Irréversible Reviews

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out
February 9, 2006
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Houston Chronicle
July 21, 2005
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 19, 2004
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
May 9, 2003
Extremely difficult to endure, and if you choose to endure it, it could leave you feeling angry and upset. Nevertheless, this is serious filmmaking, and Noe is a gifted filmmaker.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
April 24, 2003
A fascinating study in excess, a movie that seduces and repulses as it explores the merciless nature of fate.
| Original Score: 4/5
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April 22, 2003
There is nothing moral about Irreversible -- only sneeringly superior and nihilistic, like Johnny Rotten at his most fatuous.
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
April 11, 2003
A genuine outlaw work of art.
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
April 11, 2003
Fails because of its gratuitous rape and violence and also because of its pretentious and intellectually one-dimensional grounds, which make the violence at the end feel even worse.
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 28, 2003
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Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 27, 2003
A sometimes repellent yet deeply moving film.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
March 21, 2003
There's less to Irreversible than meets even the most unblinking of eyes.
| Original Score: C
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
March 18, 2003
I hope people who go to see this don't walk out in the first ten minutes or after that scene, because I think you have to experience the entire film. And then you can decide whether or not you're offended by it.
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
March 14, 2003
At once overwhelming and inconsequential, harrowing and banal, gimmicky and humourless, overheated and undercooked, this mega-hyped French movie may represent the ultimate triumph of cynicism in the global trade in non-English-language movies.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
March 14, 2003
It's shock for shock's sake, and Noé seems to enjoy rubbing our noses in it.
| Original Score: 1/4
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Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
March 14, 2003
Is there a point to this spew, a cry against the mongrel violence of men? Or is Noe merely a sadist who enjoys inflicting ugly, pitiless images on his audience?
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 14, 2003
Excruciating exercise in voyeurism, provocation and pretentiousness.
| Original Score: 1/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
March 14, 2003
An integrated work whose form clearly mirrors its content.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
March 14, 2003
Noe's summation is an ideological sucker-punch from a filmmaker who gets off on abusive relationships.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
March 14, 2003
So formally and stylistically aggressive that this aspect overpowers what it has to say, which isn't much.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 14, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Gary Dowell
Dallas Morning News
March 13, 2003
It's a gritty, vicious assault on the senses, one that very nearly evaporates due to writer-director Gaspar Noé's short-changing of the narrative.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
March 13, 2003
It is a work specifically designed to disturb and disgust, and it accomplishes both goals so completely some people will find it impossible to watch at all.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
March 13, 2003
Once the shock wears off and feeling returns to the extremities, Irreversible is unmistakably life-altering and affirming.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
March 13, 2003
Convinces me as nothing else so far that I have reached the point of diminishing returns with movies that pretend to be profound by having their pulpy, banal stories told backwards and sideways and upside-down.
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
March 13, 2003
The hard, lurid images catch you in a vise. But dramatically, with few exceptions, it's a mess.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
March 12, 2003
Gaspar Noe's horrifying film about rape and revenge erases the boundaries between porn and exploitation.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 9, 2003
Those up to a challenge who attend with an open mind will find something to gnaw at the soul.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mike Clark
USA Today
March 7, 2003
Without an episode to develop character, Noe can't really finesse the 180-degree transition to show how a single event can irrevocably transform lives.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
March 7, 2003
What's apparent about Irreversible is that, at some point, the message about and depiction of violence becomes violence itself.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 7, 2003
Low-end pornography that will titillate sickos who get off on seeing women and gays degraded and snuffed -- a movie without any redeeming social value.
| Original Score: 0/4
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Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
March 6, 2003
The frenzied momentum churns up a lot of adrenaline and stomach acid for Irréversible. But the performances certainly don't stir up much emotion.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
March 6, 2003
Noé isn't concerned with subverting the status quo. Indeed, what he really seems to want to do is make a Hollywood movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
March 6, 2003
Powerful and profound.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
March 6, 2003
An amazing and profoundly disturbing experience.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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John Powers
L.A. Weekly
March 6, 2003
The opening 50 minutes are brutal, but if you can take the punishment, you'll probably be wowed by Noé's skills as a filmmaker.
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
March 4, 2003
Noé's stunt is an exploitation movie with a gimmick, not to mention a vacuous philosophy.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
February 24, 2003
Noe's considerable accomplishment is to examine the relationship between life and art, time and memory.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
May 30, 2002
While Noe's premise that 'time destroys everything' seems to be a weak rationalization for the picture's audacious raison d'etre, its ability to incite strong personal reactions is undeniable.