According to early tracking projections, the controversial Joaquin Phoenix-starrer could make as much as $90 million domestically when it hits theaters next month. If accurate, this would give the movie the opening weekend record for the month of October, beating Sony Pictures’ Venom ($80.2M). Take the fact that Joker is an R-rated release into account, and this would be an even more impressive feat.
It remains to be seen if Joker can accomplish this, of course, but it certainly looks like the majority of fans are fully on board with Philips’ take on the iconic Batman villain, and are very curious to see what all the fuss is about. Oscar buzz for Phoenix probably doesn’t hurt, either.
Let us know if you plan on seeing Joker in theaters opening weekend in the comments, and if you fancy a look at some of the reviews (updated with several of the more negative TIFF reactions), click the “view list” button below.
This is a truly nightmarish vision of late-era capitalism – arguably the best social horror film since ‘Get Out’ – and Phoenix is magnetic in it. He runs Heath Ledger cigarette-paper close as the finest screen Joker.
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. Gotham City is aflame and they’re rioting on the streets. And a rough beast is slouching towards the TV studio to be born.
It will be tempting for some to declare this the first art film based on a DC or Marvel property, but while it certainly represents a bit of a departure and something of a risk, “Joker” is ultimately grim-and-gritty comic book nihilism jacked up to the nth degree, wrapped up in a convincing but ultimately hollow simulacra of better, smarter movies.
SOURCE: The Wrap
In Joker — playing in competition here at the Venice Film Festival — Phoenix is acting so hard you can feel the desperation throbbing in his veins. He leaves you wanting to start him a GoFundMe, so he won’t have to pour so much sweat into his job again. But the aggressive terribleness of his performance isn’t completely his fault. (He has often been, and generally remains, a superb actor. Just not here.)
“Joker” achieves two contradictory goals simultaneously, delivering a blockbuster that highlights what is eternally captivating about the character, while at the same time offering a sobering critique of the nihilism that has long been the Joker’s M.O.
SOURCE: Screen International
Phoenix is all in and then some, a performance so dazzling risky and original you might as well start engraving his name on the Oscar right now. No joke, this is a movie — premiering today at the Venice Film Festival — unlike any other from the DC universe, and you will find it impossible to shake off. At least I did.
With the combination of talented actors, a well fleshed out script, and excellent direction, the audience doesn’t quite know who to root for. It’s traumatizing in a way because it causes a kind of morality battle. That sort of intensity weighs in on you once the film is over. It makes you think. The “funny” moments of the film are so strategic that they cause uncomfortable laughter.
SOURCE: Black Girl Nerds
In fact, that sympathy is where much of the film’s fear comes from. This is the Joker. We should not like this person. And yet, the movie tricks us into doing that time and time again. We frequently see things happening that aren’t actually happening. Information is given that isn’t quite accurate. Arthur’s point of view is mostly unreliable. And so the film swings you between sympathy and pity or humor and awkwardness, sometimes in a single shot. Not knowing what to believe and how to feel is one of the film’s most interesting and strongest assets.
The first big problem is that the film cannot decide whether it wants to keep its powder dry in terms of its relationship to the wider world of superhero lore. It opens on a classic 1970s Warner Bros logo in a misguided attempt to connect itself to one of cinema’s golden eras – making it appear even worse by comparison. It tries desperately hard to come across as edgy, but coldly refuses to swerve from the hard-painted lanes of templated Hollywood filmmaking. It ends up resembling nothing more than a Suicide Squad spin-off movie. Yet it’s ambitions are certainly more lofty.
SOURCE: Little White Lies
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.
Bold, devastating and utterly beautiful, Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix have not just reimagined one of the most iconic villains in cinema history, but reimagined the comic book movie itself.