Brody Brittain’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is my Citizen Kane and the definitive American movie; a revolution in filmmaking and the ultimate "how the fuck did a twenty-something-year-old make this?"
I can understand why this is hard for people to analyze beyond it's historical importance + magnitude, and to just see the flaws here. The shark does look fake, you're right. Sure, maybe it's not as "scary" as people make it out to be. And with that being said, what a boring and reductive way to view a film. Like, do you ever just think about how the lack of malfunctions in the shark would result in us seeing much more of it and thus softening the impact of so many moments? Do you think about how Spielberg was terrified of not being in control + never working in Hollywood again while making a movie about the fear of the unknowable? Cause I do, like, not to nerd out, but I've read, listened, and watched for hours on end about the production of this thing. Endlessly fascinating beyond a simple man vs. monster movie, and arguably the only one of those which makes the human characters the most interesting.
It's not just the obvious anti-capitalist sentiments which makes this such a monumental moment in cinematic history, although elected officials failing the people they serve during a crisis and placing them directly in harms way? C'mon Steve I think you're reaching a little there. But it's also the small details and glances. The way Roy Scheider lifts up his shirt to show his scar but then thinks better of it. The supplies he asks for the trip. The lack of music and emotional manipulation upon the reveal of Kitner's dead body. The way Hooper scarfs down snacks while Quint saves a single cracker in his pocket for later. You don't really notice these moments, but you certainly feel them lingering as you wait for the next attack, the next glimpse of the shark.
This is how you do foreshadowing.
Hell, this is just how you do a movie.
Jaws is why I will defend Spielberg no matter how many BFG's or War Horse's he makes and Jaws is great because it's one of the few movies you can summate it's greatness in by saying, "What do I have to say? It's ____, man." I don't know why I don't rewatch this monthly.