Joaquin Phoenix has stunned crowds around the world with his portrayal of the Joker in his latest film, which has been well reviewed by some critics. Joker also won the Gold Lion at the Venice Film Festival this year, the highest award a movie can get at the film festival. Joker also grossed an impressive 93.5 million dollars domestically on its opening weekend, which is the biggest opening of any movie this October. Currently, Joker sits at a 68% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes and 89% by the audience. Although the movie has been a huge win for DC and Warner Bros, it has generated a lot of controversy in the mainstream media. Many major media websites such as CNN have warned of possible shootings and acts of violence at showings of the movie.This was because of a violent shooting that happened in 2012 at the Aurora theater in Colorado at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. Despite the warnings and negative press, people still showed up to watch the film. In some theaters, clown makeup, masks, and costumes were banned. Many people who went to see Joker on opening night were greeted by multiple police officers inside and outside the theater. 

After the first couple days of the movie showing, the director of the film, Todd Phillips, responded to media criticism on the movie having a message on race. “What’s outstanding to me in this discourse in this movie is how easily the far left can sound like the far right when it suits their agenda. It’s really been eye-opening for me,” Todd Phillips told The Wrap, a popular entertainment website. Phillips has not said anything about the warning of a possible shooter but has responded to most of the media claiming that the movie had a message on race such as CNN, Vox, and Vice. Jeff Yang, an opinion writer at CNN, said “While many reviewers have focused on Fleck as an “incel” hero — his status as a sexless loner who turns to violence — the true nature of the movie’s appeal is actually broader: It’s an insidious validation of the white-male resentment that helped bring President Donald Trump to power.” After watching the movie I interviewed an anonymous movie viewer on this topic. This viewer did not agree that the film had racial undertones. Franklin senior Hazel Uchida enjoyed the movie, commenting that it did make political statements about economic class and mental health but not about race.

According to, Joker has made $572,724,004 at the Worldwide Box Office which is one of DC’s highest earning movies. Although the movie is experiencing controversy, viewers of Joker are not deterred by the negative coverage. Mainstream media may have jumped the shark on this DC makeover of the popular character the Joker.

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