Todd Phillips (2019)

15 Certificate


Our Score
This magnificently gritty, socially conscious skew on the comic-book origin tale from The Hangover director Todd Phillips turns Batman's arch-nemesis into an incel-like loner, languishing on the sidelines. Infused with the grimy splendour of a Martin Scorsese picture, it's set in Gotham City, 1981, and stars Joaquin Phoenix as luckless loner Arthur Fleck. With his life a succession of public humiliations and nights in with his elderly mother (Frances Conroy), Arthur dreams of stand-up success and develops a fixation on a talk-show host (Robert De Niro). Phoenix delivers a chilling, compelling turn, worthy of structuring a film around; Arthur's anxieties seem to course through the actor, infesting every inch of him as he contorts his emaciated frame like a man possessed. Although the character is as nihilistic as ever, Phillips also takes swipes at healthcare cuts and poverty. And, rather than leaven the tension with his trademark bad-taste humour, the director makes us stew in the discomfort. Joker feels like a damning indictment of societal ills, a study in how real monsters are made; it's a film that's desperately, maybe even depressingly relevant.

Cast & Crew

Arthur Fleck / Joker Joaquin Phoenix
Murray Franklin Robert De Niro
Sophie Dumond Zazie Beetz
Penny Fleck Frances Conroy
Thomas Wayne Brett Cullen
Detective Burke Shea Whigham
Detective Garrity Bill Camp
Alfred Pennyworth Douglas Hodge
Carl (Arkham clerk) Brian Tyree Henry
Hoyt Vaughn Josh Pais
Director Todd Phillips
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner BrosGuidance: Violence, swearingReleased on: 4 Oct 2019