User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 428 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 48 out of 428
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  1. Geoff
    Feb 15, 2005
    2
    It's just not a good movie. I figured out the ending in the first five minutes so I wasn't surprised at the ending at all. Maybe it's because every movie feels like it needs to have a twist ending these days. It had an interesting Se7en-like morality plot with the traps the victims need to get out of but ultimately the film could not deliever in the end. I would recommend It's just not a good movie. I figured out the ending in the first five minutes so I wasn't surprised at the ending at all. Maybe it's because every movie feels like it needs to have a twist ending these days. It had an interesting Se7en-like morality plot with the traps the victims need to get out of but ultimately the film could not deliever in the end. I would recommend Takashi Miike's "Audition" way before this. Expand
  2. MarkL.
    Feb 20, 2005
    2
    Give me a break! Bad acting, no scares - not even the cheap gratuitous kind, a ridiculous "denouement" - you could make a better movie during the weekend at home. Do not see Saw.
  3. ZachG.
    Nov 20, 2004
    2
    It's like a high school production of Se7en, except you don't feel bad laughing at it!
  4. jza
    Oct 31, 2004
    3
    I'm not sure how much the guy from Film Threat was paid to give this movie a good write-up, but it is utter and complete crap. Its only redeemable quality is that its so awful that it's unintentionally hilarious. At the showing I went to, the whole audience was cracking up during what I assume were supposed to be serious scenes. I'd like to give a shout-out to the guy I'm not sure how much the guy from Film Threat was paid to give this movie a good write-up, but it is utter and complete crap. Its only redeemable quality is that its so awful that it's unintentionally hilarious. At the showing I went to, the whole audience was cracking up during what I assume were supposed to be serious scenes. I'd like to give a shout-out to the guy behind me in the theater, though, who shouted a rather astute observation during a certain apartment scene: "You need to get some WD-40 for those doors, dawg!" Expand
  5. TomY
    Apr 29, 2005
    2
    Perhaps the worst acting perfomance (Elwes) I have seen in the past 10 years. Great premise, but quickly becomes completely implausible.
  6. KayDeW
    Jun 29, 2005
    3
    I gave this film a 3 for a creative concept, decent twist at the end, and the creepiness factor. With a better script, better performances and the closing of a few plot holes, this could have been another Seven. Sadly the acting was so bad the movie was actually laughable.
  7. KevinB.
    Jul 21, 2006
    0
    uh...first of all...this isnt a horror film...its a snuff film...its not scarey, it just nasty...bad acting and stupid plot...as most snuff films have. However, if all you want to see is people getting killed, go to a search engine and type :"Snuff Films".
  8. MichaelE.
    Feb 23, 2007
    2
    Hilariously bad, dull, and almost completely un-disturbing, un-thrilling, and un-scary. Very predictable and even the promised bloon n' gore is underwhelming. About the only thing to be said about it is that it's better than the sequels.
  9. RossW.
    Apr 13, 2007
    0
    This movie isn't entertaining in the slightest, it is over-hyped and sick. Any level headed person will find this film disgusting and very unenjoyable
  10. JohnF
    Jan 3, 2008
    1
    A depressingly predictable movie that will only appeal to those who like to see people being tortured. There really is nothing else to the movie.
  11. SayedN.
    Nov 22, 2004
    1
    This film is total nonsence....
  12. ChairmanS.
    Nov 2, 2005
    0
    Horrible movie. Some of the worst acting and dialogue I've seen in any movie ever. I suppose you might enjoy it if you don't care about that stuff.
  13. Michael
    Aug 17, 2005
    3
    An absurd atrocity!!! The film has no logic whatsoever. This was one of the worst films of 2004. This stinker deserved worse reviews than it received.
  14. Gnarles
    Jan 10, 2006
    1
    The acting and writing in this movie aren't bad. They are hanging-your-mouth-open-in-wonder bad.
  15. Furbydude
    Dec 14, 2007
    0
    SAW was excruciatingly boring. you may go ahead and watch the whole film... if you want to waste 2 hours of your whole life that you may never get back.
