User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 322 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 45 out of 322

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  1. Sep 18, 2011
    6
    "Saw" is a gruesome film that lacks the depth and development within the movie. However, the frantic, thrilling ride with a refreshing twist in the end scores the points for "Saw".
  2. Aug 8, 2012
    10
    This movie mentally abuses you and un till it makes you scream like a little child because of it's never suspected plot..it's making you shiver all over. I watched the last scene 5 times when I watched this movie. ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES EVER MADE!!
  3. Jan 28, 2013
    1
    I do not like these kind of movies. Sadictic... If you like torture scenes you might have serious mental problems.............................................................................
  4. Nov 14, 2010
    7
    Saw certainly has one of the best plots ever in a film. A common mistake made when Saw is the topic of discussion (I can't say that is very often) is that the gore is the main feature of the movie. While that does become quite true in the later episodes of the movie series, this does not quite apply to the first of the long series of psychiatric thrillers. Of course, it would be a lie to say there was no blood displayed in the film, some would say that there was a great deal of it, but it is the plot that would be remembered by any viewer. The low budget can be quite noticeable at times, however it is made up for with great directing and script, and a major twist that you won't forget. The only real problem with this is that you can watch a crime show on television anyday without having an hour and fourteen minutes, and chances are you will get better visual effects. Still, with that considered, it is a movie that is definitely worth watching. Expand
  5. Nov 2, 2013
    6
    "Saw", a low-budget horror movie, had well exceeded beyond my expectations. It's a different kind of horror film, one that you will have never imagine that it will be this way. However, to be honest, the plot is quite ridiculous.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
    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
  8. Nov 15, 2012
    6
    Saw is being mistaken for a gross-out horror. It's not. It's a crime-thriller with some unusual qualities.
  9. May 30, 2013
    6
    Saw has some really clever ideas and it's a great torture film!
    It's definitely not the best but if you are into those movies this is a MUST WATCH!!!!!
  10. Dec 23, 2013
    8
    I love the Saw movies, and this by far the best film in the series overall. Although I think Saw II is more entertaining, and and better and more deaths, Saw, the original is still a classic, and paved the way for the infamy of Jigsaw, and the deaths in the movies. 8/10
  11. Nov 5, 2013
    9
    Great Movie! Ignore the reviews that say it sucks because they probably just couldn't handle this film! Getting sick of people that probably watched this movie for 30 minutes and give it a 2 because they in their pants...
    9/10 because of the amazing story and scary/thrilling moments
    PS: Also the sequels have a good story aswell
  12. Nov 27, 2013
    5
    Now, before you read this, keep in mind I've seen all of the saw movies, and I'm a fan of the series. Now, onto the review: This movie was horrible. I know it's the first out of the seven movies, and it's explaining everything, but are you kidding me... no... just no.... boring, and useless. Some of the movie was okay, but no... like, maybe twenty percent was okay, but the other eighty percent big no. Expand
  13. Dec 12, 2013
    8
    As rough-edged and unforgiving as the traps in it, Saw will get under your skin and holds the suspense like no other. It sets up the series well, but unfortunately none of the others live up to it.
  14. Feb 15, 2014
    5
    A decent , effective, bloody explosion. This mystery horror film is strong in violence and brutal content that makes it two bloody thumbs up. Gruesome and twisted, "Saw" is scary as hell.
  15. Mar 1, 2014
    7
    Saw has earned a place in the best horror movies, but I do not think the movie had a way is beyond. Traps are good and I hit a lot of psycho intelligence John Kramer, but does not give you 10 for one reason: the end was not very well, that leaves a lot of mystery and some disappointment due to the lack of character actors . My final opinion is that it is a good horror movie, but it was not what I expected: talent. Expand
  16. Sep 3, 2010
    7
    Two men wake up to find they're chained to pipes either side of a room without really knowing why. Clues are slowly revealed as they are part of some sadistic "game".
