The 11 Best Movies About Sharks To Stream During Sharkweek

best movies to watch during shark week

Written by Kirstin Harrington

Updated: September 7, 2022

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Since so many movies about shark attacks and ocean disasters have scarred us, the majority of us are at least a tiny bit afraid to swim in the sea. Every year, Shark Week serves as a reminder of these amazing apex predators. There are also plenty of movies that have been created about them.

The majority of shark flicks suffer from old cliches and a weak storyline. But everyone does the same error, they take these shark tales too literally. Below, you’ll discover a combination of flicks that will make you laugh and cinematic masterpieces that will make you never want to step foot in the water again. Let’s explore some of the top shark-related movies.

Kon-Tiki (2012)

best movies to stream during shark week

Kon-tiki is about Thor Heyerdahl’s brave sea voyage aboard a balsa-wood raft.

Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian explorer (Pl Sverre Hagen), speculates that South Americans may have first populated the South Sea Islands. In 1947, Heyerdahl decided to test his idea despite his dread of the sea and inability to swim. 

On a balsa-wood raft made to an old design, he set sail from Peru with five friends. They only have a radio and must use the stars and the currents of the ocean to find their way. They arrive at their goal after three arduous months at sea. With 81% on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s safe to say this one is worth the watch! 

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

In the movie Deep Blue Sea, genetic researchers operate a lab in the open sea. In an effort to discover a viable treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, scientists conduct risky experiments on sharks. One of the scientists is injured gravely by a shark attack as they move closer to the cure. It’s only a matter of how long before the facility and the surviving team are annihilated. 

The shark movie Deep Blue Sea is not your typical one. Strangely for a shark movie, the cast is well-known despite the fact that it is one of the cheesy-looking shark flicks. This is an entertaining and simple movie to watch because of the storms, frightening sharks, and renowned stars like Samuel L. Jackson. 

Open Water (2004)

When it first came out in theaters in 2004, Open Water was branded by many as The Blair Shark Project. It makes good use of its limited resources. Following a couple played by Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis, who unintentionally get left behind on a scuba excursion.  The two wind up drifting in the middle of the ocean among sharks.  

A brief but horrifying movie that also serves as a lesson in building fear as a little wound draws in carnivorous predators. It becomes clearer that it will take a miracle for them to reach shore once more. There is no unnecessary filler here; only a terrible circumstance that has been caught in terrifying, close-up detail.

47 Meters Down (2017)

A huge great white shark investigates 3 divers in a shark cage as sun rays penetrate the clear, cool waters of Guadalupe Island, Mexico.

Cage diving with sharks is a popular extreme adventure experience, but you may think twice about it after watching 47 Meters Down!

On vacation, many individuals want to swim with dolphins or even cage dive with sharks. However, 47 Meters Down will show you the true perils that lurk below the surface. While on holiday in Mexico, two sisters unexpectedly get themselves ensnared in a shark cage at the bottom of the sea. 

Claire Holt and Mandy Moore struggle for their lives as there is only one hour of oxygen remaining and great whites are swirling around the two, waiting for a meal. This movie has you on the edge of your seat and will make you never want to cage dive in your life. 

The Shallows (2016)

In this 2016 horror, Blake Lively plays a young medical student who has recently lost her mother. She travels to a remote Brazilian beach to find peace. Lively’s character, Nancy, gets attacked by a shark while surfing alone. She’s left gravely injured, causing her to swim to a tiny offshore rocky island, where the predator starts to encircle her. 

Throughout the film, there are a number of hopeful and depressing moments. The Shallows is the best illustration of what a shark never does to a person. A fierce struggle for survival ensues and you’ll just have to watch to see what happens! 

Jaws (1975)

Great White shark, Carcharodon carcharias, in the Indian Ocean at Gansbay, South Africa.

Jaws is the classic marine nightmare film, and a great way to kick-off your shark-themed movie marathon.

There is no finer place to begin watching shark films than with Jaws, the first marine nightmare. Jaws, a Steven Spielberg-directed film starring Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider, transports you to Amity Island, a charming, quiet tourist destination. 

Police chief Martin Brody, played by Roy Scheider, chases a killer great white shark that is targeting vacationers in a summer resort town with the assistance of a marine researcher (Richard Dreyfuss) and a certified shark hunter (Robert Shaw). 

But when the grizzly great white takes through the shores of the local beach, the excitement quickly gives way to anxiety for both tourists and residents. There are a lot of good sequels as well, but none of them match the first. 

The Reef (2012)

In order to sail with his friends on an exciting adventure, Luke welcomes his buddy Matt, his girlfriend Suzie, who is visiting from London, as well as Matt’s sister and Kate, who is visiting from Sydney. The boat strikes a submerged rock and flips over, leaving a gap in the bottom. Warren favors staying on the hull praying for assistance because there are sharks in the water. 

Luke makes the poor decision for them to swim in the north direction to reach Turtle Island in Queensland, Australia, while they still have strength. The group takes their chances in the water, but a great white shark is after them. The Reef is full of moments that will have you questioning any time you’ve ever been out in the water. 

Sharkwater (2006)

Rob Stewart, a scientist, visits the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, and other locations where the animals are present to make the case that people have an incorrect perception of sharks as being harmful animals. He feeds sharks underwater to show that they are inherently peaceful animals. 

Stewart teams up with naturalist Paul Watson to combat poachers who unlawfully kill the creatures for their fins and sell the flesh to the Taiwanese Mafia after indiscriminate hunting has wiped off 90% of the shark population. This movie grossed a whopping $30,600 at the box office. Do the filmmakers a favor and stream this one-of-a-kind movie! 

Sharknado (2013)

Sharknado is a wild movie series, and if you haven’t heard of it or seen at least one of the films in the series, you’re in for a treat. In the original movie, a cyclone causes shark attacks, which happen in the air rather than on the sea or on the beach. 

In this movie, which some people refer to as a cult classic, actors Ian Ziering and Tara Reid are attacked by shark-filled tornadoes. This is the shark movie you want if you want a ridiculous yet really amusing one. It won’t have you scared of taking a swim, but it will make you laugh and shake your head in amusement. 

The Meg (2018)

This movie starring Jason Statham and his battle with a massive shark has a lot to recommend it. The Meg is a spectacular thriller with an enormous beast at its core, while not being quite as ridiculous (or violent!) as the novel it is based on. Maybe the very feature that makes it so much fun is the only thing keeping it part of this list. 

The shark scenes are hilarious, although they differ slightly from a shark chasing a beachgoer in that the latter is engaged in a shark war with a submarine. The actual action, which involves Statham battling shark to shark with the enormous beast, comes after these attack sequences. While it is silly, it does make you question what you would do when faced with a Megladon.

Shark Tale (2004)

Whether you have kiddos or are just looking for something a little more lighthearted to watch in preparation for Shark Week, consider this animated classic. Oscar, the underperformer (Will Smith), is a little fish with big dreams. When the mob-connected great white shark Frankie (Michael Imperioli) is unintentionally killed, Oscar makes up a tale with Frankie’s unity-spreading brother Lenny (Jack Black) that it was he who killed the shark. 

When Frankie’s father, crime lord Don Lino (Robert De Niro), sends his minions to find his son’s killer, Oscar has larger problems to worry about than being suddenly crowned “Sharkslayer” by his aquatic comrades. This movie teaches you about being yourself, the importance of honesty, and that Robert De Niro can literally play any role. 

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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