Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 217 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In 1975, director Steven Spielberg brought Peter Benchley's best-selling novel to the screen with stunning power and unbearable suspense. Jaws left an indelible mark upon the movie-going (and beach-going!) public, distilling a sea of fear from these five words: "Don't go in the water." Once the terror begins, Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw must join forces on a desperate quest to destroy a killer embodying nearly three tons of white death. (Universal Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    It was the complete nightmare that invented the "summer blockbuster", launched the genius on a global scale and delivered an astonishingly effective thriller built on a very primal level: fear.
  2. 100
    The first is the best. When it comes to this kind of thriller, no movie has been able to top Jaws, although many have tried. And, as the years go by, it seems increasingly unlikely that anything will come close.
  3. 100
    One of the most effective thrillers ever made.
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Robert Shaw [is] absolutely magnificent as a coarse fisherman finally hired to locate the Great White Shark; and Richard Dreyfuss, in another excellent characterization as a likeable young scientist.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    From the outrageously frightening opening--in which a beautiful young woman skinny-dipping in the moonlight is devoured by the unseen shark--to the claustrophobic climax aboard Quint's fishing boat, Spielberg has us in his grip and rarely lets go.
  6. If you think about Jaws for more than 45 seconds you will recognize it as nonsense, but it's the sort of nonsense that can be a good deal of fun, if you like to have the wits scared out of you at irregular intervals.
  7. 40
    Steven Spielberg's mechanical thriller is guaranteed to make you scream on schedule (John Williams's score even has the audience reactions programmed into the melodies), particularly if your tolerance for weak motivation and other minor inconsistencies is high.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 63 out of 72
  2. Negative: 8 out of 72
  1. Nov 23, 2011
    This movie is the best of all time. Period. ........................................................................................................................ Expand
  2. Mar 31, 2011
    Jaws is simply one of the greatest motion pictures of all time. Based on the best-selling novel by Peter Benchley, the film opened to audiences around the world and apart from receiving critical acclaim, grossed hundreds of millions thanks to word of mouth and clever advertising. Three mediocre sequels followed in 1978, 1983 and 1987 but the original from 1975 is THE definitive suspense film. The plot concerns a small New England holiday resort that is being terrorized by a killer great white shark. The corrupt mayor of the town wishes to regard the numerous shark attacks as boating accidents. However, as the bodies mount it becomes clear to police chief Martin Brody that the problem can no longer be ignored. So, with the help of oceanographer Matt Hooper and crusty old fisherman Quint, Brody heads out to sea on a small boat in order to catch and kill the shark once and for all. Once they get on open sea, the film suddenly becomes a straight out action-adventure film, which is a genius move by both Spielberg and the producers, because in the first half of the film, the tension is slowly built up notch by notch so that when the viewer wants the shark dead too, then the characters decide to do the same and the way it gradually makes the transition is brilliant. Also, one cannot review the film without mentioning the iconic musical score by composer John Williams, a frequent choice in nearly all Spielberg's films. The music represents the mindless attack of the shark and it also is accompanied by some traditional swashbuckler music in the less suspenseful moments. The film's other big claim to fame is the fact that it had one of the most troublesome shoots in film history. The three mechanical sharks constructed for the film rarely worked, and when they did it was only for a short while. The reason for having three sharks was so that the filmmakers could exercise their control over the shark. The cast is superb also, with Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss all giving their signature performances. However, the star of the show, as all learned movie buffs know, is really the shark. The film was released on June 20th of 1975 and quickly became the most popular film of all time at that time. It set the record for summer blockbusters since, grossing over 400 million dollars and shooting Spielberg to international fame. Overall, a classic chiller that belongs in every DVD collection. (10/10) Expand
  3. Sep 16, 2013
    Who can resist the jaws of... well, Jaws! It gets on such a high level of realism and believability that some aren't able to swim at beaches for weeks after seeing it. It's just that good. It is one for the ages, and will be remembered for a very, very long time, especially with Roy Schneider's great one-liners. Expand
  4. Aug 10, 2011
    JAWS is the true definition of a great thriller. Not so much the subsequent rip-offs it quote-unquote "inspired" (PIRANHA, NIGHTWING). This is truly Spielberg's definitive work. Expand
  5. SteveP
    Dec 12, 2005
    OK i know it's a cult movie, and i am a member of it's cult. But even if you Hate Cult Movies, you'll love this. The acting was Great, the setting was really belivible, the music was some of the best i have ever herd in a film and really got you in the mood of the film. And it really did scare me and kept me on the edge of my set. Even after seeing it 100 times there are parts that will still get you. The acting was acctualy really good, I loved Richard Dryfuss as Matt Hooper. I am now reading the book to and it's even more exciting. Truely the greates 70s Disaster movies, no greates Disaster movie Period. Expand
  6. Feb 19, 2012
    Keep in mind this movie was made in 1975! For its time this movie was leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. Spielberg was on point with this film. Jaws still has the ability to make me squirm a bit, and I have seen it a number of times. One of the things that amazes me about this film is the fact that it was adapted from a terrible novel. This is one case where the movie is much better than its literary counterpart. I think this is a movie that should be seen by everyone. It is one of AFI's top 100 films of all time, and with good reason. It was one of the original blockbusters. Watch with lots of popcorn, but lay off the Bloody Marys while watching this one . . . Expand
  7. JamesC.
    Nov 27, 2007
    Filed: Jaws, the worst movie of all time, Spielberg's worst, what a waste of time.

See all 72 User Reviews