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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It may be the most cheerfully perverse scare movie ever made. Even while you're convulsed with laughter you're still apprehensive, because the editing rhythms are very tricky, and the shock images loom up huge, right on top of you."
‑ Pauline Kael, New Yorker
"What this movie is about, and where it succeeds best, is the primordial level of fear."
‑ Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune
"It's just such a good film."
‑ Jason Di Rosso, At the Movies (Australia)
"Quite simply, Jaws is a masterclass in blockbuster entertainment -- a tense, exciting thriller that redefined contemporary cinema. They don't make them like this anymore."
‑ Simon Reynolds, Digital Spy
"Basically, Jaws is an excellent routine movie, the sort normally made on a moderate budget and aimed at the neighborhood houses."
‑ Robert Hatch, The Nation
"The result is a fast-paced, straight-line thriller that moves without pause toward the climactic contest at sea between three men and a 25-foot, 3-ton great while killer shark."
‑ Judith Crist, New York Magazine/Vulture
"A near Hitchcockian exercise in transference of guilt and making the audience pay for its illicit pleasures."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"I still find this film pretty terrifying."
‑ Judith Lucy, At the Movies (Australia)
"John Williams's Oscar-winning music and the excellent performances of Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss add to the ingeniously mounted tension that cleverly plays on all our deepest primeval fears."
‑ Alan Jones, Radio Times
"Spielberg knows exactly how the human mind works, and he uses that knowledge to plumb the elemental fear buried deep within."
‑ Mike Scott, Times-Picayune
"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
"Spielberg may be the man who created the new Hollywood, but in his first megahit he summed up what was best in the old -- the humor, the perversity, and the storytelling integrity of Alfred Hitchcock."
‑ David Denby, New Yorker
"Enjoyment derived from tension and fear, interspersed with brief breathers to allow nerve-relieving chuckles and smiles."
‑ Alexander Huls, Movie Mezzanine
"Jaws remains, decades later, a near perfect film."
‑ Jason Gorber, Twitch
"...the movie's justifiably legendary opening [paves] the way for an engrossing first act that's heightened by both Scheider's magnetic performance and the inclusion of several unbearably tense interludes."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
More reviews for Jaws on Rotten Tomatoes

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