By Scott Wood, Staff Writer/Artist

In the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame, it is safe to say that an original take on a superhero or villain is hard to come by; but I believe that Joker has made one of the most original and reality-grounded takes on the classic clown-faced villain to date. 

Joaquin Phoenix’s acting is truly incredible, and it’s refined to the point where every slight shift in his expression has some sort of significance. Things such as the Joker’s laugh are not only explained in a way that is feasible but in a way that also adds another layer of meaning to the film that would not otherwise be there. And while his acting is certainly fantastic, what truly makes this film a truly unique experience is how everything just fits together to create an experience that I can only really describe as being, for lack of a more refined term, “holistic.” 

Everything from the droning, anxious score juxtaposed against the ironic use of cheerful jazz, the unorthodox framing of shots, and the slow-burning story creates a filmgoing experience that is as intense as it is unique. If you are into gut-churning psychological thrillers, Joker offers one of the best to come out in recent years.