Joker - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Joker Reviews

March 9, 2020
Joaquin Phoenix, in another outstanding performance.
Top Critic
October 7, 2019
A movie that borders on genius-repellant, dark, terrifying, disgusting, brilliant and unforgettable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 4, 2019
If there is a meaningful difference between performing and acting, Joaquin Phoenix surely exemplifies the former here, creepily contorting as the Clown Prince of Crime in Todd Phillips' timely, toxic take on the Making of a Murdering Madman.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
October 4, 2019
While it succeeds in aping the superficial aspects of [Martin] Scorsese's style, "Joker" lacks the intelligence or gravitas of Scorsese's best work.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 4, 2019
A movie of a cynicism so vast and pervasive as to render the viewing experience even emptier than its slapdash aesthetic does.
October 4, 2019
Bleak and juvenile
October 3, 2019
If you're feeling insufficiently anxious in your life, "Joker" could be just the ticket. If not, look elsewhere to be entertained.
October 3, 2019
Joker is a bad movie, yes: It's predictable, clichéd, deeply derivative of other, better movies, and overwritten to the point of self-parody.
October 3, 2019
It's hard to say if the muddle "Joker" makes of itself arises from confusion or cowardice, but the result is less a depiction of nihilism than a story about nothing.
October 3, 2019
Perhaps the bleakest assertion of "Joker" is the one that's hardest to disprove: That the ghastly world Fleck inhabits, and by extension ours, is the one we deserve.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 3, 2019
Phillips made a brilliant choice in casting Phoenix, and then he was smart to know that the actor is so deep inside this role that everything he does, up to and including a homicidal rumba, feels right.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
October 3, 2019
It devotes so much of its energy into not being about a comic book villain that it neglects being about ... much of anything, really.
October 3, 2019
"Joker," though, is a calculatedly combustible concoction, designed, like its chaos-creating character, to cause a stir. To provoke and distort. I wish it was as radical as it thinks it is.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 3, 2019
The supervillain origin story to beat all origin stories.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 3, 2019
This Joker has a ruined poetry to him that makes his victimhood seem a badge of honor and his homicidal urges seem a just, if horrifying, form of retribution.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 3, 2019
Joker is an exploration of what causes a lonely, unhinged man to explode, and it has moments that are riveting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 3, 2019
The year's biggest disappointment has arrived.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
October 2, 2019
Although it may be difficult to "like" this film in a conventional sense, it offers a powerful and unforgettable experience that few will find easy to shake.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 2, 2019
It's a film about cinema, made by and for pop culture sophisticates. It doesn't have to mean anything.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 2, 2019
"Joker" is resoundingly one-note throughout the majority of its running time, Phillips mistaking "unrelentingly grim" for "profound," which just renders the film punishingly dull.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 2, 2019
It's not too much to ask -- and more than just being a scold -- for justification of an exercise that places such a villain front and center, especially when there is so little light or goodness to balance the darkness.
October 2, 2019
With Phoenix appearing in virtually every minute of this movie and dominating the screen with his memorably creepy turn, "Joker" will cling to you like the aftermath of an unfortunately realistic nightmare.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 2, 2019
In a year of mass culture that gave us HBO's excellent "Chernobyl," "Joker" can claim the grimmest depiction of a meltdown.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
October 2, 2019
A ghastly-good Phoenix can't save this slice of faux social commentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 2, 2019
Phoenix gives the role a frightening intensity. This actor doesn't favour dilettante distancing. He steps right through the looking glass to become the character he has been staring at.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
October 2, 2019
[Joaquin Phoenix] never manages to make Arthur into a coherent person, partly because it's hard to see this schmuck as any kind of future arch-villain and partly because the film's thesis is kept broad and vague.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
October 2, 2019
As Joker gets grimmer and descends further into bloody violence, it becomes little more than a horror show, bludgeoning its viewers out of any chance at insight.
October 1, 2019
Like the anti-hero at its center, it's a movie trying so hard to be capital-b Big that it can't help looking small.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 1, 2019
Yes, this is the story of the birth of a popular super villain, but "Joker" has much bigger issues on its mind.
