Joker reviewed by Mark Kermode

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  • Published: 05 October 2019
  • Mark Kermode reviews Joker. In 1980s Gotham City, troubled loner and wannabe comedian Arthur Fleck find himself pushed over the edge.

    Please tell us what you think of the film -- or Mark’s review of the film. We love to include your views on the show every Friday.

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Comments • 2 212

  • Henry Smith
    Henry Smith  2 hours back

    Wanna know how they say "skeletal" in wanchester?

    • State of Aporia
      State of Aporia  5 hours back

      Movies and Videogames cause mass shootings... anyway, who wants to buy an AR-15 from my local pharmacy!?

      • Beadelf 81
        Beadelf 81  5 hours back

        Great film, you feel sympathy for the character although that makes him less scary than other incarnations.

        • William Paterson
          William Paterson  8 hours back

          This movie IS a Masterpiece. It's a Social Commentary on what it means to be isolated from this world that MAKES you feel this way. Joker WASN'T MAD, it's the WORLD that's truly MAD and the quarter inch pieces of Glass in your window frames is all that Separates YOU from the Horror of living in a modern day hell. The Elite know absolutely NOTHING of the predicaments of the poor when, in REALITY, it's the very ELITES that have DELIBERATELY DESIGNED THE SYSTEM OF OPPRESSION THAT DRIVES PEOPLE INSANE BECAUSE THEY CANNOT FIGHT BACK IN ANY REAL WAY. Rebellion IS on its way. Look at the scenes in Spain, China, London, France and Venezuela. People have had enough of Elite Maligned OPPRESSION. They're living in fear because they're about to BARACADE their Doors. It's the JOB of tho RICH, to keep the poor of OUR WORLD, POOR !
          Ask yourselves this question "WHY ARE OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS WHO ARE SERVING IN THE MILITARY, DYING IN FOREIGN FIELDS TO PROTECT THE WEALTH AND THE INVESTMENTS OF WORLDWIDE BANKERS, CONGLOMERATES AND THE ARMAMENTS AND OIL INDUSTRIES. Today, there are NO WARS OF LIBERATION, ONLY WARS OF GREED AND LAND GRABS FOR SICKENING PROFITS !
          It's time to WAKEN UP AMERICA, WAKEN UP WORLD and REMOVE these wealthy HEARTLESS PARASITES from OUR LIVES FOREVER through non - violent protests and actions.
          God Bless YOU all My Brothers and Sisters. TOGETHER, we CAN and WILL BE VICTORIOUS and take back what's ALWAYS BELONGED TO US AND OUR CHILDREN, OUR WORLD !

          • J T
            J T  15 hours back

            This film is the visualized version of The Bee Gee's "I started a joke". Read the lyrics. It expresses everything happening in this movie.

            • Christian McCann
              Christian McCann  16 hours back

              It's a masterpiece .. Simple !

              • Ty Johson
                Ty Johson  21 hours back

                We live in a society. Now yuo see...

                • matrix26uk
                  matrix26uk  1 days back

                  Yes Mark, really!
                  "Woke" or the perpetually desperate to be offended brigade have killed comedy

                  • Marius
                    Marius  1 days back

                    What is nasty about Hangover? It is vulgar? So what?

                    • Elena Pecora
                      Elena Pecora  1 days back

                      Joni Mitchell "Laughing and crying you know it's the same relief" The people Joker encounters have a warped twisted since of humor. Should be talking about fitting into an insane world, where money is not shared because of greed and insatiable consumerism . Where cold hearted mess and psychopaths rule corporations and the arts are not given any value except status and trade. Would it be better if he killed himself. Who is the self? Are we not all one with the environment and animals.
                      Animals are going extinct, the planet is full of garbage, mostly products that promise happiness Packaging is a creation that falsifies it's content . We are believe this to be convenient. In fact the problem of garbage is far from convenient. We have forgotten love is the only thing that brings joy and sanity. In a money blanketed world where it is pursued as a means of power and where inequality is encouraged reality is lost and madness ensure. It is not Joker who is mad but in fact he is a reflection of the madness. Who is the victim?

                      • Oddities e-Club Magazine

                        Woke culture has killed comedy

                        • ellen briggs
                          ellen briggs  2 days back

                          Your disdain for someone who disdains “woke culture” betrays your bias against this film...You are a typical mass media reviewer who does not like that the mass media is the true villain in this movie...Grow up and review the movie as an adult, not like a petulant child.

