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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind Blowin' Masterpiece!!!!!!
Finally!!! a REAL FILM!!!!!!!!.....
I'm so tired of wasting 2 hours of my life seeing worhtless, so-called films that I can't believe anyone would fund (usually millions of dollars for) such nonsense.
In this film you will see the true meaning of the human condition.
The style of the film is pure brilliance. The acting is thrilling ...its sheer...
Published on June 21 2003 by Y.A.

versus
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enter If You Dare.
"Irreversible," the new film from French director Gaspar Noe, is a crude revenge fantasy dressed up as an art-house film. As the movie begins with the ending credits, it tells its sordid story in reverse a la "Memento," and the camera jitters during each scene so nervously, you'll be reaching for your Dramamine within just minutes. Its hero, Marcus (Vincent Cassell),...
Published on Sept. 6 2003 by The Groove


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind Blowin' Masterpiece!!!!!!, June 21 2003
By 
Y.A. (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
Finally!!! a REAL FILM!!!!!!!!.....
I'm so tired of wasting 2 hours of my life seeing worhtless, so-called films that I can't believe anyone would fund (usually millions of dollars for) such nonsense.
In this film you will see the true meaning of the human condition.
The style of the film is pure brilliance. The acting is thrilling ...its sheer perfection.
Warning: the first scene, is horrifying, (with shockingly, explicit violence) but continue watching, it is well worth the ride.
Don't just see it..buy it! Its a must have!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, though admittedly flawed, July 29 2003
By 
Reed "ag575" (Stewart, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Irreversible (Version française) [Import] (DVD)
This movie had me on the edge of my seat, I could hardly watch it! The rape scene is horrific, as is the death scene, but that's why this movie is good. A rape and death scene SHOULD be horrific and unwatchable! Hollywood makes these subjects entertaining, not horrific. The only reason I didn't give this movie five stars is because the dialogue is absolutely atrocious in parts. Just horrible. But the first twenty minutes is filled with such terror and energy, with the camera swooping up and down, it's enough be cause nausea. Watch Irreversible with the lights out, the surround sound on loud, and your hands on the edge of your seats. It's loud, twisted, horrific, and unapologetic about it! Monica Bellucci does an incredible job, and she is not outdone by the technical aspects of the film, which is basically made up of scenes that were done in one take. Be prepared for an intense film!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enter If You Dare., Sept. 6 2003
By 
This review is from: Irreversible (Version française) [Import] (DVD)
"Irreversible," the new film from French director Gaspar Noe, is a crude revenge fantasy dressed up as an art-house film. As the movie begins with the ending credits, it tells its sordid story in reverse a la "Memento," and the camera jitters during each scene so nervously, you'll be reaching for your Dramamine within just minutes. Its hero, Marcus (Vincent Cassell), seeks to avenge the savage rape of his girlfriend Alex (the attractive Monica Bellucci), and in so doing, he begins a violent journey that leads him into a sleazy gay club called, of all things, the Rectum. "Irreversible" has quickly gotten a reputation for being one of the most visually graphic movies ever made. Having seen this movie, I can testify that its reputation is well earned. One scene involves a man getting beaten (literally) to a pulp with a fire extinguisher; the beating is so relentless that it's impossible not to squirm even once. But the more unsettling scene involves the nine minute rape of Alex, which has to be the most horrific depiction of violence I've ever witnessed on a screen. While many people reportedly bolted out of theatres during this scene, I saw the whole thing in its entirety. (Then again, your stomach may be not as strong, so think hard before you see this movie.) It's a long and agonizing sequence that leaves almost nothing to imagination, and it's at this point where most people stop watching "Irreversible." But while Noe is a talented stylist with the camera, the script has flaws. Prior to her rape, Alex is not only dressed in a skin-tight dress but also approaches a poorly-lit subway station after dark. I find it hard to believe that most women in the 21st century would use such incredibly poor judgment. Also, the film's subplot involving the club carelessly aligns homosexuality with sleazy behaviour. "Irreversible" is certainly intriguing, but it's pretty tough for me to recommend as a purchase. Who would buy this DVD? Considering its nasty content, this isn't a movie you'll want to watch multiple times. You won't be scanning back and forth to certain chapters to re-watch "favorite" scenes. But if you've got the iron stomach for an ugly thriller done with interesting camerawork, then "Irreversible" might be worth a look--provided you'll be able to keep both eyes open.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars some of the most disturbing scenes ever, June 28 2004
By 
Roland E. Zwick (Valencia, Ca USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Irreversible (Version française) [Import] (DVD)
If there's one thing that can be stated with utmost certainty, it is that "Irreversible," a French film by writer/director Gaspar Noe, is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. In fact, this tale of the brutal rape of a helpless young woman is one of the most harrowing films ever made and features two of the most graphic scenes ever committed to film: the rape itself and the killing of the man responsible for the rape.
