Joker movie poster

If there is a meaningful difference between performing and acting, Joaquin Phoenix surely exemplifies the former here, creepily contorting as the Clown Prince of Crime in Todd Phillips’ timely, toxic take on the Making of a Murdering Madman. (Timely because it seeks to tap into festering resentment on the part of the have-nots, toxic because it has those have-nots rallying behind a guy who shoots three douchebros on the subway. True, they were harassing a woman and assaulting the shooter, but while the audience knows that, the onscreen Army of Clowns does not.) Phoenix begins the film as Arthur Fleck, a sweet soul so pummeled by life that his chest is actually concave, a dutiful son who somehow provides for himself and his addled mother by clowning. He’d like to be a comedian, but as Mom reminds him, “Don’t you have to actually be funny for that?” Still, no harm in fantasizing, and while you’re at it, why not dream up a sympathetic neighbor lady who gets your vibe? (The lady is real enough; the relationship is…questionable.) But reality has a way of stepping in and stomping down on Arthur; Evelyn Waugh’s phrase “a blow upon the bruise” comes to mind as disaster follows discovery follows deception follows disaster… you get the idea. But here’s the funny part: the worse things get for poor Arthur, the straighter he stands, until finally, even his mental condition of laughing mirthlessly in stressful situations drops away. Good thing he stopped taking those meds that were denied him by an unfeeling system! One weirdly unbelievable ending is followed by another, this one not quite as unbelievable, but decidedly more disturbing — a little like the old Aristocrats joke. I endured that for this — ha ha? 2019.

Matthew Lickona

Showtimes

AMC Classic River Village 6

5256 Mission Road, Bonsall, 760-945-1365 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm

Tuesday, October 15

2:30pm, 5:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm

Wednesday, October 16

3:40pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm

AMC Fashion Valley

7037 Friars Road, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:30pm, 6:15pm, 7:15pm, 8:30pm

Tuesday, October 15

11:30am, 12:15pm, 1:15pm, 2:30pm, 3:15pm, 4:15pm, 5:30pm, 6:15pm, 7:15pm

Wednesday, October 16

11:30am, 12:15pm, 1:15pm, 2:30pm, 3:15pm, 4:15pm, 5:30pm, 6:15pm, 7:15pm

AMC La Jolla

8657 Villa La Jolla Drive, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm, 10:30pm

Tuesday, October 15

11:20am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm, 10:30pm, 11:00pm

Wednesday, October 16

1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:00pm, 6:00pm, 7:00pm, 8:00pm, 9:00pm

AMC Mission Valley

1640 Camino del Rio North, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:30pm, 6:15pm, 7:00pm, 8:30pm, 9:15pm

Tuesday, October 15

2:15pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:00pm, 5:45pm, 6:45pm, 7:45pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm

Wednesday, October 16

2:15pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:00pm, 5:45pm, 6:45pm, 7:45pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm

AMC Otay Ranch

2015 Birch Road, Chula Vista, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:15pm, 7:15pm, 8:15pm

Tuesday, October 15

2:15pm, 4:15pm, 5:15pm, 7:15pm, 8:15pm

AMC Palm Promenade

770 Dennery Road, Chula Vista, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:30pm, 6:20pm, 7:20pm, 8:05pm, 8:45pm, 9:30pm

Tuesday, October 15

12:15pm, 1:15pm, 2:20pm, 3:20pm, 4:20pm, 5:30pm, 6:20pm, 7:20pm, 8:05pm, 8:45pm, 9:30pm

Wednesday, October 16

12:15pm, 1:15pm, 2:20pm, 3:20pm, 4:20pm, 5:30pm, 6:20pm, 7:20pm, 8:40pm, 9:30pm

AMC Plaza Bonita

3050 Plaza Bonita Road, National City, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Monday, October 14

6:00pm, 7:30pm

Tuesday, October 15

12:30pm, 1:00pm, 2:20pm, 3:30pm, 4:00pm, 5:20pm, 7:00pm, 8:10pm

Wednesday, October 16

3:30pm, 4:00pm, 4:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm

AMC Poway 10

13475 Poway Road, Poway, 858-646-9423 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:00pm, 6:30pm, 8:00pm

Tuesday, October 15

1:30pm, 3:15pm, 4:30pm, 6:15pm, 7:30pm, 10:15pm

Wednesday, October 16

2:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm, 6:30pm, 8:00pm

AMC Temecula 10

27531 Ynez Road, Temecula, CA, 951-699-4970 | Directions

Monday, October 14

4:45pm, 6:15pm, 7:00pm, 7:45pm

Tuesday, October 15

1:45pm, 2:30pm, 4:45pm, 5:30pm, 7:00pm, 7:45pm, 8:30pm

Wednesday, October 16

1:45pm, 2:30pm, 4:45pm, 5:30pm, 7:00pm, 7:45pm, 8:30pm

Angelika Film Center & Café

11620 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, 858-207-2606 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:10pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:00pm, 9:15pm, 10:20pm

