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Jaws Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    The first is the best. When it comes to this kind of thriller, no movie has been able to top Jaws, although many have tried. And, as the years go by, it seems increasingly unlikely that anything will come close.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    One of the most effective thrillers ever made.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Ty Burr

    Steven Spielberg overcame the lumpy plotting of Peter Benchley's novel to create an efficient, graceful fright machine in Jaws.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Gene Siskel

    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]

  • 80

    out of 100

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    If you think about Jaws for more than 45 seconds you will recognize it as nonsense, but it's the sort of nonsense that can be a good deal of fun, if you like to have the wits scared out of you at irregular intervals.

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  • 90

    out of 100


    Robert Shaw [is] absolutely magnificent as a coarse fisherman finally hired to locate the Great White Shark; and Richard Dreyfuss, in another excellent characterization as a likeable young scientist.

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  • See all Jaws reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 12+

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.

  • 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? 
  • What's scarier -- a monster you can see, or one you can't? Why?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: An edge-of-your seat suspense flick with heart but little substance.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: The three male leads are clever, determined and like-minded.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Only violence of the nature-versus-human variety, but it gets fairly gruesome, with thrashing, foaming blood, and severed body parts. This is scary stuff. That's one big man-eating fish, who escalates suspense by remaining hidden a good portion of the ti

  • sex false2

    Sex: A bit of semi-revealing female skinny-dipping.

  • language false3

    Language: A hearty fistful of expletives.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of adult social drinking and a drunken beach party.