Jaws

Jaws ★★★★★

All I can think about now when I watch this film, the birth of the blockbuster and spectacle-as-king, is how much of its greatness precisely owes to technical difficulties that would today never arise. If not for the shark's malfunctions, we would have seen so much more of it, blunting its impact, and the many, many bits of script doctoring that the crew and actors did during down time gave us things like the Indianapolis speech. For all of Spielberg's technical dazzle, this is such a subtly observed film, filled with small character details that deepen everyone (the contrast of rich kid Hooper scarfing down snacks as Quint is so frugal that he will literally save half a cracker in his pocket for later is my personal favorite touch). This may have changed movies forever, but I wish anyone ever came close to capturing what made this great.