Jaws (1975) - Rotten Tomatoes


Jaws (1975)



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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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

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Roy Scheider
as Martin Brody
Richard Dreyfuss
as Matt Hooper
Lorraine Gary
as Ellen Brody
Murray Hamilton
as Mayor Larry Vaughn
Jeffrey Kramer
as Policeman Hendricks
Susan Backlinie
as Chrissie Watkins
Chris Rebello
as Michael Brody
Jay Mello
as Sean Brody
Ted Grossman
as Estuary Victim
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
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Critic Reviews for Jaws

All Critics (95) | Top Critics (25)

The beauty of Steven Spielberg's 1975 classic is that you can choose how to watch it: as a summery, shark-bitten thriller or as an allegory about the failed leadership of institutions...

June 24, 2020 | Full Review…

...more interesting is where the political and personal intersect... which fits nicely with what the movie as a whole does so well, mixing the horror and adventure with the personal.

June 19, 2020 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Jaws is a grisly film, often ugly as sin, which achieves precisely what it set out to accomplish-scare the hell out of you.

September 20, 2017 | Full Review…

Jaws is a splendidly shrewd cinematic equation which not only gives you one or two very nasty turns when you least expect them but, possibly more important, knows when to make you think another's coming without actually providing it.

December 22, 2016 | Full Review…

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.

July 31, 2015 | Full Review…

Perhaps the most perfectly constructed horror story in our time.

July 6, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Jaws


Spielberg's entrance onto the world's psyche begins with the sharing of a secret. What secret? That there's a monster out there somewhere. A big monster. Ferocious. He then allows us to frustratingly stew, ratcheting up the tension, as nobody onscreen believes it. John Williams aids considerably with his monster's theme music --- we don't have to see him to know that he's there. And so cinema itself was changed forever. Just as Psycho kept people from showering, many's the soul who avoided swimming after watching this. Maybe perfect horror.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


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

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