Joker is a movie that loves movies. Director Todd Phillips’ expectation-busting take on the iconic supervillain, on track to become the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, bursts at the seams with filmmaking style. Every camera angle, piece of production design, and font choice screams at the audience, “This is a movie!” — the perfect formal extension of Arthur Fleck’s (Joaquin Phoenix) primal need to be noticed, to be appreciated. While some MCU films feel invisibly directed, this self-contained DC title could not feel more idiosyncratic, more auteur-driven, more unique. And yet, much of the pleasures of Joker’s style comes from its borrowing of films before. Gotham City and its residents might technically exist in a fictional vacuum, but Phillips’ version is clearly in dialogue with other big-screen cities and characters. So if you’ve danced your way through a screening of Joker and want to see more stuff in that style, you’re in luck. Enjoy these 10 films that are a must-watch after seeing Joker.
Spoiler Warning: In discussing the following films, light spoilers for Joker will be revealed. Consider seeing Joker before reading. You’ve been warned!