User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 201 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 201

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  1. Mar 31, 2011
    10
    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) Collapse
  2. Oct 23, 2010
    10
    Steven Spielberg is so excellent directing this summer flick from the early 70s.
  3. Mar 4, 2011
    10
    I believe this was the very first Blockbuster. The lines wrapped around the block and coining the name for big moneymaking movies. Very scary but probably better in the theater. You really need the large screen for the full scare impact.
  4. Aug 18, 2012
    10
    Jaws is a masterpiece of tension-building and pacing, and in addition to being one of the first true summer blockbusters (a film phenomenon that it practically wrote the book on), it is easily one of the most entertaining films of all time. Steven Spielberg was still only a young movie maverick with a few modest features to his name, but even at this stage in his career he demonstrates such a grasp of effective film language and good storytelling, and showcases just how much influence a certain Master of Suspense had on his directorial style. Roy Schieder is incredibly likable as chief protagonist Brody, a city cop newly moved to an island town with his family, and there is some great tension and class-based conflict between Richard Dreyfuss's wisecracking hippie marine biologist Hooper and Robert Shaw's condescending salty seadog Quint. The trio play beautifully off of each other, and are all engaging and interesting characters who grow as the film's narrative progresses. The "sinking of the Indianapolis" scene is one of the very best on film - a brilliantly emotion-fuelled character moment that shifts without warning from macho banter as the characters compare scars to the confrontation of a horrifying ghost from Quint's past. This sequence makes for a refreshing change of pace from the rest of the film, and there are few scenes in modern blockbusters that compare in terms of bringing a real sense of humanity to proceedings - we are really allowed to get under the skin of the three men, making us question every one of our preconceptions about them. One of the great blessings of Jaws was, strangely enough, that the huge mechanical shark dubbed "Bruce" by the crew very seldom worked the way it was meant to. Spielberg would have reportedly shown the creature much more if he were able, but it is the fact that we only glimpse the monster for much of the film that makes it so terrifying. That, and the masterful combination of "shark vision" POV shots accompanied by John Williams' chilling and iconic theme music. Jaws may have established much of the modern blockbuster formula, but it is far superior to the vast majority of films of that ilk through near-flawless craftsmanship, infinitely quotable dialogue, great performances and a tense, exciting story that delivers at every turn. It works as a character-driven suspense thriller, as a monster movie and at its most basic level, as pure entertainment. It's not only one of Steven Spielberg's best films, but one of the best films of the 1970s, and is deservedly beloved by audiences. Sadly, summer blockbusters will never be this good ever again. Expand
  5. May 31, 2011
    10
    Simply amazing, a real thriller, one of the greatest movies of all time...

    This movie is worth all the buzz , it is fantastic. Excellent production , and a huge hipe
  6. Jun 4, 2011
    10
    A movie that is a must see for everyone!! See it by all means! I have always and will always be in love with this movie!!!
  7. Aug 10, 2011
    10
    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.
  8. Jul 28, 2011
    9
    jaws is a great movie i could tell that Steven Spielberg worked hard to make this movie, it scared me out of the ocean!. This movie is a true classic and if you haven't seen it yet, then get up off of your lazy ass and buy or rent it!!
  9. Aug 9, 2011
    10
    Por mas que pasen los años, sigue siendo la mejor pelicula de terror-ficcion sobre animales asesinos.
  10. Sep 2, 2011
    10
    This movie is 100% perfect all around in every aspect that could possibly be mentioned when speaking of a film plus some incredibly underrated performances from Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw
  11. Dec 11, 2011
    9
    One of Steven Spielberg's best films, and possibly the most revolutionary of them all, "Jaws" is the first blockbuster ever made. It is brilliantly executed and so effective as thriller that has been scaring the audience for decades.
  12. Apr 12, 2012
    2
    Until recently, my feelings about this movie were ambivalent. The first time I watched this movie was when I was still a child by that time I really enjoyed it. Although, I never considered it -not even then- as a horror movie but more as an action, thriller/adventure movie. Lately, I saw Jaws rated as one of the top 10 horror movies. I got confused for I didn't remember it as that good; thus,I decided to rent it to see if I discovered something new. Quite honestly, I ended up disappointed because this time I watched it from a much more mature, less sensationalistic, and more critical perspective. The result? I found it utterly boring! There were very few good moments and the actors' performances were ok, but they were never great. In fact, Jaws was fatalistic, totally unrealistic, and very slow . The first 30 minutes were truly tedious. There was not a story, just a shark moving around, and killing people out of nothing. Oh...! this too! Was the mayor so stupid to believe that hiding the presence of the shark from the press and public would not affect tourism? Honestly? How ridiculously silly is that??? Even the greediest businessman would have actually done the opposite, for ignoring the danger would have meant his ruin and the ruin of the whole town if someone else got killed!!! But of course such idiotic behaviour can be seen only in bad movies, and we should not forget that Jaws was based in that nonsensical plot.