                          • David Ramsey
                            David Ramsey  2 days back

                            This guy knows everything.

                            • John Schatz
                              John Schatz  2 days back

                              This is the first blockbuster in 10 years that I've actually been hyped for. Such a great film.

                              • IfYouWantCake,Bake
                                IfYouWantCake,Bake  2 days back

                                ... I saw the movie the day it premiered and I was heartbroken. (and so mad at the audience. They did not get what was going on, and quite Joker-like laughed at things that were not funny. etc. And they started discussing stuff during the movie. And it was not even INTERESTING stuff. I mean, it was clear to anyone with a BIT of empathy and knowledge of mental illness... anyway, I digress)

                                I thought "let's not let life be/get this way for more poeple" Let's do something to HELP.
                                But some critics (my guess is people who are well off and lack empathy) saw the parallels to the world we live in (especially the dreadful state the working class in the US are in) and instead of solutions they offered a cover-up, they try to argue for the easy way out: "Don't give people ideas".
                                People do have these thoughts in their heads already. "Stochastic Terrorism" was already a thing long before this movie came out.
                                Classifying a movie like that as "dangerous" is only showing the ignorance of the elites. The movie is not dangerous. The movie is a warning.
                                Let's make the lives of people better so they don't get so desperate that the pitchforks are the only way to feel heard. Don't get let them get so desperate they snap.
                                Let's give people healthcare, raise their wages to a living wage etc.
                                And take better care of the mentally ill.
                                The solutions are there. Implement them.

                                • William Osmanski
                                  William Osmanski  2 days back

                                  "What a strange reaction" Translation= I wouldn't act that way so it is labeled as strange. ..... This interview kind of reminds me of one of the themes in the movie. The theme of those with a platform, talk show hosts, the rich, the elite, telling everyone else 'what' and 'how' to think about things. Like when Arthur tells the joke about the drunk driving accident and the host says "that's not funny" Arthur reminds him that comedy is subjective and who decides what is funny or not is an individual decision.

                                  • simonpenum
                                    simonpenum  2 days back

                                    The minute Kermode rolled his eyes at Phillip's woke culture comment I knew he has zero empathy for the plight and struggle of modern artists. He is absolutely part of the problem within the media. Either he is completely unaware of the relentless war on Art that radical leftists are waging OR he secretly agrees with their narrative.
                                    Either case renders his opinions on any modern film invalid to me

                                    • simonpenum
                                      simonpenum  2 days back

                                      @Oliver Cuenca You're looking a bit triggered there mate. Maybe you should ease up on those ethically sourced soy Lattes. Don't worry there will be another LGBTQ+ film festival on in Hoxton soon where you can "Yass Queen" to your hearts content

                                    • Oliver Cuenca
                                      Oliver Cuenca  2 days back

                                      I'm sure he has plenty of empathy for modern artists, given that that is his entire job. It's just that tedious, boring old farts who whinge about how they failed to keep up with modern culture are very difficult to empathise with, particularly when they hypocritically claim that they are the ones who are exclusively privy to knowing what "real art" is, and that what all the *actual artists* are producing is invalid.
                                      Pretentious, tedious, boring old farts like you, who feel so inadequate that they have to construct half-arsed fantasies that they unthinkingly parrot from one old fart to another whilst thinking they're unique special little butterflies.

                                  • Russell Prose
                                    Russell Prose  2 days back

                                    A psychoanalytic approach to understanding Joker:


                                    https://jimdroberts.wordpress.com/2019/10/19/send-in-the-clowns-the-evolution-of-the-joker-a-jungian-perspective/

                                    • I'm just some Canadian guy and I say

                                      You couldn’t set this movie in Canada. 😁

                                      Everyone would be nice to Arthur on the street.

                                      • Charles Thrush
                                        Charles Thrush  3 days back

                                        in my opinion the script sucked and the message was shallow; and was edgy for the sake of it. i wanted to like this movie but i really really disliked it.

                                        • C More
                                          C More  3 days back

                                          Superb movie! Superb backstory to the joker. Phoenix is a master to follow Heath Ledger's Joker.

                                          • Arcurus Xxx
                                            Arcurus Xxx  3 days back

                                            For Joker fans, #JOKERMAN https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCHSYBPUd5c&feature=youtu.be

                                            • West Side
                                              West Side  3 days back

                                              Arguably the greatest film ever made.

