Who Was The Better Joker? Ledger Or Phoenix?


Let the battle begin. With the arrival of director Todd Phillips’
long-awaited Joker movie, a new challenger has entered the arena in hopes of becoming
the new Best Joker Actor Ever. His name? Joaquin Phoenix. His game? Well, doing his job and delivering the chilling
kind of performance he knows is required of him, but possibly also dethroning the late
Heath Ledger in the process. Since the announcement of Joker, fans have
pit Phoenix and Ledger against one another, placing bets on whether or not the newcomer
could shock and scare audiences as the failed-comedian-turned-crazed-killer Arthur Fleck as much as Ledger did through
his turn in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. The debate over Phoenix and Ledger as the
Joker began months ago, but with the world finally able to see Phoenix strut his stuff
in clown makeup and a tattered suit, the fight is no longer theoretical. So, now that Joker has landed in theaters,
who played the character better: Joaquin Phoenix or Heath Ledger? Plenty of people were totally floored by the
work Phoenix did in Joker, so much so that they now consider him better in the role than
the late Ledger. Some even think Phoenix is the best Joker
actor point blank. “Are you having any negative thoughts?” “All I have are negative thoughts.” One Twitter user wrote: “With all due respect to previous Jokers and
to the great Heath Ledger, Joaquin Phoenix is the best Joker. He has everything it needs. We finally have a proper actor playing the
character in a very unfamiliar new shape. If Ledger’s a straight flush, Phoenix’s a
full deck.” Another fan tweeted: “I thought it would take a long time before
someone delivers Joker better than Heath Ledger. As it turned out it only took 11 years and
a certain Joaquin Phoenix.” This fan continued to gush over Phoenix’s
performance in another tweet, writing, “Joaquin Phoenix should get an Oscar, a golden
globe, an Olympic gold medal, a Nobel prize, a ballon d’or, Knighthood, a champions league
winner medal and a presidential medal of freedom for his performance as the joker.” Bollywood news & gossip site KoiMoi.com aimed
to settle the debate once and for all. Their breathless verdict? Phoenix wins, hands down: “Phoenix’s portrayal of Arthur Fleck is going
to be remembered for a lifetime. His portrayal is so powerful that after the
film was over I was so sucked into his world that I felt like I needed a good sleep. Phoenix’s performance makes you feel sorry
for being a part of this society and hence I say…Joaquin Phoenix'[s] Joker makes Heath
Ledger’s Joker even more badass than he was!” But, alas, there can be no Phoenix-Joker-lovers
without Phoenix-Joker-detractors. In the outlet’s comprehensive ranking of every
Joker, Polygon placed Ledger several spots higher than Phoenix, with Ledger coming in
second place behind Mark Hamill, who voiced the Ace of Knaves on Batman: The Animated
Series, and Phoenix coming in fifth just ahead of Suicide Squad actor Jared Leto. Polygon’s Susana Polo said of Phoenix’s turn
as the iconic comic villain: “His Arthur Fleck is impossible to look away
from, even when you desperately want to. Phoenix sways, grimaces, shuffles, and delivers
terrible, involuntary paroxysms of laughter even as he openly weeps. He just does it in service of a character
who isn’t particularly Joker-like, other than in the most superficial ways.” Comparatively, Polygon’s Patrick Willems wrote
that Ledger delivered a performance, quote, “so good it’s worth forgiving it for all the
terrible Halloween costumes and cosplays it inspired.” “Wanna see a magic trick? I’m gonna make a pencil… disappear.” On a different note, Jesse Hassenger of The
Week wrote that Phoenix’s version of the Joker falls short of not only the magnitude of Ledger’s
iteration, but also that of the power of every Joker actor who preceded him. Hassenger wrote: “Even an actor as gifted as Joaquin Phoenix
struggles with this. Todd Phillips’ new Joker is a vastly more
focused, disciplined undertaking than something like Suicide Squad, with a committed and often
mesmerizing performance from Phoenix. Yet it still often feels more like a composite
of influences than a real original…This is all very well-performed by Phoenix; it’s
also more indebted to Jokers past than the movie seems to understand. The movie wants desperately to make the Joker
feel real and resonant, and Phoenix does his best. But ultimately, this may mark another transition
for the Joker: a turning point from prestige role to party trick.” With so many different versions of the Joker
in existence, no singular take on the iconic villain can be universally heralded as the
best. There really is no “best” Joker actor, it’s
entirely subjective. That said, being able to find even a little
bit of greatness in each of them just shows how iconic the Clown Prince of Crime really
is. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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100 thoughts on “Who Was The Better Joker? Ledger Or Phoenix?”

  1. NOOOOPE!! Looper is wrong, as always. Ledger's the one that pushed it to what we've seen trying to portray from these other two jokers, pun intended.

