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Joker (2019)

During the 1980s, a failed stand-up comedian is driven insane and turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City while becoming an infamous psychopathic crime figure.

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Reviews

★★★★

"Since opening to an eight-minute standing ovation at the Venice film festival in August, where it scooped the top prize, Todd Phillips’s origins picture about the birth of Batman’s cackling nemesis has become the focus of a moral backlash, with critics using words such as “toxic”, “cynical” and “irresponsible” to describe its relentlessly embittered (and allegedly glorified) tone. That such terms should be applied to a populist studio picture from the director of the Hangover movies is perhaps unsurprising."

"Since its debut a few weeks ago at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the top prize, Todd Phillips’s “Joker” has stirred up quite a tempest. Hands have been wrung about the movie’s supposed potential to inspire acts of real-life violence, and criticism of its brutal nihilism has been met with a counter-backlash, including from Phillips himself, who has been sounding off about the “far left” and “woke culture” and other threats to the ability of a murderous clown to make money unmolested."

★★★★★

"The year’s biggest disappointment has arrived. It emerges with weirdly grownup self-importance from the tulip fever of festival awards season as an upscale spin on an established pop culture brand."

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