                                              • The James Bond Show
                                                The James Bond Show  3 days back

                                                The film is a Masterpiece.

                                                Why the left wing snowflakes would be against it is baffling when at its core it's a film showing what happens when the elites trod on the helpless or mentally ill.

                                                Just hand Phoenix the Oscar now and Todd Phillips the Best Director Oscar.

                                              • Jason Teale
                                                Jason Teale  3 days back

                                                Woke culture hasn't killed comedy? Mark ??? please try and leave politics out and just review a movie on its merits or non merits... remember Blue Velvet, you got that wrong didn't you...whatever....

                                                • Jason Hall
                                                  Jason Hall  2 days back

                                                  He was quoting Todd Phillips. Also all films are political to a greater or lesser extent, but Joker particularly and overtly so - they should be reviewed in context.

                                              • stephen avery
                                                stephen avery  3 days back

                                                Brilliant film , Oscars all round.

                                                • Bryan Lomax Movie Talk

                                                  Joker is about societal responsibility. We get the "villains" we deserve. Monsters aren't born, they are created! And not as the result of falling into a vat of chemicals, but through being pushed to the brink and being forced to live on the fringes of society. It shows us how a lifetime of neglect and mistreatment can push someone over the edge. The film doesn't spoon feed you the typical and comfortable notion that evil comes out of the shadows only to be vanquished by some great American hero. No, it shows us that America, in this instance, is part of the problem. A society obsessed with wealth and fame and what looks good on the surface is what created this evil. It holds a mirror up to us all and forces us to acknowledge the part we must play if we are to prevent this kind of evil in the future. That makes people feel uncomfortable because few people want to admit that they've been part of the problem rather than the solution. That's why the media has condemned the film. If they can dismiss it and get everyone else to do the same then they don't need to change the way they operate. Kinda proving the film's point really. Anyone who says this movie has nothing to say is either ignorant, blind or uncaring.


                                                  p.s. I hated The Hangover. Loved this!

                                                  • Michelle Cole
                                                    Michelle Cole  3 days back

                                                    Sad to say, but despite Phoenix's terrific performance, I actually dozed off several times.

                                                    • Jason McLaren
                                                      Jason McLaren  3 days back

                                                      I believe most of the movie are delusions of Fleck. The murders happen but everything between is completely In his head

                                                      • Meme Iselfaneye
                                                        Meme Iselfaneye  1 days back

                                                        I'd say the positive stuff doesn't happen, Murray never says he wants a son like him, he doesn't succeed on stage, he doesn't get a girlfriend, and he doesn't get rescued and dance on top of a car. He kills the people on the train, the guy in his apartment, and finally Murray, then is apprehended and goes to jail, hence being in custody at the end.

                                                    • Larry Stevens
                                                      Larry Stevens  3 days back

                                                      I would very much like Hollywood to do a biopic on Jared Fogle, the former Subway spokesperson and now convicted felon, roly-poly-boy-toy and daily punching bag for any number of his fellow inmates at the federal penitentiary in Englewood, Colorado.

                                                      Perhaps it could be a musical. One of the numbers could be called "Smaller Pants," and two different versions could both open and close the production. In the beginning, Jared sings "I wanna get into smaller pants," in reference to his desire to lose weight by eating only veggie subs. At the end prior to his arrest, as he's flying around the country molesting children, he could sing the same line, but it would of course have a far more sinister meaning.

                                                      Another number could involve a couple of parents going to the authorities to report that their pre-adolescent son has been victimized by Fogle. The song could be titled "He Went to Jared."

                                                      You see, I'm a dead ringer for Fogle. We're talking "separated at birth" identical. Up until November, 2015 I had a fairly steady part time gig posing as him and entertaining at kids' birthday parties. For a reasonable fee, I'd provide the entertainment (balloon animals and showing the kids the former pants with a 48 inch waistline that "Jared" used to have to wear before he started eating Subway veggies subs everyday) and the food (a Subway platter). Needless to say, my tax returns for the past few years have shown a fairly significant reduction in income. My last gig was just after Thanksgiving in 2015. The people who had booked me had paid a deposit in advance, so they went ahead and had me come out with my balloons and five foot cold cut with six toppings on Italian herb bread. I ended up getting mauled by their German Shepherd who had been watching CNN a week or so earlier.

