Jaws - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Jaws Reviews

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September 17, 2016
Amazing! One of my all time favorites. I thought Bruce looked very realistic, and all the acting was amazing.
September 16, 2016
Jaws has me split like Suicide squad, but I really am spilt. I was a little disappointed but I still enjoyed it. There were some boring elements. And the story can be a little slow. But I still recommend it. It Does have some of its great elements like the score. Even in 2016 the classic 1975 theme still sends chills down your spine. And trust me, I don't recommend after watching this film going swimming. It will creep you out. Still a good film, not great but good
September 15, 2016
It angers me that the audience score is 90. It must take a lot of work to hate perfection.
September 10, 2016
September 8, 2016
Beautifully made and iconically crafted to near perfection...even now 40 years after the film was created, I still revel at the terror and suspense Spielberg was able to produce with limited filmmaking technologies !
September 8, 2016
Wow ok to scary to watch I think it's not a good movie. I wish they didn't make a sequel to this movie
September 8, 2016
Don't be baited by it's classic status, "Jaws" is far more shallow than it seems.
½ September 8, 2016
4 and a half stars. Brilliant, loved it. Only took me my whole life to date to finally get round to watch it.
September 2, 2016
I am surprised by its lack of artificiality in depicting the story. A version of Moby Dick, as Quint a version of Captain Ahab.
August 31, 2016
With strong characters, ground breaking effects for the time and scares makes jaws one of the best movies of all time.
August 31, 2016
When a Great White Shark stakes a claim off the waters of a peaceful community island of Amity, it is only the towns Chief of Police Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) that recognises the potential damage that could be done, it is only when oceanographer Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) arrives to confirm Brody's suspicions, that a large dangerous predator is snacking on the locals and tourists. Only when the attacks are intensified that the Town's financially concerned Mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) sits up and takes note after ignoring Brody's warnings. A bounty is paid to local salty sea dog fisherman Quint (Robert Shaw) and accompanied by Brody and Hooper set out to sea to confront the danger face to face.

In the advent of Universal's 100th Anniversary, a selection of it's films have been restored digitally for blu ray releases and some cases as here also re-released on the big screen in a new 4K rendered print for audiences in 2012 to witness what made people so terrified and thrilled back in 1975 when Jaws was first released. Jaws literally invented the term summer blockbuster and opened the Hollywood studios good or bad to the opportunities of releasing a picture in the sunny season. Jaws went onto smash box office records and became a phenomenon that would not be beat till Spielberg's friend George Lucas introduced the world to some space fantasy opera 2 years later in 1977.

Having been too young to catch Jaws on the big screen the first time round, my first initial experience was at the age of 9 on British TV when it premiered October 9th 1981. With a chance to catch this in the format it was meant to be seen in was too much to of an opportunity to miss out on. From my first viewing all those years ago I was immediately hooked, transfixed, terrified and thrilled at this story and it has remained one of my favourite films of all time ever since.

Peter Benchley's best selling novel was picked up by David Brown and Richard Zanuck and after first choice Dick Richards didn't work out they turned to new kid on the block Spielberg to direct, who had one theatrical film Sugarland Express under his belt. Although it is the incredibly well received TV film Duel, Zanuck and Brown obviously seeing the parallels between that story of an every man confronting a faceless nemesis in the shape of a big truck and seeing the potential this young director could bring to this project. They couldn't have been more right, although things didn't go along swimmingly (scuse the pun) straight away. Spielberg was not too impressed with the screenplay provided by the author Benchley and bought Pulitzer winning play write Howard Sackler to do a re-write. Also wanting some humour asked friend Carl Gottlieb to offer some help as well as offering a role, Gottlieb choosing the politically motivated editor Meadows aligned with Hamilton's Mayor Vaughn.

Gottlieb went onto do a complete re-write after only been employed to do a polish, John Milius would also contribute. Arguably the films most classic scene the USS Indianapolis speech where Quint recounts his experience as a crew man on board the ship which delivered the Hiroshima/Nagasaki atomic bomb which was then subsequently torpedoed and sunk with the crew been left at the mercy of the sea and thousands of sharks. A true story, this was said to have been worked on by both Sackler & Milius although Shaw a gifted writer himself rewrote the scene after researching the incident .

One of the reasons that the subsequent sequels have never captured the magic of the original has been that although Jaws 2 might have had some exciting if not preposterous moments on sea it never was as half as compelling on land as the original. Jaws is obviously well know for the action that plays out on the water but it also is invested with hugely enjoyable interactions on land, witness the moments of tenderness the beautifully played sequence between Brody and his young son Sean as the young toddler sits at the dinner table mirroring his Father's actions until he's noticed. Spielberg a director well known for working well with children shows at an early stage in his career how he elicits such performances from minors in one of the most touching scenes of his career.

