The films of Stanley Kubrick are one source of inspiration for Noé, and he occasionally makes references to them in his own works. Noé stated in the September 2012 edition of Sight & Sound magazine that seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey at the age of seven changed his life, without which experience he would never have become a director. Noé also cites the 1983 Austrian serial killer film, Angst, by Gerald Kargl, as a major influence.
His work has been strongly associated with a series of films defined as the cinéma du corps/cinema of the body, which according to Tim Palmer share an attenuated use of narrative, generally assaulting and often illegible cinematography, confrontational subject material, a treatment of sexual behavior as violent rather than mutually intimate, and a pervasive sense of social nihilism or despair.
Noé often breaks the fourth wall by directly addressing the audience through the use of confronting, and sometimes strobing, typography that aims to "disrupt and disturb" the viewer, similar to the typographical methods practised by Jean-Luc Godard.