    Furthermore, the shark wasn't really horrifying or threatening but it looked pretty fake. Don't misunderstand me...that wouldn't matter much to me if the plot was logical and attractive -but it wasn't- or if the characters were interesting and well developed- but that was not the case either. Sadly, I never felt particularly connected to any of those characters...I never cared about their fate, because there was no depth there; they were almost caricatures of real people!. So, yeah, JAWS is a classic, and perhaps for many, it was a great movie. Personally, I believe its popularity is due to the fact that it was the first big 'horror' blockbuster; however, there are lots of thrillers/horror movies even older than this one that show much better plots, characters, photography, and are also much more original and interesting than this film (e.g The Birds). Perhaps many of the reasons why people still find it so 'great' is because of the romanticism associated with the idea of the 'classic movies'. We tend to idealize them. Jaws is indeed a classic; nevertheless, if you think JAWS is the BEST movie ever, then you need to watch more films or pick better ones!..and if you think real sharks behave like the one in JAWS, come to Australia and talk to us, see them yourself and talk to those who know (i.e Marine biologists). Sharks are certainly dangerous, but they are not JAWS! Overall, Jaws, is mere fantasy...and if the movie was meant to be just that, then it wouldn't be as bad, but it was meant to be a thriller (or horror!); that is precisely why it is so disappointing and so poor! Jaws...an entertaining film? Perhaps... Good? NEVER!...

    Would I watch it again? No, I will not.
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  13. Mar 24, 2013
    4
    Was not exactly the gold that many describe this film as. A bit of a slow plot line needing just a tad more of character development that may have improved the film drastically.
  14. May 25, 2013
    9
    When a swimmer is killed by a great white shark, Sheriff Brody proposes that the beaches be shut down to prevent further attacks. Unfortunately the authorities aren't so keen to keep people out of the water with the summer tourist season in full swing...

    It has been said many times before but even when viewing the film nearly fourty years after its release it remains a masterpiece.
    Partly due to the fact that special effects weren't up to scratch at the time Spielberg wisely decided to limit the screen time of the shark itself instead using John William's memorably haunting score to ramp up the suspense. The pacing of the movie is perfect as the tension gradually rises throughout the film until it reaches its thrilling climax.