                                                      • Pablo Beach
                                                        Pablo Beach  3 days back

                                                        Why do people insist on comparing this joker with others this joker is different from the beginning of an idea

                                                        • kay jones
                                                          kay jones  3 days back

                                                          Why put a director into a "box" he's not just the guy who did the "Hangover " films!

                                                          • kay jones
                                                            kay jones  3 days back

                                                            I've never been a "Batman" DC comic etc fan , but this I love, the film is genius , already seen it twice

                                                            • Bearos Inc.
                                                              Bearos Inc.  3 days back

                                                              Kermode once again, as Jason Issacs said "Hilariously and spectacularly wrong", is wrong again. I propose a sub-genre. Intentionally grim movies from start to finish - Seven, Joker, The Deer Hunter, Taxi Driver. It makes you feel good to feel bad sometimes. Flappy-handed Boron (Moron and Boring - in case you thought that was a typo)

                                                              • Fluffyudders
                                                                Fluffyudders  3 days back

                                                                I find it interesting how he never actually says whether or not he thinks the film is good. He praises elements of it, but it's almost as if he knows it was great but for some reason wasn't allowed to say so....

                                                                • Ciaran Gartlan
                                                                  Ciaran Gartlan  3 days back

                                                                  imo Mark misunderstands narcissism for nihilism. In this film the character descends into nihilism, the world has betrayed and abandoned him.

                                                                  • Joe Beck
                                                                    Joe Beck  4 days back

                                                                    Love Kermode, but Jesus! Why bring up so often the other films (Hangover) that someone has directed!? What does that have to do with the film we are discussing? Personally thought that Joker was amazingly tense, fantastic origin story...review on its own merit, surely!?

                                                                    • DarwinsApe
                                                                      DarwinsApe  4 days back

                                                                      10/10 - Joaquin's Joker is The Best Joker we have seen bar none...

                                                                      Joaquin Phoenix' portrayal of failed comedian Arthur Fleck and his transformation and realization to Joker is powerful, visually provoking and his POV in context is captivating. If I have one small criticism concerning the movie it is this, I feel Robert De Niro was miscast in the role of a talk show host. If you like a story well told, you'll love this film.

                                                                      • PS4 & Stuff
                                                                        PS4 & Stuff  4 days back

                                                                        Amazing film and the small english guy is from celebrity juice lol

                                                                        • Mark Arandjus
                                                                          Mark Arandjus  4 days back

                                                                          I would've also not had high expectation, seeing how this was made by the Hangover director, but then I saw Chernobyl which was written by the Hangover writer, clearly filmmaker can turn a new leaf.

                                                                          • David Sidebotham
                                                                            David Sidebotham  4 days back

                                                                            Did anyone consider the ending suggests the entire film was a figment of Flecks imagination?

                                                                            • Adam Borokowski
                                                                              Adam Borokowski  3 days back

                                                                              Yes. The ending in the white room. When I saw that I was trying to think back if the film started on that scene at all or referenced it.

                                                                          • Marcus Cunnington
                                                                            Marcus Cunnington  4 days back

                                                                            I’ve enjoyed this film more after watching it and having time to think about it.
                                                                            For me I think I’ll enjoy the second viewing more than the first.
                                                                            JP is awesome

                                                                            • J131
                                                                              J131  4 days back

                                                                              It was one of the best movies I have ever seen in my life.

                                                                              Joaquin was absolutely riveting.

                                                                              • brian gray
                                                                                brian gray  4 days back

                                                                                don't care what any critic has to say , this was an epic performance by Phoenix, and i left the cinema awe struck

                                                                                • Blood bought Big Phil R

                                                                                  Excellent film. Striking commentary on a society gone tits up and what creates Joker figures or rather the likes of Arthur Fleck to snap. You can't help but sympathise with him in his rage against the rotten establishment. Brilliantly played by Joaquin Phoenix. Deserves a clean sweep at the next Oscar's but we know it won't. The reaction shows the disconnect between cinema goer and critic and a populist against elitist vibe going on.

                                                                                  • J T
                                                                                    J T  4 days back

                                                                                    3:01 The condition is called PBA, or Psuedobulbar affect.

                                                                                    • M S
                                                                                      M S  4 days back

                                                                                      Anthony Perkins inspired waves of homicidal cross-dressers with mommy and maleness issues.

                                                                                      • Grenville Phillips
                                                                                        Grenville Phillips  4 days back

                                                                                        He left me none the wiser as to why it freaked out the woke.