The 10 Best Shark Movies of All Time, According to Rotten Tomatoes
If the ongoing popularity of shark films has taught us anything, it’s that we simply can’t spend enough screen time with these predators, who can famously ruin a beach day with one swift gnash of their teeth. And even if shark attacks are far less common than Hollywood would have us believe, it’s still entertaining to watch a great white stalk an unsuspecting fictional swimmer—or, in the case of 2013’s Sharknado, whirl through the air in a terrifying cyclone.
To celebrate Shark Week this week, Rotten Tomatoes has compiled a list of the best shark movies of all time, ranked by aggregated critics' score. Unsurprisingly topping the list is Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic Jaws, which quite possibly ignited our societal fixation on great white sharks. The second-place finisher was 2012’s Kon-Tiki, based on the true story of Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s harrowing voyage across the Pacific Ocean on a wooden raft in 1947.
If you did happen to write off Sharknado as too kitschy to be worth the watch, you might want to reconsider—it ranks sixth on the list, with a score of 78 percent, and its 2014 sequel sits in ninth place, with 61 percent. The list doesn’t only comprise dramatized shark attacks. In seventh place is Jean-Michel Cousteau’s 2005 documentary Sharks 3D, a fascinating foray into the real world of great whites, hammerheads, and more.
But for every critically acclaimed shark flick, there’s another that flopped spectacularly. After you’ve perused the highest-rated shark films below, check out the worst ones on Rotten Tomatoes’ full list here.
- Jaws (1975) // 98 percent
- Kon-Tiki (2012) // 81 percent
- The Reef (2010) // 80 percent
- Sharkwater (2007) // 79 percent
- The Shallows (2016) // 78 percent
- Sharknado (2013) // 78 percent
- Sharks 3D (2004) // 75 percent
- Open Water (2004) // 71 percent
- Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) // 61 percent
- Jaws 2 (1978) // 60 percent
[h/t Rotten Tomatoes]