    Second time I've seen it & it's still a decent horror film. Clever in parts but some of the acting is pretty bad.
    And Cary Elwes will always be Wesley in the Princess Bride for me.
  17. Oct 19, 2010
    7
    its a good they didn't use the word *torture porn*. as a matter of fact, this movie may not be excellent, but its just so perfect. a killer that doesn't kill people so he just create some traps and watches people die when they go into them. thats pretty clever. thats why this movie is a phenomenal.
  18. Nov 25, 2011
    8
    One of the most original horror films to come out in a long time and its actually good. Saw gives us something no horror film has ever given us before and I loved it. While the acting is solid and far from perfect, It is still an enjoyable film.
  19. Nov 2, 2010
    9
    First in a long line of movies; Saw had an original Premise with a great story backing it. Jigsaw would never kill anyone but somehow make his "victims" do it themselves. Not so much a horror than it is a thriller or crime drama is this film because there really is nothing to be horrified of, just interested in. You never see anything gory happen at all so "Torture Porn" is a completely wrong thing to call the film. The acting was not so great but the actor gave a fairly decent performance. If someone is afraid to see the movie because of the gore they think is in it. Go see this one. It lacks the gore and has a very well written story. Expand
  20. May 16, 2011
    6
    While the plot is a unique idea, it's hampered by bad acting, and poor execution, it could have been great but the way they set it up just makes this movie mediocre, the ending however was fantastic, another complaint is that it's not scary, it just has a tense atmosphere at times, all in all if your looking for an ok gory movie for a rental this is a ok choice just come expecting mediocrity.
  21. Jun 24, 2012
    7
    Criticised for being morally bereft and for starting the "torture porn" horror movie craze though the Saw series is, this first instalment has far more to it than you might immediately realise. While it's notorious for extreme gore, in Saw you actually see relatively little, and it rarely feels like the two protagonists (Leigh Whannell and Cary Elwes) are being put through extreme torment for the sake of it - everything that happens to them is necessary for moving the plot along. Unlike the sequels, Saw really isn't a gruesome horror film, but is actually closer to an incredibly dark crime thriller. The Jigsaw Killer (Tobin Bell) rightly deserves his place in the movie villain hall of fame - he has a terrifying screen presence despite being only a disembodied voice for the majority of the film, and his character, a psychotic vigilante driven by a twisted moral code is far more layered and entertaining than the average film murderer. James Wan and Leigh Whannell's story is deceptively simple, but through several clever and unexpected plot twist and some fairly explicit political subtext, the narrative becomes memorable. Saw also offers you one of the most brilliant and shocking final scenes in film history, something none of the inferior sequels even came close to replicating. The set pieces are also far more effective and terrifying than any we see in subsequent instalments, chiefly due to the fact that they are kept strikingly simple, and the schizophrenic editing hides the goriest visuals, allowing your own imagination to fill in the blanks, which is always a reliable tool to fall back on in horror. The first act of the film is a little slow, and I will concede that the film's underlying message, if there really is one, about the failures of the American justice system and worldwide moral decline, is approached in a rather heavy-handed manner by the filmmakers. The biggest crime the film commits, though, is that it spawned so many underwhelming sequels. Still, in this first chapter of an increasingly tired and formulaic franchise packs a real punch thanks to some good writing, taught and tense plotting and an abundance of energy. Many compare the film unfavourably to Seven, but despite the undeniable similarities in plot, I'd take the stripped-back, far less pretentious Saw over David Fincher's over-compensatory effort any day. Expand
  22. Oct 3, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Saw is one of the best franchise ever so much gore Spoiler Alert: when he cuts his foot off so he can escape Spoiler Alert: You find out how he escapes in Saw The Final Chapter I love the movies how Jigsaw grabs his victims and puts them in traps
    The Bit I hate is Spoiler Alert: The Detective Dies
    Expand
  23. Nov 9, 2011
    9
    I love the plot and Saw's unique concept of being an independent splatter film. It is no doubt the best torture porn film series of all. The acting is not magnificent, but still considerably acceptable. And some of scenes are quite memorable and worth watching if you are into gore and twist endings.