Although I imagine that very few people will end up subjecting themselves to this film in the long run, those who do will witness an amazing piece of work in many ways. Like the movie "Betrayal" from 1983, "Irreversible" tells its story in reverse chronological order. It begins with a frenzied man racing through a gay sex club, madly searching for someone we know merely as Le Tenia. Only as the story develops - as we are taken ever further back in time - do we begin to understand what is going on: that this young man, Marcus, is seeking vengeance on the rapist who has brutally attacked his pregnant girlfriend. Noe keeps us in a state of confusion by filming the scene in such a way as to reflect the maniacal state of Marcus' revenge-obsessed mind. The camera bounces around in epileptic confusion while the audience attempts to get its bearings. Eventually, as the filmmakers backtrack to reveal the events that have led up to this moment, the camera calms down and we get to see the whole ugly story acted out in painfully graphic detail. In fact, in the rape scene itself, Noe reverses his filmmaking style 180 degrees, deliberately leaving the camera stationary and focused on the event as it plays itself out. He simply won't allow us to stop looking.
There are some, I imagine, who might object to this film on moral grounds, feeling that it is little more than a cynical exploitation picture with artistic pretensions. Yet that condemnation would do a disservice to the makers of this film who, I believe, do not want us to revel in the sordidness of what we see, but rather to be appalled by the unspeakably brutal way in which human beings can treat their fellow human beings. By having us sit and witness every moment of this brutality without the comforting filter of cutaway shots or easy dissolves, Noe forces us to face the ugly truths about ourselves as a species. The reverse-order structure of the film heightens the tragic nature of the story for it allows us to see just how happy and hopeful these characters are in the time right before the rape shatters their lives. The latter half of the film contains no physical violence, yet watching it unfold is an ineffably sad experience, for we, unlike the characters themselves, are privy to the Sword of Damocles so precariously poised over their unsuspecting heads, yet find ourselves helpless in being able to rescue them from the inevitable destruction it will cause. Thus, the structure robs us of even the remotest option of hoping against hope that the tragedy can somehow be avoided - for we have seen it as an already completed action. For while the film may be "reversible," life itself is not. In the case of this film, at least, form does, indeed, become content.
Vincent Cassel as Marcus, Monica Bellucci as his girlfriend, Alex, and Albert Dupontel as their mutual friend, Pierre, all deliver excellent, heartfelt performances.
I doubt that many people will have the intestinal fortitude to make it through large segments of this film, but those who do will surely never forget what they've seen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Existentialism, June 20 2004
By 
J. MacAyeal (libertyville, illinois United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Irreversible (Version française) [Import] (DVD)
Irreversible is a film that displaces the viewer in such a significant way that to watch it is more akin to dreaming about a real-life experience. The film, through dialogue, actions, and character archetypes, suggests that only way to make sense of and live through the horrific and reversed melodramatic anti-revenge storyline is to view the film through a near existential psychological perspective. Yipe. In easier language, the film demands your own removal of pre-conditioned emotional responses to rape, murder, revenge, humor, sexual excitement, intimacy, sadness, rage, and especially blame. The very beginning of the film features the man from the feature I STAND ALONE telling another man how he messed his own life up...that time destroys all things. His companion ultimately nay-says this, indicating that any crimes or tragedies are just what they are, nothing more...a series of events. Noe challenges the viewers to attempt to view Irreversible in that very detached state, not for or against what you see. (nutty camera moves...) By doing so you will be able to live through the incredibly sad and horrific storyline. By Noe telling the story in reverse, he rescues the film from melodrama, vengence, or "true crime" genre BS. Together, almost in a 50/50 contract deal, Noe and the viewer can attain the meaning of this story about Alex, Marcus, Pierre, the Tenia, ramifications and origins of any and all the events you see in Irreversible. The result will vary, I believe, from person to person...as it should. I can only echo other reviews in warning you of the intensity and violence, but the sadness and (yes) beauty of the film's meaning that I derived was phenomenal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than just the graphic scenes you've heard about, June 6 2004
By 
This review is from: Irreversible (Version française) [Import] (DVD)
French films ... what can I say about them? They can be raw, violent, timid or just weird. Irreversible is a VERY interesting film, simply because it is thought provoking. When was the last time you saw a film which engrossed you so much, but at the same time you wanted to switch it off?
Right from the beginning, IRREVERSIBLE pulls you in and while the initial camera work is annoying, it helps create a mood of sheer eeeriness. When the siren-like music begins, you know it's not going to be a pleasant ride.
The film makes you question human behaviour, and the total disrepect that humans can have towards other humans. The film is shown backwards and it really works in this format. You know what is going to happen to the characters, before they do. This of course will make you cry because the main characters do not deserve what happens to them.
