Jaws (1975)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic 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.

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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
Rating:
PG (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Roy Scheider
as Martin Brody
Robert Shaw
as Quint
Richard Dreyfuss
as Matt Hooper
Lorraine Gary
as Ellen Brody
Murray Hamilton
as Mayor Larry Vaughn
Carl Gottlieb
as Meadows
Jeffrey Kramer
as Policeman Hendricks
Susan Backlinie
as Chrissie Watkins
Chris Rebello
as Michael Brody
Ted Grossman
as Estuary Victim
Jay Mello
as Sean Brody
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
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Jaws

All Critics (73) | Top Critics (17)

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.

Full Review… | July 31, 2015
Washington Post
Top Critic

Perhaps the most perfectly constructed horror story in our time.

Full Review… | July 6, 2015
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Director Steven Spielberg has immeasurably improved the bestselling Peter Benchley potboiler novel.

Full Review… | June 12, 2015
Newsday
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.

Full Review… | May 29, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

It may be the most cheerfully perverse scare movie ever made. Even while you're convulsed with laughter you're still apprehensive, because the editing rhythms are very tricky, and the shock images loom up huge, right on top of you.

July 29, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

The result is a fast-paced, straight-line thriller that moves without pause toward the climactic contest at sea between three men and a 25-foot, 3-ton great while killer shark.

July 29, 2013
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Jaws

½

A film that demonstrates that it is what you don't see that scares you. Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw give excellent performances. The story is compelling and the music is chillingly iconic.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

Steven Spielberg's classic monster movie is a supremely accomplished slice of popular entertainment and one of my enduring favourites. His directorial expertise shines as he perfectly manipulates the mood of the film aided by John Williams' frankly perfect score. He contrasts the ferocious attacks with their broiling red stained surf and hysterical screaming with the serene peacefulness of the lapping moonlit waves from the very first scene, and uses misdirection and comic asides to engineer a tangible sense of tension as you wait for the shark to appear. Of course, the clunkily mechanical beast that completely fails to recreate the grace of the real animals is easy to criticise, but for the most part Jaws' presence is hinted at through a clever combination of first person camera work, reappearing barrels and Williams' music intercut with real shark footage and it works brilliantly. The characters are also fantastic, particularly during the bonding scene when Quint intensely recounts his experience of the USS Indianapolis, and there are so many wonderfully quotable lines I could probably recite the entire film from beginning to end. Another of the few films that I could never tire of seeing.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

The classic thriller never gets old, handled superbly well in the open waters by Spielberg and carried with charisma by its lead actors. 'Jaws' will never fail to entertain, and still stands as one of the greatest thrillers of all time.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

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