  2. When the Dark Knight came out, I was mesmerized by Ledger's joker. He took it in a completely different direction and I loved his performance.

    With that said, after seeing JP's Joker, my jaw was on the floor pretty much the whole movie. This is some of the best acting I have ever seen! While I love both jokers, and each have their own distinct, and unique brand……I have to say I prefer JP's performance, personally. Not to disrespect Ledger at all, because he too was amazing.

    Remember, this is all opinion. There is not right or wrong answer, just your own opinion.

  3. Both of them have a brilliant acting but for some good reason I feel more familiar with Heath Ledger version

  4. Ledger was crazy from the beginning. He had power from the beginning. It was an amazing play from him but Phoenix had more work to do. His character was getting crazier scene after scene. He had to show madness piece by piece from soft to hard. Joker movie after the end made me thinkin bout it all night and the very next day. I never saw an actor playing a mental unstable person soooo gooooddd..it was like I was watching documentsry. Maestro actor

  5. I love phoenixs joker it was a master peace and its the best joker in his movie heaths joker wouldn't work in that movie and same with jp in dark Knight

  6. This is nonsense. Everyone knows Mark Hamill is the scariest Joker of them all.

    Tell me, Bats. What are you really scared off?

    Failing to save this cesspool of a city?

    Not finding the Commissioner in time?

    ME? IN A THONG?

  7. Comic lovers will choose Heath. Movie lovers who love to see an art of acting definitely choose Joaquin.

  8. Same character but different times in that character’s “career”. Ledger’s Joker was a great foil to Batman, but how would a movie fare with that character in every single scene of the movie, and no Batman at all? And would the Phoenix Joker be as menacing going up against Batman? Ledger’s was a blank slate with no info that the police could dig up on him, Phoenix’s is a guy who ran out of his meds and is fed up with the way society has treated him. Both amazing, both chilling, both completely different and almost impossible to compare.

  9. Joaquin was a better joker because he was more closer to reality then heath, even tho heaths performance was phenomenal and unforgettable His script made his character very comical and far from reality, there’s no way a lunatic could pull all of that off, but it is possible for a maniac to get a hold of a gun and go on a killing spree. Also Joaquins character had us feel human sympathy for him which makes his character more disturbing.

  10. As of now, heath's the best. Winning an award is waaaay too far from having none. As of now. But for me, both are the best. Joaquin's beginning and Heath's present.

  11. Heath ledger was soooooooo f'ing overrated, jared leto just plain sucked balls. Nicholson was awesome, Phoenix was brilliant. PERIOD!

  12. We can’t say which is better cuz they have different personalities but I prefer JOKER by Ledjer 😭✨ Really wanted to see more his act in dark knight.

  13. If I really have to pick which a joker I would pick ledgers joker. Phoenix joker is good but I felt ledgers joker is a bit scary. I felt likd he wasnt acting but was possessed by chaos and insanity, while Phoenix joker was just incredible acting

  14. Again, the point is, if we could swap the roles, ledger being put as joker in an origin story and Phoenix as a villain to Batman, the outcome could be different, ledger shared the stage with bale, phoenix had the stage to himself, not really an accurate comparison, but both legends👊🙌

  15. I paused this video at the beginning. I realized you cant compare the two. Joaquin played most of the movie as a man with mental illness and develops the character of the joker amazingly. This wasnt a movie about joker in his prime, it was mostly before. Had he had that opportunity I could compare him to Ledger. Ledger did an excellent portrayal of the joker in his prime. Two different stories, both of which were my favorite jokers ever. Seriously.

  16. J Phoenix's depiction of Joker was so relatable whether you're a psychopath or not. That is kind of a big deal. When you can invite the average person to experience so profoundly, the complexity in the metamorphosis which occurred here. Fucking masterful. I see you Phoenix as if for the first time. Pure raw talent. Oct 15th, 2019, finally a movie I actually want to purchase. Like if you agree. Hell like if you don't agree because HAAAHAAAHAHHHAHHAH… HA.

  17. They were different types of movies so they were the best for their style. The DK was a traditional DC movie. Joker was a drama about a mentally ill man.

  18. Heath Ledger Joker is the best but Joaquin Phoenix did a great job. The biggest difference between the two is Ledger was way more intelligent and came up with great plans and manipulated people to get the results he wanted and Pheonix was more he did things that he didn't intend would get the results that it did.

  19. phoenix hands down. It was chilling, disturbing and I couldn't take my eyes off only him. I will have to go back and watch it again to see the movie set

  20. If ledger was given this movie, how would he fare? I got so many catchy intimidating phrases that ledger does, and the way ledger laugh is better than phoenix. What is your opinion?

