Obsessed with teaching his victims the value of life, a deranged, sadistic serial killer abducts the morally wayward. Once captured, they must face impossible choices in a horrific game of survival. The victims must fight to win their lives back, or die trying...
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J. R. Jones [Its] sadism is topped only by its absurdity.
Richard Roeper Saw has art-house ambitions, but it's nothing but a glorified snuff film. I despised this movie.
Desson Thomson The Internet film geeks are salivating over this one. But humans who live above ground, including horror fans, will find themselves only fitfully entertained and more consistently appalled.
David Edelstein An ingenious machine for inducing terror, rage, and paralyzing unease.
Lisa Rose Saw is a lesson in the redemptive power of a clever ending, how five minutes of inspiration can compensate for an hour and a half of mediocrity.
Rex Reed The gore is relentless and in your face, and if you grew up glued to the old Universal fright flicks like I did, you won't want to miss a minute of the mayhem.
Frank Scheck Saw boasts an undeniably original premise and clever plot machinations that lift it several notches above the usual slasher film level.
Mark Holcomb James Wan's Saw starts off incomprehensibly, turns nasty in a hurry, and ultimately induces numb exhaustion.
Dennis Harvey There are cheaply effective if unoriginal scares. Filmmakers bring a certain verve to such moments; but building atmosphere and suspense is well beyond them. Ditto handling actors.