SUMMARY:
IRREVERSIBLE is a very sad film which shows the disgusting side of human behaviour, while in so many ways it is a beautiful film. The two awful scenes are what everyone is talking about. However, if you can get through these scenes, you will be rewarded ... simply because beyond those scenes, the film has much more to tell.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant work of art., July 10 2004
This review is from: Irreversible (Version française) [Import] (DVD)
There are two sides to "Irreversible". The first one is violent and disturbing, the second one beautiful and romantic. Since all reviewers from this forum chose the first one, I shall write about the second part of the film, which is beyond greatness. There is a party scene and a subway one that would make any film buff more than happy. And then there is a beautiful and tender love scene between Bellucci and Cassel.
The film is told backwards, ergo, the audience knows the characters' destiny. It's so sad to see them having such a great time together -- laughing and dancing, not knowing how their lives will be forever altered. This is great cinema. Monica Bellucci's performance is incredible -- I can't think of any actress (especially one from Hollywood) who would have accepted to play such a difficult part. Vincent Cassel (he did the voice of Robin Hood in Shrek) and Albert Duponteil are equally good. The whole movie is shot in single-take scenes, most of the dialogue being improvised by these great actors. The film has been directed by Gaspar Noe (Seul Contre Tous) and he brings us his unique vision to the material. The sountrack and the special effects are excellent, too.
If you haven't yet seen "Irreversible" and you have reservations regarding the violent content -- here's a tip for you: watch the second half of the film (where the party scene begins) and then judge for yourself if you want to see what's left out of this complex tragedy. Everybody knows that good and bad co-exist together. "Irreversible" has such a fresh and realistic look to life that in less than a year will probably become a classic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Irreversible, June 14 2004
This review is from: Irreversible (Version française) [Import] (DVD)
Irreversible is a film that explores the deep pain that human life can have, through extreme violence and sexuality.
I have wanted to see this movie for quite a long time, but due to it's graphic nature, (and strong rating) I have not been able to watch it...until now. Incredible performances by all 3 leads, especially Monica Bellucci. This woman has such an amazing beauty that sometimes her look is overpowered by her performance, but in this film, both work for her.
You've already heard the story of this film by now, the movie (which is told backwards) is about a woman who got raped in an underpass in Paris. When her 2 closest male friends find out, they both search for the person who violated their best friend.
You've already got WARNING written all over this movie because of its graphic violence and strong sexuality. If you have seen Requiem for a Dream, this one is similar to that but just 100x more disturbing. Gaspar Noe's direction is great but completely all over the place, with an enormous amount of camera spins and dizzying movement, which is placed at the beginning of the film.
Kudos goes out to the Visual FX team for making the fire extinguisher scene truly disturbing and increbibly hard to watch. The featurette, on the DVD, of how they made that scene work is amazing, from using different layers, all the way to prosthetics. The sound editing of this film is great (especially in that scene) which makes the bashing sounds so hard and grusome that you have just got to turn your head away. The rape scene is also hard to watch as it seems to go on for an eternity. I can't get enough of Bellucci's performance in that scene, where she just gave everything that she had into making it seem belivable and sad all at the same time. (special mention also goes out to Jo Prestia)
Gaspar Noe is a director that is for sure a force to be reckoned with. I have not seen his other film 'I Stand Alone' (where the subject matter, from what I've heard, is the same) but for sure, I have got to check that one out. Noe dives into the deepest emotion that a person can have and presents them with brutal honesty. Even if you don't want to admit it, these things happen all the time, to the most unsuspecting people and I belive that Noe made this film because life is not always filled with rainbows and happy people; life is difficult, and for him to shed light on issues and events that most individuals would not even want to tackle, is brave and admirable.
Overall, Irreversible is a work of art; filled with great performances, visual fx and direction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Soul shattering, May 20 2004
By 
Jeffrey Leach (Omaha, NE USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Irreversible (Version française) [Import] (DVD)
After witnessing the nightmare of Gaspar Noe's "I Stand Alone," a movie that left me in open-mouthed awe for days afterwards, I just knew I had to see "Irreversible." I am not a big foreign film aficionado, not by a long shot, but Noe's films are worth watching simply because they are deeply disturbing jaunts into the darkest recesses of the human psyche. He's not above showing life as it really is, and he does it in ways that make you laugh at the cleverness of the presentation even as you cringe in disgust at the subject matter. In other words, his pictures are right up my alley. I always love to watch cinema that challenges the viewer on some level, something rare indeed in an age of the American special effects laden summer blockbusters. That doesn't necessarily mean I always like these types of films; oftentimes I don't when the fine line between challenging and pretentiousness is crossed, but Noe's stuff is great because it is premium grade weirdness. "Irreversible" will remind many viewers of the American film "Memento," except Noe's film is darker, oh so much darker, than that movie.