  16. Nov 15, 2012
    2
    This movie just proves that there are no decent horror movies out there. Like all the other horror movies, this movie isn't even scary. It's just a bloody, profane gorefest. Horror movies were meant to scare, but only The Exorcist has managed to give great scares.
  17. [Anonymous]
    Oct 20, 2006
    1
    Stupid. Pointless, Dull, Boring. Nothing to marvel here.
  18. Jan 28, 2013
    1
    I do not like these kind of movies. Sadictic... If you like torture scenes you might have serious mental problems.............................................................................
  19. Feb 19, 2014
    2
    These sorts of ultra gory horror movies seem to have an audience (as evidenced by the multiple sequels to in this Saw franchise) but I've never been a fan. Partly this is because these types of movies aren't particularly scary but mainly it is the fact that watching people get killed in increasingly brutal and graphic ways isn't my idea of entertainment.

    I've often been told that Saw is
    These sorts of ultra gory horror movies seem to have an audience (as evidenced by the multiple sequels to in this Saw franchise) but I've never been a fan. Partly this is because these types of movies aren't particularly scary but mainly it is the fact that watching people get killed in increasingly brutal and graphic ways isn't my idea of entertainment.

    I've often been told that Saw is one of the better examples in the genre but since I couldn't stomach any more than about twenty minutes I wouldn't know.
    Expand
  20. ChrisG
    Jan 8, 2009
    3
    After years of ignoring this series due to it being a poorly reviewed horror series I was finally persuaded by a friend to check it out. I found it to be a disgusting exercise in torture porn with a somewhat original premises. None of the performances are special, and there isn't much in the way of thrills. The story is a mess. There is a market for this stuff I guess, and it's After years of ignoring this series due to it being a poorly reviewed horror series I was finally persuaded by a friend to check it out. I found it to be a disgusting exercise in torture porn with a somewhat original premises. None of the performances are special, and there isn't much in the way of thrills. The story is a mess. There is a market for this stuff I guess, and it's definitely not me. Expand
  21. SlipNinja
    Nov 2, 2004
    2
    [***SPOILERS***] There is nothing I hate more than a movie that compels you to put yourself in the characters shoes, but only if you're willing to leave your brain behind. If I found myself chained to a cast iron pipe, and had a hacksaw at my disposal, I'd sure be trying to cut the soft cast iron before the hard steel chain (duh!) If I had all kinds of smaller exposed pipes [***SPOILERS***] There is nothing I hate more than a movie that compels you to put yourself in the characters shoes, but only if you're willing to leave your brain behind. If I found myself chained to a cast iron pipe, and had a hacksaw at my disposal, I'd sure be trying to cut the soft cast iron before the hard steel chain (duh!) If I had all kinds of smaller exposed pipes attached to the walls around me, I'd be trying to cut, bend, yank, pull, and fatigue them off the wall, so as to SMASH through the relatively brittle cast iron pipe. If I had a FREAKING GUN and BULLET in the room with me, I'd be using my clothes, pieces of electrical cable, and ANYTHING else at my disposal, to reach said items so I could SHOOT OFF THE LOCK!!! I'd even try using the ceramic toilet to smash the cast iron pipe. Cast iron is not that strong (recall Andy Dufrane breaking the large pipe in The Shawshank Redemption with a rock.) All these things are what normal, survival minded people would try to do before lying down and crying like babies. If you want to make a situation hopeless, then do so! Bury the chains in the concrete floor, stick the characters at the bottom of a well, or in the middle of the ocean. Do WHATEVER, but don't create obvious options any reasonably intelligent person could try, and then expect us to feel for characters who do NOTHING because the script calls for them to be stupid. Either I want to be in their shoes or I don't. There are types of movies where one suspends disbelief. Psychological thrillers aren't one of them. That said, there were a dozen more stupid scenes, like the cop trying to find the "off switch" on the drills, while holding a loaded pistol in his hand (duh again!) Elwes' wife NOT shooting an apparently psycho who had spent hours terrorizing and threatening to kill her and her daughter. What was that??? For that matter, if that guy was truly being coerced to do what he did, why did he seem to take such pleasure in terrorizing the wife? Danny Glover was the most physically inept cop since inspector Clouseau (I guess he's castrated without Mel Gibson.) I could go on and on. Bottom line, if a movie is going to have half a chance at scaring me, I have to feel some of the same helplessness as the characters. Maybe I'm just too tough of a guy, but I felt more "trapped" seeing Meg Ryan's head lying on Billy Crystal's chest in Harry Met Sally, then I ever did seeing people chained up in Saw. Collapse
