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9,179 Ratings



Directed by Gaspar Noé
France, 2002
Drama, Avant-Garde, LGBT+


A woman’s lover and her ex-boyfriend take justice into their own hands after she becomes the victim of a rapist. Because some acts can’t be undone. Because man is an animal. Because the desire for vengeance is a natural impulse. Because most crimes remain unpunished.

Our take

Starring Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci, provocateur Gaspar Noé’s infamous backtracking revenge thriller is groundbreaking, offensive and frightening, causing much controversy at its premiere in Cannes. Brutal and possibly cruel, it is a dark story audaciously told—not for the faint-hearted!

Irreversible Directed by Gaspar Noé
Admittedly, Irreversible is more horrific drama than straight-up horror. But it’s the film’s formal qualities and narrative structure that propel it to true horror, the spinning camera evoking nausea as the subject matter reflects a journey to hell and back.
October 29, 2015
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That first act, the eating of the forbidden fruit, brought sin and death into the world and all our woe, and now every first act of conception and birth brings death into the world anew. “Time destroys all”. The beginning is ever a harbinger of the end.
April 01, 2004
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The cinema of attractions employed by Noé in his latest film go so far beyond what he used in his debut feature that spectators were fainting at the beginning of the film at the Cannes premiere, perhaps from the vertiginously tilting opening titles that run backwards and the grinding, undulating bass tones that accompany them.
October 01, 2003
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What are people saying?

  • Manfred Matela's rating of the film Irreversible

    "Time is the death of all things." Irreversible is horrifying, uncomfortably real and one of the most visceral cinematic experiences I've had. But it's also beautiful in its own way. The inventive cinematography and excellent acting made this film really stand out for me. Many scenes were terrifying to watch, but for better or worse I think a film ultimately having that deep an emotional impact is a sign of quality.

  • anarresti's rating of the film Irreversible

    This is a traumatic film. But is offers a way to deal with it. Most of us (it was my case), when we went to see it, we were prepared for a horrible scene, much talked about. It's much more than that scene. Though it is central. The narrative is told in a incredible way. Going back in time, what we think about the characters, changes once again and again. And the trauma, we face it, and go back to when there was none.

  • Alanedit's rating of the film Irreversible

    This, along with children of men, represent the future of cinema in technical and audacious means. Film language took a small leap here, expanding on the techniques Hitchcock pioneered on Rope. The film is as much technical exercise as it is a supreme trip down the lurks of hell. Rewarded.

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Irreversible

    "A kick in the gut" would be a complete understatement. Gaspar Noe is the next Goddard, and cinematographer Benoit Debie is amazing. You can see Debie's unique, inventive style in "Innocence", "Spring Breakers" and in this film, all of which are heavily influenced by his original technique: hallways, corridors, weird lighting.WARNING: Without a doubt, this film has the most brutal rape scene in the history of cinema.

  • Lights in the Dusk's rating of the film Irreversible

    Noé's experiments with cinematic form are valued. Few contemporary filmmakers are as committed to deconstructing the conventional language of narrative cinema, or using the camera, sound & editing to create an immersive, fully subjective experience. But could these techniques not be used to tell a story of charitable kindness? Why is suffering & degradation the immediate go-to for artists looking to advance the form?

  • Nicholas Gregory's rating of the film Irreversible

    By reversing narrative structure, Irreversible is a rape-revenge film starting with the revenge that subverts norms when the audience roots for the revenge, but sees it now just as hate-filled and nonsensical. With the quietness at the end, we stop the movie knowing more that people’s fragile lives can shatter by actions and circumstance. Yet, it also means Irreversible has a lack of drama when needed due to it, too.

  • dionysus67's rating of the film Irreversible

    A 20min camera roll at the start, guileful yet aesthetically annoying, is a recipe for disaster. Nonentheless it is intextricably linked to the film's 'metaphysical' outlook: a regressively conservative (a euphemism really) distrust on human teleology coupled to Kubrickian totalitarianism. Impressive at points it suffers from an infantile script and from a fetishistic focus on the reality it graphically portrays.

  • Erik F.'s rating of the film Irreversible

    The most unnerving aspect of this film wasn't either of the two notorious scenes (both of which were actually tamer than I was expecting), but the extreme contrast between the first half and the second half -- the hellish and the halcyon -- and the reminder that every single one of us could be weeks, days, or mere hours away from a tragic or traumatic event that we can't foresee or prevent ... or reverse.

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