Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mar 2, 2011
    75
    Somewhere in all the blood (sickening realism is a selling point), a question is posed: When does the one fighting a monster become a monster himself?
  2. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Apr 14, 2011
    88
    Director Kim Jee-woon's astonishing story of a serial killer who picks the wrong man's fiancée to murder, is so extreme and intense that it had to be trimmed down in its native country before it was released to theaters. We lucky westerners get to see it in all its hair-raising, stomach-churning glory, and that's a wonderful thing.
  3. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Mar 17, 2011
    50
    But that ending is a whopper all the same: a heartless blast of tragedy, exploitation, amusement, and general flagrance.
  4. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Mar 24, 2011
    67
    Although the sequences grow somewhat repetitive in spite of their vicious escalation, and some of the details challenge believability, I Saw the Devil is a spectacle of substantial merit.
  5. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Mar 3, 2011
    83
    A mesmerizing study of the nature of evil itself.
  6. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Mar 17, 2011
    83
    If you've got the stomach for it, it's a treat.
  7. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Mar 4, 2011
    75
    You won't soon forget it -- if you have the guts to see it.
  8. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Mar 17, 2011
    63
    A typical mixture of the artful and the repellent.
  9. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Mar 4, 2011
    70
    A droll Nietzschean fable that's fully aware of its lapses into absurdity.
  10. Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    Mar 1, 2011
    40
    Never good with nuance, Kim is a beast with disarming imagery but has few resonating ideas, leaving the domino-tumble of brutality to become its own tiresome spectacle.
  11. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Mar 2, 2011
    60
    Ultimately, the returns of the film's premise can't justify a nearly two-and-a-half-hour squirm. The savagery is honest, raw and hardly entertainment.
  12. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Mar 3, 2011
    83
    Eventually, Soo-hyun's relentless pursuit-and-release approach outlives the director's skill and the premise starts to feel redundant.
  13. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Mar 16, 2011
    63
    A thriller that makes you wish you knew how to scream "O.M.G." in Korean.
  14. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Mar 10, 2011
    50
    An artfully depraved piece of South Korean torture porn directed by Kim Ji-woon, is a skillful serial-killer thriller in keeping with the likes of "Saw."
  15. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Mar 25, 2011
    88
    A terrific but uncompromising film that's definitely not for everyone.
  16. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Mar 1, 2011
    80
    Repugnant content, grislier than the ugliest torture porn, ought to have made the film unwatchable, but it doesn't, simply because Kim's picture is so beautifully filmed, carefully structured and viscerally engaging.
  17. Reviewed by: Pam Grady
    Mar 1, 2011
    80
    Plenty of people die in I Saw the Devil, but it is that first attack on Ju-yeon in the movie's opening minutes that reverberates through the epic 141-minute running time.
  18. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Mar 4, 2011
    70
    There is all the violent mayhem, for certain, but the thing that sets I Saw the Devil apart is its undercurrent of real emotion and how unrelentingly sad it can be.
  19. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Kerr
    Mar 1, 2011
    40
    On any number of levels, "Devil" is troublesome at best, offensive at worst.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Apr 21, 2011
    10
    First off, a lot of people reviewing are missing the point to this film. They write a lot of things about the violence and obscure scenes and they totally miss the point of the movie. You cant summarize this movie with what you see, it needs to take a count for what it makes you feel.

    Yes the movie is very violent, very bloody. It will make you cover your eyes of obscenity. Those scenes set up the movie to the emotions you the viewer needs to be in to understand the point of the movie. I think the writer wants to make your mind go to dark places, very dark places. It want's you to scream "REVENGE" and "MAKE HIM SUFFER" and the beauty of the movie is that it does this, perfectly. When the movie comes closer to a conclusion the main point of the movie is revealing it self. You can't get revenge, all you have done to try to get revenge has made you loose even more. All the suffering you inflicted to the villain wont make him regret what he did or ever fear what you will do to him. "You lost already" is the line that says it all.

    The movie is a breath of fresh air, one of the best movies i have ever seen. It takes you through a journey to dark places and at the end makes you regret all the dark thoughts the movie made you think.
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 13, 2011
    7
    Despite the gory violence and mindless blood the movie's plot heads to, "I Saw the Devil" brings revenge into a different level with director Kim's disarming imagery and a powerful, crazy performance by Choi. Full Review »
  3. Jun 17, 2011
    10
    Wow, just wow. Only another Korean movie could come close to the best revenge movie (Oldboy) of our time and "I saw the devil" sure comes close enough. This movie is just like Oldboy a glimpse into the abyss of the human soul/human mind. If you've seen Oldboy, then this movie just like Oldboy will, at the end, leave you in your seat thinking and trying to grasp what you just watched. Full Review »