Guillermo del Toro has been captivating audiences with his fantastical films for almost 30 years.
His latest movie, "Pinocchio," is streaming on Netflix now.
Here are all 12 of the Mexican filmmaker's feature-length movies ranked from worst to best.
Guillermo del Toro has been captivating audiences for almost 30 years with his immersive fantasy worlds that put misunderstood monsters front and center.
Some of his most well-known films include the Oscar-winning "The Shape of Water" (2017), "Pan's Labyrinth" (2006), and "The Devil's Backbone" (2001). However, he has also directed a number of franchise movies such as "Blade II" (2002) "Hellboy" (2004), and its sequel, "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" (2008).
The director's most recent work, "Pinocchio" (2022), reimagines the classic tale of the titular wooden marionette who is magically brought to life. It is in selected theaters across the United States now and will premiere globally on Netflix on December 9.
See how it compares to del Toro's other work in our complete ranking of all the feature-length films he has helmed as director.
12. "Blade II" (2002)
"Blade II" earns its place at the very bottom of this ranking for a few reasons. Truthfully, we forgot that del Toro had a hand in bringing a Marvel character's story to the big screen a decade before the MCU exploded into the juggernaut it is today.
Moreover, "Blade II" feels like a product of its time with its mile-a-minute martial art fight scenes, deafening heavy rock soundtrack, and offensive one-liners.
It stars Wesley Snipes as a half-man, half-vampire hybrid who has been raised from childhood by Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), a vampire hunter who kept his blood-sucking habits in check. It's without a doubt an improvement on the other installments in the trilogy, "Blade" (1998) and "Blade: Trinity" (2004), but that's not what we're here to rank.
11. "Mimic" (1997)
Del Toro once said in an interview that shooting "Mimic" was "the worst experience of my life, even above the kidnapping of my father."
The film, which follows the outbreak of a genetically engineered mega bug that threatens to wipe out humanity, suffered as a result of interference from Miramax bosses Bob and Harvey Weinstein. According to del Toro, they made so many changes during and after production that what's seen on screen barely resembles the vision the auteur had for the film.
Nevertheless, glimpses of del Toro's signature style are on full display in "Mimic," which features a standout performance from Mira Sorvino as Dr. Susan Tyler, a Victor Frankenstein-like scientist who is forced to confront and kill the monster she created.
10. "Hellboy" (2004)
Continuing a collaboration that began a decade earlier in "Cronos" and continues to this day, del Toro enlisted Ron Perlman to bring the beloved comic book character to the big screen, resulting in one of the most successful early superhero flicks.
"Hellboy" sees the cigar-smoking, gun-toting, hornless demon face off against Nazis, Russian mystic Rasputin, and other forces of evil as an agent in the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense alongside a merman with psychic powers and a woman with a talent for pyrokinesis.
9. "Pacific Rim" (2013)
"Pacific Rim" is an action movie first and foremost, and del Toro makes sure that the viewer gets their money's worth with outstanding CGI effects, a cast of characters you can root for, and of course, big monsters fighting big robots.
The film's cult status among fans of big monster flicks is a testament to just how good del Toro is at every genre he tries his hands at. With "Pacific Rim," the Mexican filmmaker manages to create what is essentially one of the best modern Kaijū epics, even if it doesn't come close to the best amongst his own oeuvre.
8. "Crimson Peak" (2015)
In this gorgeous Gothic romance, aspiring horror novelist Edith (Mia Wasikowska) finds herself entering a ghost story of her own when she marries the charming and seductive Sir Thomas Sharp (Tom Hiddleston).
She moves into his mansion in the remote English countryside and soon discovers that the house is haunted not only by supernatural forces but by Thomas' sister, Lady Lucille (Jessica Chastain), too.
Evocative of the likes of classic Hollywood flicks such as Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca" (1940) and George Cukor's "Gaslight" (1944), "Crimson Peak" is a slow burn of a movie that marked a step in a different direction for del Toro.
7. "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" (2008)
It's rare that a film sequel — helmed by the same director — is considered better than the original, but "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" makes a case for why it's sometimes a good idea for a filmmaker to return to a story after spending some time away to hone their craft.
