Best Joker: Heath Ledger vs. Joaquin Phoenix

  • Published on Oct 6, 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:
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    Why Joaquin Phoenix Is Meant to Be the Joker:
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Comments • 14 369

  •  3 months ago +1126

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

    • The PUNISHER
      The PUNISHER 16 days ago

      Newsflash this movie was about a joker , not the Joker from Batman

    • BlueYakes
      BlueYakes 16 days ago


    • The PUNISHER
      The PUNISHER 26 days ago

      @Rainos62 You have never read a comic book , your opinion is for laughs

    • Rainos62
      Rainos62 26 days ago

      you cant really compare the two because one is an origin story and the other is the joker that has been established. 2019 joker cant be compared to 2008 joker because they are at 2 very different places in the jokers life. 2019 is pre joker to creation and 2008 is significantly after batman which is already established his madness.

    • Jesse Montgomery
      Jesse Montgomery Month ago

      Joaquin Phoenix's scheme was his life. :p The delusional existence he wrapped himself in.

  • Barb Losco
    Barb Losco 21 minute ago

    Ledger wins wtf

  • nikizh tech
    nikizh tech Hour ago

    Heath ledger is best because he lost his life for acting
    The legend

  • baby yoda
    baby yoda 2 hours ago

    Heath ledger has always been my favourite

    Untill I saw joker 2019.

  • Erika Villanueva
    Erika Villanueva 3 hours ago

    U forgot about h2odelirious

  • Dan c
    Dan c 7 hours ago

    There are canonically at least 3 jokers (not including multiverses) so....

  • Pranav Veluri
    Pranav Veluri 8 hours ago

    The sad thing is that we’ll never get to see heath ledger and Joaquin Phoenix do a team up movie

  • MJ Jarvis
    MJ Jarvis 11 hours ago

    BTW, if you made this a three-way dance with Nicholson, Phoenix and Ledger would be tied. Cause Round one was Jacks!

  • MJ Jarvis
    MJ Jarvis 11 hours ago

    Props to Nicholson, he made Joker, well, serious.
    Ledger made it more than a comic book movie.
    Leto - dammit
    Phoenix - intrigue and motivation.

  • Animate 452
    Animate 452 14 hours ago

    The last round is kinda bulls***. Joaquin Phoenix's Joker was at a time when he was still newborn as joker. While heath ledger's version is at the time where batman reigns. So his thinking and actions still changes as time passes by including his voice.

  • Santimagine
    Santimagine 15 hours ago

    Don't compare a solo main character to a main antagonist. It's just unfair.

  • Rizwan shaikh
    Rizwan shaikh 19 hours ago

    Ledger ia is best

  • Hippy Cat
    Hippy Cat 20 hours ago

    Jared leto's joker is soooo over dressed. He looked like a drug lord/club owner

  • ŠŁîMÉ Šłât
    ŠŁîMÉ Šłât 20 hours ago

    Heath will always be the Great Joker!!

  • Matt Chittle
    Matt Chittle Day ago

    I think that it should be recognized that Heath was already the joker during the movie while Joaquin was just becoming the joker. I would've given that point to Joaquin for hia realist portrayal of a downward spiral of a man who was already damaged so much.

  • DIO Brando
    DIO Brando Day ago +4

    I think Heath ledger is more of a “joker” when Joaquin is more of an “Arthur Fleck” both are amazing, just focusing on different aspects of Joker

    • DIO Brando
      DIO Brando Hour ago

      Jo Wrld definitely

    • Jo Wrld
      Jo Wrld 3 hours ago

      Tbh I think your right but if there’s a joker 2 I think it won’t be more Arthur but more him doing joker things

  • Fearless Freaks Production

    Both are incomparable..! Both are legends! Their respective performances were awe-inspiring..!

  • The trolls Puppeteer

    Joaquin joker was a Depressed joke he didn't come across as crazy as ledger joker who was a psychopath like real joker from comics heath was better Joaquin was a joker u felt sorry for and wanna hug,heath was a joker u wanted to stop from all the madness he did in city
    Ledger was, best.

  • Morgan Myers
    Morgan Myers Day ago

    Comparison is so stupid! Just acknowledge two amazing, brilliant and very DIFFERENT performances..

  • llamapocolypes YT
    llamapocolypes YT Day ago +1

    Heath ledgers joker looks like a beetlejuice reject

    I AM LOVE Day ago

    I AGREE.... Ledger is my pick

  • F25 X3
    F25 X3 Day ago

    Both were incredible and cannot be decided it’s much closer than Nicholson and ledger
    The joker is always respectfully Heath but Joaquin played a different role and couldn’t have played it better


    i dont agree with your picks i think joaquin phoenix takes the joker to the next level and i think he deserve to win

  • Troll Face
    Troll Face Day ago +2

    Plot twist: Joaquin Phoenix is a paid actor

  • thunder chen
    thunder chen Day ago

    Both are legend it's really complicated

  • Siddhant Das
    Siddhant Das Day ago


  • Tisa Lisa
    Tisa Lisa Day ago

    It's funny how the people making fun of of jared leto's joker and praising phoenix joker would acutally be as the first person to be killed by the phoenix joker himself.

  • grahamjarman
    grahamjarman Day ago

    thing is u dont really see classic joker w phoenix until hes on the murray show live. but its gooooood.