Tuesday, October 15

9:45am, 10:15am, 10:45am, 11:15am, 12:40pm, 1:10pm, 1:40pm, 2:15pm, 3:30pm, 4:00pm, 4:30pm, 5:10pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:00pm, 9:15pm, 9:40pm, 10:20pm

Wednesday, October 16

9:45am, 10:15am, 10:45am, 11:15am, 12:40pm, 1:40pm, 2:15pm, 3:30pm, 4:05pm, 4:30pm, 5:10pm, 6:30pm, 7:00pm, 7:30pm, 8:00pm, 9:40pm, 10:20pm

Thursday, October 17

9:45am, 10:15am, 10:45am, 11:15am, 12:40pm, 1:10pm, 1:40pm, 2:15pm, 3:30pm, 4:00pm, 4:30pm, 5:10pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:00pm, 10:20pm

ArcLight La Jolla

4425 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite H60, San Diego, 858-768-7770 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:10pm, 5:45pm, 6:30pm, 7:00pm, 7:45pm, 8:30pm, 9:15pm, 10:00pm

Tuesday, October 15

10:00am, 10:45am, 11:30am, 12:45pm, 1:30pm, 2:20pm, 3:15pm, 4:15pm, 5:10pm, 5:45pm, 6:30pm, 7:00pm, 7:45pm, 8:30pm, 9:15pm, 10:00pm

Wednesday, October 16

10:00am, 10:45am, 11:30am, 12:45pm, 1:30pm, 2:20pm, 3:15pm, 4:15pm, 5:10pm, 5:45pm, 6:30pm, 7:00pm, 7:45pm, 8:30pm, 9:15pm, 10:00pm

Thursday, October 17

10:00am, 10:45am, 11:30am, 12:45pm, 1:30pm, 2:20pm, 3:15pm, 5:10pm, 5:45pm, 8:30pm

Cinépolis Del Mar

12905 El Camino Real, Del Mar, 858-794-4045 | Directions

Monday, October 14

6:00pm, 7:00pm, 9:00pm, 10:00pm

Tuesday, October 15

12:00pm, 1:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 6:00pm, 7:00pm, 9:00pm, 10:00pm

Wednesday, October 16

12:00pm, 1:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 6:00pm, 7:00pm, 9:00pm, 10:00pm

Cinépolis La Costa

6941 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, 760-603-8638 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:45pm, 8:30pm, 10:15pm

Tuesday, October 15

11:45am, 1:00pm, 2:50pm, 4:00pm, 5:45pm, 8:30pm, 10:15pm

Wednesday, October 16

11:45am, 1:00pm, 2:50pm, 4:00pm, 5:45pm, 8:30pm, 10:15pm

Cinépolis Vista

25 Main Street, Vista, 760-945-7469 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:15pm, 6:10pm, 7:00pm, 7:20pm, 8:30pm, 9:00pm, 9:50pm, 10:10pm

Tuesday, October 15

10:30am, 10:50am, 11:30am, 12:35pm, 1:20pm, 1:40pm, 2:20pm, 3:20pm, 4:10pm, 4:30pm, 5:15pm, 6:10pm, 7:00pm, 7:20pm, 9:00pm, 9:25pm, 9:50pm, 10:10pm

Wednesday, October 16

10:30am, 12:35pm, 1:20pm, 1:50pm, 2:20pm, 3:20pm, 4:10pm, 4:45pm, 5:15pm, 6:10pm, 7:00pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:00pm, 9:50pm, 10:20pm

Edwards Mira Mesa

10733 Westview Parkway, San Diego, 858-635-7716 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:30pm, 6:50pm, 7:30pm, 7:50pm, 8:35pm, 9:40pm, 10:30pm, 10:50pm

Tuesday, October 15

11:30am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 1:30pm, 2:35pm, 3:05pm, 4:00pm, 4:30pm, 6:00pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 7:50pm, 9:05pm, 9:35pm, 10:30pm, 10:50pm

Wednesday, October 16

11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:35pm, 4:00pm, 4:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 7:50pm, 9:30pm, 10:30pm, 10:50pm

