The ocean is a terrifyingly ominous idea for most people. Its expansive nature and seemingly infinite potential for animal life has mystified and scared humanity for generations, and movie makers have capitalized on these emotions with films that evoke the most frightening sentiments within us. No creature in the water is more iconic than the shark, and this king of the sea is often the subject or the main antagonist of many horror or thriller flicks that take place in aquatic settings.
With Shark Week just around the corner, shark movies are once again on people’s minds. Whether you like historical fiction, horror, documentaries, or something in between, there is a surprising variety to movies that focus on sharks. We want to get you in the mood for the season with the pictures that give you the best bite. These are the 10 best shark movies you should take a look at this year, ranked from worst to best!
This family-friendly docu-style TV movie has Chris Hemsworth, expert scientist opinions, and plenty of sharks. What’s not to enjoy? This one comes in at under an hour of content, so you don’t have to set aside a large chunk of time to watch it. In that hour, you’ll get a brief education in shark behavior and the ocean at large. Even if you’re more into fiction than documentaries, still give this one a try. You won’t regret it!
This historical drama focuses on a fictionalized account of Thor Heyerdahl’s journey from South America to Tuamotu Islands. Heyerdahl was a zoologist who wanted to help disprove the notions that only people from the West were to credit for migration to French Polynesia. The film was one of the most successful foreign-language films of 2012, as it was nominated for an Academy Award. Fans of sharks will enjoy the threat the animals posed to Heyerdahl and his crew in Kon-Tiki.
The Reef is a perfect film for those shark fans who want to imagine the animals at their absolute apex predator peak. The humans in the movie are constantly at risk of being tracked down and eaten by the same great white shark the entire duration of the film after their boat capsizes. The horror aspects of the movie help to overcome the suspension of belief required to enjoy it.
Sequels often are unable to replicate the same magic as the original films, but Jaws 2 does a decent enough job keeping the same visuals, storytelling, and horror aspects that made the first Jaws one of the best movies ever made. Steven Spielberg is no longer in the director’s chair, something that probably affected the overall results of the movie. Roy Scheider’s reprisal of his role as Martin Brody is a highlight of the experience.
This Disney+ TV movie helps audiences understand the intricacies of sharks more than any other film on this list. Sharks are hunted, abused, and tarnished by humans on a daily basis, and photographer Valerie Taylor gives her unique and credible perspective on the subject with analysis and once-in-a-lifetime footage. You’ll come away from this film with a newfound appreciation for sharks and all animal life in general.
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