Best and the Worst 10 Shark Movies of All Time & Their IMDb Scores

They prowl the deep, terrifying surfers, swimmers and people with small boats alike. They are one of the oldest life forms on the planet, unchanged in billions of years. They’re unique, they’re remarkable, and they have a lot of teeth. That makes sharks the ideal candidates for plenty of scary movies pitting the most ferocious and efficient killing machines against heroic human beings. But which are the best shark movies of all time?

To be honest, any shark movies list is going to contain a number of films with a similar theme – people go swimming/fishing/surfing, a big, scary shark chomps on a few of them, everyone has to work out how to get rid of the big, scary shark without more people getting chomped, and the shark usually gets blown up for some reason!

However, there are some worthy exceptions, and some downright weird variations (more on that in a bit!), and as long as you suspend belief for a while, the scariest shark movies are often a pretty good laugh as well.

We’ve put together our list of the top 10 shark movies and their IMDb scores so grab some popcorn, keep your feet out of the water, and let’s take a look at the best shark movies of all time.

1. Jaws (1975) (8.1)

It's the granddaddy of all great shark films that spawned a whole horror genre and is still as scary today as it was nearly 50 years ago when it first thrashed its way onto cinema screens. Jaws was so successful that it even ended up as a theme park ride and is one of Steven Spielberg's best-known films. A killer shark unleashes hell on a beach community, and it's up to the local sheriff, a salty old seafarer and a marine biologist to hunt it down and stop it. If you've heard the line 'We're going to need a bigger boat', you've been touched by the legend that is Jaws. Starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, and Lorraine Gary.

2. The Shallows (2016) (6.3)

Surfer Nancy is just 200 yards from the safety of the shore when she is attacked by a shark. Stranded on a tiny rock, this battle of wills demonstrates the cunning of the shark and the ingenuity of a human. Starring Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Angelo Josue Lozano Corzo, and Joseph Salas.

3. Open Water (2003) (5.7)

After their tour boat leaves them stranded, two scuba divers have to try to survive in shark-infested waters. Based on a true story, this tense drama keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way through. Starring Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis, Saul Stein, and Michael E. Williamson.

4. Deep Blue Sea (1999) (5.8)

While searching for that elusive cure for Alzheimer’s disease, a group of scientists find that they have to do much more than research as they become the target of an intelligent and ferocious shark. This film examines what happens when humans create their own monsters that turn against them. Starring Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jacqueline McKenzie.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is famous for its sharks, so getting into trouble out here is immediately going to attract the attention of some of the biggest predators in the ocean. That’s exactly what happens when the crew of a capsized sailing boat find themselves on the menu as more and more sharks join the dinner party. A simple yet terrifying concept makes this one of the best shark movies of all time. Starring Damian Walshe-Howling, Gyton Grantley, Adrienne Pickering, and Zoe Naylor.

6. Bait (2012) (5.2)

After a freak tsunami floods an Australian town, shoppers trapped in a waterlogged supermarket find that there’s much more in store than a few damp bargains as a 12-foot great white shark joins them for a bit of retail therapy. Daft, fun, and totally improbable, Bait is still a top-quality scary shark movie with plenty of tense moments. Starring Xavier Samuel, Sharni Vinson, Adrian Pang, and Qi Yuwu.

7. 47 Meters Down (2017) - 5.6

A holiday trip of a lifetime to see sharks in their natural habitat leads two sisters to the bottom of the sea, trapped in a shark cage with just under an hour of oxygen left. As more great white sharks start to circle in the hope of an easy meal, the two sisters have to fight to survive. This incredibly claustrophobic film is one of the best shark movies in recent years and is well worth a watch. Starring Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine, and Chris Johnson.

8. The Meg (2018) (5.6)

Most shark films are relatively low-budget affairs. Not so The Meg, which got blockbuster status and plenty of traction at the cinema, thanks to leading man Jason Statham's epic battle with a prehistoric megalodon shark, a 70-foot monster thought to have been extinct for over a million years. This has to be on anyone's shark movies list. Also starring Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Cliff Curtis and Page Kennedy.

9. Shark Night 3D (2011) (4.0)

A weekend at a lake house in the Louisiana Gulf sounds like fun for seven holidaymakers until they realise that they're sharing their idyllic location with some seriously hungry sharks who've managed to make it inland. The 3D element of the film adds 'bite' to the action sequences and is guaranteed to make you jump out of your seat! Starring Sara Paxton, Dustin Milligan, Chris Carmack, and Katharine McPhee.

10. Sharknado (2013) (3.3)

Have we saved the best until last? Absolutely! This hilarious horror film combines sharks and tornadoes, a budget of about five dollars, and some of the best unintentionally funny dialogue of all time. Sharknado is an absolute delight to watch and ended up spawning at least four sequels, each one more insane than the last. An absolute must-watch for any shark movies fans and well deserving of its place on the top ten shark movies of all time. Starring Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, John Heard, and Cassandra Scerbo.

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