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I Saw the Devil (2011)


Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 80
Fresh: 64
Rotten: 16

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 15
Fresh: 9
Rotten: 6

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 16,603


Movie Info

I SAW THE DEVIL is a shockingly violent and stunningly accomplished tale of murder and revenge from Korean genre master KIM Jee-woon (The Good, The Bad, The Weird and A Tale of Two Sisters). Oldboy's CHOI Min-sik plays Kyung-chul, a dangerous psychopath who kills for pleasure. The embodiment of pure evil, he has committed horrifying and senselessly cruel serial murders on defenseless victims, successfully eluding capture by the police. On a freezing, snowy night, his latest victim is the … More

Art House & International , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
In Theaters:
May 10, 2011
Box Office:
Magnolia Releasing - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for I Saw the Devil

All Critics (80) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (64) | Rotten (16) | DVD (1)

A remorseless catalogue of calculated violence, casual cannibalism and sexual sadism, this inflicts over two hours of suffering on the audience...

Full Review… | April 27, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

This is the stuff of nightmares, where even the good guy is bad, and as shock cinema goes, it packs a punch.

Full Review… | April 15, 2011
Detroit News
Top Critic

We lucky westerners get to see it in all its hair-raising, stomach-churning glory, and that's a wonderful thing.

Full Review… | April 13, 2011
Miami Herald
Top Critic

A terrific but uncompromising film that's definitely not for everyone. It's not just that the violence is graphic, but that much of it is so mean-spirited.

Full Review… | March 25, 2011
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

After a while, the sheer length and repetitiousness of the film begins to feel pornographic in the dullest sense.

Full Review… | March 18, 2011
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Director Kim Jee-woon is a born filmmaker, even if this script (written by Park Hoon Jung and adapted by Kim) is unworthy of his efforts.

Full Review… | March 18, 2011
Washington Post
Top Critic

Thanks to the strong directing we get a handful of really fantastic scenes and a number of thrills, which make this a wholly enjoyable film.

Full Review… | November 11, 2013
We Got This Covered

It's a terrible time at the movies, and for that it is truly quite great. But you've been warned.

Full Review… | June 22, 2013

A thriller that makes you wish you knew how to scream "O.M.G." in Korean.

Full Review… | January 13, 2013
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

A revenge flick that's just about as uncompromising as anything I've seen come out of Asia in the last decade or so.

Full Review… | September 28, 2012

In filmmaker Kim Jee-woon's latest offering, the generous runtime begins with narrative promise but soon settles for near-ridiculous plot twists in order set up the next sadistic rape, murder, torture or terror most foul.

Full Review… | January 23, 2012

Worth the price of admission for the wildly creative (and brutally bloody) taxicab scene alone. Merciless, uncompromising, and unforgettable.

Full Review… | January 13, 2012

Senseless and inane sicko revenge pic.

Full Review… | December 14, 2011
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

...a gritty, brutal, and consistently uncompromising thriller that does, for the most part, feel like South Korea's answer to Se7en.

Full Review… | December 1, 2011
Reel Film Reviews

This film features a spectacular performance by Choi Min-sik as Kyung-chul, one of the most scary and evil villains ever seen in any film.

Full Review… | November 29, 2011
Laramie Movie Scope

Casts quite a spell. Even if the whole endeavor limps to a close, there's enough vivid imagery and teary passion within to fuel several movies.

Full Review… | May 24, 2011

Possibly the most violent film ever, I Saw The Devil makes Hostel look like a teddy bears' picnic.

Full Review… | April 29, 2011
Daily Mirror [UK]

There's no shortage of Korean revenge-thrillers, but this, along with the recent The Man from Nowhere, proves there is plenty of life left in the genre.

Full Review… | April 28, 2011

Although director Kim Ji-woon's inventive twist on the vigilante shocker is relentlessly bloodthirsty, it never loses sight of the human fallout from violent crime, deftly weaving Lee's eye-for-an-eye actions with moments of genuine emotional grief.

Full Review… | April 28, 2011
Radio Times

Violent, visceral and vengeful: a catalogue of torture with frustratingly little else to maintain the interest.

Full Review… | April 27, 2011

There is no denying that Kim Jee-woon is a phenomenal director, wrenching visceral thrills, dark humour and even occasionally an element of surprise, from all his stock set-pieces.

Full Review… | April 27, 2011
Little White Lies

Ji-woon handles difficult set pieces and violence well, managing not to appear over-indulgent despite the film's obvious roots in exploitation cinema.

Full Review… | April 27, 2011
Fan The Fire

This gleefully black horror-thriller is a very classy follow-up to The Good, the Bad, the Weird for Kim Jee-Woon.

Full Review… | April 26, 2011
Empire Magazine

Half engrossing, half just gross, Kim's revenge epic is all form over content. The style dazzles, but just think what he could do with a decent script.

Full Review… | April 21, 2011
Total Film

Audience Reviews for I Saw the Devil


Another South Korean "desperate for vengeance" themed flick with generous dose of violence. I am not a fan of action films per se, but I was amazed by the action sequences in this movie. I guess I found it to be so amazing owing to the actors involved in those scenes. If Min-sik Choi was outstanding as a psycho who doesn't know what fear and pain is; Byung-hun Lee was no less competent.

On the flipside, the movie is out and out predictable. Besides, the concept of making your enemy suffer instead of letting him die easily, was done just recently (in El Secreto De Sus Ojos). Surely, the treatment is as diverse as chalk and cheese, but it still managed to serve as a drawback for me.

Anyways, the movie is still worth a watch for its breathtaking action scenes and power-packed performances. Nothing unique here, but it's a cool vengeance movie that succeeds in holding your interest for 2+ hours (pardon the exaggeration, but I hope you'll get what I'm trying to convey here), despite being outright predictable.

(Originally rated on May 19, 2011; made a negligible correction on June 28, 2014!!)

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

The extremely graphic nature of this otherwise generic action/revenge thriller, is definitely not for the squeamish. Although sadistic, repulsive and pointless in its subject matter, the approach is strangely stylish and engaging throughout. Not a pleasant experience, but intense and hard to forget.

Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer


Once the credits start rolling, and you reflect on the film you've just seen, it will be hard to find flaws in 'I Saw the Devil.' Ji-woon Kim's direction is top notch, and he keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat the entire film. Min-sik Choi's's acting is incredible, and Byung-hun Lee is no slouch himself. Quite simply, this film is amazing. Grade: B+

Sunny Dogra
Sunny Dogra

Super Reviewer

A bold and electrifying new breed of revenge film. A shockingly violent and stunningly well made piece of work that`s truly unforgettable and mind-blowing. A bloody, stylish, gripping and absolutely terrifying movie that`s a memorable step forward in the genre. A bone-chilling and heart-pounding adrenaline-charged edge of your seat thriller. A frightening masterpiece that is truly a must-see. Director, Ji-woon Kim crafts one of his most accomplished and brilliant films so far. Revenge films don't get more shocking or exhilarating than this. It`s the real deal. Byung-hun Lee and Min-sik Choi are absolutely sensational. Choi is sadistically brilliant. Lee is magnificent. A spectacular showdown of a cat and mouse game. An intense and powerful thrill-ride that leads you a gut-rotting and breathtaking finish.

Al S

Super Reviewer

I Saw the Devil Quotes

Detective Oh:
He can't become a monster to fight the monster.
– Submitted by Jane P (3 years ago)
Captain Jang:
Who broke your balls?
– Submitted by Jeff H (3 years ago)

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