Jaws (1975)

Jaws

When a New England town is plagued by shark attacks, the local police chief, a gruff fisherman and an oceanographer set sail to hunt it down.

Seen before? Yes, of course. It’s Jaws.

Best performance: I simply can’t split the three leads. Roy Sheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss are all sensational. Individually classy, collectively a powerhouse. The scene where they get drunk and compare scars is rightly revered.

Best scene/moment/sequence: So many to choose from, but it’s hard to look past the shark popping into view while Brody is throwing chum into the water. It’s one of the best shocks in any movie.

Review: This is such a confident movie. Freewheelingly so. The first half is expertly from Chief Brody’s point of view as the panic levels rise in the town, then we switch to the even better second hour on board Quint’s boat. The storytelling is pacey but never rushed, the music is famously superb, the shark attacks are genuinely terrifying, and we get probably the best dolly zoom in cinema history. There’s plenty of humanity too, as well as terror and excitement. We care about the people. A masterpiece.

Ten “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!”s out of 10.

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