‘The Joker’ raises concerns about mass shootings

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A scene from “The Joker.” Photo credit: Warner Bros

“The Joker,” starring Joaquin Phoenix, opens on Friday. It’s been hailed as one of the best movies of the year, and there’s Oscar buzz around it. 

But in an era of frequent mass shootings, critics (including families who’ve lost loved ones to gun violence) say the sympathetic Joker fits the profile of many mass shooters. He’s lonely, he feels rejected by society, and he picks up a gun to make a public point. 

The film isn’t showing in a theater in Aurora, Colorado, where in 2012 a gunman killed 12 people during a screening of another Batman-related movie, “The Dark Knight Rises.” The Joker isn’t in that movie. 

Law enforcement and the FBI say they were tipped off to a threat of a copycat shooter at an unspecified theater. Some theaters, including in LA, are also beefing security and telling fans they can’t wear any costumes.