"Irreversible" flows backwards, with the closing credits opening the film and each scene shown from the end towards the beginning. Right from the start, you know you're going to see something different. Boy, are you ever! A sex club with fleeting sounds and images of pornographic behaviors, a sickening scene of a human head being bashed in with a fire extinguisher, and an arrest quickly start you wondering about what it all means. As the film progresses (regresses?), we learn why one man killed another in that seedy bar. Alex (Monica Bellucci), a rather carefree soul, was brutally raped and beaten by a thuggish French pimp in a subway tunnel. Her boyfriend Marcus (Vincent Cassel) promptly had an emotional meltdown when he discovered what happened to his lovely woman. Full of seething rage, he goes on a rampage through the city looking for the man who maimed Alex. Along for the ride is Pierre (Albert Dupontel), Alex's former boyfriend who desperately attempts to rein in Marcus's reckless quest for vengeance.
Surprises abound in "Irreversible," surprises that will leave you thinking about the film long after it ends. I was a little amazed I figured out how the film concludes (begins, actually) long before I got there. You just knew there had to be some big, explosive revelation that would give Alex's victimization even more pathos. Well, there is and it's quite shocking. In fact, it would have worked almost as well had the film been shown in chronological order. Since Noe chose to reverse the sequence of the scenes, he not only retains the film's shock value but also imbues it with a frequently recurring sense of "what if." If only Marcus had paid more attention to his wife at that party. If only Alex had listened to Pierre and not gone out alone in a dangerous neighborhood. If only, if only, if only. You get the idea. This sense of identification gives the movie its edge. We've all done the same thing, asked the same questions, after a personal tragedy. I know I have.
What shocks even more are the things Gaspar Noe can get away with showing in a French film. The French have little problem with overt pornography, morally repugnant violence, and lengthy discussions on the most intimate details of sexual relationships. Sure, American films are violent and sometimes crass in their discussions of sex, but not like the French films I have seen lately. I can't imagine any mainstream film made here that would show a rape sequence that runs for nearly ten minutes, or the weird goings on in a club. If you have a serious problem with any of these issues, stay far, FAR away from "Irreversible." For that matter, stay just as far away from Noe's "I Stand Alone," a movie that shows in gruesome detail a murder/suicide. I will say that the filmmaker does not in anyway attempt to glorify the vicious acts of cruelty and barbarism he depicts in his movies. That doesn't mean it makes these incidents any easier to watch, however.
"Irreversible" is a shocker on many levels, a film not suited to a majority of the movie going public. It's not the sort of movie you would take a date to, or watch with members of your family unless you're a member of the Manson family. It should go without saying that Noe's picture is not suitable for young children. I recommend watching "Irreversible" alone so that it becomes a personal experience. I don't know what Gaspar Noe will come out with next, or if he'll ever make another film again, but I want to see it whatever it ends up being. If you haven't seen "I Stand Alone" before watching this one, make sure you see it soon. Fans of this type of cinema should also check out "Baise-Moi," another French film filled with even greater amounts of nihilism and despair than this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sickening But Realistic As Intended, May 19 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Irreversible (Version française) [Import] (DVD)
If I were to rate this movie based on how it made me feel, then I would have given it one star instead of 4 stars, but that would not be fair to the director & actors. The movie achieves what was intended by the director, which really challenged my senses. The rape scene left me numb & stunned. I understand why many people got up and left the theater during that 10-min scene because it's so realistic & brutal unlike anything I've seen before. The movie left me so unsatisfied, which I think is why many viewers gave this a low rating because a high rating might sound like they enjoyed watching the movie. I wanted the satisfaction of seeing revenge on the rapist, but instead the wrong man was brutally murdered and the man (Alex's ex-boy friend) was going to spend yrs in prison as a result of it. I kept hoping for someone to walk through the underpass and disrupted the rape but that did not happen. After the rape, I felt sick watching the woman dragging herself away and held my breath for the rapist to let her go. Instead he brutalized her in a way as shocking & sickening as during the rape. As much as we don't want to acknowlege it, the sickening acts portrayed in this movie do happen in real life. Also, how many times in real life have we seen a trivial decision (such as the woman's decision to leave the party early by herself) led to some event that turned one's life totally upside down? I give 5 stars to the superb acting throughout the movie (esp the rape scene). I felt like those people weren't acting at all. I do agree w/ other viewers that the rotating camera angle during the 1st 30 minutes is just way overdone & totally unnecessary (which is why 4 instead of 5 stars).
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Irreversible (Version française) [Import]
Irreversible (Version française) [Import] by Gaspar Noé (DVD - 2003)
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