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I Saw the Devil (2011)

tomatometer

60

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

No consensus yet.

audience

86

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 16,412

My Rating

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

May 10, 2011

$0.1M

Magnolia Releasing - Official Site External Icon

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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...

April 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comment (1)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

April 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

April 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop 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.

March 25, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

March 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Comments (10)
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop 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.

March 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Washington Post | Comment (1)
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop 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.

November 11, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
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.

June 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

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

January 13, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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.

September 28, 2012 Full Review Source: TheShiznit.co.uk
TheShiznit.co.uk

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.

January 23, 2012 Full Review Source: JWR

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

January 13, 2012 Full Review Source:

Senseless and inane sicko revenge pic.

December 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
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.

December 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
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.

November 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope | Comment (1)
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.

May 24, 2011 Full Review Source: BrianOrndorf.com
BrianOrndorf.com

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

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK] | Comment (1)
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.

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

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.

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

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

April 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

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.

April 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
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.

April 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
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.

April 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
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.

April 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Total Film
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!!)
June 27, 2014
imrealgod

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.
October 21, 2013
pier007

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+
February 3, 2013
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.
January 12, 2013
allan913

Super Reviewer

    1. Detective Oh: He can't become a monster to fight the monster.
    – Submitted by Jane P (3 years ago)
    1. Captain Jang: Who broke your balls?
    – Submitted by Jeff H (3 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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