This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Josh Ethier’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
A perfect film. Does successfully what so few rape revenge movies do at all. In a class of its own. A car crash of art house and exploitation. A technical marvel, with sound, picture, music, lighting, and performance constantly raising the bar. Maybe the most confrontational movie ever made. How often is a movie this misogynist, homophobic, racist, transphobic, and unflinchingly violent (the movie even opens with a pedophile talking about sleeping with his own young daughter) also undeniably required viewing? Every time I see it I notice something new, and my stomach drops in all new places.
Like seeing Marcus' alpha male pin down of Alex in the bedroom at the back of the film, when we also see her rapist do that 40 minutes prior. Which shows the viewer what echoes sexual violence can have through a persons life, context that's almost totally lost when you watch it chronologically.
Or understanding that all the violence is before you know anything about the victims of all the violence (sexual and physical), so you're given violence and victims and THEN context which is so reversed from all other rape/revenge films, and astronomically shocking from a story sense. However hard all the violence hits in the first half, the incredible sinking feeling of knowing them as flawed but loving people who are going to go through it all is almost as hard to take.
There's so few films that come close to Irreversible. I've seen it so many times through the years, and I imagine I'll have more to say in another 21 years. A flat out masterpiece.