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 the underpass.

Director:

Gaspar Noé

Writer:

Gaspar Noé
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Popularity
703 ( 54)
3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Monica Bellucci ... Alex (as Bellucci)
Vincent Cassel ... Marcus (as Cassel)
Albert Dupontel ... Pierre (as Dupontel)
Jo Prestia ... Le Tenia (as Prestia)
Philippe Nahon ... L'homme (as Nahon)
Stéphane Drouot Stéphane Drouot ... Stéphane (as Drouot)
Jean-Louis Costes Jean-Louis Costes ... Fistman (as Costes)
Mick Gondouin ... Mick (as Gondouin)
Mourad Khima Mourad Khima ... Mourad (as Khima)
Layde Hellal Layde Hellal ... Layde (as Hellal)
Dominique Nato Dominique Nato ... Commissaire (as Nato)
Michel Fesche Michel Fesche ... Chauffeur Taxi (as Fesche)
Victoria Jaramillo Victoria Jaramillo ... Concha (as Jaramillo)
Jean-Yves Le Quellec Jean-Yves Le Quellec ... Inspecteur (as Le Quellec)
Isabelle Giami Isabelle Giami ... Copine d'Alex enceinte (as Giami)
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Storyline

A young woman, Alex, is raped by a stranger in a tunnel. Her boyfriend Marcus and ex-boyfriend Pierre decide to do justice themselves. In 2002, Gaspar Noé created controversy (and controversy) by presenting his film at the Cannes Film Festival. 17 years later, he returns with a brand new version of his cult film. Initially operated in an anechronological form (the film starts at the end and ends at its beginning), with Irreversible "Full Inversion" (2019), the filmmaker offers us a completely different reading, offering it to us in a chronological order.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Time destroys everything


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The French DVD release proudly proclaims in the blurb on the back that of 2,400 people at the film's Cannes premiere, 200 walked out. See more »

Goofs

As the subway arrives, Pierre describes it as blue. Actually it is green and white. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Philippe: You want me to say it? Time destroys everything.
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Crazy Credits

The letters E, K, N, and R are printed backwards throughout the credits (as is the N in the StudioCanal logo). See more »

Alternate Versions

A new version, called "Irréversible - Inversion Intégrale" ("Irréversible - Straight Cut" in English), was screened in 2019 at the 76th annual Venice International Film Festival. It has been recut to put the narration in chronological order. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Four Kinds of Love (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

La Queuleuleu
Written by Guy Lux (as G. Lux) and Gérard Tempesti (as G. Tempesti)
Performed by André Bézu (as Bézu)
Editions Master Music / Fil Rouge
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User Reviews

 
Hits you in the face like a ten ton hammer!
14 February 2004 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Holy Macaroni! Believe the hype, folks...this really IS one of the most shocking, confronting and raw movies ever made! It actually is one of those rare purchases that makes you wonder what the role of cinema is in modern society. Irréversible certainly can't be classified as 'entertainment', that's for sure. It merely looks like a brutal eye-opener, highly unpleasant to watch at times and it sometimes makes you even feel ashamed to be human! Some of the stuff here goes beyond your most feared nightmares and could easily provoke depression, anti-social behavior and anxiety among influential viewers. It's real-life drama and that makes it so powerful and shocking. Irréversible is told backwards, 'Memento'-style if you wish...only it's a lot more effective here as it was in Memento, which actually was a pretty boring and extremely overrated movie. This very simple backwards-structure aspect gives Irréversible the opportunity to implement a couple of unique and rarely seen style elements. The first half hour (which actually is the end of the story) smacks you in the face right away sets the tone for a non-stop, raw experience. Also, you don't really get to know the characters until the last chapter (which is actually the beginning of the film) The characters are a riddle to you constantly and you can't symphatise with any of them, since you just know too little. Through wild camera movements and simplistic techno-music, a claustrophobic and horrifying atmosphere gets created and the violence is really hard to digest. The infamous scene in which Monica Belluci brutally gets raped is one of the most perverted things I've ever seen. It seems to go on forever and you can really visiualise the painful hell the poor girl is going through. I'd call Irréversible a successful combination of ancient, rough exploitation and modern art-house film-making. The brutality portrayed here is typical for the euro-shock cinema but the stylish shooting lifts it up to Cannes Festival material. Cult as pure as it comes!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Spanish | Italian | English

Release Date:

24 May 2002 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Irreversible See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$60,086, 9 March 2003

Gross USA:

$792,200

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,479,328
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

120 Films, Canal+, Eskwad See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (Inversion intégrale) | (straight cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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