    This is movie making at its very best.
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  15. Apr 7, 2012
    10
    With a movie like Jaws, you may ask if it still holds up after so many years. Well for me it absolutely does and it's also one of the best films i have ever seen. The acting is top notch, the story is great and the suspense is amazing. I can't praise this movie enough so i'm gonna keep it short and sweet. If you like horror films or even films in general then you definitely gotta check this one out. Expand
  16. Jan 5, 2012
    10
    Jaws is the perfect movie, spielberg was at his peak with this movie. I watch this movie once a week and i hope they never try to remake this you can't improve on perfection.
  17. Nov 23, 2011
    10
    This movie is the best of all time. Period. ........................................................................................................................
  18. Jul 17, 2012
    6
    Besides being a benchmark in the history of film, it has terrified many people into not going into the water. I'm not particularly sure if this film should be top, because I sooner or later realised that it wasn't that scary. This is probably the fact that I'm getting much older now, but films like these are supposed to scare people and to me it just felt a little childish. I did love the effect of suspense because we didn't get to properly see the shark, but I don't think it affected me in the way it did with other people. I think it also skipped a chunk too, we saw how it hunted then it speedily flipped over to becoming the hunted. For all ages, but mostly perhaps for the younger ones especially. Expand
  19. Feb 19, 2012
    9
    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
  20. Apr 15, 2012
    8
    When I saw Jaws I was blown away by it. It was very different for me and maybe for many other people as well. Now with all the other killer shark movies now a days which suck balls. This is a true classic which should be remembered forever. Jaws 8.5/10
  21. Apr 13, 2012
    10
    Jaws made me so scared I didn't even want to go to the toilet in case the great white came up and ate me!! I think this film deserves more than 1 billion Oscars, no lie!
  22. Jun 7, 2012
    10
    This is the best horror movie of all time without a doubt. With an original plot, the best special effects of the time, and the ocean's strongest predator, you will want to see this movie no matter what. Everything about this movie will keep you interested, and you will not want to turn it off until it is done/
  23. Jul 12, 2012
    10
    Jaws was the first horror flick I ever saw, and to this day it remains the most effective. Like so many others, I was afraid to go in the water after seeing this film. Tight direction from Steven Spielberg as well as a fairly realistic looking shark (come on, it was 1975!) make this one of the greatest films of all time.
  24. Aug 4, 2012
    10
    Let's keep this simple, this is the single finest motion picture of all time. Great direction, perfect script, wonderful cast and performances to die for. Has never been, and perhaps never will be bettered.
  25. Aug 17, 2012
    10
    Its JAWS !!! does it need a review ? ignor the negative reviews ...they are just trolling and enjoy writting negative reviews. If some how this has passed you buy ( i guess thats possible if your 20 or under ) watch it now !!! put down whatever or whoever your doing and watch it !!...it was made in 1975 remember ....now go !! my score of 10 is incorrect as it will not let me score higher , one of the greatest movies there will ever be. Expand
  26. Dec 19, 2012
    10
    This movie is incredible. Unbelievable. Fantastic. It is the very first movie to be considered a blockbuster, and I'm telling you now , this movie is a CLASSIC. It's not a great story line, but with superb acting, script, direction and everything else- it has earned a special place in my heart and mind. I saw it when i was 6 by accident, and it is one of my all time favorite movies. For those who do not like this movie, you simply don't know a great, amazing movie when you see it. A++ One of the finest films ever made. Expand
  27. Nov 15, 2012
    8
    Despite being overrated, this classic creature feature delivers the goods.
  28. Nov 28, 2012
    10
    Superbly directed and designed, Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" seamlessly transcends genres with surprisingly well-developed characters, a subtly worthwhile story, and an unfathomably iconic and multifaceted score.
  29. Feb 1, 2014
    10
    Even when Spielberg is making an adrenaline-rushing film instead of ones about topics that are universally considered serious, he does it in his own style. Jaws is filled with close calls, gruesome deaths and general bloodshed, yet the build-up is everything. He makes us wait for the shark, and only shows us bits of its work to whet our appetite. But just when you think you've seen it all, he shows his hand. The shark is truly a force of nature. Hideous, scary, deadly.

    A suspected shark kill is dismissed as a boating accident. The Mayor, having the city's best interests at heart, persuades the chief of police, Brody, to keep the beaches open for tourists. He reasons that this is their main source of income and they should not endanger that by scaring away the tourists. Even after another death, the townspeople are still adamant in keeping the beaches open. Their livelihood is attached to the sea. The mayor is a delusional man who thinks if he ignores the problem long enough, it will go away on its own. This precipitates in a lot of trouble. The shark's presence is only hinted at for the first hour, in a classic whodunit style. But when it finally arrives on camera, it is overwhelmingly cringing to see it do what it does live.

