Joker (2019) In Joker, a film that was expected to be yet another comic book film filled with over-the-top action, director Todd Phillips instead manages to slip social commentary seamlessly into a narrative that focuses on poverty and mental illness rather than the meaningless, fun-to-watch scenes that are associated with the genre of comic book films. The line Phillips walks with Joker is a thin one; some believe the film has gone too far, claiming that it promotes the narrative of white incels and glamorizes the violent behavior portrayed. Yet the film’s underlying message revolving around a corrupt society that ostracizes those in poverty with mental illnesses speaks not to those looking for inspiration, but to those who are blind to the everyday issues that plague the lower class. Joker pushes aside the goal of pleasing audiences with intense action and lovable heroes to instead posit a question: What might happen should a society of wealth ignore its suffering masses? The film’s response, while dark and violent, entertains audiences as they search for the answer alongside main character Arthur Fleck. In short, Joker should be watched—and deserves its eleven nominations at the Academy Awards—for the message of warning it provides its viewers via the artistic platform of film.