  22. DanL.
    Oct 28, 2004
    3
    [***SPOILERS***] If you want to see a movie that has like 3 good parts (showing several victims attempt to escape their trap w/cool music playing the whole time) that span 5 min apiece, then this movie is for you. Otherwise, don't see this till video. I saw this in an advance screening and watching Cary Elwes try to act and cry (which was unintentionally funny) was ridiculous. Danny[***SPOILERS***] If you want to see a movie that has like 3 good parts (showing several victims attempt to escape their trap w/cool music playing the whole time) that span 5 min apiece, then this movie is for you. Otherwise, don't see this till video. I saw this in an advance screening and watching Cary Elwes try to act and cry (which was unintentionally funny) was ridiculous. Danny Glover's character was entirely extraneous and the end has such a Hollywood twist that it quite annoys. (SLIGHT SPOILER) Look for the part where Elwes goes to a hotel room to secretly meet his secretary, gets an anonymous phone call, and then, unfazed, calmly says "I have to go." This basically sums up the movie for me - not very smart at all. Expand
  23. Jack
    Oct 30, 2005
    4
    Interesting premise, but could have been much better had it not been spoiled by horrible acting and numerous stupid plot twists.
  24. RyanL.
    Feb 21, 2005
    1
    The premise for the movie was excellent. Fire the casting director for hiring Cary Elwes as one of the main characters. He is brutal!!
  25. GregM.
    Mar 11, 2005
    0
    If I thought this movie was trying to be funny, I would have given it a 10. Unfortunately I think it was trying to be shocking and clever, and instead it ended up being one of the worst acted, directed, and written movies I have ever seen in a theater. I'm not sure where all these good scores are coming from. A good premise does not make a good movie, and this movie proves that fact. If I thought this movie was trying to be funny, I would have given it a 10. Unfortunately I think it was trying to be shocking and clever, and instead it ended up being one of the worst acted, directed, and written movies I have ever seen in a theater. I'm not sure where all these good scores are coming from. A good premise does not make a good movie, and this movie proves that fact. You will have more fun at the dentist's during a root canal. PS. My girlfriend liked it and I almost had to dump her because of this. Expand
  26. DamienA.
    Jun 17, 2005
    3
    Some people have said the ending is the best thing about this film. No, the best thing about this film is it's central horrifying idea that people are forced into killing other people in order to save themselves. The ending merely surprises because it is absurd and unbelievable; it's no revelation. The acting is attrocious, plot convoluted, it's edited like a cheap MTV Some people have said the ending is the best thing about this film. No, the best thing about this film is it's central horrifying idea that people are forced into killing other people in order to save themselves. The ending merely surprises because it is absurd and unbelievable; it's no revelation. The acting is attrocious, plot convoluted, it's edited like a cheap MTV video clip and the direction is disappointing. Expand
  27. ElVidalF.
    Oct 28, 2009
    1
    Gross, stupid, sadistic, dumb, boring, sick, disgusting. It truly deserves at least a "36".
