Erin Richter
August 15, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Irreversible

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
97 minutes
Limited Release Date
03/07/03
performer
Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel, Philippe Nahon, Jo Prestia
director
Gasper Noe
distributor
Lions Gate Films
author
Gasper Noe
genre
Foreign Language, Drama

We gave it an A-

French director Gaspar Noe’s jarringly violent, nerve-racking head trip may be one of the hardest-to-watch movies ever made. That’s obviously Noe’s provocative goal as he tells his story of love (starring real-life couple Bellucci and Cassel), brutal rape, and furious revenge that plays out over one night before, during, and after a party — in reverse, much like 2001’s ”Memento.” Using a droning score and dizzying camera work, he surrounds viewers in chaos; challenges them to turn away with unflinching, extended single-take close-ups of extreme bodily destruction; and then comforts them with domestic bliss. It’s a daring and edgy movie-watching experience, but one whose aftershock is not easily reversed. EXTRAS Two four-minute-plus swirling-camera, thumping-techno scenes of a tunnel and a party seem superfluous.

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