Thursday, October 17

11:30am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 1:30pm, 2:35pm, 3:05pm, 4:00pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:35pm, 9:40pm, 10:30pm

LOT

7611 Fay Avenue, La Jolla, CA, 858-777-0069 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:00pm, 5:30pm, 6:00pm, 7:45pm, 8:15pm, 8:45pm

Tuesday, October 15

11:30am, 12:15pm, 2:15pm, 3:00pm, 5:00pm, 5:30pm, 6:00pm, 7:45pm, 8:15pm, 8:45pm

Wednesday, October 16

11:30am, 12:15pm, 2:15pm, 3:15pm, 5:00pm, 5:15pm, 6:00pm, 7:45pm, 8:15pm, 8:45pm

Thursday, October 17

10:45am, 12:15pm, 1:30pm, 3:15pm, 4:15pm, 5:30pm, 6:00pm, 8:15pm, 8:45pm

LOT: Liberty Station

2620 Truxton Road, San Diego, 619-566-0069 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:00pm, 6:00pm, 7:45pm, 8:15pm, 8:45pm

Tuesday, October 15

11:30am, 12:30pm, 2:15pm, 3:15pm, 5:00pm, 6:00pm, 7:45pm, 8:15pm, 8:45pm

Wednesday, October 16

11:30am, 12:30pm, 2:15pm, 3:15pm, 5:00pm, 6:00pm, 7:45pm, 8:15pm, 8:45pm

Reading Cinemas Grossmont with TITAN XC

5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa, 619-465-3040 | Directions

Monday, October 14

4:45pm, 6:15pm, 7:00pm, 7:30pm, 9:15pm, 9:45pm, 10:15pm

Tuesday, October 15

10:15am, 11:15am, 1:15pm, 2:00pm, 4:00pm, 4:45pm, 6:15pm, 7:00pm, 7:30pm, 9:15pm, 9:45pm, 10:15pm

Wednesday, October 16

10:15am, 11:15am, 12:15pm, 1:15pm, 2:00pm, 3:15pm, 4:00pm, 4:45pm, 6:15pm, 7:00pm, 7:30pm, 9:15pm, 9:45pm, 10:15pm

Thursday, October 17

10:15am, 11:15am, 12:15pm, 1:15pm, 2:00pm, 3:15pm, 4:00pm, 4:45pm, 6:15pm, 7:30pm, 9:15pm, 10:15pm

Reading Cinemas Town Square

4665 Clairemont Drive, San Diego, 858-274-9994 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:05pm, 5:50pm, 7:00pm, 7:45pm, 8:30pm, 9:45pm

Tuesday, October 15

11:00am, 11:45am, 12:30pm, 1:40pm, 2:25pm, 3:10pm, 4:20pm, 5:05pm, 5:50pm, 7:00pm, 7:45pm, 8:30pm, 9:45pm

Wednesday, October 16

11:00am, 11:45am, 12:30pm, 1:40pm, 2:25pm, 3:10pm, 4:20pm, 5:05pm, 5:50pm, 7:00pm, 7:45pm, 8:30pm, 9:45pm

Thursday, October 17

11:00am, 11:45am, 12:30pm, 1:40pm, 2:25pm, 3:10pm, 4:20pm, 5:05pm, 5:50pm, 7:00pm, 7:45pm, 8:30pm, 9:45pm

Regal Carlsbad 12

2501 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, 844-462-7342 | Directions

Monday, October 14

6:00pm, 7:30pm, 9:00pm, 9:45pm, 10:10pm, 10:30pm

Tuesday, October 15

12:00pm, 1:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 4:30pm, 6:00pm, 7:00pm, 7:30pm, 9:00pm, 10:00pm, 10:30pm

Wednesday, October 16

12:00pm, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 3:00pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, 6:00pm, 7:00pm, 7:30pm, 9:00pm, 10:00pm, 10:30pm

Thursday, October 17

12:30pm, 1:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:00pm, 4:30pm, 6:00pm, 7:30pm, 9:00pm, 9:50pm, 10:30pm

Regal Escondido

350 West Valley Parkway, Escondido, 760-291-0119 | Directions

Monday, October 14

6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:45pm, 9:30pm, 10:15pm, 10:30pm

Tuesday, October 15

11:30am, 12:30pm, 3:00pm, 3:30pm, 4:00pm, 6:30pm, 7:00pm, 7:30pm, 9:30pm, 10:00pm, 10:30pm

Wednesday, October 16

11:30am, 12:30pm, 3:00pm, 3:30pm, 4:00pm, 6:30pm, 7:00pm, 7:30pm, 9:30pm, 10:00pm, 10:30pm