Full Review | Original Score: A
October 1, 2019
Forget the overhyped controversy, Joker is simply stupendous as entertainment and provocation, with a gut-punch performance by Phoenix that puts a horrifically human face on an iconic comic-book villain.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
September 30, 2019
"Joker" is on the surface the origin of a supervillain but more subtly an exploration of empathy and the personal impact of a society devoid of it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 30, 2019
The strenuous effort of Phoenix's performance that it becomes exhausting to behold. Get a load of me, he seems to say, and the load is almost too much to bear.
September 27, 2019
It's a very good movie, and it features a blood-curdling performance from Joaquin Phoenix, in the most frightening portrayal of a violent maniac in decades.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 16, 2019
[Todd] Phillips and [Joaquin] Phoenix deserve credit for reimagining what a comic book movie can be. One that isn't encumbered with setting up multi-movie plot lines and one that can go to places other films in this genre can't.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
September 12, 2019
Honestly, I'm not sure what Joker is here for, other than to cause a clumsily manufactured uproar.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
September 11, 2019
As Hannah Arendt saw banality in the supposed evil of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann, I see in Joker an attempt to elevate nerdy revenge to the plane of myth. That's scary on a lot of different levels.
Top Critic
September 10, 2019
Joker may cop its values, aesthetic and philosophical, from other films, but at least it has values.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
September 10, 2019
It's a beautiful demented jewel of a film. The superhero movie, alas, for our time.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
September 10, 2019
...it's certainly worth seeing for Phoenix, whose mournful eyes and choking laugh perfectly embody his character's lifelong query: "Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?"
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 10, 2019
This predictable brand of cold-hearted cynicism is not worth your time. Seriously.
September 10, 2019
A movie with the message this one hammers home again and again... feels too volatile, and frankly too scary, to separate from the very real violence committed by young men like Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck in America almost every day.
September 4, 2019
However unusual its grungy 70s styling may be, Joker is ultimately nothing but a flimsy, two-hour supervillain origin movie...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
September 3, 2019
It's nothing less (and nothing more) than an agent of unbridled chaos.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
September 2, 2019
Like the best of the New Hollywood classics it references, this is a film that exhilarates and unsettles while having something to say about today.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
August 31, 2019
This is a truly nightmarish vision of late-era capitalism - arguably the best social horror film since Get Out - and Joaquin Phoenix is magnetic in it.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
August 31, 2019
If you strip the Joker and his nearly 80-year history as a cultural icon out of this film, as well as all the 1970s movie homages, there's not a whole lot left except for Phoenix's performance, and it's the kind of turn that's destined to be divisive.
August 31, 2019
Having brazenly plundered the films of Scorsese, Phillips fashions stolen ingredients into something new, so that what began as a gleeful cosplay session turns progressively more dangerous - and somehow more relevant, too.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
August 31, 2019
What do you get when you take a poor, mentally unstable loner and you treat him like trash? The answer given in Todd Phillips's ingenious new feature is Batman's arch nemesis, the Joker.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
August 31, 2019
Nobody who sees this new film will ever need any other version.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
August 31, 2019
Superhero blockbuster this is not: a playful fireman's-pole-based homage to the old Batman television series is one of a very few lighthearted moments in an otherwise oppressively downbeat and reality-grounded urban thriller...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
August 31, 2019
Phillips may want us to think he's giving us a movie all about the emptiness of our culture, but really, he's just offering a prime example of it.
August 31, 2019
As social commentary, Joker is pernicious garbage.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
August 31, 2019
Feeble posturing, asinine pop psychology and political analysis charged with all the cynicism of a mollycoddled teen dropout in fake Oakleys and a home customised Linkin Park tee.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
August 31, 2019
"Joker" is a dark, brooding and psychologically plausible origin story, a vision of cartoon sociopathy made flesh.
August 31, 2019
A dazzlingly disturbed psycho morality play, one that speaks to the age of incels and mass shooters and no-hope politics, of the kind of hate that emerges from crushed dreams.
August 31, 2019
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.