Box art for Jaws

Jaws

action & adventure, drama, horror, thrillers


Academy Award-winner Steven Spielberg directs one of the most influential and gripping adventures in film history about the hunt of a deadly great white shark.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    98%
  • Audience Score
    90%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 12
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
Sex
2 out of 5
Violence
4 out of 5

Five-star movie could scare the pants off kids.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that although the small screen lessens its impact, this movie can terrify as much as it entertains. It's not as gruesome as today's horror movies, but it may be too intense for sensitive preteens, especially those who have a fear of swimming in the ocean.

what families can talk about

  • What's scarier -- a monster you can see, or one you can't? Why?
  • Families can talk about the fact that this movie is considered the first official "summer blockbuster." What other blockbusters can you think of? What do they have in common? Also, how does the movie build suspense?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    98%
    reviews counted: 18
    see all Jaws reviews
  • Audience

    90%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: The fast-moving 124-minute film engenders enormous suspense as the shark attacks a succession of people.

- A.D. Murphy, Variety, Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fresh:

- A.O. Scott, New York Times, Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Rotten: It is a coarse-grained and exploitive work which depends on excess for its impact. Ashore it is a bore, awkwardly staged and lumpily written.

- Charles Champlin, Los Angeles Times, Monday, July 29, 2013

Audience Reviews

5 stars

In the little town of Amity, there is an evil lurking from within it's water's. It's a great white shark & it's going to take the team of Chief Martin Brody, Matt Hooper & Quint to fight off this beast of a creature. One of the absolute greatest terror suspenseful movies ever made! :)

- movieguru12, Sunday, October 10, 2010

5 stars

There is a famous saying; imitation is the highest form of flattery. Yet often said imitation can be to the original's detriment, as it undermines its power. But like all classics, it doesn't matter how many tryhard attempts at recreating a masterpiece appear on our cinema screens, there is no denying the pure injection of fear which comes from watching Steven Spielberg's masterpiece; Jaws. The story takes place in a sunbaked little town called Amity Island, a town which lives for the summer because the tourists come to town. But things are thrown into disarray when new-to-town Police Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) discovers the victim of a shark attack on one of the beaches. Unwilling to lose the influx of customers as a result of the tourist season, Mayor Vaughn decides to keep the beaches open. After the attacks continue, however, Chief Police Brody, icthyologist (read: shark nerd) Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and local shark hunter Quint (Robert Shaw), unite to hunt the shark down. Steven Spielberg is the man to be thanking for this masterpiece. Without him, the film could have turned into an uninteresting shark fest which would work for shock value but wouldn't have the devastating impact that it still has today. What could have been a string of disjointed set-pieces is put together brilliantly to make this film one of the greatest horrors of all time. The mystery and restraint shown by Spielberg throughout the film is reason enough to call him a genius, not to mention the expert characterisation which he cleverly weaves in here and there. Each of our characters are fleshed out and 3-dimensional, as well as being equal parts loveable and frustrating. The perfect use of music, the incredible camerawork, the nerve shredding moments of fear, all of it is put together seamlessly by a master at work. There are moments of pure shock and there are moments of extended tension which will have you tearing at the cushion which you hold for comfort. One thing's for certain, it keeps you on your toes. The acting in this film is far over and above what you'd get in today's cookie-cutter horrors. Roy Scheider is great as Police Chief Martin Brody. He shows the incredible frustration which his character feels as he is overruled again and again by a man motivated by greed. He shows that he can do humour as well, with wry lines like "He's in the yard not too far from the car." But while he is great as our lead, It's Richard Dreyfuss who steals the show as the more-than-slightly hyperactive Matt Hooper. Like an over-caffinated obsessive-compulsive, Dreyfuss inhabits his character perfectly, showing his indignation, his frustration and his fear with a childlike exuberance which makes him such a likeable character. Robert Shaw plays the almost crazy shark hunter Quint and is fantastic in his role. He mumbles, working class hero-like through his lines "You go in the cage, cage goes in the water, you go in the water? Shark's in the water. Our shark." with a perfect condescending feel which suits his character to a tee. The comradery between these three characters is one of the best parts of the film, and as three initially different characters begin to accept and even embrace one another for their differences, you can almost forget that there is a monster shark on the loose. This is a tribute to not only Spielberg for luring us into a false sense of security, but the realistic relaxation by the actors onscreen which double the effect. Every part of this brilliant film works together perfectly in order to create this incredible experience. Yes, accidents on set did make scary scenes even scarier and the experience made Spielberg vow to never film on open sea again, but there's not too many films which can boast that an audience ran out of the cinema, into the bathroom, threw up, and ran back inside to keep watching the test screening. It's a morbidly fascinating and pants-wettingly scary film which have you steering clear of beaches for some time, yet coming back for repeat viewings over and over again. Defining Scene: That brilliant first death sequence. The combination of John Williams infamous strings and Spielberg's fantastic direction makes this scene unforgettable. Quotes: "You're gonna need a bigger boat." "That's some bad hat harry." "Here's to swimming with bow-legged women." "Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies. Farewell and adieu to you ladies of Spain." "This was no boat accident." "Here lies the body of Mary Lee; died at the age of a hundred and three. For fifteen years she kept her virginity; not a bad record for this vicinity." "Smile you son of a bitch." "I used to hate the water." "I can't imagine why."

- TomBowler, Tuesday, December 20, 2011

4 stars

a classic horror movie and one of the scariest. A-

- bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb1, Monday, August 2, 2010