Michael Hewis’s review published on Letterboxd:
It took two viewings, having never seen Jaws until this year, to digest it and give my final opinion on the legendary film, and yes, even someone like me who could be a snob when it gets to mainstream cinema fell in love with this film. The issue now is...what else can I say that everyone else hasn't?
Maybe I can write that, coming to this film finally, I fell in love with it because it felt like a turn-of-the-century pulp novel where the characters were given enough time even in a pacy narrative to be fleshed out. The other point is the strange fact this is said to be the start (or the blame) for modern day blockbusters, such a bizarre thing to consider when the modern day blockbuster is a bloated, life corpse for the most part that can be longer than Jaws but have none of its decent acting and moments of seriousness grimness. Seeing this only now as an adult, Jaws has a lot of the same qualities of the New Hollywood films of the same era in its emphasis on character, acting and a slow pace between the shark attacks. Its willing to have content, even for a PG rated film, you couldn't get away with now particularly with a very young victim, and if it wasn't for the obviously fake shark this would feel like a sea adventure film with three grizzled men on a boat, played by three actors who'd be replaced by tweens or Will Smith in a modern day interpretation. The significance of how much like the films made of its era it is in spite of being a fun genre movie can be seen the most from the USS Indianapolis speech, both in its darkness and the performance by Robert Shaw, but also because it was improvised over the phone by John Milius upon Steven Spielberg's request, the interconnection of Spielberg with other directors of the era like Milius and Coppola as personal friends still a significant influence on him even if he was drifting more and more into becoming the populist powerhouse in the eighties. Far from the later troglodytes we're mostly stuck with in the modern era, this still retains a lot from its time and of much older films brought up to the then-modern day, the real reason alongside the acting, the music etc. that I love it for.