I’m not ready to label Joker, The Hangover director Todd Phillips’ gritty look at Batman’s arch-nemesis, something as simple as “good.” Joker is problematic, transgressive, insulting, and it’s also probably art. At the risk of hyperbole, Joker might represent a new approach to popular cinema: This is a movie that works both for people who see it to luxuriate in the fearsome power of the Joker’s violence, and those who will instead see the character as pitiable. The fact that Joker works for both has me wondering if, going forward, more films will abandon a singular viewpoint. Phillips’ approach feels like a perfect fit for our current, polarized culture.

by Suzette Smith
Showtimes & Tickets


Todd Phillips
Robert De Niro, Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beetz