James S’s review published on Letterboxd:
Yes, it owes a tonne to Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy but Joaquin Phoenix is so damn good in this, it's hard not to appreciate the angle they are going for. To be honest, I was quite surprised how bleak and violent this was for a superhero movie, especially one that has made so much money at the box office. I'm not a huge fan of the VFX spectacle of most modern comic book movies so this is more up my alley, in terms of keeping my eyes open and glued to the screen.
I think those critics who bash the lack of depth compared to the former mentioned films maybe miss the fact this is still set in an established superhero universe and that balance is a fine line. I think for the most part in that aspect, Joker delivers well.
I'd love to see where they might take a sequel, as Joaquin is so good as The Joker. But would they go bigger, with perhaps grander set pieces and action, and is Todd Philips the appropriate director to take it there?