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Spiral: From the Book of Saw

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Canada, United States · 2021
1h 33m
Director Darren Lynn Bousman
Starring Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols
Genre Horror, Crime, Mystery

Working in the shadow of an esteemed police veteran, brash Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks and his rookie partner take charge of a grisly investigation into murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city’s gruesome past. Unwittingly entrapped in a deepening mystery, Zeke finds himself at the center of the killer’s morbid game.

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What are critics saying?


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

Less of a soft reboot than an emergency root canal for a series at risk of being removed from the release slate forever, this dogeared new chapter “from the Book of Saw” might lack the discipline to escape from the same traps that have always shackled its franchise to the grindhouse floor, but it still manages to squeeze a few drops of fresh milk out of Lionsgate’s oldest surviving cash cow with a back to basics approach and some unexpected political bite.


Paste Magazine by Jacob Oller

Spiral might have rhetorical wrinkles that set it apart from its predecessors, but this franchise is still going around in circles.


Total Film by Jordan Farley

That a formula as well-trodden as Saw’s can still surprise, delight, and make you feel like you need a quick shower after is impressive.


The A.V. Club by Katie Rife

It’s not a waste of a concept, exactly, but it’s not the reinvention that the franchise needs, either. Rock’s involvement brings some new blood to Spiral, but after a promising start it ends up becoming a pretty okay Saw movie with some bigger names than usual.


The Hollywood Reporter by Lovia Gyarkye

Spiral delivers when it comes to gore, if that’s your thing, and appropriately dour aesthetics — but not much else. That’s a shame, because the story’s themes, from the unreformable nature of the police department to the cost of integrity in a space that values power above all else, could not be more relevant.


The Playlist by Nick Allen

There turns out to be no actual book in Spiral: From the Book of Saw, but it does define what makes an intricately bad movie, with flaws that can sometimes be earnest, unintentionally hilarious, or disappointing.


Variety by Owen Gleiberman

No, the “Saw” series hasn’t really changed. So depending on whether you’re a fan or not, eat up…or throw up.


IGN by Siddhant Adlakha

A sequel that hopes to court Saw fans and mainstream audiences alike, Spiral: From the Book of Saw is likely to alienate them both. It’s a hollow imitation of the series, unable to meet its most basic visual and narrative expectations. It’s also a bad film in general, which tries to tell a socially relevant story that it can’t seem to handle.


TheWrap by William Bibbiani

The screenplay captures the grizzled-cop-movie tone and draws some memorable characters, but the storyline is rote, the mystery is frustratingly predictable, and the imaginative deaths are less imaginative than ever. Spiral sacrifices entertainment value for respectability and in the process doesn’t quite achieve either.

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