10 Shark Movies You Have to See

By AT&T Digital Media Productions editorial team

The release of Jaws in 1975 left the whole world talking. The iconic shark horror film redefined the blockbuster, and definitely left beaches a lot less crowded that summer.

Since its debut, the franchise movie has seen multiple sequels (we’ll pretend Jaws: The Revenge never happened) and birthed an entire new genre. Here are the 10 best shark-themed films.

Shark Night

It’s cheesy. It’s gory. It’s entertaining. For some reason, sharks show up in a lake. In Louisiana. While none of this makes sense at first, viewers eventually learn the true reason behind the attacks…Without spoiling the plot, it has something to do with Shark Week, revenge, and Hollywood’s lack of creativity.

The Reef

This movie follows a group of friends sailing to Indonesia on a dream vacation gone wrong. When their boat gets wrecked in a coral reef, they find themselves stranded. Swimming 12 miles in shark-infested water is their only way to reach safety. Chaos and shark attacks ensue.

Deep Blue Sea

This 1999 cult favorite asks the question: What would happen if sharks were really smart? Like,  Einstein smart? As you can guess, the answer does not bode well for humans. A surprisingly deep cast, including Samuel L. Jackson, dukes it out with a group of scientifically enhanced mako sharks. As Chappelle’s Show memorably recounted, things go especially poorly for the future Mace Windu.

Shark Tale

Not every shark movie needs to be scary! This star-studded cast (Will Smith, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro) follows a fish named Oscar and a great white named Lenny who form an unusual friendship. It’s kitschy in the best way, and is a great alternative to Hollywood’s usual shark schtick.


Before Jaws, Burt Reynolds starred in this creatively (**ahem**) titled action film as a gunrunner who loses his cargo and agrees to help out with a scientific sunken ship exploration to make up for his losses. Little does he know the water is infested with sharks, and that those around him may not be who they seem!


Would it even be a shark movie list without this modern camp classic film? This SyFy TV movie went viral in 2013 as fans laughed along at the absurdity of a tornado filled with killer sharks striking Los Angeles county. 60% camp, 30% bad acting, and 10% shark attacks, this movie is the definition of so-bad-it’s-good.

Open Water

Based on a true(ish) story, this 2004 movie follows a couple on vacation in the Caribbean. After being left behind during a diving trip, they find themselves stranded in the open ocean, with the threat of sharks beneath them. This nuanced thriller departs from Hollywood norms, focusing on the psychological and primal fear humans have of sharks rather than shock and gore.

47 Meters Down

As technology improves, CGI sharks get scarier. This 2017 release follows two sisters on vacation. Naturally, their diving cage malfunctions and they sink to the bottom of the ocean--yep, 47 meters down. Surrounded by sharks, the sisters must find a way to get to the surface before their oxygen tanks run out.

The Shallows

The appeal of this movie is ostensibly just Blake Lively being Blake Lively. But The Shallows is surprisingly clever, with just the right amount of suspense. The protagonist finds herself stranded in shark-infested water, and is forced to use her wits, determination, and some floating ocean debris to survive.


You know it. You love it. Naturally, Jaws stands alone as the king of all shark films. There are so many iconic elements: John Williams’ tuba-driven soundtrack. The performances from Roy Schneider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss. Memorable dialogue—you just said “We’re gonna need a bigger boat” aloud, didn’t you? Based on true events, Jaws capitalizes on the primal fear of being helpless against the unseen. Starts with a bite, and never lets up.

Looking to sink your teeth into more shark content? Catch real sharks in action during Shark Week, starting July 23rd, only on Discovery.