Critics & Audiences Already Divided on Joker

Joaquin Phoenix in Joker makeup

It appears film critics and the general audience are divided over Joker as a quality film. The Joaquin Phoenix-starring movie released last night, and is already reportedly doing well at the box office.

Joker is one of the most interesting releases of 2019. This is not only because of the film itself, but also the discussion and controversies surrounding it. From warnings about potential violence to the film not being screened, Joker has been a big subject as of late. Of course, controversies can fuel interest, and that appears to be the case here. Joker's Atom ticket presales surpassed IT Chapter Two. On the comic book side, Joker was outpacing the presales for Venom, a film that holds the October opening record. With Joker released, people are discussing the film's overall quality.

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Related: Joker Review: Joaquin Phoenix is the Clown King of Comedy

As with most movies, Joker has a Rotten Tomatoes score for both professional critics and the general audience. Currently, Joker's critic score is 69%, which is still technically certified fresh. However, the audience score is 93%, putting it as a 24% difference between critics and audiences. This seems to indicate that a number of critics don't consider Joker to be an amazing movie, while most audiences greatly enjoyed it.

Joker movie steps poster

This isn't the first time this year a film's Rotten Tomatoes' score was considerably different between critics and audiences. There was Rambo: Last Blood and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, films greatly enjoyed by audiences, but were not critical hits. An example from last year is of course Venom, which was a 51% difference between critics and audiences. Joker's score is certainly less of a gap than these movies, but still notably wide.

When Joker premiered at the Venice Film Festival, the film reportedly received an eight-minute standing ovation. Also, the film received the prestigious Golden Lion award at the premiere. Not only that, but the Venice Film Festival Chief believes Joker will be an Oscar contender. It is fascinating that these thoughts have not transferred over to the critic reviews. Joker never seemed to be marketed squarely at comic book fans, bur rather as an Oscar-type character study using the persona of an iconic villain. Despite that though, it seems audiences are enjoying the film more than critics. However, a number of critics agree with fans that Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of the character is memorable. Joker is likely to go down as one of the most talked about films for years to come.

Next: Joker's Ending Explained

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

Key Release Dates
  • Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
  • Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
  • The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
  • The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
  • DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
  • Aquaman 2 (2022) release date: Dec 16, 2022
Joaquin Phoenix with makeup in Joker
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