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France · 2002
Rated NC-17 · 1h 37m
Director Gaspar Noé
Starring Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel, Jo Prestia
Genre Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in an underpass. To exact revenge and punish the perpetrator, her boyfriend and ex-lover take matters into their own hands.

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What are people saying?

Pico Banerjee Profile picture for Pico Banerjee

Brutal. Incoherent. Pretentious. All words used to describe Irreversible and continue to mar Gaspar Noé's reputation to this day. I'm not sure if the labels are entirely unfair, but, what is indisputable is that Irreversible remains both one of the most controversial and influential films made in the last 20 years. For that reason alone, its presence cannot be easily dismissed.

What are critics saying?


Slate by David Edelstein

The 12 scenes of Irreversible--each shot in a single, semi-improvised take--constitute something of a tour de force. But so would being dragged through the streets by a wire noose.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

The fact is, the reverse chronology makes Irreversible a film that structurally argues against rape and violence, while ordinary chronology would lead us down a seductive narrative path toward a shocking, exploitative payoff.


Portland Oregonian by Shawn Levy

Made with disarming craft and cunning. Intermixed in the memories it leaves of horror and disgust are glimpses of impressive technique and savvy psychological insight.


Philadelphia Inquirer by Steven Rea

Maybe, you think, there is something daring and brilliant going on here: an excursion into the darkest territories of the human soul. But no. In the end -- or the beginning -- there is no point to all this. Or at least not a point worth making, and making us watch.


Film Threat by Tim Merrill

Anyone with a weak heart or a queasy stomach should stay away. In fact, most everyone everywhere should stay away. But if you still want to see Irreversible, be prepared to see images that will upset and disturb you for a long, long time. Be prepared to be shaken to the very core.

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