10 Best Guillermo del Toro Movies

Guillermo del Toro’s Involvement in Pacific Rim Uprising Revealed

10 Best Guillermo del Toro Movies

Along with Alfonso Cuarón (director of Gravity, Children of Men and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and Alejandro G. Iñárritu (director of Birdman and The Revenant), Guillermo del Toro is one of the most prolific Mexican filmmakers in American film today. His films are often a blend of realism, horror and fantasy/science fiction. He likes bizarre creatures often made with intricate practical effects—which creates a visceral and immersive experience for the audience.

He has garnered a significant following largely because of his mass-market film work. His comic book adaptations Blade II and Hellboy II: The Golden Army were both big successes—the first Hellboy film’s performance at the box office was a bit more modest. His recent fantasy-romance film The Shape of Water also performed very well in that regard. However, all of these are dwarfed by the gigantic, explosive box office success of his science fiction action movie, Pacific Rim—which was especially big in China.

After a few decades in cinema, del Toro has basically been able to try his hand at any genre or a mix of genres and any size and scale he so chooses—but throughout all of it, he never loses the unique, peculiar style that audiences recognize from him. Here are his 10 best films.

 

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

Pan’s Labyrinth is often lauded as del Toro’s magnum opus and one of the best films of the modern era. Set during the early post-Spanish Civil War period in which the Francoist fascists have taken over—a 10-year-old girl moves with her ill mother to her new pro-Francoist stepfather’s home. Once there, she is guided to labyrinth by a fairy who believes her to be the reincarnation of the mythic Princess Moanna. The film is a marvel of storytelling and effects—blending practical makeup and animatronics with computer-generated images.

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Pacific Rim (2013)

Pacific Rim is del Toro’s most pure, unadulterated fun film thus far. Inspired by the kaiju—giant monsters—and mechas—giant robots of Japanese popular culture, he created a film about exactly that. When monsters rise up and attack the world’s cities, humans have no choice but to defend their territory. They do so by developing giant robots they call Jaegers. Led by Marshal Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), they do combat with the creatures.

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Crimson Peak (2015)

In Crimson Peak, a wealthy heiress (Mia Wasikowska) is continually visited by the ghost of her mother. She marries a strange, unsavory British man (Tom Hiddleston) and moves in with him and his cold-hearted sister (Jessica Chastain). In their manor,$12.99. she too is haunted by apparitions and tries to decipher her mother’s warning. It performed moderately well at the box office and is well-regarded by critics.

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Blade II (2002)

After a number of years working on his own projects, del Toro signed on to helm the sequel to Blade, the 1998 film adaptation of the comic book. Blade (once again played by Wesley Snipes) is a vampire-human hybrid who hunts other vampires in an effort to protect humans from their terror. In this sequel, a disease is spreading throughout the vampire community which evolves them into something stronger—immune to almost all vampire weaknesses. It is an exciting film and an interesting time capsule of a period when comic book movies were still in their early stages of development.

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Hellboy (2004)

Following the success of Blade, del Toro got behind the camera for another comic book adaptation. This time, he tells the story of Hellboy, a demon baby who comes through a portal opened by Nazis during World War II, is discovered by Allied forces, and subsequently raised by humans. The now fully-grown Hellboy (played by Ron Perlman) works for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense along with his team: a fish-man named Abe Sapien (played by Doug Jones), a rookie from the FBI (Rupert Evans) and Liz Sherman (Selma Blair)—a telekinetic woman with whom Hellboy has a complicated relationship. Hellboy performed moderately well both with audiences and critics.

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Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Perlman returns as the titular Hellboy in del Toro’s sequel. The film is somewhat lighter fare than the previous film, shifting the tone from gothic to somewhere nearer the realm of fantasy. Hellboy and his team are once again called into action when an ancient indestructible army is revived in the present day. Film critics and audiences alike found this film even more enjoyable than the first.

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The Shape of Water (2017)

The latest entry of del Toro’s so far, The Shape of Water is a fantasy period piece set in the Baltimore during the Cold War. A mute woman (Sally Hawkins) who works as a custodian at a deep state laboratory develops a secret relationship with one of their top-secret discoveries: a humanoid fish being (Doug Jones) and struggles to protect them from the abuses of the scientists. The film was both a huge critical and huge commercial success.

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The Devil’s Backbone (2001)

The Devil’s Backbone was the first of two films by del Toro which are set around the Spanish Civil War period (1936 to 1939)—the other being Pan’s Labyrinth. An orphanage in rural Spain run by Republican loyalists is subject to frequent attacks by the fascists. Then a new orphan arrives with strange visions of some kind of apparition he does not understand. It was well regarded by critics and had a modest performance at the box office.

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Cronos (1993)

Cronos was del Toro’s directorial debut—and it also marked the beginning of his long-standing collaboration with Perlman, who has been in five del Toro-helmed productions so far. It tells the story of an elderly antique dealer who accidentally activates an ancient device which gives the receiver eternal life. As a result, he finds himself the target of a wealthy industrialist who seeks to become immortal himself. Though it did not perform well at the box office, it was praised by critics.

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Mimic (1997)


In Mimic, del Toro’s first English-language film, a mysterious disease is being spread by cockroaches and killing many children around New York City. A couple scientists develop a genetically engineered insect designed to kill off the cockroach carriers and subsequently die within a generation—because they are all female. However, several years later one of the scientists finds a bug very similar to their engineered species. It is a gross, upsetting horror film which stars Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, and Josh Brolin. Del Toro is dissatisfied with because in his fledgling career he was not given final cut approval. As a result, he released a director’s cut in 2011.

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Weekend: Jul. 18, 2019, Jul. 21, 2019

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