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Best Shark Movies of All Time

The best shark movies with the most bite. The top 20 sharktastic and jawesome movies in shark film history.

It's shark week again (it's always shark week somewhere in the world), and time for our list of the best shark movies. Nothing is more fun than watching a 20-ft tiger shark tear into some swimmers or divers. After all, you go poking in the depths and you're just asking for trouble, right? There has literally been a sharknado of creature films and shark movies these past few years. Easy to find a shark film these days, hard to find a good one! At Top2040, here are our top 20 shark films of all time:

1 - Jaws (1975) Almost 40 years old, but this movie holds strong as the seminal shark film. The undisputed champion of the seas, Jaws packs the most punch per square inch of film. Great direction, acting, and script: lines from Jaws are still quoted everywhere in pop culture. "And, you know, the thing about a shark... he's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes."

2 - Deep Blue Sea (1999) Super-smart sharks sink a sea lab. It's always nice when main characters get snatched and eaten. Stars Samuel L. Jackson and Thomas Jane.

3 - Jaws II (1978) The sequel was almost as good as the original. Roy Scheider even returns.

4 - Mission of the Shark: the Saga of the USS Indianapolis (1991) The ship delivered the bomb during WWII, then on its way back it was sunk by the enemy. The crew entered the water with a few hundred tiger sharks. As the night wore on, the soldiers were picked off and eaten … one by one.

5 - Bait (2012) A group is trapped in a flooded shopping center in Australia after a tsunami has hit; and there is a great white shark trapped inside with them. It sounds a bit contrived, but this is actually a pretty good movie.  Top2040 approves.

6 - Jaws III (1983) A killer shark hunts inside a theme park, and he originally did this in 3-D. Clever fish. "Overman was killed inside the park. The baby was caught inside the park. Its mother is inside the park."

7 - Mako: the Jaws of Death (1988) Able to control sharks with a medallion, a man gets revenge on his enemies.

8 - The Reef (2010) A shark hunts down a group of swimmers trying to flee their capsized boat and seek rescue.

9 - Creature (1998) Craig T. Nelson. A secret military base and its island are attacked by an amphibious super shark.

10 - Cyclone (1978) Survivors of a plane crash must stay alive in the open water.

11 - Swamp Sharks (2011) A shark is stealing gators from a Louisiana gator farm. Even though some lines were taken directly from Jaws, and the effects were uninspiring for 2011, this movie was a good little shark film. Plus: the most unusual way to kill a shark (weird ending).

12 - Jaws IV The Revenge (1987) The return of Mrs. Brody.

13 - Red Water (2003) Lou Diamond Phillips

14 - Dark Tide (2011) Halle Berry

15 - Shark Swarm (2008) John Schneider and Daryl Hannah (post-mermaid days).

16 - Shark Hunter (Megalodon) from 2001

17 - Frankenfish (2004) While technically not a shark, it is a dangerous fish.

18 - Shark Attack (1999) Casper van Dien

19 - Shark Zone (2003)

20 - Mega Shark Vs. Crocosaurus (2010) Some entertainment here, you have to admit.

Notice how fast the quality drops, almost exponentially, as the list progresses.
Sharknado and Sharktopus actually have entertainment value, even if they're not oscar-winning films. As the animated Street Sharks would say, "Jawesome!"

Worst shark movies ever: "Open Water" and "Snow Shark."  But you can catch a nice nap during Open Water, so that might count as value for insomniacs.

Best Shark Documentary: Blue Water, White Death (1971) Good documentary-style movie about sharks.

(photo at top: Siam Ocean World Bangkok, shark aquarium. © Rod Little 2010)

Sharks in movies have made me nervous to go into the ocean. Afraid to go in the water, yet?

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