One theater chain is getting pretty candid about Joker.
Posting a rare critical-sounding assessment of an upcoming film on its docket, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema published a warning to parents about Warner Bros.’ controversial film.
The company, which operates 40 theaters coast to coast, told parents the movie is not for kids and has “overall bad vibes” in a Facebook post which was confirmed by an Alamo representative.
“Parental warning (this is not a joke),” begins the message. “Joker is Rated R and for good reason. There’s lots of very, very rough language, brutal violence, and overall bad vibes.”
Continues the warning: “It’s a gritty, dark, and realistic Taxi Driver-esque depiction of one man’s descent into madness. It’s not for kids, and they won’t like it, anyway.”
The warning adds: “There’s no Batman.”
It’s an unusually protective move from a theater chain, as most exhibitors typically turn a blind eye to whether kids should see adult content in the hopes of keeping their seats full.
Previously, Alamo announced it would add additional security personnel to its theaters for Joker‘s opening weekend due to concerns about the film inspiring real-life violence. Other theaters are taking additional measures as well, and in New York, the NYPD plans to deploy undercover officers to theaters, according to Deadline.
Joker, opening Friday, is arguably the most controversial film of the year. The movie garnered raves when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival and won the event’s top prize. Critic reviews were largely positive (the title stands at 75 percent “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes), though many expressed concerns about the film’s content. The film offers a grounded portrayal of the titular Joker (Joaquin Phoenix) as a loner who feels mistreated by society and escalates to acts of violence against the wealthy and becomes a hero of sorts to the working class.