After the film's premiere today, critics are officially raving about the upcoming Joker movie and many are touting Joaquin Pheonix’s starring role as Oscar-worthy. Owen Gleiberman of Variety, writes in his review, “He appears to have lost weight for the role, so that his ribs and shoulder blades protrude, and the leanness burns his face down to its expressive essence: black eyebrows, sallow cheeks sunk in gloom, a mouth so rubbery it seems to be snarking at the very notion of expression, all set off by a greasy mop of hair.” He continues, “Phoenix is playing a geek with an unhinged mind, yet he’s so controlled that he’s mesmerizing. He stays true to the desperate logic of Arthur’s unhappiness.”

Similar to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, critics are especially responsive to films reworking of traditional superhero movie troupes. Also of note, is that many viewers are pointing out the films allegorical relation to the real world. Jim Vejvoda from IGN says of the film, “This Gotham is a place of grimy despair, extreme wealth disparity, and festering lawlessness, teetering on the brink of collapse. While this realistic depiction makes a place that’s typically fantastical seem familiar, it’s not just the recognizable setting that gives Joker its hyper-realism; it’s what it’s allegorically about that makes the movie so believable, timely, and worth talking about long after the credits roll. Joker is a period piece but it is undeniably about our own troubled, relentlessly violent time.”

It seems like Joker is living up to the insurmountable hype being built around it. For more reactions from critics, head over to Variety for an extensive breakdown. You'll be able to see the film and Pheonix's performance for yourself on October 4th.