  • Michael LeBaron
    Michael LeBaron Day ago

    Am I only one who sees pheonix outfit to be more red than k purple or am I just tripping lol

  • Charles Rast
    Charles Rast 2 days ago

    They both great wtf

  • Eric Lewis
    Eric Lewis 2 days ago


  • David Morris
    David Morris 2 days ago

    Definitely did not feel like the Joker movie was anything like what the critics were raving it to be Heath Ledger definitely did a better Joker

  • Radle Grebdron
    Radle Grebdron 2 days ago

    They're so different.
    Ledger played a truly anarchistic agent of chaos, while Phoenix played a mentally ill man who almost by accident set things into motion. They are both scary and epic for different reasons.

  • DeMonte Clark
    DeMonte Clark 2 days ago


  • Imbra Kim
    Imbra Kim 2 days ago

    I would hug Joaquin's Joker and sleep with Heath's Joker.
    Man, I must be sick.

  • Levi & Csanád
    Levi & Csanád 2 days ago

    Jared Leto vs Joaquin Phoenic

  • Elvio Benitez
    Elvio Benitez 2 days ago

    Ledger's joker was good, but not enough to compete with Joaquin.

    • The trolls Puppeteer
      The trolls Puppeteer Day ago +1

      Joaquin joker was a Depressed joke he didn't come across as crazy as ledger joker who was a psychopath like real joker from comics heath was better Joaquin was a joker u felt sorry for and wanna hug,heath was a joker u wanted to stop from all the madness he did in city

  • Linao
    Linao 2 days ago

    you can't really compare things like laughs or make up etc. between these two. the joker evolves during the movies. phoenix is the early stage of ledgers joker so its obvious that for example the make up is more like "traditional clown make up" on phoenix. There is no better or worse.
    both fit into the stage the joker sees himself in that particular movie.

  • Mr. Paulino
    Mr. Paulino 2 days ago

    I think they are both equally great, but there's something about this new joker that made it stay implanted into my mind.

  • L V Mathew
    L V Mathew 2 days ago

    Heath ledger....he made batman movie his own.....

  • Yung Khaleng
    Yung Khaleng 2 days ago

    Final result. : Phoenix , the prodigy of Heath

  • einsqad
    einsqad 2 days ago +8

    Jared Leto's joker laugh sounds like a dying donkey....

  • Ashley Perrine
    Ashley Perrine 2 days ago +1

    Heath Ledger will always be the best Joker! No one else can ever be as good as him.

  • rebdan81
    rebdan81 2 days ago +1

    Joker is a version to makes you feel empathy for the psychopath. It's one of those movies you get a taste of what drove him crazy

  • Milkyshake
    Milkyshake 2 days ago

    My personal opinion is this: Joaquin Phoenix was really great in his own movie, so there is a lot more focus on him, rather than Heath Ledger on a movie where he is the not the main person. Just by all the chaos made in the Dark Knight, and all the aspects of the joker ads up perfectly, me personally decide that Heath Ledger was the best of the two. Dark knight is my favorite movie of all time, and I dont watch a lot of movies.

  • jasmine david
    jasmine david 2 days ago

    Heath ledger

  • Anxiety Entertainment

    Who's the definitive Joker? That's easy...Mark Freaking Hamill!!!

  • Iron Horse
    Iron Horse 3 days ago

    phoenix played a master peace.

  • Abdul Aziz
    Abdul Aziz 3 days ago

    Heath ledger is best

  • SuperKamiGuru 97
    SuperKamiGuru 97 3 days ago

    Phoenix played him perfectly and amazingly but I think heath became joker. The way heaths just didn’t care
    He wanted everyone on an equal playing field
    He wanted chaos.
    Arthur was tragic. He wanted evil rich assholes gone but still recognized good from evil.
    He was different. I think heath felt more like a dark joker and I love that plus his design was perfect.
    I love the new joker but no one will ever touch Heath. R rated or not.
    Plus Phoenix was a clown before
    I don’t think heath was ever a clown he just used it as a representation of the chaos and unpredictability of him

  • unique user
    unique user 3 days ago +4

    Not even a close race. Ledger wins all the way.

    • unique user
      unique user 2 days ago

      @MrAngred Landon You are certainly entitled to your opinion and i respect what you are saying. Good point. Good day.

    • MrAngred Landon
      MrAngred Landon 2 days ago

      unique user Disagree. Ledger is a great way of being an evil maniac buts Phoenix is great at making you just feel bad almost,and being scary. They are both well and have all different ways of being great

  • Mystery of the Universe

    Heath Ledger did a better Joker tbh

  • Sanu Sahikh
    Sanu Sahikh 3 days ago +2

    Pheonix acting is very good heart touching he must get oscar

  • Ruya Gomez
    Ruya Gomez 3 days ago

    The best joker jared letto

  • Master Robotnik
    Master Robotnik 3 days ago



  • AJ Lynch
    AJ Lynch 3 days ago +5

    The fact that ledger died puts even more respect to his character over phoenix’s

  • Marina Dee
    Marina Dee 3 days ago

    Two amazing performances. They both brought something different though so I can’t compare.

  • Stefan
    Stefan 3 days ago +1

    *Heath Ledger IS the Joker!*
    thats how good he is. Still unbeatable.

  • Bhavika Maurya
    Bhavika Maurya 3 days ago

    Phoenix is best

  • Mikha and Bella's vlog

    For me both actors were great but its kinda not to good to compare them
    Because Joaquin was playing how he became a joker and Ledger played the role of the joker