User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 447 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 49 out of 447
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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".
  4. RyanD.
    Mar 7, 2005
    6
    This movie has the worst direction I've probably ever seen in a movie. The acting was horrible, the camera angles during the "action" sequences were horrible, and just the way the movie was done in general, was awful. The only reason I give it a 6 is because the ending is so good & unexpected.
  5. ChadS.
    Nov 5, 2004
    6
    "Saw" grows increasingly annoying with each new plot twist, because this sometimes inspired thriller doesn't need it. Seeing people come to grisly ends isn't high on my list of must-sees, but the manner in which this serial killer operates, albeit disgusting, is admittedly creative, and genuinely unsettling to watch unfold. "Saw" is also marred by some uneven acting (Cary Elwes "Saw" grows increasingly annoying with each new plot twist, because this sometimes inspired thriller doesn't need it. Seeing people come to grisly ends isn't high on my list of must-sees, but the manner in which this serial killer operates, albeit disgusting, is admittedly creative, and genuinely unsettling to watch unfold. "Saw" is also marred by some uneven acting (Cary Elwes doesn't do primal terror very well), and the final twist is throw your hands up in the air time, because it's more absurd than exciting. Expand
  6. RichardG.
    Oct 31, 2004
    6
    [***SPOILER***] I saw the guy in front me in the movie theatre get up in anger and walk to the exit and come back after the scene where the woman was supposed to shoot the bad guy after he kidnapped them. This was really stupid, but I said to myself "Self do you think that you can take bad acting, a poor script, and comical behavior anymore?" to my astonishment myself said "yes" and I[***SPOILER***] I saw the guy in front me in the movie theatre get up in anger and walk to the exit and come back after the scene where the woman was supposed to shoot the bad guy after he kidnapped them. This was really stupid, but I said to myself "Self do you think that you can take bad acting, a poor script, and comical behavior anymore?" to my astonishment myself said "yes" and I stayed in my seat. Maybe the guy in front of me couldn't take it, maybe he needed to go to the exit to remind himself that he was not being tortured, and he returned when he noticed that he had this power of walking out of this movie. Expand
  7. Kevin
    Mar 25, 2005
    6
    It kept me in it despite elwes's horrible performance and relative predictability and a few classic cliches. what really annoyed me was the twist at the end that made absolutely no sense. yes it was unexpected, but it completely ruined the movie that some guy in a hospital bed you saw for 2 seconds did everything. i think it would have been much i better if it had turned out to be It kept me in it despite elwes's horrible performance and relative predictability and a few classic cliches. what really annoyed me was the twist at the end that made absolutely no sense. yes it was unexpected, but it completely ruined the movie that some guy in a hospital bed you saw for 2 seconds did everything. i think it would have been much i better if it had turned out to be one of the more central characters. it had a good premise, but i was left frustrated that they ruined an ok with the end. Expand
  8. KaceyG
    Mar 29, 2005
    6
    You'll never predict the ending to this one, which is about the only good thing in this film.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!!!!!
  11. DW
    Nov 17, 2009
    5
    A decent horror movie apart from... A plot that makes wicker baskets look water-tight, swiss cheese smooth, and rain during Monsoon unexpected. Shame, because it has some clever elements to it.
  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 eightyNow, 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. IlirC.
    Jul 31, 2006
    5
    great plot and twist but terrible acting and dialogue has held this movie back... still deserves credit due to the fact that its a indie.
  14. 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.
  15. EddieD
    Sep 21, 2008
    5
    No Saw movie can be a Saw movie unless you include the rest of the series. Very clever movie, but many weak spots and bad acting. But I will admit that I was into this series for a while. But one day I opened my eyes, and said "What the fcuk am I doing??"
  16. JamesK
    Jul 15, 2009
    6
    The only movie in the series worth a touch, but even then there are better horror movies out there.
  17. 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
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. ParmsS
    Nov 5, 2004
    5
    Very entertaining to watch for the first time. Then you walk away and think about it and realise the number of flaws with it. They pitted a master serial killer against the worst cop in the world, Danny Glover was useless. Could have been much better but to many flaws. No where near as good as SEVEN and does not have the watch again appeal like SEVEN.
  22. 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
  23. Billy
    Feb 17, 2005
    5
    The ending was a complete shock. I thought i knew it but i was way off. The acting is what killed this for me. so cheesy is was ridiculous. great story, but it just fell apart late. good rental, not worth buying
  24. PamB.
    Nov 1, 2004
    5
    [***SPOILER***] To poster Richard G., many newspaper critics considered the extended scenes where the daugher is psychologically tortured a big 'no-no' by any movie standards. Like many of the scenes which fell flat on delivery -- every movie patron I sat by grumbled about wasted money and time they spent watching "Saw." I have to agree because even network television does a [***SPOILER***] To poster Richard G., many newspaper critics considered the extended scenes where the daugher is psychologically tortured a big 'no-no' by any movie standards. Like many of the scenes which fell flat on delivery -- every movie patron I sat by grumbled about wasted money and time they spent watching "Saw." I have to agree because even network television does a better job at creating creepy psycho serial killer stories. Expand
  25. 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.
  26. 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
  27. AMovieCritic
    May 22, 2005
    5
    This movie really didn't impress me. The whole thing felt way too set up....it just didn't feel real for a second. There were some intense moments, (mostly flashbacks of this killer's past murders or attempted murders,) but the movie was never very scarry. Things like clowns riding bicycles just don't really scare me in movies. Overall, it was only an OK movie. The This movie really didn't impress me. The whole thing felt way too set up....it just didn't feel real for a second. There were some intense moments, (mostly flashbacks of this killer's past murders or attempted murders,) but the movie was never very scarry. Things like clowns riding bicycles just don't really scare me in movies. Overall, it was only an OK movie. The twist at the end was cool, although it, like the rest of the movie, feels staged, and not believable for a second. Saw is a decent way to spend time if there's "nothing else to watch," but I didn't find the film to be something you should go out of your way to see. Expand
  28. StephenW.
    Jun 21, 2005
    6
    It had it's moments, but the trailers mislead you. Does have some shocking scenes. I expected much better, woldn't have been hard to make it better and more thrilling.
  29. May 26, 2015
    6
    The Saw Series are good movies. But this one I think is the worse nothing really happened unlike the others they actually moved around. That is why it is a 6/10.
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.