  28. MarshallT.
    Nov 14, 2004
    2
    Cary & Danny have jumped the shark while trapped in one of the worst movies I've seen in some time. Often laughably bad acting (inconceivable? no Elwes' Lawrence: MUST ... SAVE ... MY FAMILY makes Star Trek Shatner's Kirk--I ... HAVE HAD ... ENOUGH ... OF YOU-u-u-u--look like Oscar-worthy material). Awkward dialogue. Poor pacing & irrelevant plot developments drawn out, Cary & Danny have jumped the shark while trapped in one of the worst movies I've seen in some time. Often laughably bad acting (inconceivable? no Elwes' Lawrence: MUST ... SAVE ... MY FAMILY makes Star Trek Shatner's Kirk--I ... HAVE HAD ... ENOUGH ... OF YOU-u-u-u--look like Oscar-worthy material). Awkward dialogue. Poor pacing & irrelevant plot developments drawn out, while development of character motivation nixed (no punch, for example, to the taking-life-for-granted motif since the script skips revealing the lives at all!). Way-y-y-y too many moments demanding suspension of disbelief. I also thought the gore aspect was less than most have said (but, then maybe my laughter had my gore sensors in a lockbox). END TAPE: Live your life & cut this one from your movie going line-up. Expand
  29. tonyb.
    Oct 21, 2005
    2
    I did not find this movie to be the that good. the acting was horrible the twist wasnt even that great or big i dont see why everyones so blown away by it and i have a feeling that the second one is going to be even worse then this piece of junk. i havent seen a good horror movie since the sixth sense that was a good horror movie with a good twist nothing worth seeing here not even the I did not find this movie to be the that good. the acting was horrible the twist wasnt even that great or big i dont see why everyones so blown away by it and i have a feeling that the second one is going to be even worse then this piece of junk. i havent seen a good horror movie since the sixth sense that was a good horror movie with a good twist nothing worth seeing here not even the twist but i will give it a 2 because i think it had a good concept wish they just did more with it, it could have been a great movie. Expand
  30. ThomL.
    Oct 29, 2005
    3
    If you haven't seen the movie, and have read previous comments like the one linking this film on the same level as fight club, and then watch the film with that comment in mind, you will be bitterly dissapionted, it was bollocks.
  31. JunoO.
    Nov 2, 2006
    4
    Despite appearances from some high noted actors (Danny Glover, Cary Elwes) and some well placed blood and splatter for gore-hounds, Saw falters in the field of a coherent script, typical numetal-esque guitar riff soundtrack, and simple lapse in reason which will leave viewers shaking their head. Not to mention the "twist-ending" that doesn't really change anything really per-say Despite appearances from some high noted actors (Danny Glover, Cary Elwes) and some well placed blood and splatter for gore-hounds, Saw falters in the field of a coherent script, typical numetal-esque guitar riff soundtrack, and simple lapse in reason which will leave viewers shaking their head. Not to mention the "twist-ending" that doesn't really change anything really per-say throughout the film. I don't mind watching silly horror films and enjoying them, but films with a wee bit of logic for what's going on helps! Expand
  32. DonnaS.
    Jul 21, 2006
    1
    I looked forward to watching this movie after hearing the positive feedback from friends. However, I came to my own realization that this movie was just a seriously overrated, over-hyped movie that didn't deserve any good reviews. It is devoid of horror and puts actors such as Cary Elwes and Danny Glover in a bad light. I am so glad I waited until this movie came out on cable before I looked forward to watching this movie after hearing the positive feedback from friends. However, I came to my own realization that this movie was just a seriously overrated, over-hyped movie that didn't deserve any good reviews. It is devoid of horror and puts actors such as Cary Elwes and Danny Glover in a bad light. I am so glad I waited until this movie came out on cable before I watched it. Expand
  33. Del
    Feb 16, 2007
    2
    Great ideas, good story, lame actors. Could have been more if the cast could act. Watch it if you're a fan of "funny" horror movies.
  34. ApocalypseBrown
    Feb 22, 2007
    4
    I really hate unintelligent horror flicks and this is a prime example of one. To be honest the story is quite engaging, despite the lacking element of surprise and real tension. But the conclusion is Sunday market standard and by then, you are passed caring. Sixth Sense it ain't!
  35. zach
    Oct 19, 2009
    0
    Stupid pointless and sickening eben though all th Saw movies have awesome endings.
