a rare feat that should not be missed.
Grade: A+


Joker was boring, completely overrated, and if it was called failed comedian goes insane and they didn’t call it joker the movie would have flopped, But they slap joker title on it and everyone loves it. Pheonix is a great actor but this movie is just plain terrible

AJM is a bit of a sour apple aren’t they? First off, I LOVE your post about the film Joker. I had so much to say about it, but when I’m passionate about something it is usually difficult to articulate my thoughts as well as you do!

The beginning of the movie made me really sad and heartbroken for ARTHUR - Not joker, but Arthur. I strongly relate to being bullied, feeling isolated and often taken advantage of by others because they knew I could not stand up for myself.

One of my favorite parts is the very ending where he is being escorted in a police car and the song “White Room” by Cream (I believe?) plays and then it ends with him in, literally, a white room with a psychiatrist. Seriously, it was such a brilliant decision to make.
Especially considering how the song title , the lyrics, the sound and melody all fit perfectly into that last bit of the film!


Finally saw Joker! My favorite part is when little Bruce Wayne slides down his first Bat Pole! I Laughed so loud, I am sure I disturbed some people in theater. Speaking of disturbing laughs, the last laugh you hear at the end sounds like it came from someone behind me inside the theater, they obviously were able to isolate that as coming from a single speaker as opposed to all the speakers, wow!

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I didn’t find that Joker to be nearly as deep as most people thought. I feel like it’s really just a movie that you go in and see what you were expecting of it. If you went in wanting to love it, you probably loved it. If you went in wanting to hate it, you probably hated it. Personally, I went in not really sure how I felt, and I left right in the center of the spectrum.

On the one hand, Joaquin Phoenix is very good. I applaud him for his effort and great acting (though I think my favorite performance from him is still 2013’s HER. I also think the cinematography was very good and the film’s color palette looked great. That being said, I don’t think the film is “good.”

I think that Todd Phillips didn’t really have any inspired directing. I don’t know that he had a vision outside of, “I want to make an arthouse film,” which is kind of what he said. “How do I do something irreverent, but f*ck comedy?” He didn’t want to make this movie because he was inspired to do so, but because he felt cornered. Apparently it’s impossible to do comedy nowadays, so he moved on to next popular thing. I think it shows.

Phillips doesn’t allow for tense moments and scenes to stay tense, he immediately tries to move on to the next moment or give instant relief. SPOILERS!!! The scene where Joker kills his former coworker had some great build up and was a great moment to portray the breaking point of the character, a moment that sets the rest of the film up. But it’s immediately undercut by a joke that’s like, “Haha, little people are short and can’t open a door on their own.” Like, what? You just had your character do something horrific and reach his breaking point. We don’t want comedic relief here. It completely undermines and lessens what he just did. On top of that, when he finally suits up and goes down the stairs, the song choice is atrocious. It didn’t match the scene at all. Disagree? Go watch the trailer and tell me the elegant and slightly off-putting music isn’t a better backing.

All of the “beautiful” arts-y things don’t feel like they were done because Todd Phillips had a vision and needed to get it out, they look like they were done because that’s what an arthouse film would do in that moment. It didn’t feel inspired, it felt like someone trying to mimic the artists that came before. Oh, Joaquin started dancing for no reason, okay let’s film that. It’s “irreverent” and something that an arts-y film would do. The whole film is very surface-level, and has nothing to say.

I’ll concede that this film does talk briefly on the way our government ignores mental health victims. However, the way people of mental health issues are portrayed in this film is not accurate to real life. Not everyone with a mental illness is dangerous and someone that needs to be worried about. But, in this film they start riots, scream and try to break their chains, and manipulate those around them. You can’t really have an honest discussion on a mental health crisis in America when your portrayal of mental health is completely surface level and not reflective of the entire spectrum in reality. And, that’s my same response to anyone who says that this is about society treating those poorly and that’s why people do bad things. It’s just not reflective of the truth. Last year I wrote a thesis paper trying to analyze what causes mass shooters to do what they do. Most people believe that what pushes people to do awful things is that “society” treats those people poorly and ostracizes them, but that’s not always true. The Columbine assailants for example, one came from an extremely liberal, loving, anti-gun home. He was depressed, overworked, and a perfectionist; and that’s what pushed him apparently. But that’s just this assailant. In fact, the only consistency I was able to find between people like that… was that there was no consistency. All of them had their own reasons for doing it, with very little overlap.

So, yeah, sorry for the essay. I think if Todd Phillips hadn’t tried to pretend like this was some deep and emotional film, then I wouldn’t have tried to analyze it as much, but he did. And on top of that, he was a bit of an arse about it too, lol.

If you enjoy or love this film, good. I am genuinely happy and jealous of you. Don’t feel like this is an attack on you, your enjoyment, or your tastes/preferences of film. This is simply my opinion and perspective on the film. I wish I could enjoy it more, and I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with my points or feel they’re not nearly as important as I’m making them out to be; but they are to me.

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I’d argue that the moment where he kills his mother is the true breaking point – anything that was good and decent about Fleck was truly dead, and only Joker remained. And I could see The Joker in the comics Do that stuff with the little person.

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I’m not saying he wouldn’t do it in the comics, I’m saying it undermines the tension and doesn’t treat what he did seriously. If this were another Joker movie that was a bit more slapstick and lighthearted it’d be fine; but this film takes itself entirely seriously. As for the mom, you’re probably right. I couldn’t remember which came first, but I don’t think it affects my criticism of the scene. I really appreciate your perspective, though. :slight_smile:

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I loved this scene precisely for being scripted that way. In the showings I went to, the audience’s laughter was jilted and uneasy; people were eager to laugh to relieve the intensity of that brutal kill, but simultaneously feeling awkward/nervous for doing so - because how forked up is it to laugh at a innocent person who can’t escape a killer because of a genetic disorder?

At least to me, that was less comedic relief and more of a welcome mat into the world of Joker. Now we’re laughing at the madness of it all, too.


That’s totally fair. I’m not saying my interpretation is right, so thanks for giving me another one. :slight_smile:

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:slight_smile: For sure. That’s part of what I loved about the movie - a lot of it is open to interpretation.