There are several good actors in the industry. However, some are unpredictable and explosive in every way. One such example is Joaquin Phoenix, who has always been a game-changer in Hollywood. Watching Joaquin Phoenix movies tells us heaps about his personality. You can see that he never binds himself within a book of rules.
Apart from his movies, if you see his appearances elsewhere, such as in award shows, he is still that genuine, humble man. It seems that his talent and the uniqueness of his personality has surely not got the better of his behavior. It is, therefore, always refreshing and fascinating to follow a man who is a star, and yet so confounding.
People say that Hollywood is made up of celebrities who only reward followers. However, Phoenix is unique, as always. He puts in everything to make his character shine in every movie. It is precisely why he is known as the artist’s artist. However, for some people, Joaquin Phoenix movies seem to be a little unpleasant and pretentious because of his acting methods.
Nonetheless, according to the majority, he delivers some of the most profound and most fascinating performances that make modern cinema look better. In this article, we have tried to list down some of the notable Joaquin Phoenix movies that are must-watch performances.
Joaquin Phoenix movies – Which ones should you watch?
You will now be a part of a very filmy journey. It will help you choose which one out of all these Joaquin Phoenix movies you want to watch next.
Starting with one of Joaquin Phoenix’s not so good works, Irrational Man is a 2015 movie that received a lot of criticism. It was under the direction of the very famous American director, Woody Allen. Allen has always been in the center of a lot of controversies. As a result, his goodwill has been affected too.
Now, coming to this movie, it is still considered a wrong choice for a man like Joaquin Phoenix. However, the combination of the famous director and an ace actor, the movie sure received a lot of popularity. It is still considered one of the notable works of Joaquin Phoenix, despite a weak storyline and worse direction.
Joaquin Phoenix Her is his best work to date, and this 2013 movie has impressed the audience like nothing before. Phoenix has always been known as an outstanding actor who puts a touch of subtlety in all his works. Moreover, he has ever made bold choices, be it in life or movies, and stood by them consistently.
The man is a fantastic artist, and his dedication towards his craft is visible in movies like this. However, out of all that he has given us to date, ‘Her’ is undoubtedly the best of his career. This movie, by Spike Jonez, mostly revolves around the character of Phoenix. He starts loving a robotic voice that comes from nothing but an operating system.
The artist behind the female voice in ‘Her’ is Scarlett Johansson. You will be able to relate to the loneliness of Phoenix’s character here. The film shows how lonely we all are becoming in this world ruled by computers and machines around us. The romance between the man and the machine is all of us in the present world. It shows our commitment and loyalty towards our devices. The movie became famous because of Joaquin Phoenix and his terrific performance.
There is not one moment when you will feel like it is boring, despite the portrayal of so much loneliness. In the majority parts of the movie, Phoenix acts all by himself, but you will never miss the presence of another actor here.
There are intense scenes that show the range of a man’s emotions-his laughter, pain, loneliness, love, absurdity, and loss. It’s a shame that ‘Her’ did not get an Oscar nomination. However, we will still consider this one of the most love Joaquin Phoenix movies.
The Master is one more from the list of Joaquin Phoenix movies that have won millions of hearts. It was released in 2012, and the name of the director is Paul Thomas Anderson. There are several mind-blowing scenes in the movie that will surely leave a mark on you for a long time. Out of all such scenes, there is one that oozes out class and intensity. Lancaster Dodd (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) is questioning Freddie Quell (played by Joaquin Phoenix), in a big room.
Dodd is continuously asking Quell extremely personal questions about his life to which the latter cannot lie. The performance by Phoenix, especially in this scene, is out of this world. The kind of control he shows on his expressions speaks volumes about the standard of his skills. The entire scene, we could see his eyes were twitching, but he did not blink even once. That portrayal of emotion when he digs deeper into his life, remembering all that he had done, will hit your heart straight.
The tragedy in his eyes when he remembers how he killed a man and had sexual relations with his aunt is disturbing. It is no doubt one of Joaquin Phoenix best movies with that stunning performance. His terrific acting led to an Oscar nomination that he later lost to Daniel Day, who got an award for Lincoln. Despite the loss, The Master will remain one of the best movies in the history of English cinema.
You Were Never Really Here
Joaquin Phoenix once again stuns everyone with this 2018 hit, and You Were Never Really Here. It is the story of a lonely man suffering the charge of rescuing a young girl. The girl was the daughter of a senator and a sex slave. In the entire movie, director Lynn Ramsay has successfully narrated the story through Phoenix’s eyes.
