joker rated R

It had been assumed that Todd Phillips‘ Joker would end up with an R rating, and now it’s official: the MPAA has given the Joaquin Phoenix anti-comic book flick the very adult rating. That’s right: this movie is so damn twisted that only adults will be able to handle it. According to the R rating, Joker is going to deliver “strong bloody violence” and more. Hide the kids!

What caused the Joker R rating? The following: “Strong bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language, and brief sexual images.” That certainly fits with the way the film is being sold – not as just another comic book movie, but rather a dark, Martin Scorsese-inspired character study aimed at adult audiences. And if you need a better idea of how twisted the Joker movie is, just take a gander at this excerpt from the script.

Wow! This ain’t your granddaddy’s Joker! In all seriousness, I’m incredibly curious to see how the hell this turns out. While I’m tempering my expectations simply because I’m not the biggest Todd Phillips fan, I am excited to see what Joaquin Phoenix does here. Phoenix is a phenomenal actor, and even if the rest of Joker is somehow a disaster, I’m 100% confident that he’ll turn in a great performance.

One thing is for sure: Warner Bros. has a lot of faith in the film. Not only are they clearly aiming for awards season recognition with an October release date, they’re also debuting the film at several film festivals. It’ll premiere at the Venice Film Festival at the end of this month, and next month it’ll play at both the Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival.

The official TIFF page for Joker offers up insight into how the movie is being viewed by some:

Shocking in its originality and intensity, Joker is a game changer for so-called comic book movies. Showcasing a fully immersed performance from Joaquin Phoenix and a new vision of world building, Todd Phillips’ latest is an unsettling, exciting portrait of the villain we thought we knew.

Part of the pleasure of watching Joker stems from its technical brilliance. Its production design and cinematography capture the supersaturated grit of a rotting Gotham. Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy and Taxi Driver course quite recognizably through the film’s veins. And Hildur Guðnadóttir’s score contributes to the feverish effect. This movie is proof that even the most familiar can begin anew.

Joker and its strong bloody violence hits theaters October 4.

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