Saw (2004)

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Critic Consensus: Saw is more than nasty enough for genre junkies, but far too twisted, gory, and shallow for more discerning horror fans.

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The directorial debut from filmmaker James Wan, this psychological thriller comes from the first screenplay by actor Leigh Whannell, who also stars. Whannell plays Adam, one of two men chained up in a mysterious chamber. The other, Dr. Gordon (Cary Elwes), like Adam, has no idea how either of them got there. Neither of them are led to feel optimistic by the man lying between them dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Together, Adam and Dr. Gordon attempt to piece together what has happened to them and who the sadistic madman behind their imprisonment is. Also starring Danny Glover and Monica Potter, Saw premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

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Cast

Cary Elwes
as Dr. Lawrence Gordon
Danny Glover
as Detective David Tapp
Ken Leung
as Detective Steven Sing
Tobin Bell
as John/Jigsaw
Monica Potter
as Alison Gordon
Michael Emerson
as Zep Hindle
Makenzie Vega
as Diana Gordon
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Critic Reviews for Saw

All Critics (184) | Top Critics (40)

The sound of Jigsaw's gravely voice pouring out of the tape recorder is still as ominous a sound as one could imagine, and the big reveals still come as a genuine shock.

Oct 27, 2017 | Full Review…

How such a cruelly empty and infantile movie got made is mystery enough. More puzzling is why Cary Elwes, Danny Glover and Monica Potter would sign on as co-stars.

Oct 27, 2014 | Full Review…

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.

Oct 27, 2014 | Full Review…
AV Club
Top Critic

[Its] sadism is topped only by its absurdity.

Nov 15, 2011 | Full Review…

Why see Saw? Because it has teeth and it cuts to the bone.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Saw has art-house ambitions, but it's nothing but a glorified snuff film. I despised this movie.

Nov 1, 2004

Audience Reviews for Saw

½

A gruesome, perverse and uncomfortably macabre movie that is also really ingenious and gripping when it comes to the twisted motivations behind the killer's deeds, and the film ends with one of the most surprising and unpredictable scenes I can remember.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Apart from the many plot holes, I think this is decent gore film.

Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

½

A gritty, dirty, and intense horror movie with superb acting from Leigh Whannel and Cary Elwes as two men chained inside an abandoned bathroom, wondering how they got there and why they are here. This movie gets a lot of bad rep for ceaseless violence and excessive gore, and gets unfairly coupled with "Hostel" because of this. It is definitely violent and not for all, but in terms of how the simple story is given layers and handled meticulously with backstories and flashbacks, you can not deny it is a good idea handled exceptionally well. In my opinion this is one of the better horror films of the 00's, with a twist ending that will knock you out cold. The score is also phenomenal, as it continually amps up the intensity (especially in the final act) to almost unbearable levels. Highly recommended if you like horror films.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

½

not a fan of the gore fest horror films that this movie started generating but this was a decent movie. The twist to me was slightly unrealistic as how could a man alive lay there that long and not move once or show breathing . . .

John Manard
John Manard

Super Reviewer

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