Although the sea moments have never been bettered, the opening sequence when a unsuspecting skinny dipper (Susan Backlinie) becomes the first victim is utterly terrifying, as she whipped across the surface violently by the unseen terror. Much has been made of the mechanical shark and Spielberg himself has little love for it but the fact is the problems that allowed the effect to only be employed sparingly play to it's strength. It is more of what you don't see makes it work, that by the time we do see the shark properly in a scene that now goes down in legend with Schneider famously ad-libbing the most famous line of the film "We're gonna need a bigger boat" that the work has been done. Although that rubber shark may look somewhat lifeless in some sequences for all it's expensive ground breaking SFX Jurassic Park hasn't one scene to level the sheer thrill of Jaws.

The fact we don't actually get to see the shark until a good hour into the film is not a problem as the story is told so well by it's actors, Jaws is invested with some great supporting players, Lorraine Gary's supportive Wife and Murray Hamilton's Mayor but it is the three major players this film belongs to. Schneider off the back of an impressive turn alongside Gene Hackman's Oscar winning role in William Friedkin's French Connection, is simply magnificent as Brody, the every man, not an islander from New York afraid of the water. Brody representing the audience, relative unknown Dreyfuss provides much of the humour and seasoned actor Shaw commands the screen with his unsubtle but undoubtedly memorable turn.

When composer John Williams let Spielberg hear his idea for his academy winning score, the director initially laughed at Williams but attributes a large percentage of the success of Jaws to his score, not since Bernard Hermann's score for Psycho has the music become synonymous with a film. Williams work is so simplistic but devastatingly effective, choosing to use the music only when the real threat is present when it's not it's misdirection on the directors part as well as genius main theme the score delivers in all departments, thrilling, scary, sinister and touching. Rarely has music to a film been a character in itself, it may have been parodied and copied but that has never been robbed of it's ability to entertain. Verna Fields academy awarded editing has the film paced to perfection.

Many will cry the director has moved onto more powerful work but for all the importance of Spielberg's academy winning output, I would argue that other directors are capable of just as impressive or superior results. Whereas in the blockbuster arena no other director has matched the efforts displayed here. Jaws also sees the director break two cardinal rules in mainstream cinema, killing a child and although admittedly off screen a dog. The scene is that more impact full that he's lightened the mood with the bathing cap moment "that's some bad hat Harry". When we get that Hitchcock zoom moment as Brody realises he's helpless to prevent the scene right in front of his eyes. Spielberg being also greedy after getting great results from test audiences decides he could pack one more scare into the film and in his editors swimming pool shot the now famous Ben Gardner decapitated head sequence that made audiences around the world jump out of their skin. Benchley was appalled at Spielberg's intention to close the film, the author had the shark get tangle up in the ropes and drown. Though the director wanted something more explosive quite literally and in an ending which program Myth Busters devoted an entire special to prove if it was possible ( it was just). Remarked to Benchley that if I have their attention for the duration they'll buy it however preposterous, he was not wrong. Jaws literally is suspenseful film making at his best but enriched with a great script a superb cast and one of the most memorable scores of all time.
August 26, 2016
See why people thought that sharks where terrible in 1975
Super Reviewer
August 21, 2016
One of the biggest box office sensations of all time, a modern classic masterpiece that launched director Steven Spielberg's career, this film became a phenomenon that has the distinction of being the first summer blockbuster, and the film to break the $100,000,000 mark at the box office. It profoundly changed the way movies are made and marketed. The suspenseful tale of a island resort town in New England that has been terrorized by deadly shark attacks from a monstrous great white shark. This film builds the tension methodically and unerringly and pays off with one of the scariest finales in film history. Special kudos must go to the exceptional performances of Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss and Steven Spielberg's dazzling direction, there is a masterful and now legendary Oscar winning score by composer John Williams that brilliantly underscores the anticipatory danger the audience feels well before the shark is ever seen. Verna Fields scores big with her amazing Oscar winning editing, and Bill Butler's cinematography is exquisite. An American landmark film. Highly Recommended.
August 19, 2016
The storytelling in this movie is brilliant. The acting hits the tone of the film right on the head and it makes for a truly atypical horror film. The special effects were great considering the time it was made and the fact that man-eating sharks really exist gives the film a realism that a lot of people aren't quite ready to embrace.
August 16, 2016
5/5. Simply an incredible film that holds up remarkably well. It's still terrifying, intense, and will make you think twice about going in the water.
½ August 13, 2016
Jaws constantly keeps you wondering when the shark will strike next and who will fall victim. Brody, Quint, and Hooper make for a fun trio with great chemistry.
August 13, 2016
FINALLY saw this classic and it was incredible.
½ August 12, 2016
160812: Amazing piece of work. Great actors portraying even greater characters. Will never be replicated.
August 11, 2016
My brother and I laughed at this movie until the shark leaped out of the water. Then we screamed...
August 8, 2016
It's the only film that has had a massive effect on my whole life. No other film has ever come close....it's genius from start to finish
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