Best Joker: Heath Ledger vs. Joaquin Phoenix

  • Published: 06 October 2019
  • Playing the Joker can take everything out of you, learn how Joaquin Phoenix transformed himself into the iconic character, right here!:

    The Joker... versus the Joker. Heath Ledger... versus Joaquin Phoenix. Two incredible actors … one role. Join WatchMojo as we pit the late, great Heath Ledger against living legend Joaquin Phoenix to see who gave us the superior big screen incarnation of iconic Batman villain, the Joker, from their portrayals in "The Dark Knight" (2008) and "Joker" (2019), respectively. Come along as we evaluate a wide-range of categories to determine which interpretation of the Clown Prince of Crime reigns supreme. Which Joker performance is your favorite? Let us know why in the comments below!

    Check out more awesome Joker content from WatchMojo below:
    Top 10 Reasons Joker Will Blow Your Mind:
    Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Joker (2019):
    Why Joaquin Phoenix Is Meant to Be the Joker:

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Comments • 13 170

  •   2 months back

    Learn how Joaquin Phoenix transformed himself into the Joker, right here!:

    • Scott Jamerson
      Scott Jamerson  1 weeks back

      @Slick Sosig no

    • Scott Jamerson
      Scott Jamerson  2 weeks back

      @Curtis Tisberger So you don't go see movies in theaters? Do you rent movies from red box or do watch them on a streaming service? Do you'll up a copy off the web on a clandestine streaming service like cinema he or Putlocker? If you answered no to all those questions then you haven't seen the movie so why the fuck are you even here running you're fucking mouth about it then you bitch troll. and if ya answered yes to any of those questions I got news for ya braniac, then you too are supporting those same chomos and peds you speak of like you're right there, living in the heart of Hollywood itself. And guess what, even if you haven't seen the movie or any Hollywood produced film because following you're extremely limited logic then every movie produced by a Hollywood studios is supporting this den of peds and rapists, just you're presence here, on this thread , unwanted though it may be by everyone probbably, us also supporting those peds and rapis you speak of. It's called publicity. Advertising. You're in a chatroom on YouTube, owned by Google specifically dealing with these movies idiot. I really detest morons like you and I often times wish we all had a magic button we could use just once that would somehow make it. possible for 2 people to be magically transported to the same place so we could hash this out in person the old fashioned way because I don't suffer fools lightly and you, and make no mistake about this, are a fool

    • Scott Jamerson
      Scott Jamerson  2 weeks back

      @Ismael Rodriguez Really?because that's exactly how it is portrayed in the comics retard. of course it seems forced because it is. His voice is as much of his disguise as his mask and costume. fucking DUHHHHHH. I guess you prefer a Batman , who when in his final confrontation with the joker just casually strolls up behind him and in a leisurely almost casual voice Bruce Wayne might use when telling a house boy of histo fetch some more wine for his party ' ahh excuse me. By chance have you ever danced with the devil by the pale moonlight?" Now that's impressive. And just in case you hadn't noticed some of the shit Bale did with the character was brilliant. For starters, there's 3 characters he plays'. The Batman, the Bruce Wayne he projects to the public and the real Bruce Wayne. The guy he plays when he's having a conversation with Alfred or Lucious.. And there are dark psychological underpinnings at play in his performance as well. How, when he's in Batman mode, even if only in the company of someone like Lucious like when he unveiled the imaging system he created to find the joker, he stays in character even though he knows Lucious knows everything about him. That's somehow disturbing and only shows how smart and good of an actor Bale is. He didn't even want to play the part when it was offered to him because he told Nolan that the villains in these types of movies always tend to be the showier and funner parts to play not to mentioned more developed and well written so he asked Nolan if he could atleast attempt to make the part competitive with the villains and when Nolan agreed Bale came on board. And to his credit, during the Dark Knights best and only real scene with Ledger, the interrogation, Bale just kind of stands back and let's Ledger do his thing because he knew how strong Ledger's performance was and it was the right thing to do. At this point, looking back at that trilogy as a whole, there are very few people who don't , atleast in hindsight appreciate what Bake did with it & if you don't you're either very young or very dumb. Bale had to carry that entire trilogy on his back and he pulled it off and actually still had a career after it was over an where alot of actors would have been type cast for life after a trilogy if movies as successful as those were but instead he just went out and almost immediately won an Oscar .

    • Avinash
      Avinash  2 weeks back

      When I think of joker laugh i remember the best joker i. E h20delirious

    • Scott Jamerson
      Scott Jamerson  2 weeks back

      @Stephanie Huckabee You're absolutely right Stephanie but it's too late now. Somebody had to go & let Pandora out of his freakin' box & that, as they say, is that.

