Joker doesn’t even arrive in theaters for general audiences until October 4, but a month out from its release, we are already starting to get a picture of how the film is shaping up critically. Todd Phillips’ film, starring Joaquin Phoenix as Batman’s iconic archenemy, premiered in competition at the Venice Film Festival, and the first round of reviews has hit the web. And while there are many reviews still to come, Joker is doing quite well on Rotten Tomatoes so far.
As of this writing, Joker currently sits at 87% on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer with 39 critic reviews counted. That score breaks down to 34 fresh reviews and 5 rotten reviews, indicating that the majority of critics who have seen the film liked it, but the acclaim is not as universal as one might hope. Still, at the moment, a month out from release, 87% is a positive score to start off with.
There are a lot of reviews still to come once Joker gets closer to release and screens for more critics, but 87% based on early reviews bolsters the chances that this film winds up fresh when all the reviews are counted. There have been high hopes and expectations for Joker to not just be a great comic book movie, but a great movie period, and the current Rotten Tomatoes score does not dissuade from that narrative.
Although this movie is not part of the DCEU, if this 87% were Joker’s final score, it would rank third among DC’s most recent films. The only two DCEU films with Tomatometer scores higher than 87% are Wonder Woman with 93% and this year’s Shazam! with 91%. It is also shaping up vastly better than the last DC film to feature Joker, Suicide Squad, which, despite being an Oscar-winning film (Best Makeup and Hairstyling), landed at 27%.
The Tomatometer score for Joker could and will fluctuate once more reviews are counted and the film could move up or down depending on how it is received once more people get eyes on it. That will be quite interesting to watch because the majority of critics have viewed it favorably, including CinemaBlend's own Eric Eisenberg in his review, with some even calling a masterpiece.
However, others have not been so kind, calling Joker garbage. So there will be some strong opinions on this one, and based on the early reactions, it’s destined for controversy and conversation. Whichever way the wind blows for most of the reviews will ultimately determine if Joker winds up fresh, and furthermore, how fresh.
It is important to remember, though, that 87% is not a grade for the film itself, it is merely an aggregation of critical sentiment, representing the percentage of critics that gave the film a positive review. For more perspective on the actual grades it is getting, we can turn to Metacritic.
Joker currently sits at a 75 on Metacritic based on 18 critics. The site has counted 13 positive reviews, four mixed reviews and one negative review. It seems like the majority of the positive reviews are positively glowing, while some critics almost weren’t sure how to feel about it and a small minority outright loathing it. We’ll get a clearer picture of what the general consensus on Joker is closer to release, but for now the signs mostly point to the film being a critical success.
You can judge Joker for yourself when it opens in theaters on October 4. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all this fall’s biggest movies.