Critics Consensus

Compelling, well-crafted storytelling and a judicious sense of terror ensure Steven Spielberg's Jaws has remained a benchmark in the art of delivering modern blockbuster thrills.



Total Count: 78
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Movie Info

Based on Peter Benchley's best-selling novel, Steven Spielberg's 1975 shark saga set the standard for the New Hollywood popcorn blockbuster while frightening millions of moviegoers out of the water. One early summer night on fictional Atlantic resort Amity Island, Chrissie decides to take a moonlight skinny dip while her friends party on the beach. Yanked suddenly below the ocean surface, she never returns. When pieces of her wash ashore, Police Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) suspects the worst, but Mayor Vaughn (Murray Hamilton), mindful of the lucrative tourist trade and the approaching July 4th holiday, refuses to put the island on a business-killing shark alert. After the shark dines on a few more victims, the Mayor orders the local fishermen to catch the culprit. Satisfied with the shark they find, the greedy Mayor reopens the beaches, despite the warning from visiting ichthyologist Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) that the attacks were probably caused by a far more formidable Great White. One more fatality later, Brody and Hooper join forces with flinty old salt Quint (Robert Shaw), the only local fisherman willing to take on a Great White--especially since the price is right. The three ride off on Quint's boat "The Orca," soon coming face to teeth with the enemy. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

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Roy Scheider
as Martin Brody
Richard Dreyfuss
as Matt Hooper
Lorraine Gary
as Ellen Brody
Murray Hamilton
as Mayor Larry Vaughn
Jeffrey Kramer
as Policeman Hendricks
Susan Backlinie
as Chrissie Watkins
Chris Rebello
as Michael Brody
Jay Mello
as Sean Brody
Ted Grossman
as Estuary Victim
Lee Fierro
as Mrs. Kintner
Jeffrey Voorhees
as Alex Kintner
Craig Kingsbury
as Ben Gardner
Dr. Robert Nevin
as Medical Examiner
Donald Poole
as Harbor Master
Alfred Wilde
as Iteisel/Mr. Wiseman
Peter Benchley
as Interviewer
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News & Interviews for Jaws

Critic Reviews for Jaws

All Critics (78) | Top Critics (21)

  • Jaws is a grisly film, often ugly as sin, which achieves precisely what it set out to accomplish-scare the hell out of you.

    Sep 20, 2017 | Full Review…

    Arthur Cooper

    Top Critic
  • Jaws is a splendidly shrewd cinematic equation which not only gives you one or two very nasty turns when you least expect them but, possibly more important, knows when to make you think another's coming without actually providing it.

    Dec 22, 2016 | Full Review…

    Derek Malcolm

    Top Critic
  • I don't think there's a more exciting talent at work right now than Spielberg, an authentic moviemaking prodigy, and perhaps his worst problem from June 20, 1975, on will be preventing success from making a nervous or artistic wreck of him.

    Jul 31, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Perhaps the most perfectly constructed horror story in our time.

    Jul 6, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Director Steven Spielberg has immeasurably improved the bestselling Peter Benchley potboiler novel.

    Jun 12, 2015 | Full Review…

    Joseph Gelmis

    Top Critic
  • Spielberg had paced the film beautifully so that one is always on edge, tensed for those scary moments that turn out to be false alarms, and left somehow totally unprepared for the real shocks.

    May 29, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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