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Parent reviews for Joker

Common Sense says

Bleak, violent, powerful; not your typical comic book movie.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 73 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 96 reviews
Adult Written bySadman October 4, 2019

Amazing film for mature viewers

Years ago I attended the premiere of the first Jurassic Park and witnessed a mother who'd brought her young kids go ballistic as she'd been led to believe the film would feature "Barney-like dinosaurs." It was a breathtaking example of "didn't do the research." With Joker I feel the same - anyone who takes a kid to this expecting even a Ledger-style Joker story clearly hasn't seen the trailer or done any research. This is an R-rated movie for language and violence (not sex; people are overreacting to some of the subtle moments - there is no sexual content in this film of any note and I didn't even seen one of the moments cited by the CSM review.) For mature viewers (I'm putting 13 but I could have watched this when I was 12) this is a rewarding, uncomfortable film that asks serious questions. It's a film that takes a bat to both ends of the political spectrum, while both reaffirming and reinventing aspects of the Joker dating back 80 years. At times it feels like a David Lynch film, at others a Quentin Tarantino film. At times it feels like Network, at others Falling Down, at others Taxi Driver. If I have one criticism it's that the film perhaps reflects too many of these forbears, in much the same way James Cameron's Avatar felt like a revisiting of many of the themes and characters from his previous films like Aliens. But this isn't enough to stop me from giving this a full 5 stars. Joaquim Phoenix's performance is one of the most amazing I've seen on screen in a decade and is (with no disrespect intended to the late actor) far superior to Heath Ledger's version. Ledger earned a well-deserved Oscar for playing Joker a decade ago; Phoenix deserves the same, with Joker itself I think a strong contender for Best Picture and Best Director, too. If the alternate-universe X-Men film Logan was the first comic book film that was also a piece of cinematic art, Joker is the second. One thing I need to touch on: some of the left-leaning media are trying to paint this film as some sort of anti-social justice warrior or pro-incel manifesto. It is nothing of the sort. It delivers serious criticism to both the right and the left, and to society in general. And people forget that this is the origin story of a villain - the same villain who (to give only one example) is destined to paralyze Batgirl in order to get back at her father (Commissioner Gordon) and do any number of flat-out evil things. What the film does do is paint Joker's evil with shades of grey, and it does so without violating the integrity of the character. I highly recommend it, especially to those who don't take comic book movies seriously - just leave the little kids at home and judge the maturity level of your older ones before taking them. BTW although the icons are labeled "Too much violence", "Too much swearing", I actually think for the context of this film that the amount is just right - actually, I was expecting more violence and admired how this was used sparingly, increasing the impact. The swearing level just reflects normal speech in which people do use the F word now and then (and the script doesn't appear to include any stronger words).

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byStudio27b October 4, 2019

Joker...It's No Joke

Watched with my two sons, 18 and 21.

Okay, wow. First off, try not to dismiss this review due to its star rating. I've seen some folks post really odd reviews who obviously have not seen the film. I'm not writing this to rag on the film or to praise it. It's simply an honest review I hope will be helpful.

There is some immodesty in this film though not your normal sources. I don't recall seeing any low blouses or things like that but Arthur (Joker later) does carry a notebook containing his thoughts. Be careful when he pulls it out. You'll want to avoid watching when he is in a counseling session early in the film. He hands it to the lady and she thumbs through it. Other reviews say it has immodest images in it. About a quarter of the way through the film he is starting a standup routine and the journal opens up to show a pretty bad photo (not a drawing). It's avoidable if you know it's coming. My sons and I would say "look away." :) There is more immodesty on some of the billboards/signs on the street. Be careful in the street scenes. It's avoidable if your cautious. Another review says there could be blurred magazine covers in a street scene but we don't recall seeing them so they could be more of a background thing. Arthur does move around his apartment a couple times in a pair of really loose fitting underwear (brief style). Though he passionately kisses a girl he likes, nothing more than that ever happens. There is a scene where he is giving his elderly mom a bath (non sexual). Another review says she is only seen from the back. We looked away so we wouldn't be able to confirm that, but I trust it.

The F word is used sporadically throughout the film. One reviewer counted 30 uses. Other profanity is used as well. Some is in the background of crowd scenes.

There isn't a lot of violence, but the violent acts are pretty dark. Arthur is a very troubled man who is unsuccessfully dealing with mental illness. As such, his violent outbursts can be pretty unpredictable and disturbing. The other part about the violence is that it is never resolved in a positive way. There is no justice, instead those who would support justice are portrayed in unflattering ways. That concerns me. When a producer intentionally leaves out a "justice resolution" or even a grace one, they have decided to leave the audience with that emptiness. Food for thought.

