Mark Hamill has hailed Joaquin Phoenix's ''brilliant'' depiction of the Joker.

The 68-year-old actor began voicing the iconic character in 'Batman: The Animated Series' in 1992, and has heaped praise on Joaquin's performance in the Todd Phillips-directed movie.

Mark - who is best known for playing Luke Skywalker in the 'Star Wars' films - wrote on Twitter: ''The #JokerMovie opens today. The awesome Joaquin Phoenix, Todd Phillips & Scott Silver brilliantly reimagine the character as never seen before! 2 thumbs up from that old-school, comic book version... me. (sic)''

The new movie has seemingly divided opinion among fans and critics.

But director Todd Phillips recently rubbished criticism of the film's violent scenes.

He said: ''That's the surprising thing to me. I thought, isn't that a good thing, to put real-world implications on violence? Isn't it a good thing to take away the cartoon element about violence that we've become so immune to?

''I was a little surprised when it turns into that direction, that it's irresponsible. Because, to me, it's very responsible to make it feel real and make it have weight and implications.''

Todd also described the criticism as a learning experience, adding he was keen for audiences to form their own opinions of the movie.

Speaking at a recent screening, he explained: ''There's been a lot said about this movie - a lot said by me, too. I've learned. I'm really excited that you're here and we can finally let the movie speak for itself.''