YMMV / Irreversible

  • All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": The film has an eight-minute rape scene, and that's often the only thing people know about it. There's also a scene where a guy gets his head crushed by a fire extinguisher.
  • Anvilicious: Le temps détruit tout.
  • Broken Base: Understandably, the film has received both high praise and harsh criticism. It was both booed and given a standing ovation at Cannes.
  • Complete Monster: Le Tenia ("The Tapeworm") is a particularly repulsive and misogynistic pimp of transsexual prostitutes, who has a reputation for beating and mistreating his employees. Introduced mercilessly abusing one of his prostitutes in an underway, Tenia then proceeds to rape the main character Alex for an extended period of time, just for happening to be there at the worst possible moment. During this whole ordeal, Tenia is high on cocaine and whispers vulgar insults at her, clearly enjoying every second of brutalizing her. After having his way with her, Tenia proceeds to kick her and pound her head against the floor until she is in a comatose state. This whole crime is made even more gut-wrenching when Alex is eventually revealed to have been pregnant. Desiring revenge, Alex's fiancée Marcus and her ex-boyfriend Pierre track down Le Tenia in a gay club. When Pierre proceeds beat Tenia's friend's head in with a fire extinguisher instead, the real Le Tenia watches from the distance and grins in triumph, not believing that he got away with his crimes without ever being caught.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Something revealed towards the very end — namely that Alex was pregnant, makes the events shown at the beginning of the film seem even worse.
    • After the rape, the movie becomes increasingly lighter and happier, which makes the contrast with the disturbing start of the movie even nastier. In particular, the main characters have a slightly kinky sex scene near the end of the movie that's completely cringe-inducing, knowing how their day ends.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Marcus' initial fight with the suspected rapist, and then Pierre's extinguisher bludgeoning of his face.
    • La Tenia when he rapes and beats Alex.
  • Nausea Fuel: This film makes few allowances for those that suffer from motion sickness. The vertiginous camerawork and garish red lighting combined with the intense droning soundtrack caused a few people to vomit at the premiere. Low-frequency sound was also used in order to disorientate the audience.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The rape scene. Nine minutes of horrifying, uninterrupted, and graphic rape. Holy shit.
    • Let's not forget the fire extinguisher scene as well.