I don't recall seeing anyone actually drinking alcohol but there was a ton of smoking. It was pretty much throughout the whole film.

Well, I wouldn't watch it a second time. It really made me think a lot about how our society can directly impact the way a person develops. Treat them wickedly and they may just end up resembling wickedness. Treat them with kindness and you may be able to completely change their future. We get to choose. Choose wisely.

Oh, and my wife was right. She's such a smart lady!

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Adult Written byEric Serrene October 3, 2019

Joker is a powerful masterpiece, but it isn't for everyone...

Joker is, without a doubt, one of the best movies produced. In my opinion, it succeeded in attacking real-world violence and in the portrayal of mental illness. Joaquin Phoenix's acting in this movie is outstanding, and I cannot think of any person who could have done it better. This movie pushes the limits on what you can do with a classic comic book character, and I loved it.
However, parents and just anyone interested in this movie should know that Joker is a very dark film. It does not compare to movies like Pulp Fiction in any of its contained parts, despite what some parts of the movie media will say, but it is still very violent. The main character, Arthur Fleck, has a mental illness that was directly caused by all of the trauma he experienced throughout his life, whether it be physical, social, or emotional. The streets of Gotham are dangerous, and Arthur is under abuse by many people. The movie could not only be considered disturbing because of violence level (i.e. shootings, car crash, brutal beatings, gory stabbings) but because of the mental degradation of Arthur Fleck as the story moves along. This especially comes when the person who Arthur admires (not going to say his name yet just so no spoilers) publicly shames him on television, shattering his dreams. Arthur's mind starts on a downward spiral, and he eventually becomes a sort of a psychopath.
Some parts of the media say that Joker may end up calling all the mentally unstable or broken people out and that they will end up killing people, but I disagree. This movie is not for everyone, and some may end up seriously perturbed by this movie, but if you can push through all of that, you can watch the best movie of 2019.
As for the sex, there is kissing, nude photos briefly glimpsed when a notebook is gone through, and porno theatre ad signs that contain suggestive messages. Really not much if you are mature. Smoking is everywhere, and the main character smokes. Prescription meds are given to Arthur by a medical professional for his mental illness as well. Swearing includes f**k, s**t, a**, a**hole, prick, and variations of a few. There are really not many good role models, considering that even the main character ends up turning into a psycho, but some messages can be considered good. "Put on a happy face" is an expression used in the film, and has a prevalence throughout it, and is a good suggestion for real-life considering, although it could be taken to an extreme by some.
I recommend that non-adults should be at least 14+ if they are somewhat mature, but immature non-adults should be 16+. Considering me as a child, I was hyper-mature and very intelligent. I would have watched this at 11, maybe 12, but not many should watch it at that age if they are not mature. The majority of non-adults should be 14+, in my opinion.
Like I said before, this is a great movie, but it isn't for everyone. I found it to be the best movie of 2019, and if a daresay, my favorite movie of all time. Joaquin Phoenix is by far the best Joker, surpassing even Heath Ledger (RIP).
If you are a Joker fan, you must watch this movie.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byMom53 October 6, 2019


This movie is getting a lot of reviews on the gore and violence. I have seen tv shows with worse/ more graphic violence. This movie also has been called “disturbing”, I believe for the wrong reasons. To me it was extremely sad. It shows a realistic decline of a mentally ill and poor man who was bullied, abused and had one bad thing after another happen to him. He really doesn’t start out as evil or vile. His struggles are real and he is a “throw away”, citizen. Overlooked and ignored. The movie is thought provoking and brings to light how a society “helps” and treats our less fortunate, “unimportant “ citizens. My husband and I kept discussing it-hours after we watched it. It would be fine for mature teens-not because of the few violent scenes, or even subject matter- but some may be bored if they are wanting an action packed, comic book feel. It is more cerebral and thought provoking.
Adult Written byStarweek October 3, 2019

Best Movie of 2019 so Far....

