Joker has critics predicting an Oscar for 'stunning' Joaquin Phoenix

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() Critics worldwide have heaped praise on the latest movie to explore the iconic DC Comics supervillain The Joker.

Joker sees Joaquin Phoenix play the titular character, with most lauding him as 'stunning' in the role, believing an Oscar could be on the cards for him in 2020.

Phoenix has been branded 'fearsome' and 'gripping' as he portrays the stand-up comedian-turned-oulaw in the first standalone movie to explore the villain's origin story.

No joke! Joker sees Joaquin Phoenix play the titular character, with most lauding him as 'stunning' in the role, believing an Oscar could be on the cards for him in 2020

No joke! Critics worldwide have heaped praise on the latest movie to explore the iconic DC Comics supervillain

No joke! Joker sees Joaquin Phoenix play the titular character, with most lauding him as 'stunning' in the role, believing an Oscar could be on the cards for him in 2020

The film - which is directed by Todd Phillips and was developed originally by Martin Scorsese - has racked up an impressive 87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, pre-release.

JOKER: THE EARLY REVIEWS ARE IN 

Phillips' vision of Gotham standing [is a] sharp relief [from] the same city portrayed by Christopher Nolan or Tim Burton

- Jim Vejvoda, IGN

This neo-noir psychological character stud is arguably the best -adjacent movie since The Dark Knight

– David Rooney, The Reporter

Undeniable style and propulsive charge... a film that looms and leers with nasty inexorability

– Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair 

The fact is, everyone is going to be stunned by what Phoenix accomplishes, because it's what many thought impossible — a portrayal that matches and potentially exceeds that of The Dark Knight's Clown Prince of Crime

– Mark Hughes, Forbes

Phoenix never lets us forget that a monster will soon emerge, but he's such a haunting figure that we lament when that transformation occurs. And although the actor skillfully illuminates Arthur's pre-Joker disintegration, he also proves to be a pretty terrific Joker during the film's final stretches

– Tim Grierson, Screen Daily 

Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson labels the movie as 'exhilarating' with an 'undeniable style and propulsive charge... a film that looms and leers with nasty inexorability'.

The Reporter's David Rooney pens that this 'grippingly atmospheric' film sees Phoenix 'bring pathos to a pathetically disenfranchised character'.

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He adds that there's a 'simmering psychosis' in the way the part is played and that this 'neo-noir psychological character stud is arguably the best -adjacent movie since The Dark Knight' which famously saw

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