There’s a lot to unpack in “Joker” — about the roots of psychopathy and the thrill of violence, topics director Todd Phillips is unprepared to handle in his oppressively gritty and emptily self-important take on Batman’s greatest nemesis.
Let’s start with the positive, which is Joaquin Phoenix’s no-holds-barred performance as Arthur Fleck, a forgotten man in Gotham City. Arthur feels ignored by his social worker (Sharon Washington), who prescribes the meds he takes ever since being released from Arkham State Hospital, and covers his pain by convulsive, involuntary laughter. He even has a laminated card to explain this condition to strangers.
Read the full review at sltrib.com.