    A seasoned seaman offers to catch the fish for a price. The minute all illusion flies about the cause of the deaths, a bounty goes up which brings inexperienced seafarers into the fray to claim the prize. They think of it as a sport. Someone catches a shark and everyone thinks this is the one that made the kills. The third main character, Hooper, wants to be sure and advises on cutting open the belly and investigating the items within. When things get way out of control, the mayor relents and agrees to hire Quint to kill the shark. He is accompanied by Brody and Hooper on this voyage, which takes up most of the second half of the film. The three men lure and assault and do everything they can to kill it. This endeavour makes up for plenty of scares and surprises.

    Brody is an outsider. We can see his confusion and helplessness as it slowly dawns upon him the enormity of the task that falls on his shoulders. He does his best to convince everyone to do the sane thing, but runs into a wall every time he tries to close the beaches. Hooper is a college boy with a fancy degree. He is Brody's only support for a long time. For some reason he decides to stick around and help out the chief, probably because he has seen how the rest are taking the issue. Quint is the tough guy with a mysterious past. He's the most experienced in the field of fishing. But he names a price the city has to come up with to catch the monster and remove the taint from the island's reputation, so the tourists continue to pour in and keep the economy flourishing.

    Spielberg doesn't shy from depicting barbarity. The deaths shown are disturbing and bloody, none more than the last one. But where he differs from the typical gory movies is how he handles characterization. We see these people as real men and not archetype characters in service of the story. Spielberg knows the importance of this and that is why he dedicates the majority of the first hour in establishing two of the main characters, and using a portion of the second to develop the third.

    The score was riveting and foreboding. It established the mood fairly well yet was quiet and unobtrusive. The mechanical shark was very convincing. I went to research it immediately after I finished watching because I was sure they used a real shark. They only included real sharks in scenes where it was just minding its own business and just swimming about.

    The film never drags for a second. The first half is a set up but has its own scares and special moments involving the animal and the characters. The second half stole the show and completely transformed the movie. We follow only three characters after the mid point. The characterization was fun and felt genuine. Quint shone out especially in one memorable monologue.

    Spielberg has demonstrated how a summer blockbuster aiming for big bucks should be made. By merging scares and thrills with absorbing characters and narrative, he started a trend which has since been followed every summer after the year the film came out in.
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  30. Jan 23, 2013
    9
    Jaws is one of Spielberg best movie of all time! He makes all these other movies smally noticed. A real shark movie and a memorable ending, better than the prequels.
  31. Apr 11, 2013
    9
    Jaws is fantastic! it's a classic triller that knows how to build up to an awesome climax. You get invested in the main characters and they acted their parts very well. Jaws isn't as scary as the "horror" we know today but you have to keep in mind the time frame this movie was made in. The special effects are in that same boat, they were amazing for a movie released in the 70's! I really love how you don't see the shark for a large portion of the movie. This is an amazing movie with great lines and a good plot. I highly recommend Jaws. Expand
  32. Apr 16, 2013
    9
    Pretty creepy movie, I mean really creepy! Made me scared of oceans and deep waters. I liked the shark animations (one was kind of cheesy) but that is all! everything else was good. 9 out of 10!
  33. Jun 25, 2013
    10
    The first film in America to make over 100 million US Dollars, Spielberg's Jaws to this day continues to be one of the most entertaining, Summer, Horror and Gripping movies ever made.

    What was harrased at the studio as "That Fish Movie" and production had begun without the Shark, "Jaws" was a movie that used those problems to it's advantage by taking what is John Williams most iconic
    piece of music and toyed with the audience's security to such perfection, rarely such a thing has been mimmicked.

    "Oh the music's starting, the sharks gonna appear, THERE IT IS!!!", "Oh it's starting again, wait where's the shark?"...

    Some of the many reactions you'd get from the audience, Jaws literally made me terrified of deep water when i was 6, growing up i've got over that fear and just enjoyed how laidback and cool Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss are taking on such a demading mission.

    Seeing the Shark again to which so many people will dismiss as fake (Duh, It Is!) still looks impressive to this day, it kicks the arse of those CGI Sharks from that dogsh*t "Deep Blue Sea" and to be honest i don't think there has been a shark as impressive in movies since the first "Jaws".