    TheDJBADASS  8 minutes back


    • Youssef Joker
      Youssef Joker  58 minutes back


      • Peyton Morgan
        Peyton Morgan  1 hours back

        Phoenix is better

        • V caliber V
          V caliber V  2 hours back

          Joaquin Phoenix is more psychotic and more willing to kill while heath ledger was unleashing madness and proving that life is a joke so I think there both great in their own ways

          • redbull_gives_wings
            redbull_gives_wings  3 hours back

            all talk no movie

            • Time 2 Shine
              Time 2 Shine  3 hours back

              I love the other joker not phoenix he have to aim for the spook like ledger

              • Dakota Foote
                Dakota Foote  4 hours back

                I don't normally like to post vids on other channels but there is a significant lack of Joker critism. Anyone interested in another negative review, check out

                • Marquez Ludju
                  Marquez Ludju  5 hours back

                  According to me, The Real Joker (Bad-man) who was described and created as The Dark Knight (Bat-man) mortal enemy is a combination of genius, psychopath, funny evil, and master plan at the same time. About the Truth of Ideology or its philosophy, we discuss the matter of perspective. Matter of story tell, it also depends on interest .. But when compared between characters who approach several categories above, Heath Ledger is the real joker trophy holder.

                  WHY SO SERIOUS SON ?? 😈😈😈

                  About of Acting, They both are Great but i fill more when Heath Ledger Do That.

                  • κατ мικαι
                    κατ мικαι  10 hours back

                    You cant compare Legend with Legend .

                    • Kurlyo
                      Kurlyo  10 hours back

                      it's crazy how i thought this whole time heath ledger was still alive i watched alot of his movies🙏🏻

                      • Mr Luxman99
                        Mr Luxman99  10 hours back

                        Why wasn’t there a comparison with Jared Leto?

                        Because he’s the joke.

                        • kasper andresen
                          kasper andresen  11 hours back

                          Stupid list to be honest.. They betray the Joker in two different times of his life. Phoenix shows how the Joker became what we all know. Where Ledger plays the Joker later on in his life.

                          • Mike D
                            Mike D  12 hours back

                            Does anyone else get really mad when they click on an interesting video title only to realise it's more watch mojo garbage with 90% filler voice over? It's so annoying, I really wish this channel would go away!

                            • caglar dursun
                              caglar dursun  13 hours back

                              This is like picking your favourite son

                              • jacob d
                                jacob d  13 hours back

                                HEATH LEDGER FOR THE WIN!!!
                                R.I.P HEATH

                                • jacob d
                                  jacob d  14 hours back

                                  lmao when the joker is applauding the police in his jail cell

                                  • jacob d
                                    jacob d  10 hours back

                                    amen to that brother

                                  • Rahul Kaith
                                    Rahul Kaith  10 hours back

                                    See when the joker was applauding in the cell.
                                    That says whose was better.. you will feel while you will never feel the same for Joaquin's. Never.
                                    Ledger is untouchable..

                                • Domciely Miranda
                                  Domciely Miranda  14 hours back

                                  joaquin is the basic of joker

                                  • Karl Ozols
                                    Karl Ozols  14 hours back

                                    i did not mean to post my comment so many times. Sorry everybody.

                                    • Karl Ozols
                                      Karl Ozols  14 hours back

                                      i did not mean to post my comment so many times. Sorry everybody.

                                      • Karl Ozols
                                        Karl Ozols  14 hours back

                                        i did not mean to post my comment so many times. Sorry everybody.

                                        • Karl Ozols
                                          Karl Ozols  14 hours back

                                          i did not mean to post my comment so many times. Sorry everybody.

                                          • Karl Ozols
                                            Karl Ozols  15 hours back


                                            • Karl Ozols
                                              Karl Ozols  15 hours back


                                              • Karl Ozols
                                                Karl Ozols  15 hours back


                                                • Karl Ozols
                                                  Karl Ozols  15 hours back


                                                  • Nicolas Jousson
                                                    Nicolas Jousson  15 hours back

                                                    I have to say I find this a strange comparison. We only saw Phoenix's Joker for a short part of the movie because it was based on his transformation into Joker.

                                                    • Taha Tariq
                                                      Taha Tariq  15 hours back

                                                      Joaquin's Joker wore a purple coat? What? Am I colour blind?

                                                      • BRUTALITY
                                                        BRUTALITY  15 hours back

                                                        Heath ledger is better if you ask me
                                                        JOKER movie is bad because joker is crazy dude and he kill some people no biggie
                                                        The joker from batman is criminal and make the world safer this is the joker i want to watch
                                                        I dont want to watch crazy clone one the street kicked from teenagers

                                                        • Licken Hunstman
                                                          Licken Hunstman  17 hours back

                                                          In my opinion Pheonix's performance is better than Heath Ledger's.

                                                          • Licken Hunstman
                                                            Licken Hunstman  2 hours back

                                                            @Rahul Kaith Yes laughing condition is little annoying.
                                                            At the same time, Ledger's version is overrated because of his untimely death.
                                                            People can't even say anything flaw about it.

                                                          • Rahul Kaith
                                                            Rahul Kaith  10 hours back

                                                            See when the joker was applauding in the cell.
                                                            That says whose was better.. you will feel while you will never feel the same for Joaquin's. Never.
                                                            Ledger is untouchable..

