JOKER’s Rotten Tomatoes Score Falls As TIFF Critics Balk At Some Of The Movie’s Darker MomentsJOKER’s Rotten Tomatoes Score Falls As TIFF Critics Balk At Some Of The Movie’s Darker Moments

Last night, another wave of Joker reviews began to hit Rotten Tomatoes, and, well, these ones aren’t quite as glowing. After sitting comfortably in the high 80s since its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, the DC Comics adaptation has now dropped to a still admirable 78% over the past 12 hours. 

The previous score was based on 39 reviews, and there are now a total of 78. There should be at least a couple hundred more on the site by the time early October rolls around and it will be interesting to see what mainstream critics make of the clearly quite controversial movie, which many are rejecting because of some of the themes and darker moments it contains. 

One negative review from New York Magazine states that “As Hannah Arendt saw banality in the supposed evil of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann, I see in Joker an attempt to elevate nerdy revenge to the plane of myth. That’s scary on a lot of different levels.” Then there’s “Joker is the perfect movie for 2019. Joker is our comeuppance,” from Uproxx, while notes that “As social commentary, Joker is pernicious garbage.”

There are, of course, plenty of good reviews too, but the quotes above give you an idea why that score has slipped. 

In related news, Joker director Todd Phillips has acknowledged that the plan with Joker was never to take down the competition. “You can’t beat Marvel – it’s a giant behemoth,” he told The New York Times. “Let’s do something they can’t do.” 

What do you guys make of this latest round of reviews for Joker?

For a breakdown of the final Joker trailer, be
sure to click on the “View List” button below!

Arthur’s Laugh

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Joaquin Phoenix recently revealed that Arthur Fleck suffers from a condition which causes him to spontaneously burst into laughter, and that’s evident from this moment in the trailer. 

Looking at other scenes, it appears as if gets him into trouble on a number of occasions throughout the movie (and is probably why he gets beaten up on the subway). This realistic way of explaining the villain’s manic cackle is a smart move, and it’s fair to say that as sinister laughs go, Phoenix has absolutely nailed it. 

As the trailer continues, though, it quickly become apparent that Arthur is a damaged man… 

A Damaged Mind

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Talking to what appears to be a court appointed social worlker/therapist, it’s clear that Arthur is struggling with his already fragile psyche as he talks about only having “negative thoughts.”

The psychiatrist appears to be genuinely freaked out by her patient and she doesn’t want to see him again. No longer having someone to talk to might be part of why his psyche unravels, and Arthur watching over someone in a hospital bed points to him losing his mother (who he has an unhealthily close relationship with based on that shot of him bathing her in the teaser). 

This could also be where Zazie Beetz’s character comes in, but we’ll get to that a little later!


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Arthur dreams of being a stand up comic, but what looks like his big break actually turns into a horrible, humiliating experience. Late night talk show host Franklin Murray roasts Arthur and uses his failed set in a comedy club as a way of embarrassing him, something which clearly doesn’t go down well with the already unhinged comic (check out that look on his face). 

We know that Arthur – as “The Joker” – ends up appearing on Franklin’s show, and while we have no idea how he makes that happen, the dynamic between them has clearly changed at that point. 

Rumour has it that Joker will borrow a key moment from The Dark Knight Returns when he guns Franklin down on live television, but that would be a pretty underwhelming way for his story to end…unless, of course, seeing graphic violence like that on TV is what causes Gotham to descend into madness.


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The prevailing theory is that Arthur will have a creepy crush on his neighbour, but they seem to be getting on surprisingly well here. She’s certainly not fighting off his advances (despite how weird he looks) and it’s hard not to wonder whether she could end up being a new version of Harley Quinn!

Yes, that would be a departure from the comics, but she wouldn’t necessarily even have to share the same name and profession as her comic book counterpart.

It’s also possible that she might encourage him to head down his dark path, especially if she’s among Gotham City’s disenfranchised. This may very well be a fantasy sequence on Arthur’s part, but it’s hard to escape the feeling that everything we thought we knew about the two characters is actually going to be quite a bit different. We’ll just have to wait and see! 

A Revolution In Gotham City

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For whatever reason, it seems like Gotham City is really going to rally around The Joker and everything he represents. There’s clearly going to be a pretty strong political slant to this movie and the Clown Prince of Crime may very well be the man who gives the 1% a voice to share their displeasure with how the rich have control of the city. 

Putting some of the dots together, it looks like The Joker kills someone while wearing makeup or a mask, and that essentially goes “viral” in the press and encourages others to follow suit.

That means The Joker can blend into the crowd, and based on Arthur’s reaction in some of those shots, he appears to be very happy with the way Gotham is rallying around his cause. 

Thomas Wayne

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We know that Thomas Wayne will be running for Mayor in Joker, but something is going to lead to him crossing paths with Arthur Fleck. Returning to rumours from quite some time ago, that might be because Arthur’s mother tells him that she once had an affair with Thomas, which leads to him believing that the head of Wayne Enterprises must be his father.

Now, it would obviously be a bold move to make Arthur Bruce Wayne’s half-brother, but we know this movie will deliver a bold new take on the villain’s origin story, so it’s possible! 

Either way, Arthur’s condition really doesn’t seem to go down well with Thomas and the billionaire punches him. Now, he may have said or done something to deserve that, but this could also be an indication that Thomas won’t be a particularly sympathetic character here. 


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Gotham City will seemingly be under siege in Joker and these cops (who are in hot pursuit of Arthur) feel the wrath of its citizens. The masks confirm that they’re all part of the Clown Prince of Crime’s new following, while it looks like the entire city will rally against those in charge. 

What the outcome of that will be is hard to say, but if this movie is an origin story for Gotham as well as the titular character, then maybe Arthur’s actions are what lead to it becoming such a terrible place?

With him there to show people that they can basically do whatever they like, normal people might become more accepting of the maniacs who one day terrorise them while battling The Batman, and it’s also feasible that he’ll inspire a whole new generation of monsters. Either way, director Todd Phillips clearly has a lot of big ideas on the table. 


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We still don’t know how The Dark Knight’s version of The Joker got his scars, but we do know that this take on the Harlequin of Hate decides that he will be known as “Joker.” Franklin Murray looks thoroughly perplexed and something tells us that these two will write Arthur off…much to their regret a little later that evening! 

Marc Maron’s role is said to be a small one and based on this, he’s probably a producer of some sort.

The question is, if The Joker is a wanted man at this stage in the proceedings, why would Murray have him on his show? There have been an awful lot of supposed plot leaks for Joker, but chances are this tale won’t play out quite the way most of us expected…

Continue scrolling below to check out some
hi-res screenshots from the final Joker trailer!

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