  36. Ted
    Nov 2, 2004
    4
    Okay, first I failed to see why they put danny glover in this movie. Can someone please explain to me again why he was in this film? Acting was below standard. The shock value was the only thing keeping this movie from being a 0. It did have some scary moments I'll give it that. But that's all. Certain parts of the movie didn't add up. And some scenes need to be seriously Okay, first I failed to see why they put danny glover in this movie. Can someone please explain to me again why he was in this film? Acting was below standard. The shock value was the only thing keeping this movie from being a 0. It did have some scary moments I'll give it that. But that's all. Certain parts of the movie didn't add up. And some scenes need to be seriously re-written. Even some characters should have been re-written. You will laugh at the acting of the most serious scenes. Why couldn't the guy take his own advice from earlier in the movie? Use the shirt? Like duh. I guess I can't blame the actors, but I do blame the writers for giving them scenes in which they made obvious stupid mistakes and turned a possibly great movie and turned it into a disaster. Expand
  37. BubbaFresh
    Oct 30, 2004
    4
    Good idea for a movie, butchered by everyone who made it. This movie is set in the director's reality rather than actual reality. eg. two cops go into a killer's hideout and find the killer, but at no point bother to call for backup or at least shoot the killer. A series of these stupid unbelievable plot holes along with mediocre acting i.e. fake death scene make this movie Good idea for a movie, butchered by everyone who made it. This movie is set in the director's reality rather than actual reality. eg. two cops go into a killer's hideout and find the killer, but at no point bother to call for backup or at least shoot the killer. A series of these stupid unbelievable plot holes along with mediocre acting i.e. fake death scene make this movie which looked good in previews turn out to be crap. Wanna see a good movie see team america. wanna see a good horror see grudge. Expand
  38. JoeA.
    Nov 12, 2004
    4
    A disappointment. I expected a little more from this movie, and got very little in return. The trailers are mighty enticing. Then again, when the main actor draw is Glover, I shoulda known.
  39. MichaelM.
    Nov 2, 2004
    4
    "Saw" takes a really great and original idea, and turns it into something average and mediocre. I was expecting to see a deeply layered and thought out thriller, but what I got was a poorly acted piece of Indie fluff. The directing in "Saw" isn't half bad, and the story is very much intriguing. But, the dialogue is very banal and embarrasing to listen to, and the acting is nothing "Saw" takes a really great and original idea, and turns it into something average and mediocre. I was expecting to see a deeply layered and thought out thriller, but what I got was a poorly acted piece of Indie fluff. The directing in "Saw" isn't half bad, and the story is very much intriguing. But, the dialogue is very banal and embarrasing to listen to, and the acting is nothing short of atrocious. Although the cast rounds out some very talented performers like Danny Glover and Cary Elwes, they give quite possibly the worst performances of their lives. I always loved Cary Elwes acting, and I was excited to hear he was the main character in this. I wasn't too enthralled half way through the movie though. It's as if Elwes for some reason forgot all the acting skills he was ever taught for an hour and forty minutes (the runtime of "Saw"). Danny Glover phones in his performance as a creepy police detective to the point of actual embarrasment. The film uses gratitous gore and blood to somehow distract the viewers from the poor acting and dialogue, which is pretty lame if you ask me. The gore in "Saw" isn't as graphic or disgusting as most critics are saying. The only scene where I felt like I really couldn't take it, was when Cary Elwes saws through his own foot (and the camera doesn't pan away during the carnage.) The ending of "Saw" is about as confusing as it is ill-conceived. I almost let out a laugh at the end over how ridiculous it was. In conclusion, "Saw" is a second-rate average thriller that is definetly not worth the price of admission. Wait for DVD. Grade: C. Expand
Metascore
46

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 32
  2. Negative: 10 out of 32
  1. Wan's tense, grisly cinematic morsel won't go down easy. But once it hits bottom, Saw is oddly satisfying, though the gag reflex never entirely goes away.
  2. Reviewed by: Heidi Martinuzzi
    90
    May be the best independent horror film to have come out since "The Blair Witch Project." It's certainly better than "Blair Witch", and more fun, more gruesome, and more macabre. In a very delightful way.
  3. 30
    Though dumber than a box of rocks, Saw forges ahead with the kind of conviction and energy that will keep bad-cinema junkies sitting bolt upright.