A typical shark movie features a group of people stranded somewhere on an island with no real help and are left to fight the giant creatures on their own. There are very few good shark movies and most of them just follow the same trite plots, stereotypical characters but the one thing that this genre, if at all it even exists, manages to achieve well is the entertainment. Most shark movies are often listed under the so-bad-that-it’s-good category and they all come across as wildly entertaining despite how stupid and terribly crafted they may be on various other technical aspects.
This article takes a look at those movies about sharks that are exceptionally good as well as those which require you to shut your brains off and have a blast. So let’s take a look at the list of top shark movies ever. On this list you won’t find Halle Berry shark movie or Great White shark movie, since they are not good enough. You can also stream come of these best shark movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
12. Ghost Shark (2013)
‘Ghost Shark’ went on to become a cult favorite after it managed to gain attention on social media and several other websites, mostly due to its strangely fascinating storyline and numerous so-bad-that-it’s funny moments. The story follows a man and his daughter who brutally murder a shark but the ghost of the shark returns to seek revenge from them. The plot has a hilarious tone and some of the scenes are so outrageously bad that it begins to develop some sort of entertainment value. it’s possibly the most stupid of all shark flicks but that’s precisely why it’s such an enjoyable affair.
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11. Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus (2009)
Another weirdly fascinating shark movie that doesn’t qualify to be called great but is purely enjoyable for its entertainment value. The film follows two prehistoric sea monsters who go on a destructive killing spree. The sharks almost look hilarious here and the lack of thought and serious on any cinematic level adds to the fun appeal of the film, making it a thoroughly entertaining watch. However, there are few scenes that rise above mediocrity and turn out to be quite impressive on a visual level. It’s made with absolutely no sense of vision but the intention here is entertain viewers and have a blast which it does so well.
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10. Sharknado (2013)
This hilariously entertaining TV movie is what you’d proudly place under the “so-bad-that-it’s-good” category. With a wildly exciting and silly plot, the film manages to come off as extremely entertaining and what’s more appealing here is that at no point does the film consider taking itself seriously. It’s almost as if it’s just made to have fun with the viewers and whilst such an intention could often backfire, this film just gets the best out of it. The graphics here aren’t quite up to the mark due to budget issues but the film just makes the best out of its limited resources and crafts something so endearingly funny, stupid and wildly hilarious.
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9. Shark Tale (2004)
A shark movie that’s more of a fun ride than horror. ‘Shark Tale’ is a computer animated comedy drama film that tells the story of Oscar, a small, fast-talking fish that pretends to have killed a giant shark and becomes a hero but realizes his lie may have some disastrous consequences. The film features voices provided by stars including Angeline Jolie, Robert De Niro, Will Smith and Jack Black and the use of animated fishes, especially the main shark character is extremely impressive. ‘Shark Tale’ is a flawed movie but it is a fun ride with all the Godfather parody and some endearingly hilarious moments.
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8. Deep Blue Sea (1999)
A shark movie that is probably everyone’s favorite guilty pleasure. ‘Deep Blue Sea’ is a movie that manages to entertain not because of its vision and intention but because of how incredibly silly and naïve it poses itself to be. The graphics are outrageously bad and the inherent silliness of the plot makes way for more hilarious entertainment. Samuel Jackson steals the show with a memorable performance, guiding his team and inspiring them under trying circumstances only to be killed by a giant shark before he could complete his uplifting speech.
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7. Soul Surfer (2011)
‘Soul Surfer’ is more of a biographical drama than a shark movie. It tells the story of a woman, a surf champion, who loses an arm after a vicious shark attack and how she tries to cope with the difficulties and manages to come on top again. While the story is incredibly tragic and inspiring, the treatment makes it pretty much a standard Hollywood affair and it just does not rise on to the level of a truly great biographical drama. However, the film has its moments of wonder, beauty and horror. The shark attack scene, in particular, is extremely well shot with terrifying intensity and brutal power.
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6. Bait 3D (2012)
A shark movie in 3-D can be quite exciting to watch and ‘Bait’ really was a memorable experience. The film focuses on a group of people who get trapped in a submerged grocery store after a disastrous tsunami nearly kills them all. However, they are yet to face the worse as a group of white sharks hunt them and they need to fight out the monster creatures. It’s pretty much of a genre flick and whilst the flaws in writing are obvious, it does work really well in parts with some really well done scenes that lifts the film off from being awfully mediocre and moreover, the 3-D aspect is very effective as it brilliantly manages to capture the horror element of the story.
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5. Jaws 2 (1978)
Not quite on the level of the original Steven Spielberg classic but ‘Jaws 2’ does satisfy on many levels. The film picks up the same plot as Chief Brody suspects another great white shark lurking around somewhere on the island after a few mysterious disappearances frighten the inhabitants. Jeannot Szwarc ‘s direction is nowhere near the technical proficiency of Steven Spielberg but he has grip over the storyline and delivers it with force, albeit, being a bit messed up at places. It’s a highly entertaining piece of thriller that engages you like very few films do and is today regarded as the best sequel of the series and one of the best sequels ever made.
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4. The Shallows (2016)
This engrossing survival thriller follows a woman who, after travelling to an isolated beach following her mother’s death, encounters a great white shark and needs to fight her way out of the situation. Blake Lively is brilliant as Nancy Adams and delivers a fiercely powerful performance in a role that is emotionally and physically demanding. Jaume Collet-Serra’s energetic direction elevates the raw tension of the film and the shark attack scenes are brilliantly filmed, terrifying you in ways you couldn’t possibly explain. It’s raw, edgy, tense and incredibly terrifying.
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3. The Reef (2010)
A great white shark stalks a group after their boat capsizes and they sink in the water. The film is based on a true story of a man who survived a similar incident in 1983 and it uses actual shark footage as opposed to special effects of computer graphics and this brings in a much more authentic, realistic feel to the film. It’s brilliantly directed and every shot has breathtaking intensity that leaves you gasping for breath. And to think that the sharks depicted in the film were real, makes the film even more frightening and scary.
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2. Open Water (2003)
‘Open Water’ follows a couple who go scuba diving but are accidentally left behind by the crew and find themselves stranded in the midst of shark infested waters. The film has a visceral quality to it that makes it more of an experience, almost physical in its intensity as it slowly manages to crawl under your skin. The energy is beautifully restrained as the film lets the atmosphere convey the horror of the story without excessive focus on plot. The scenes featuring the sharks are absolutely nerve-racking as it has an unusually realistic feel to it that makes for a distinctively memorable experience.
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1. Jaws (1975)
Steven Spielberg roared his way on to the mainstream Hollywood arena with this explosive survival thriller that shaped the summer blockbuster culture in American cinema. ‘Jaws’ follows 3 men; a police chief, a marine scientist and a fisherman who set out to take on a giant shark after it began to wreck lives on a quiet island. The film grips you with a strange lurking feeling of horror right from the opening shot as we are introduced to the lives of the characters and the serenity of the island that would soon be wrecked by a monster. Spielberg has gone to make better films with more ambition and stronger vision but ‘Jaws’ remains a testament to his technical abilities as a filmmaker.
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