The Valero Verdict: Joker

Welcome to another edition of the “The Valero Verdict” movie review. In this I will give you a quick movie review with a couple of bullet points of which I either liked or disliked. I will end the review with rating of the movie and a short overall thoughts.

On the docket today, one of my most anticipated films of the year, Joker.

  • Plot: A gritty character study of Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society.
  • Directing/Writing: Todd Phillips

    Phillips dove really deep into the headspace of a dark subject matter that faces our society today. Mental illness is a real issue and I don’t think it shed light on the matter but rather showed the inside of a man that had the disease and how society shuns those who have this.

    Each act is better than the other, he dissects Arthur/Joker in a way that was truthful to the Joker all while bringing something original.

    He was so articulate with his writing, the way he made you feel every emotion with Arthur, the way he was able to psychically, emotionally and mentally take you down this path with this man was beautiful.
  • Acting: Joquain Phoenix

    Phoenix had some big shoes to fill in this role and while the role is different, he still had Ledger in the shadow.

    This performance is one you will remember for a lifetime. Phoenix has had some amazing performances in his career (Her, Walk the Line, The Master), this was the best of them all.

    The art of which you witness throughout this film was masterful, he embodied Arthur/Joker, with every gut-wrenching turn you felt what he felt. The range of emotions could not have been easy for him to tackle, but he did and did it with precision.
  • Score/Cinematography: Hildur Guðnadóttir & Lawrence Sher

    Normally I separate these two but honestly I have equally as amazing things to say about both. The score and the cinematography were both equally as haunting and beautiful as the dark tone of the movie.

    The Academy should recognize both of these gentleman for what they brought to this film.

    The color palette was beautiful, just the dark colors with the smallest hints of bright ones throughout the film was magical.

    The way the Score was synced with Arthur’s every move was truly something to watch, it felt like every motion he made meant something. I am in just awe of what these two guys were able to bring to the table.
  • Favorite Scene: The late night talk show scene. It was perfectly crafted, well executed and brilliant.

The Verdict

***** out of ***** gavels

Todd Phillips wrote and directed a masterpiece. This film was everything I wanted it to be and so much more. Every single frame of this movie meant something, whether it was the slow moving sequences with Arthur building up the anticipation of things to come or the masterful way he was able to shed light on a troubling issue within our society.

I applaud every single person that worked on this film because it still gives me chills thinking about how captivating certain parts of this movie truly was.

This movie is why I love movies, it was a beautiful piece of art that I will never forget.

Should You See It?: Absolutely. Phoenix portrayal will go down as one of the best performances of this generation. This movie is a MUST SEE in theaters.

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Tell me what you thought of the movie, hit me up on here or talk to me on Twitter@RickyValero_


  1. […] 5. JokerThis was the most beautifully haunting film of the year. Hildur Guðnadóttir score was poetic, powerful and haunting, just like the film. It’s not just the best score of the year, it’s one of the best of the decade. Joaquin Phoenix was masterful in this role which he should be on his way to collect his overdue Oscar in February for his work in this film.Check out my full review here: […]

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