Regal Oceanside

401 Mission Avenue, Oceanside, 760-439-1327 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:00pm, 7:30pm, 8:00pm

Tuesday, October 15

1:00pm, 1:30pm, 2:00pm, 4:00pm, 4:30pm, 5:00pm, 7:30pm, 8:00pm

Wednesday, October 16

1:30pm, 2:00pm, 4:30pm, 5:00pm, 7:30pm, 8:00pm

Thursday, October 17

1:00pm, 1:30pm, 2:00pm, 4:00pm, 4:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:00pm

Regal Parkway Plaza

405 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon, 619-401-3456 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:00pm, 6:00pm, 7:00pm, 8:00pm, 9:00pm, 10:00pm

Regal Rancho del Rey

1025 Tierra del Rey, Chula Vista, 619-216-4707 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:30pm, 6:25pm, 7:00pm, 8:00pm, 8:30pm, 9:00pm, 9:30pm, 10:00pm

Tuesday, October 15

11:25am, 12:05pm, 1:05pm, 2:25pm, 3:20pm, 4:05pm, 5:30pm, 6:25pm, 7:00pm, 8:30pm, 8:55pm, 9:30pm, 10:00pm

Wednesday, October 16

11:25am, 12:05pm, 1:05pm, 2:25pm, 3:20pm, 4:05pm, 5:30pm, 6:25pm, 7:00pm, 8:30pm, 8:55pm, 9:30pm, 10:00pm

Thursday, October 17

11:25am, 12:05pm, 1:00pm, 2:25pm, 3:20pm, 4:00pm, 5:30pm, 6:25pm, 9:15pm

Regal Rancho San Diego

2951 Jamacha Road, El Cajon, 619-660-3483 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:00pm, 6:00pm, 6:30pm, 7:00pm, 8:00pm, 9:00pm, 10:00pm

Tuesday, October 15

11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:00pm, 6:00pm, 7:00pm, 8:00pm, 9:00pm, 10:00pm

Wednesday, October 16

11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:00pm, 6:00pm, 7:00pm, 8:00pm, 9:00pm, 10:00pm

Thursday, October 17

11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:00pm, 7:10pm, 8:10pm, 10:10pm, 11:10pm

Regal San Marcos

1180 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos, 760-471-3734 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:15pm, 6:00pm, 6:45pm, 8:20pm, 9:00pm, 9:40pm

Tuesday, October 15

11:15am, 11:55am, 12:35pm, 2:10pm, 2:50pm, 3:30pm, 5:15pm, 6:00pm, 6:45pm, 8:20pm, 9:00pm, 9:40pm

Wednesday, October 16

11:15am, 11:55am, 12:35pm, 2:10pm, 2:50pm, 3:30pm, 5:15pm, 6:00pm, 6:45pm, 8:20pm, 9:00pm, 9:40pm

Thursday, October 17

11:15am, 11:55am, 12:35pm, 2:10pm, 2:50pm, 3:30pm, 5:10pm, 6:00pm, 6:45pm, 9:00pm, 9:40pm

Santee Drive In

10990 Woodside Avenue North, Santee, 619-448-7447 | Directions

Monday, October 14

8:00pm

Tuesday, October 15

1:10am, 8:00pm

Wednesday, October 16

1:10am, 8:00pm

Thursday, October 17

1:10am, 8:00pm

South Bay Drive In

2170 Coronado Avenue, San Diego, 619-423-2727 | Directions

Monday, October 14

7:30pm

Tuesday, October 15

12:10am, 7:30pm

Wednesday, October 16

12:10am, 7:30pm

Thursday, October 17

12:10am, 7:30pm

UltraStar Mission Valley at Hazard Center

7510 Hazard Center Drive, San Diego, 619-685-2841 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:30pm, 7:00pm

Tuesday, October 15

11:00am, 11:45am, 3:15pm, 7:00pm

Wednesday, October 16

10:30am, 11:45am, 3:15pm, 5:30pm, 7:00pm

Thursday, October 17

11:00am, 11:45am, 3:15pm, 5:30pm, 7:00pm

Vintage Village Theatre

820 Orange Avenue, Coronado, 619-437-6161 | Directions

Monday, October 14

5:00pm, 8:00pm

Tuesday, October 15

2:00pm, 5:00pm, 8:00pm

Wednesday, October 16

2:00pm, 5:00pm, 8:00pm

Thursday, October 17

2:00pm, 5:00pm, 8:00pm

Comments

Sign in to comment