An officer has only 90 minutes to save his friend, a SWAT commander, from a series of demented traps.
" A film as edgy as a rubber knife. "
" After two solid entries and an OK one, the franchise is getting long in the tooth: This one is Saw It Be-IV. "
" An incomprehensible cacophony of screams, shock cuts, dour pseudo-philosophizing, heavy metal mutilation and low-rent TV-standard performances. "
" Easily the worst and most pointless episode of the gore-saturated quadrology. "
" Even fans of good, old-fashioned, onscreen torture will find themselves rolling their eyes at the twists and turns in this impossibly convoluted story. "
" It's somewhat better put together than Saw II or III, though there isn't a scare in it. "
" Just as Jigsaw tests his victims, the franchise's own test will be whether such suspension can be maintained, or if matters lapse into a torture chamber of self-parody. "
" Like the movie's mysterious Jigsaw doppelganger, Saw IV is itself a poor substitute for the original (or even the first two sequels). "
" Over the course of [its] sequels, the Saw franchise took a novel, if distasteful, idea and basically tortured it to death. "
" Saw IV is no Saw III. Just as Saw III is no Saw II. But neither Lionsgate, the Saw distributor, nor the North American box office seems to care. "
" The dullest Saw in the shed. "
" The famously inventive torture sequences here seem depleted of imagination. "
" The need to incorporate familiar characters and icons from the earlier films, together with flashbacks that flesh out Jigsaw's pre-'puppet master' past, simply leads to an irritating series of creative dead ends. Truly, a hack-Saw. "
" The original Saw was crafted with thought and precision. Saw IV is an orgy of blood. "
" The reports of torture porn's demise may have been greatly exaggerated, but this fourth entry in the mutilate-yourself-or-die series joins what may be the worst genre of the decade: the lamely ''sympathetic'' serial-killer backstory. "
" The Syriana of slasher films, so complicated and circuitous that your only hope of understanding everything is to eat lots of fish the night before and then watch each of the previous films, in order, right before you enter the theater. "
" This death trap may be rusty, but as long as it keeps generating fresh blood, it's unlikely to slam shut anytime soon. "
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