common sense

0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
5 out of 5
3 out of 5
5 out of 5

More grisly than scary; not for kids.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie is the stuff of nightmares, even if the inured horror aficionado might not find it scary. The images of torture and death are brutal and explicit, lingering in mind long after the movie ends. There are multiple on-screen deaths, a child's life is threatened, characters die, a father is forced to make terrible decisions to protect his family, and there are no scenes free of peril. There are references to suicide, adultery, drug addiction, madness, and self-mutilation. There is strong language, and characters smoke. Underlying the killer's motive is the notion that everyone deserves to be tortured and that there are no innocents.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the killer's motivation, whether the deaths are consistent with that motive, and what the characters might have done differently. They also might wish to talk about the resonance (or lack thereof) of movies where characters face death and re-evaluate their lives and priorities. Do Lawrence or Adam become more appealing characters as you know them better and as their fate looks bleaker? Do their choices become clearer as they reassess their priorities? What do you think the "right" life would be like so as not to attract the killer's attention?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 20
    see all Saw reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: Its hellish extremes more oppressive than entertaining.

- Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle, Friday, October 29, 2004

Fresh: Terrifying at some moments and insinuatingly creepy at many others.

- Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle, Friday, October 29, 2004

Fresh: An ingenious machine for inducing terror, rage, and paralyzing unease.

- David Edelstein, Slate, Friday, October 29, 2004

Audience Reviews

3 stars

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

- Raajay, Saturday, January 4, 2014

3 stars

SAW is in no way your average serial killer horror movie. In a certain sense, it is a unique blend of the crime and horror genres, with an added pinch of what could easily pass for a twisted reality TV program. This film may be grisly more often than not, but it should never be considered a mere slasher. (There is a decent plot here, after all.) What brings SAW down to being just fine is the fact that it can(TM)t help but to unintentionally elicit laughter from its audience. Hmm, that looks like a spooky place they woke up in. Wait a moment"why did Adam just plunge his hand into the toilet? Why(TM)s there a toilet there to begin with? And that puppetwhy(TM)s he riding a tricycle? Some scenes just leave no question as to why the people behind the SCARY MOVIE series decided to spoof this.

- spielberg00, Saturday, March 3, 2012

5 stars

A very smart tale of five men who are involved with Jigsaw's game (Adam, Dr. Gordon, Tapp, Pigman, and Jigsaw himself. The ending is sad, insane, and fantastic, but a little bit unrealistic, dido with the intro. How could a man lay motionless for nearly 2 hours, and how can a guy hold his breath so long while underwater? The ending really lives up to the name of the movie, with the famous lines "He doesn't want us to saw through the chains... he wants us to saw through our feet!" The plot is extremely emotional, and the acting is good, but the thing that people say is the "main theme" to this movie, is the gore. Gore this and gore that, this movie is a gore galore... not. There is hardly any gore (believe it or not, but blood, too!) in the whole movie! Most of the violence is off-screen, and, although realistic and plays along with gruesome sound effects, it the violence in this movie is a 7-8/10 with it. People just think the Saw series is all about the gore, they just don't know what there missing. But the one thing that really makes me angry is the fact that critics hate this movie JUST because they say it's "too" violent. What about movies like Saving Private Ryan, The Thing, Se7en, Silence of the Lambs, or... most movies? They get so much applause from critics, despite the fact that they're extremely gory. Please, I could probably watch this movie while eating a burrito. Great movie, though a bit unrealistic. There are some plot holes, but it all ties up in the other movies. Can't wait to see Saw ll. This is a series that hardcore horror fans WILL love!

- fb100002090596996, Saturday, September 24, 2011