I had the opportunity to see this movie early. I went to watch it with my 13 year old son as he love the Batman universe. I was a bit nervous for him and offered to cover his eyes or leave early if he got scared or found it too mature for him. I am normally very strict when it comes to these things but I said that since he saw the dark knight he might be able for this. The movie is BRILLIANT!! It is perfect and jauquin Phoenix’s performance is more than Oscar worthy. The movie tackled the problem of mental illness and crime. It really goes deep into the character study of the joker rather than another origin/ comic book type movie. Arthur Fleck is a man with a disability that makes him laugh unnecessarily and what seems to be depression caused by abuse and exclusion from society but when he is publicly shamed for his comedy by his idol comedian Murray Franklin ,he falls over the edge and gets invited to Murray’s show (To be made fun of)The movies Gore/Blood is what you would expect for a DC movie. Not too much but not too little either . The language was limited but was used often enough. The main swears were f**k s**t and c**t but weren’t used in unrealistic manners and were often used to emphasize the script. The plot was perfectly surprising and didn’t leave me bored at anytime! It was wonderfully dark but very sad overall as it was a tragedy that could have been prevented . Afterwards my 13 year old said that he loved it and didn’t really seem to be affected by it however he has talked about it for the last 5 days and wants to see it again. I would say a very mature 12 year old would be fine. Overall everyone should see this movie if they can as it is a masterpiece and I can only wonder how DC is going to develop in the future.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Adult Written bynatedotvirno October 7, 2019

One of the best films this decade, but you're stupid if you bring your kid.

I honestly thought this movie was incredibly well done and I would consider it one of the best this decade, let alone the best for 2019. However...

It bothered me when I saw parents bringing their kids in opening night. I am all for kids viewing cinema and evaluating art just like anyone else. Most movies, I wouldn't care so much about a parent bringing their young son or daughter into the film. But the fact that

a) this film is rated R,

b) a lot of the substance of the film is in the message, political allegories, and mature subject matter and those contents would flight right over a kid's head, and

c) the gritty tone of the film isn't meant for the typical viewer in any way, shape, or form

should tell parents right off the bat that their kids should not be taken to see this film. Don't get me wrong, the film was amazing! It's just not for kids in the slightest.

Now, this film wasn't as ultra violent as a lot of people make it out to be. It's not the violence or the bloodshed that make this movie as sinister as it is. There are only three major scenes involving murder, and those are spread apart fairly wide throughout the film's two hour run time. The disturbing nature is more so found in the main character's behavior and the justification of his actions and crimes. The fact that normal adults find this disturbing is not surprising, nor is it abnormal. The film is dark, brooding, and disturbing, and when I saw news articles explaining that people were walking out of the movie due to the unsettling nature of its narrative, I was not surprised, nor do I judge them.

Joker is a fantastic film, and poses various philosophical questions both about our society and the consequences to not only Arthur's actions, but to the environment's actions around him as well. I loved the way it was approached, although I do not agree with some of the main take away's the film had. With that being said, none of these things presented in the film are going to make sense to a kid. It's not supposed to. Honestly, I think there are high school aged kids who wouldn't even catch some of the deeper themes of this film.

TL;DR version: Fantastic film, but you're wasting your child's time and your money if you take them to see it. If you decide to see it (which I say "go for it") use the extra $15 towards a babysitter. To be honest, you'll probably need to take a bath after the film is done.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byMohacas September 14, 2019

Know the difference between R/MA15+ movies before taking your kids

Parents, before you take your kids to go see Joker, keep in mind that unlike other DC/Marvel films, this DC film is rated R for "bloody violence", or MA15+ if you're in Australia. It's important first to know the common difference between PG-13 and R/MA15+, PG-13 action films tend to have "bloodless carnage" or some brief blood in action scenes, while R/MA15+ tends to have more bloodshed in the action scenes and sometimes gory. Not recommended for the ordinary 12 year old who goes to Marvel/DC movies, but older audiences that can handle more realistic violence, especially in live action.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written bySkeptic727 October 9, 2019

Phenomenal Acting

An excellent, thought provoking film about the formation, and reasons why, some people become mad. You become mad also, empathizing with Arthur Fleck, because you feel his pain in the sick society, Gotham, and America itself, has become. A tragic tale of an abused child, that becomes an abused man, and his psychological struggle to deal with it. An endearing character played by Phoenix, but then again morose and diabolical. This is not appropriate for viewers that are uneducated, as it’s incendiary message is dangerous. A statement about what we in our society, have allowed, and to a certain extent, accepted. Thought provoking, and a questioning of our responsibility for causing such anger and pain.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byArod12 October 6, 2019

Very good movie with good acting

This movie is not your typical superhero movie, but I’d say that mature 12 year olds could see this movie. It is very dark and violent but it’s not as bad as some people think.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written bylpetlock October 4, 2019

Cinematic genius. Incredible masterpiece. A brilliant work of art. Joaquin Phoenix is beyond perfect as the Joker.