    Next to all that, some of spielberg's camera set-up's are just brilliant, uncomfortable close ups, point of view shots from the shark looking down at the floor of the Ocean, Really this film has ingenuity written all over it.

    Final Verdict: The Story that scared a little town ended up scaring an Entire Nation!, This is the Template of how Blockbusters should be made.
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  34. Jul 7, 2013
    10
    As gripping and intense as the no. 1 book, as soon as you see the poster you know it'll be outstandingly directed, with a perfect cast to go along, for this'll your gonna need a bigger tele.
  35. Jul 15, 2013
    10
    This is the BEST horror/suspense film I have ever seen. The build up is so intense and the confrontations are the most intense. Steven Spielberg really delivers here and proved that he really has what it takes to be fresh and original and give the audience what they need to see. This film is a classic and nails everything perfectly with its cast, direction, music and script. A perfect classic film. Expand
  36. Jul 10, 2014
    8
    For its time, I would have likely pissed my pants. After seeing a string of slasher and other horror movies, it only can stun me briefly during the minimal shark scenes. Steven Spielberg's breakout movie is a evenly-paced, smart, and relentless thriller that makes us want to see what happens in the end.
  37. Sep 16, 2013
    10
    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.
  38. Nov 6, 2013
    10
    A incredibly great movie, no doubt. Realistic graphics and a good soundtrack makes this movie even better. The plot is a good plot, that's for sure! Great adaption of the book...and did you know that my 12 year old brother wanted me to watch it with him? That's how I came to watch this fantastic movie.
  39. Jun 23, 2014
    10
    In comparison with modern horror-free, idiotic and laughable movies about killer sharks, we gradually pay more and more tribute to Steven Spielberg's original Jaws as a classic horror cult that successfully rose beyond mediocre plotting and storytelling in spite of somewhat umimpressive visual effects as regards to presence.
  40. Mar 2, 2014
    10
    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss, werk it! This movie was amazing. This used to scary the **** out of me when I was a little girl.
  41. Mar 13, 2014
    10
    jaws is like a a best movie of all time . when i was little i watch jaws millions of time not once did it get old it is one of the greatest films i seen all day
  42. Mar 7, 2014
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Jaws is a kids film. Its is a overrated not scary laugh fest. To start a shark threatens the civilians of ammity island. Thats about as deep as the film ever gets in the story. The main character is a simple minded boring and scared man who spends too much time worrying about a shark that should not really be so close to the beach. Ellen Brody is such a bad actress and overall should not be in the film. She has no purpose other than to annoy the hell out of the audience. I swear the kids are better at acting than she is. The plot is simpler than buttered toast in a picture frame on the cover of Portal 2. Its hardly worth building any reason whether any of the characters will survive because I just don't care about any of them. About two thirds of way through the film I was on the edge of my seat debating whether the stupid shark would survive. Overall Jaws is a simple and boring kids film. Expand
  43. Mar 20, 2014
    10
    One of the greatest films of all time and Spielberg's best movie. some people will bring it down because its old and not as scary as todays thrillers but that wont change my mind or the fact that its a classic.
  44. May 22, 2014
    10
    Jaws was a very difficult movie to make. The shark kept falling apart, the cast almost drowned when one the boats began to sink, and the crew were always seasick! Thankfully Spielberg made the brilliant decision to shoot the shark from underwater and used music to warn us when it was coming.
  45. Jul 24, 2014
    2
    The film is still very fresh , looks good on screen. I really like the first half of the film , very suspenseful. However in the second half of the film , everything goes down the hill. It turns into a boredome with endless conversations and repetitive action scenes and also john Williams's iconic score is really good and tense but in the boat scenes the music turns into heroic and adventurous ( borderline Disney ) that tones down the film and loses its suspense. Expand
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. 75
    What this movie is about, and where it succeeds best, is the primordial level of fear. The characters, for the most part, and the non-fish elements in the story, are comparatively weak and not believable. [20 June 1975]
  2. 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.
  3. 100
    One of the most effective thrillers ever made.