(Photo by Lionsgate/ courtesy Everett Collection)
All Saw Movies, Ranked By Tomatometer
Saw came, Saw conquered, Saw…stuck around for a lot longer people were expecting. The franchise that popularized the torturous trend in mid-2000s horror arguably peaked early with critics: The original 2004 movie is half-appreciated for hardening the genre and for its infamous twist ending, and half-detested for its empty obsession with gristle, gore, and guts. But audiences lapped up the visceral thrills, and after the first sequel ramped up the pain and plot twists to box office highs, a franchise was born.
With part III, the story went full Search for Spock and pulled off the Saw equivalent of blowing up the Enterprise: It killed off its main malevolent villain, Jigsaw. But ol’ Jiggy is nothing if not meticulous, and was able to continue his warped games of moral vengeance from beyond the grave (not to mention with continuing appearances from fan-favorite Tobin Bell) for several more sequels. But by the seventh Saw, the mythology had become too complicated and the grosses (the money kind) were trending downwards; Saw 3D was ordered to cram several movies’ worth of plot into one whip-lashing finale.
After seven years, the series returned in 2017 with Jigsaw, which enjoyed a critical response that was about as sparkling as could be expected based on previous encounters. But the box office appeared encouraging enough to continue on for a ninth entry. Spiral: From the Book of Saw, a standalone entry starring Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson, is releasing after a yearlong delay caused by COVID. Before we see where Spiral places, we’re ranking all Saw movies by Tomatometer! —Alex Vo
Adjusted Score: 11287%
Critics Consensus: Sloppily filmed, poorly acted, and illogically plotted, Saw 3D leaves viewers trapped in the most lackluster installment of the series.
As a fierce battle rages over Jigsaw's (Tobin Bell) terrible legacy, survivors seek support from a fellow survivor and self-help... [More]
Adjusted Score: 15167%
Critics Consensus: If its plot were as interesting as its torture devices, or its violence less painful than its performances, perhaps Saw V might not feel like it was running on fumes.
As the apparently last disciple and heir apparent of Jigsaw, Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) goes on the hunt to protect his... [More]
Adjusted Score: 20500%
Critics Consensus: Saw IV is more disturbing than compelling, with material already seen in the prior installments.
During the autopsy of serial killer Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), a cassette tape is discovered in his stomach in which he... [More]
Adjusted Score: 32794%
Critics Consensus: Saw III does little beyond repeating its predecessor's tropes on a gorier level.
Dr. Lynn Denlon (Bahar Soomekh) becomes a pawn in the Jigsaw Killer's (Tobin Bell) latest gory game. Kidnapped and taken... [More]
Adjusted Score: 37599%
Critics Consensus: Jigsaw definitely won't win many converts to the Saw franchise, but for longtime fans, it should prove a respectably revolting -- if rarely scary -- diversion.
After a series of murders bearing all the markings of the Jigsaw killer, law enforcement officials find themselves chasing the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 41063%
Critics Consensus: Saw II is likely to please the gore-happy fans of the original, though it may be too gruesome for those not familiar with first film's premise.
On the hunt for the twisted vigilante and serial killer Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), Detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) and his... [More]
Adjusted Score: 47250%
Critics Consensus: Spiral: From the Book of Saw suggests an interesting new direction for the Saw franchise, even if the gory sum is rather less than its parts.
A criminal mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in Spiral, the terrifying new chapter from the book of Saw.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 41098%
Critics Consensus: It won't earn the franchise many new fans, but Saw VI is a surprising step up for what has become an intricately grisly annual tradition.
With Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) still directing events from beyond the grave, Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) emerges as the heir to the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 56545%
Critics Consensus: Saw ensnares audiences with a deceptively clever plot and a myriad of memorable, nasty set pieces, but its lofty ambitions are undercut by a nihilistic streak that feels more mean than profound.
Photographer Adam Stanheight (Leigh Whannell) and oncologist Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) regain consciousness while chained to pipes at either end... [More]