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The Greatest Movies We Never Want to See Again: ‘Irreversible’

Gaspar Noe takes on the rape and revenge genre with this provocative film told in reverse — a woman (Monica Bellucci) is raped, and her lover (Bellucci’s real-life husband Vincent Cassel) seeks out those responsible for the heinous crime so he can exact his horrifying and morally-questionable revenge. ‘Irreversible’ is hard to stomach for a few reasons, primarily Noe’s refusal to cut away from the nauseating sequences of violence, forcing the audience to experience and process the horror on a very personal level. Noe also uses vertiginous camera movements in his lengthy opening sequence to elicit feelings of helplessness, confusion, and agitation. It’s a grueling experience, but a masterful one as well.

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