There is this haunting attitude in his eyes, and his behavior becomes more compassionate yet brutal. So, you will witness multiple shades of one character, and Phoenix portrays each one with equal finesse. Joaquin Phoenix is nothing less than a bomb in this movie- ready to explode anytime. One moment you see a man suffering from a rare syndrome called “erotic asphyxiation proclivities,” leading him to act brutally. The very next moment, you will feel sorry for the man seeing him spend time with his mother.
On the one hand, he is stroking his mother’s feet. Again, on the other hand, he is a complete psychopath when you see he is lying beside an injured enemy. He is holding hands with him and singing songs. Therefore, you will get to explore the multiple sides of Joe (played by Phoenix). He is raging in misery, loneliness, trauma, and so much more.
Two Lovers is one of the four Joaquin Phoenix movies with a very famous director, James Gray. Moreover, this movie, released in 2011, is undoubtedly the best work of Phoenix as compared to the other three with Gray. In this movie, Phoenix plays the character of Leonard, who is a Jewish man staying in New York. Leonard’s life is full of tragedy leading to a more significant dilemma where he is stuck between two women. He nurtures romantic feelings for both of them but is unable to decide which way he wants to go.
Now that he has already been through a suicide attempt leaving him in deep trauma, such a situation is damaging him more. You will also be able to see a part in the movie in which Leonard is admitted to the mental hospital due to his self-harming activities. Later, he is left with sheer neediness that refuses to clarify his protagonist’s character. He is still a man full of recklessness, immaturity, playfulness, and quirk.
The last adjective sounds more perfect when you see Phoenix’s Leonard counting train coaches sitting in a railway platform. The plight of Leonardo seems extremely schematic during the entire climax of the movie. Moreover, Phoenix’s touch of subtlety makes his performance outstanding in this tale of love, passion, and sobriety. The end of the film turns out to be unexpected when you see Leonard listening to his heart instead of his head.
The Immigrant (2014) is another masterpiece from the Grey-Phoenix collaboration. It becomes clear from this movie that Joaquin Phoenix can portray any character. Be it positive, negative, or Gray, he delivers with equal ease. The Immigrant is the story of Ewa (played by Marion Cotillard) and Bruno (played by Joaquin Phoenix). Cotillard’s character, Ewa, is a young immigrant from Poland. She reaches America and is somehow saved from deportation.
All this then led to her becoming a part of the prostitution industry. On the other hand, Phoenix is a shady character who plays the role of a theatre owner, Bruno. He is the most oblivious villain and the most selfish man. Bruno cares about nothing, but just his well-being, no matter what cost others have to pay for that. He seems to be a complete pimp, whose terrible decisions lead to all the tragedy happening in Ewa’s life.
You will eventually see another side of Bruno unfolding in this movie when he is seen being affectionate towards Ewa. However, he does not show it openly, keeping his image constantly villainous. The entire relationship between Bruno and Ewa goes on to become more emotional and complicated, leading to the biggest tragedy. So, to know about what the mastermind Bruno does, you must watch the movie soon.
Joker is Joaquin Phoenix’s recent gift to his audience, and you were sure waiting for this one to appear on the list. Did you understand the message that he was trying to impart through those feckless and dead eyes? His emaciated and weird physique, the laughing, and that lean dancing, all combined make ‘Joker’ one of the best movies of all time.
Phoenix’s performance compels the audience to watch the movie repeatedly. When people thought none could do justice to ‘Joker’ after the tragic death of Heath Ledger, Phoenix proved us wrong. The performance shows his responsibility towards the character, and he sometimes outshines himself in the movie. The best part is how he transformed a comic character into such a realistic one in this movie.
The way Phoenix portrays the character of a man who has a tragic life. He captures the exact expressions of how such a man could be thinking. However, we must also accept that there is something about the story that still makes us think about the original character of Joker in DC comics. It is an excellent strategy to have given a complete reference to the original book because it keeps the viewers attracted consistently.
There is something that you can relate to having read when you were a kid, and that is how you will watch this movie every time it has a sequel. Joker is sure one of the most successful films of the last decade.
Joaquin Phoenix is not just a good actor, but a smart one as well. Gladiator proves that in every way because when nothing else looks authentic in this movie, it’s just him who still hateable. Phoenix plays the role of a man-child, who comes out of daddy problems to become the leader of the world. As a result, his tyrannical activities know no bounds, and everyone hates him in the kingdom.
The background is of Rome and how it must have been in 100 AD. However, there are enough bloopers in the entire movie that makes it just right for a one-time watch. Despite Phoenix’s outstanding performance, Gladiator failed to get a good rating as a movie.
The above list mentions just a few of the many outstanding Joaquin Phoenix movies. In these, his notable performance has left everyone spellbound. Just scroll through and choose any one of these randomly, and you are sure to watch all after that. It is the magic of Phoenix that will make you his fan if you are already not one.