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Spoiler Free Review of The Shallows

Updated on August 4, 2016

The Shallows Movie Poster


The Shallows is a 2016 shark attack film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. It has a PG-13 rating for some language, violence, and blood. The suspense film is only 1hour and 27 minutes long. It stars Blake Lively with many other minor characters.


The Shallows is about a young girl named Nancy (Blake Lively) ventures to a secret beach to surf and connect with a special location of her mom’s. He mother, having passed away from cancer, visited the beach when she was young and would tell her daughters tales of this beach. As Nancy is out surfing, she finds a feeding ground for a shark that does not appreciate the unexpected company.


The Shallows is a magnificently timed summer film. The last time a good shark movie came out was in 1975 when Jaws came out. A summer release not long after the fabled Shark Week that comes on every year on Discovery Channel, was well timed and played off the idea of missing the fearsome sharks of the week past. The film shows off an incredibly engrossing concept. It is the equivalent of Jaws for the new generation. The story is pretty touching as well. The idea of a girl trying to find a way to connect with her deceased mother is very touching. The performance put on by Blake Lively is simply amazing. The general idea was the film was about a pretty girl being attacked by a shark, which kind of gives the SYFY movie feel. Blake Lively saves the day though with an impressive acting performance. She has only one real character to interact with the majority of the movie being a CGI shark. This was the first movie in a while that really had the audience sitting on the edge of their seats hoping that something would go right for this poor girl. The climax was not predictable at all and pays mild homage to Jaws with an explosion scene. The ending sums up the film perfectly and really pulls at the heartstrings of viewers. The issues with this film though, are few and far between. There are a few scenes with the shark that were pretty obviously a CGI shark. There is also an unbelievable status because Nancy seems to have the worst luck of all time. She goes from a shark attacking to stepping on sharp corral to running into jellyfish. That seems a little unlikely to all occur to a single person.

Alternate Movie Poster

Final Thoughts

The Shallows was a fantastic summer film. It provided just enough action and just enough “feel good” scenes to make for a fantastic time. This film did the job it set out for absolutely perfectly with only a few minor hiccups.

Grade: A

The Shallows Trailer

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    • Alec Zander profile image

      Alec Zander 17 months ago from Sylva, NC

      I loved the fact that she was smart and used her environment to her advantage. She didn't bob there, screaming her head off. She actually looked around and made a plan. I especially loved the whale scene and thought that to be rather impressive. So much was right with this film. I'm glad it wasn't another Sharknado or Shark Night. This was actually a good film. Great review :)