Incredible masterpiece. I'm going to see it three times. Reminded me of Taxi Driver, except its even more powerful and stunning with respect to what it achieves. The film recently won the top prize as the Best Film of the Venice International Film Festival. It is a brilliant work of art with a musically empowering score. Joaquin Phoenix is beyond perfect as the Joker.
Adult Written byIsaac2005678 October 3, 2019

It The Best DC MOVIE EVER!!!!

WAtch it its very good

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byjmill0408 October 9, 2019

Troubling but real depiction of mental illness

This movie is very slow but gradually builds the tension. By the end I was on the edge of my seat. There were a lot of troubling themes in this film but very little sexuality.
Adult Written byInuzukaKana October 8, 2019

Joaquin Phoenix's Rendition of the Joker is My Favorite, and Here's Why

One thing that I think people forget is that this was written as a stand alone movie, a "character study", separate from the usual line of DC work. I've seen a lot of butt-hurt adults going, "this isn't the Joker", and well, you're partially right. It's not the traditional Joker. But it's not a bad Joker, and I think people really miss a lot of the character.
Things parents should be concerned about aren't kids taking on Joker attributes. I've seen a lot of articles on this, that Joker encourages violent behavior by sensationalizing it, but I agree with Phoenix's assessment in that talking about it that way is sensationalizing it. In watching it, I felt empathy for Arthur, but I am not about to go and kill a lot of people because of it, regardless of how much I can relate to his character. The point of this movie is very strong and important and not to be looked over. Which is what a lot of people are doing.
Guys, the main point is empathy. Don't try to make it about sensationalizing violence. People don't complain about the violence in James Bond movies or Deadpool to this extent, do they? That's what I thought.
I was surprised by the lack of violence. I thought it was going to be WAY worse than it was, with how people were talking about it. The first three kills are in self defense, which are very fast and not drawn out, first of all, and the bloodiest thing about the movie is probably the stabbing, in which you just see a lot of blood and not so much gore. I was almost disappointing in the lack of violence. Cussing was what I thought made it truly R; he drops the f bomb more times than I cared to count, but I don't really care about language as it's becoming less of an issue in younger generations anyways. Your kids will cuss more than characters ever will in one screening of a movie. The "nudity" is extremely brief; Arthur is flipping the pages of a notebook (where a nude girl has been glued in) and you barely catch anything. And, guys, you can ALWAYS SKIP.
The movie is intentionally uncomfortable. It's supposed to make you think about how you treat others and how you yourself handle the issues that Arthur and other characters face. While the material is a little heavier for those under 14, I would say that it is heavy because they wouldn't understand what was going on to the extent that the movie would do more harm than good, and it WILL do good to someone above that age.
Phoenix does an amazing job. Joker is surely one of his best roles, and he did the absolute best anyone could possibly have done with a backstory on the Joker.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byJosh R. October 5, 2019

Amazing movie!

This was one of the best movies I've ever seen in my life. If you're fine with realistic violence then you'll love it.
Adult Written byCasonBrix October 4, 2019

Joker review for parents

Good movie for teens not to graphic
Adult Written byNoura zein October 10, 2019


Honestly it is horrible and sick, not suitable even for my 16 years’ old kid. If it were up to me not for kids whatsoever. I found it sickening as an adult. A lot of blood and killing either by guns or stabbing with a scissors. I hated it ...

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byMollyy October 4, 2019

Gifted Talent

Very few actors can take a somewhat dry and bizzare script and make it a possible Oscar nominated film. After watching Joaquin Phoenix's outstanding performance in this film, I could not help think of Tom Hanks acting in "Cast Away". no matter if someone is talking to a basketball or playing a mentally unhealthy clown, the very talented actor will keep your interest throughout the film.
Adult Written byJo12345 November 20, 2019

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byBroxton November 19, 2019

A film about a man who tried to smile through pain, until pain made him smile.

First of all, this was a pure masterpiece of a film.

Unfortunately, it had received some poor reviews on several sites, most of which are innacurate. It is disapointing to see how ignorant some people are these days.

This film simply shows the fact that everyone is born good, it's society that defines them good or evil. Unlike many of the "superhero" genre, this film does not fail to develop a strong message about our society. This film shows a story, a story which is absolutely realistic and could very much happen in society. It tackles mental ilness and shows what some people go through every single day.

There are some very dark moments in this film, however violence is not frequent, but when it happens, it's quite strong.

The language is quite strong and fairly frequent with many uses of the "f" word, "s" word and so on.

Generally I'd reccomend this film to someone who is mature, about 15+. This really was a moving film, with absolutely incredible acting and very strong emotions. I'd even say it was better than endgame. Honestly. It's really worth watching, but do not expect lots of action like most "superhero" movies have.
Adult Written byGianvito November 17, 2019