  21. All joker fans are worthy.i am the big fan of joker.always and forever.after phoenix new joker come and all joker fans tell i love new joker .you all are worthy

  22. Well you can’t actually compare since Heath’s Joker was post joker and Phoenix was pre joker and of him accepting the ‘joker’ inside him. Both were phenomenal!

  23. It's really not about who is better than who. If we compare it to the Joker material that had been made up until now, Ledger did the best Joker. Because the most epic thing about joker was always how big a mastermind he is. For years it was always about how or which crazy way Batman and Joker would top each other. Especially when Dark knight was written it showed a much more psychological side of Batman and in which he reflected himself upon the Joker time and time again. With Phoenix and Phillips the Joker we fill in a gap that was never written be4. They gave Joker more dimensions. We got to know alot more about Joker than previous which is insanely good. There are details that people can disagree on, but the execution is near flawless. Are the dimensions and xtra background story of the Joker "right"?? We wont know until more discussions and more material towards that direction will be written. For now the execution of the movie was superb and the whole background story by Phillips and the setup for the "Gotham riots"(which leads to the whole flashback in the original story for the foundation of Batman's character) is insanely good. So it is not about who is better than who(that is too early to say), but it is about the story that Phillips setup made. People tend to misunderstand all this.

  24. Phoenix's acting was amazing, but I'm sorry Heath's joker is the best. For me the Joker has always been a powerful character, a highly intelligent criminal mastermind no matter how crazy he is, who strikes fear into other villains and even mob bosses because of his cunning and ability to setup scenarios or perform great escapes. Rather than being too dark, on the contrary the new joker for me was too soft. They made him into a softly spoken, quite camp, emotionally weak, childish minded, very desperate and pretty harmless without a pistol or a knife. I get it was an origin story.. but I still don't see how Phoenix's joker as a character was ever gonna turn into a criminal mastermind. Whereas Heath's joker? Called an entire crime syndicates bluff in the first 30 seconds of walking in. After killing someone with a pencil. And threatening to blow everyone to pieces. Heath's joker was always dangerous, even if he didn't have a weapon– because had planned to be there. I feel like they lost me with Phoenix's joker by trying way to hard to make him a 'nice guy gone bad' and getting you to sympathize with him too much.

  25. Considering Phoenix was only the joker at the last part of the movie its hard to compare the two. But I love this movie. I will put it up there as one of the top 5 movies I have ever seen. I thank GOD I was blessed enough to witness Heath and Phoenix both playing this character.

  26. Joaquin
    He made it human. It involved neurology, psychology, psychiatry. No longer a fantasy, a simple evil character from a movie; Joaquin made the joker a real person.
    This joker was chaotic, unpredictable, psychotic, but, at the same time, vulnerable, scared and childlike.
    What a terrific performance.
    This movie kept me reflecting for several days after I watched it.
    I don`t think Ledger interpretation even touched the surface of what Phoenix did to this character.

  27. Heath Ledger's Joker can't hold down an audience for 2 hours. Meanwhile Phoenix's Joker demands the audiences' attention.

  28. Heath Ledger's joker was overrated, it only became such a massive deal because he died shortly after it came out. Real talk.

  29. I like to think that Ledger-Joker was the progression to Phoenix-Joker … Why separate them , they may be different but the time gap is enough to connect the gaps betwen them…

  30. Look … Christopher Nolan should get a significant amount of credit for his creation of Joker. Might even tempt him to film a two Joker/Dark Night movie

  31. Phoenix did such a great job that I was left wanting to watch dark night movies again because it’s like it was the beginning to that heath ledger joker however Phoenixs joker is way darker

  32. No match at all, Phoenix Joker is much more complex and troubled. Furthermore his looks, behaviour and laughter is much closer to the original comic version, clear winner = Joaquin Phoenix

  33. Heath = prime joker
    Joaquin = joker origin

    they both portrayed a different point on jokers life and they did pretty good job if not the best

  34. It's Apples and Oranges really, both set a high bar and played incredible roles.
    Heath couldn't play Phoenix's Joker and like wise Phoenix couldn't play Heath's Joker.

  35. JOKER AKA AUTHUR FLICK AKA JAOQUIN PHENIX WAS THE BEST JOKER IN HISTORY END OF STORY HAVE A GREAT DAY AND DONT FORGET TO GO AND SEE THE JOKER MOVIE IT IS AWSOME

  36. They are completely different characters. This is like comparing ‘the rich Lebowski’ with ‘The Dude Lebowski’ and saying “who played Lebowski better”.

  37. Cmon really? Ledgers joker will forever be unmatched, he put on a flawless performance. While I will say Phoenix also put on a great performance, he was only the joker for about 20 minutes in the film so you cannot say he topped ledgers performance

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