Joker is now in theaters, after surfing a wave of controversy in its pre-release screenings and press junkets. While initial reviews for the film were overwhelmingly rave, as Joker got closer to release day critical opinion became more divisive, to the point that the film was oscillating in and out of its "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, after the opening night screenings of Joker, audiences are getting the chance to weigh in, and it seems the fan consensus is a lot more positive than the critical one. As of writing this, Joker has scored a 93% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to its 69% critical score.
So what are people saying about Joker? Here's a spattering of excerpts from the latest RT audience reviews:
"I love the visuals and acting, amazing work. Jaquem Phoenix kills this portrayal. A must see!" --Vasile Wilcox
"Joaquin was incredible, the story was perfect. It felt accurate and was the perfect origin story for everyone’s favorite villain. Ah the ode to the late Heath Ledger, when he’s in the cop car... BRILLIANT!" --Anonymous
"Masterclass in acting and directing!" --Tiffany S
That's a pretty good snapshot at what the majority of fan reviews are saying, but it not the total story of how people are receiving Joker. Some viewer reviews like, "Inspiration to us all," by "Fem Boy" give pause, as Joker has come with a stigma of fear that the film could actually "inspire" real-life mentally ill people to act out.
Finally, there are viewer reviews that take a much deeper examination of what Joker is all about, and those don't tend to be quite as glowing as a lot of the others:
"It's a good origin story and a good movie overall, but it lacks a moral lesson. In the end hate wins and violence perpetuates more violence. I went in wanting to believe there was a logical reason to side with The Joker on his beliefs, but I ended up unable to, it's just a story of another abused, traumatized kid who ended up taking it on others as he grew into an adult. A good movie nonetheless and as I stated a good origin story for sure, but it can hardly stand alone as an impactful film for those unfamiliar with the comics." --Anonymous
And as always, there are those who feel more in line with those negative critical reviews:
"The movie was ok at best. Definitely didn't live up to the hype. But I have to give credit where credit is due, Phoenix acted his ass off and made a great joker(minus the laugh). To me it's not worth seeing at the theater but if your bored on the weekend or looking to kill time then give it a shot." --Not bad, but not good3comments
You can check out the full breakdown of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
Joker is now in theaters. Upcoming DC Movies include Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.