Mandatory Movie Battles: Heath Ledger’s Joker vs. Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker

Not many comic book villains are as unforgettable as the Joker. From Jack Nicholson and Mark Hamill to Cesar Romero and Jared Leto, every actor that has played the Clown Prince of Crime has showcased different aspects of the character. While each of these performances is admirable in their own right, Heath Ledger’s interpretation in The Dark Knight blew audiences away. Legendary actor Joaquin Phoenix now dons the iconic face paint with a role that is wildly different than anything that has come before. Now that Joker has arrived in theaters, it is time to ask the inevitable: which film handles the character better? In a battle of titans, we pit Ledger in The Dark Knight against Phoenix in Joker. Only one can come out victorious!

Cover Photo: Warner Bros.

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As much as Pheonix’s performance in Joker comes close to topping the greatness of Ledger’s in The Dark Knight, the latter is a slightly more well-rounded experience than the former. Although Ledger’s performance in The Dark Knight narrowly wins this battle over Joker, both of these performances are stellar in equally unique ways.

Overall Winner: The Dark Knight