  24. Nov 11, 2011
    10
    SAW is a well-written, well-directed, well-acted, (GASP FOR MORE AIR), basically everything is good in this film. Saw is a great thriller film that has a fantastic ending. Loved it!
  25. Apr 9, 2012
    10
    One of the greatest endings to a movie of all time. Rivals the sixth sense.
  26. Dec 4, 2011
    8
    Solid cast, Very interesting, and it ends in a way that you never see coming. Saw is easily the best horror film in the 2000s so far and is one of the greatest of all time. Only problem is it didnt look as good as it could have (yes I know it was made on a small budget)
  27. Sep 5, 2012
    10
    I'm not a big fan of the genre but this time I was really impressed ... in a good way. The film is not based on torture (what will happen in the sequels) but is based on the psychology of the characters and the suspense without ever going into the ridiculous. A final effect really at and unexpected.
  28. Feb 8, 2012
    8
    I truly don't care that the metacritic score is 46, this movie will go down as a classic in the horror genre. It was a breath of fresh air in a genre that relies on remakes of it's heyday. The twists and turns at the end make for a truly amazing thriller/horror/torture flick.
  29. Feb 9, 2012
    10
    I think its easily one of the greatest and original horror films of all time. It features a very interesting plot, the acting is good, and the horror is great. This is a must see horror film.
  30. Oct 30, 2012
    9
    Saw is a thriller at its finest...sort of. Though the film is essentially a horror film it has nothing to scare you with unless you have a fear of blood and manky bathrooms. The story of saw is simple, 2 men wake in a small dilapidated bathroom chained to the wall with a dead man in between them. One must kill the other before time runs out or both them and their families die. Throughout the film you learn about how the two men are connected more than they thought, about their home lives and about the person who put them in that room to begin with, the Jigsaw killer.
    The story and considering how well shot the film is are the only thing to save it as the acting is pretty bad at the best of times but considering this was a fairly low budget film I can forgive. Saw is a must see for thriller/horror fans.
    Expand
  31. Jul 8, 2012
    8
    Not sure how this one gets such a low rating. It was the best out of the Saw movies and a thriller-especially in this genre. I liked the fact I didn't know what was going to happen next and the original content of the horror (sort of speak). Kinda corny though at times, I can admit. But I can still watch this flick to this day and be entertained.
  32. Dec 4, 2012
    10
    I am a fan of various movie genres and Saw is the best ever made with the strongest twist which leads to a sarcastic laugh considering a rating of 4.6/10 from the critics! This is absolutely not right. Current IMDB user rating is 7.7/10 with above 180.000 ratings which does not quite comply with the "experts" of 4.6. A big gap in here. 265 critics 4.6 rating against 180.000 users 7.7 rating. What makes the critics in sooth?! Oh, yeah. Marlon Brando is not in it. Expand
  33. Dec 23, 2012
    7
    This movie is **** gross!, it is **** bloody and all that **** I mean it is a great movie with a good plot and if you hate on it then your a **** I LOVE THIS **** MOVIE!
  34. May 3, 2013
    8
    This film is definite to beat any upcoming torture films. This film has the depth of most movies and is really compelling making you want to watch it even if their is about 1 hr 32 minutes of brutal gore. But this movie still beats the Blair Witch Project without a question.
