|Lions Gate Films | Release Date: March 7, 2003||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
Whether you take the film as a deliberately vile act of filmmaking that unpacks rape-revenge scenarios while making a point about male desire, or simply as a deliberately vile piece of filmmaking, one thing is certain: It's about as close to a physical assault on viewers as movies get. Read full review
Even if you closed your eyes -- a tempting option -- you would still know that you were in the hollering presence of pain. The story is undiluted dread. [10 March 2003, p. 94]
To get to the beginning, one must first get through the end, which is almost literally unendurable.
Noé, with his Nietzsche-for-knuckleheads nihilism and extreme-cinema ambitions, clearly fancies himself a visionary, but mounting a camera on a roller coaster or putting a story into rewind doesn't make a film formally adventurous or interesting. Conceiving of a gay club as an antechamber to the inferno and sexualizing a woman's rape, however, do make it titillating. Read full review
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