10 Best Shark Movies on HBO Max (July 2024)

Sharks are undoubtedly one of Earth’s most magnificent creatures, and surprisingly, part of their magnificence is due to their reputation as fierce predators. One of the oldest species of fish on the planet, they have been around since even before the dinosaurs. Big, beautiful, and bonafide scary, they have garnered a notorious reputation due to their attacks on humans as depicted in films, both fictional and documentaries. Keeping these in mind, here are the 10 best shark movies on Max offers that pick at our survival instincts.

10. Into the Blue (2005)

Directed by John Stockwell, ‘Into the Blue’ follows lovers Jared (Paul Walker) and Sam (Jessica Alba), whose life in the Bahamas is turned upside down after they find stashes of cocaine inside a crashed plane while snorkeling with Jared’s childhood friend, Bryce (Scott Caan), and his girlfriend, Amanda (Ashley Scott). Against Jared’s wishes, Bryce tries to sell the cocaine only to be subjected to the wrath of a local drug lord, Reyes (James Frain), who finds out about it. The cocaine belongs to him, and he thus threatens Jared, Bryce, and Amanda to bring him the lot of it or face the consequences. To get all the cocaine, they have to risk going into the waters that are infested with tiger sharks. They were lucky the first time, but that doesn’t mean they will be lucky the next time. With brilliant water photography more than anything else, ‘Into the Blue’ is a guilty pleasure for cinephiles. You can watch it here.

9. Bear VS Shark (2018)

Famed survival expert Bear Grylls takes a deep dive with the ocean’s deadliest predators in this documentary special. With a new set of challenges in an environment where the sharks have the home-field advantage, Grylls will have to grind all his senses if he wants to survive this face-off while making himself a human bait. You can watch ‘Bear VS Shark’ here.

8. Great White Open Ocean (2022)

Directed by Shark Week filmmaker Jeff Kurr, ‘Great White Open Ocean’ is a documentary film that follows British expert shark diver Jimi Partington, who, after being attacked by a great white shark and nearly dying in 2020, gets back into the ocean with the giants to overcome his PTSD. However, the smooth beginning soon transitions into a fight for life yet again when a great white shark smashes into his cage, with multiple cameras filming the horrifying encounter. To find out what happened then, you can watch ‘Great White Open Ocean’ here.

7. Fin (2021)

A horrifying eye-opener of a shark documentary film, ‘Fin’ follows award-winning filmmaker Eli Roth as she travels the globe, along with researchers, scientists, and activists, to address and expose the shark fin trade and trafficking. It is one of the leading causes of the death of millions of sharks and is impacting the species’ extinction. The film is executive produced by actors/activists Leonardo DiCaprio and Nina Dobrev. You can watch it here.

6. Air Jaws (2001-2023)

From “flying” great whites to fights between sharks and seals, shark breaches, orcas killing great whites, and more, ‘Air Jaws’ is a popular series of 15 specials about great white sharks. Offering a wholesome exploration of the lifestyle and habitat of one of the world’s most fierce and largest predators, ‘Air Jaws’ is filmed in the waters off the coasts of South Africa. So, if you are a fan of the legendary great whites, ‘Air Jaws’ is the way to go. You can watch it here.

Read More: Best Fishing Shows and Movies on Netflix

5. After the Bite (2023)

Directed by Ivy Meeropol, ‘After the Bite’ is set in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and explores a community as it tackles the growing shark spottings in the aftermath of a shark attack that killed 26-year-old Arthur Medici in 2018 (first in 80 years in Cape Cod). We also see how experts address the matter and try to find a reason for the rise, going as far as reassessing man’s relationship with the natural world. With three and a half out of four stars by RogerEbert.com, ‘After the Bite’ is an effective documentary on sharks and their relationship with us. You can watch the documentary film here.

4. Deep Blue Sea (1999)

A cult shark film, a part of whose popularity is due to its bad quality that makes it fun to watch, ‘Deep Blue Sea’ is directed by Renny Harlin. Considered one of the best shark films ever, the film follows a team of biologists who are researching a cure for Alzheimer’s by experimenting with shark brains. Unfortunately, things go awry when the huge genetically engineered sharks decide to have things their way. The scientists have to find a way to escape the isolated facility before the sharks find them, and wee, you know the rest. Led by a stellar ensemble, including Thomas Jane, Samuel L. Jackson, Saffron Burrows, and Michael Rapaport, ‘Deep Blue Sea’ is entertaining, thrilling, and funny, smartly maintaining the balance among the three. You can watch the film here.

3. Capsized: Blood in the Water (2019)

This biographical survival drama is based on a true event that occurred in October 1982. Directed by Roel Reiné, it is the first scripted Discovery’s Shark Week feature film. It follows the 5-member crew of the Trashman yacht that is hit by a storm during a routine transfer from Maine to Florida. The yacht sank, and the crew was left stranded with only a life raft at their disposal. Until help arrives, they have to stay together and help each other from losing their sanity while ensuring that their limbs don’t become shark snacks. In the real event, only two out of the five members survived. One of them, Deborah Scaling Kiley, wrote the book ‘Albatross: The True Story of a Woman’s Survival at Sea’ about the shipwreck, published in 1994. The film stars Josh Duhamel, Tyler Blackburn, Beau Garrett, Josh Close, and Rebekah Graf. You can watch it here.

2. Open Water (2003), Open Water 3: Cage Dive (2017)

In both movies, we see our main characters stranded in the ocean and trying to survive until help arrives. The chances of survival are very low as sharks are nearby, waiting for the perfect moment to strike and snack. In ‘Open Water,’ directed by Chris Kentis, two people, namely Daniel (Daniel Travis) and Susan (Blanchard Ryan), are mistakenly left behind by a scuba diving group. The film is based on the true story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who were also left behind by their diving group on January 25, 1998, in the Coral Sea.

In ‘Open Water 3: Cage Dive,’ directed by Gerald Rascionato, we have three people, Jeff (Joel Hogan), Josh (Josh Potthoff), and Megan (Megan Peta Hill), who go on a shark cage-diving adventure only to end up as vulnerable targets for many great white sharks after their boat capsizes. The film’s effectiveness lies in its mockumentary style (video camera, first-person footage, time stamps). You can watch the movies here.

1. The Meg (2018), Meg 2: The Trench (2023)

With Jason Statham leading the cast, ‘The Meg’ and ‘Meg 2: The Trench’ deal with the Megaladon, aka Meg, a huge shark of over 70 feet that supposedly went extinct around 3.6 million years ago. In the first film, we see rescue diver Jonas Taylor returning from early retirement to assist the team at an underwater research facility that is exploring the Mariana Trench. The plan is to kill the massive shark, with which Taylor shares a tragic past, before it can cause more harm. It is loosely adapted from Steve Alten’s 1997 novel ‘Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror.’

In the second film (sequel), which has an original story, Jonas and his team deal with not just huge Megs but other large creatures who have escaped the Trench in the aftermath of an illegal mining facility blowing up, causing a rupture in the Trench. Co-starring Cliff Curtis Page Kennedy, ‘The Meg’ franchise is the first of its kind (that explores Megaladons). You can watch the two movies here.

Read More: Best Movies and Shows About Sharks on Netflix

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