Alex Lucey’s review published on Letterboxd:
I need to be clear when i say this; Despite my rating and review, this is a very good movie and I highly recommend it to everyone (provided that they are over 16) but i personally do not like it. And no, it has nothing to do with the controversy about its portrayal of violence and ''it being the cause of mass shootings''.
I'll start with the positives. Joaquin Phoenix deserved every award he won for this movie. His performance is one of the reasons that this film is so beloved and rivals Heath Ledger for the best live action Joker. He manages to perfectly portray Arthur as a man who we should feel sorry for because of all the crap that he goes through and how people treat him. At the same time however we know that we should not sympathize with this character due to his actions and his inevitable fate.
The film's score is also one of the better ones I've heard last year. As well as including great songs like 'Send in the Clowns' and 'That's Life' the Score by Hildur Guðnadóttir manages to be cinematic, chilling and triumphant for Arthur when it needs to be.
This film is very well made in general and i don't have any flaws with it on a technical level. The cinematography, lighting, set and costume design and acting is all very good and makes 1980s Gotham City feel like a real place that (like Gotham should be) no sane person would want to live due to the corruption and awful inhabitants.
Now for my problems with the movie. First of all none of the other performances stand out due to Joaquin carrying this film on his back. Talented actors like Zazie Beetz and especially Robert De Niro feel wasted in the small roles that they're given and I feel that other actors could have easily replaced them and no one would have minded.
Also this isn't a problem with the movie itself but the stupid memes that came from this movie. Arthur dancing down the stairs and the final line 'You wouldn't get it' have been memed to death and while i wouldn't mind memes about a film that i enjoyed, all of these just soured my experience, and now i can't watch these scenes with a straight face anymore.
My final problem is mainly my fault, I just don't enjoy dark and depressing movies. Even though I appreciate the craft that goes into these movies, everyone has those films that they just can't get into. I knew that i wouldn't enjoy this film as much as most people going into it due to the nihilistic and somber tone. In general this is a film that i appreciate more than I like.
Joker is a film that is not for me. It's a movie that I know contains some of the best scenes and best lead performance of 2019 but is not a film that I like to re-watch. Even though I highly recommend that you watch this movie. You have to know what you're getting into.
(I just wanted to explain my star review for this movie. Like most people, i enjoy well made ''good'' movies and i don't enjoy poorly made ''bad'' movies and my star ratings reflect my enjoyment of said movies. On the cases that i get a very well made movie that i don't like (This movie for example) or a poorly made movie that i love (Like The Room) my rating will not be indicative of the film's quality. I will mention this at the start of the review for any other movie that falls into this category)