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.
Spielberg works self-effacingly, with subtly correct camera placement and meticulous editing. He twists our guts with false alarms, giving us the real thing with heart-stopping suddenness.
...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.
Spielberg fashioned an instant classic whose success owes as much to his superb orchestration as to the substantial jolts and knockout performances by Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss.
Before we see anything, our ears are chilled by composer John Williams' menacing two note soundtrack which then builds into that unforgettable frenzy as the unseen shark savages its first victim.
Jaws is a perfect blend of set-pieces and story, its formula so hard to capture it's now near-mythical - filmmakers have been chasing it like Ahab chasing Moby Dick ever since.