                                                          • Rahul Kaith
                                                            Rahul Kaith  11 hours back

                                                            And the forced laughing conditions on the character..
                                                            Dude seriously..
                                                            Ledger's joker is untouchable actingwise..

                                                        • zaigham azmat
                                                          zaigham azmat  19 hours back

                                                          Heath ledger all the way

                                                          • irwing hadi Supeno
                                                            irwing hadi Supeno  22 hours back

                                                            Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix are same best. They really put Joker in highest level.

                                                            • Pedro Is weird
                                                              Pedro Is weird  23 hours back

                                                              I can’t say they both are very good jokers

                                                            • RodHittEmUp
                                                              RodHittEmUp  23 hours back

                                                              They both were great but i really like Heath Joker better

                                                              • Gagik Ginosyan
                                                                Gagik Ginosyan  24 hours back

                                                                phoenix gave me the chills....

                                                                • Elizabeth
                                                                  Elizabeth  24 hours back

                                                                  Watchmojo just committed a big sin. These two cannot be compared. These two will go down in history as hailed legends. Booyah!!!

                                                                  • Harley Steven
                                                                    Harley Steven  1 days back

                                                                    Heath ledger hands down!!! 11/10

                                                                    • Angel Coss
                                                                      Angel Coss  1 days back

                                                                      WRONG WRONG JUAQUINS IS THE BEST IM SORRY BUT DONT COMPARE LEDGER'S JOKER TO JF! to be honest and everyone wants to say 1st juaquin 2 ledger

                                                                      • Joker
                                                                        Joker  23 hours back

                                                                        Why so serious ? Heath is the best

                                                                    • Messenger47
                                                                      Messenger47  1 days back

                                                                      How is Phoenix Joker take on batman? He barley manages to escape from two deputies before he was checked by a uniformed guy

                                                                      • CYGNIUS
                                                                        CYGNIUS  1 days back

                                                                        *Why the FUCK would anybody in the right mind COMPARE two AMAZING performances? They aren't the same in almost any ways. That is an insult to both of them.*

                                                                        • Pavle Mikitej
                                                                          Pavle Mikitej  1 days back

                                                                          "They laugh at me because i'm different, i laugh at them because they're all the same" Joker

                                                                          • Rahul Kaith
                                                                            Rahul Kaith  11 hours back

                                                                            Dude That quote belongs to Kurt Cobain.
                                                                            Its not jokers.. sorry .

                                                                        • Kodi Farmer-Riley
                                                                          Kodi Farmer-Riley  1 days back

                                                                          Phoenix's joker inst actually "The" Joker.Jokers real name is "Jack Napier"why Phoenix played a great Joker. He is just a Psychopath who lost his mind and had outbursts. Why the actual Joker was Smart with his every move. and made more sense then Batman half the time. I Dont care what you say about this. but That is why Ledger is the Best Joker We Will Ever see. Instead of being Comical. He put a more realistic touch on things. Like what he would be like in real life.

                                                                          • TheRacoons Egg
                                                                            TheRacoons Egg  1 days back

                                                                            Joaquin Phoenix really took his role seriously. He didn’t try to act like his character just for the role, he really embraced it. Notice how Joker is such a serious movie. Whenever he laughs, it cuts RIGHT to a pissed off face. He really digs deep into our emotions. I think Phoenix is the best

                                                                            • miro Adel
                                                                              miro Adel  1 days back

                                                                              WE NEED JOAQUIN PHOENIX VS JARED LETO!

                                                                              • mr nobody
                                                                                mr nobody  1 days back

                                                                                I watched the dark knight 10 years ago it feels like I only watched it yesterday one of the top 3 movies I have ever watched and heath ledger's performance is arguably the greatest I have ever seen he didn't act the role he lived it phoenix joker is a close second but there is something about ledger's joker the fear and choas he brought down how he brought batman to the edge I'm lost for words

                                                                                • Dalek Emperor19
                                                                                  Dalek Emperor19  1 days back

                                                                                  “Phoenix wears the purple suit” hold on a second that bitch red 😂

                                                                                  • TokeBreak
                                                                                    TokeBreak  1 days back

                                                                                    The longer I've sat with Heath's performance, the more his vocal choices get on my nerves.

                                                                                    • Asif Mahmud
                                                                                      Asif Mahmud  1 days back

                                                                                      It was oddly compared! Ledger's joker is a finished character, he had seen it all and done it all....On the other hand Phoenix's joker began his journey.... it may called 'joker begins!' So there's always will be plot difference, character approach, character build up.....So, My question is Ledger will never play a standalone joker character where you can spread your appearance and If you are a true Phoenix fan you will know that even if there will be another sequel to this joker movie Phoenix will not play on it!.....So it is a unsolved matter..... My answer is Phoenix begins the joker Ledger ends it perfectly!! 😊