  35. Feb 3, 2013
    7
    A very good horror/psychological thriller. There were a few bits and pieces which didn't make a lot of sense. What happened to Lawrence?? As a whole an enjoyable film, with some really intense scenes. Don't watch before you go to sleep!`
  36. Jul 30, 2013
    7
    Let me start off by saying that I am not at all a fan of horror movies. But, "Saw" however, manaGed to convince me thAt it's different in a good way. FroM start to finish, the movie is about two people being locked up in an abandonEd bathroom together, no clue where they are Or how they got there. Ofcourse, in decent moVie fashion, that is explained, and the closer you get to the end, the morE it'll surprise you. It pleasantly suRprised me, and as someone who is terrified by disgusting horror, I must say, this one felt quite unique. Expand
  37. Oct 21, 2013
    8
    Esta pelicula me gusto mucho, tuvo mucho drama y mucho suspenso."Saw" se caracteriza por su intriga y por sus escenas de suspense psicologico.Esta pelicula vale la pena verla.
  38. Jul 29, 2013
    9
    Saw is a great thriller about Jigsaw who is a person who puts some missions to some people to show them the meaning of life. The first saw is a disturbing thriller about two people who are locked in a bathroom and they try to get out. It has mystery and suspense and an ending that thrills the audience. It has some scary moments but saw doesn't want to scare the audience with Boo moments. It wants to put the audience in the position of that two people who are locked in the bathroom The result is successful. A quality thriller which deserves the attention. And for the bad reviews? Screw them! Expand
  39. Oct 15, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Saw is the perfect movie for hardcore horror fans who want to see a good gory film, because Saw has more gore than a pig slaughterhouse. Seriously, I mean there's always someone bleeding profusely at some point of this film! Yet another reason fans of the genre will be enamored with Saw.

    Besides surpassing the average genre fare, Saw is intelligent. Unlike the usual slasher or gory pic, Saw's story is, for the most part, logically sound, although I put "logically" very lightly. Obviously, it's not every day you wake up in a dirty abandoned bathroom chained to a pipe! For what the film was, it made relative sense. At least, it made more sense than most of the other horror flicks I've seen. The story was engaging, and very compelling. There were a few gaps in logic and minor plot holes, but that's pretty standard for any horror movie. The real logical person in that situation would either find a way out in the first 5 minutes or give up and find a way to kill themselves. But a 5 minute movie where the main character dies in the first 5 minutes wouldn't sell at the box office, would it? So the filmmakers have to suspend logic in some places to move the story along, something most critics don't understand. That doesn't make the movie bad, because believe me, if the mentioned critic saw the "5-minute Saw" I talked about before, he/she wouldn't complain about the real film at all.

    Moreover, Saw actually had pretty decent acting. The characters were well-rounded, and this movie was a good kick-starter for the career of Leigh Whannell. Cary Elwes, who I've seen in Twister, Princess Bride, and Robin Hood: Men In Tights, turned his usual goofy character into a serious, dramatic role as Doctor Lawrence Gordon. Desperateness loomed in his eyes the whole film, as he had no idea what was to happen to his wife and child being held captive by an unknown man he thinks is "The Jigsaw Killer". Danny Glover, who almost always dies in a movie, (It seems he's almost surpassed Leonardo DiCaprio in movie deaths!) takes on a detective role as Detective Tapp, obsessed with finding the Jigsaw Killer after Jigsaw kills Tapp's partner, played by Ken Leung.

    This film was a good watch, especially if you like horror films, and will leave a bad taste in your mouth. But that was the point!
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  40. Mar 3, 2014
    9
    Saw is for me the best modern horror movie! It's interesting from start to finish, you can feel for the characters and it has a dark atmosphere. These things get unfortunately lost in the last sequels.
  41. Apr 30, 2014
    10
    In this film, there are something that is not present in 99% of horror films – sense. In what sense? The idea is that why live if you live in the shuffle. Do not bring any benefit not just live. Acting is above all praise. All steeped in some despair, hopelessness, it makes worry about heroes.
  42. Jun 13, 2014
    9
    This just goes to show that critics don't know crap. This is a great movie that kicked off a whole new wave of horror. How could you not like it? Well, I for one, loved it, and highly recommend it.
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.