Released four years after "Hellboy," the sequel catches up with our favorite red-skinned demon (Ron Perlman), his pyrokinetic girlfriend, Liz (Selma Blair), and aquatic companion, Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), as they once again save humanity from total destruction when an underworld prince (Luke Goss) decides to reclaim Earth.
6. "Nightmare Alley" (2021).
In his followup film after taking home the best picture Academy Award for "The Shape of Water," Del Toro assembled an accomplished all-star cast for his first story that swaps out supernatural scares for more earthly ones. There are no monsters in this movie, but plenty of monstrous people.
Adapted from William Lindsay Gresham's 1946 novel of the same name, "Nightmare Alley" follows Stan Carlisle (Bradley Cooper), a mysterious but charismatic drifter who is drawn into sideshow spiritualism after joining a traveling circus.
Like "Crimson Peak," which came before it, it's another excellently crafted genre exercise that fully immerses its audience into its world but takes its time doing so.
5. "Pinocchio" (2022)
"Pinocchio" marks the director's first foray into the world of animation and is a collaboration with stop-motion legend Mark Gustafson, who is known for his work on "Claymation Easter" (1992), "The PJs" (1999), and "Bride of Resistor" (1997).
It's an enchanting albeit dark retelling of the classic Carlo Collodi tale of the wooden puppet who is brought to life, set against the backdrop of Benito Mussolini's fascist regime in Italy. Del Toro has insisted that the film is suitable for children, and we would be tempted to agree.
The film's themes — mortality, loss, Catholicism, and rebellion against authoritarianism — are handled so deftly that young audiences can simply enjoy the extraordinary journey that Pinocchio takes them on.
4. "Cronos" (1993)
Del Toros' debut feature, "Cronos," follows an elderly antique dealer named Jesus Gris (Federico Luppi) who stumbles across a 400-year-old scarab that latches onto him and grants him eternal life — and an insatiable thirst for blood.
A sophisticated, stylish, and sincere first foray into feature-length filmmaking, this Spanish-language film successfully made del Toro a name to know before he was even 30.
3. "The Devil's Backbone" (2001)
Del Toro made a return to Spanish-language cinema and slightly smaller-scale filmmaking following his Hollywood baptism of fire with "Mimic" — and we're so glad he did as it led him to make his first masterpiece.
Taking place during the Spanish Civil War, "The Devil's Backbone" follows 12-year-old Carlos (Fernando Tielve), who is taken in at a small secluded orphanage run by Doctor Casares (Federico Luppi) and headmistress Carmen (Marisa Paredes). Not long after his arrival, he learns of the building's dark and disturbing history, and the film descends into a poetic ghost story full of political allegories.
Powerfully poignant and genuinely creepy, "The Devil's Backbone," establishes a tone and theme that del Toro has revisited again and again in his work.
2. "Pan's Labyrinth" (2006)
Del Toro has previously described "Pan's Labyrinth" as a spiritual "sister" to "The Devil's Backbone," and it's not hard to see why.
Like its celluloid sibling, it's a brilliant original fairytale that uses the backdrop of Franco-era Spain and a child protagonist to spin an enchanting and tragic fairytale about what it means to be surrounded by monsters who hide in plain sight.
Sent to live with her ruthless stepfather, Captain Vidal (Sergi López), the young and innocent Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) wanders out of bed one night and meets a fairy who takes her to an old faun in the center of the labyrinth who tells her she must complete three dangerous tasks in order to return to her real life in which she is a princess, and her father is a king.
1. "The Shape of Water" (2017)
You would have to be heartless not to fall head over heels for "The Shape of Water," which sees del Toro craft a fairytale that is both nostalgic and entirely original.
While you can boil down the film to a love story between a mute laboratory employee and a half-human, half-amphibian creature, it's doing so much more than that. Against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, the cold war, and the space race struggle in 1960s Baltimore, it's a lovingly rendered tribute to misfits and outsiders everywhere.
On top of that, Sally Hawkins' performance is magnetic, the creature work from del Toro's longtime collaborator Doug Jones is peerless, and the Alexandre Desplat score is phenomenal.
Unsurprisingly, the movie remains del Toro's most celebrated work to date, earning 13 nominations at the Academy Awards (the most of any film in the 2018 race) and resulting in four wins, including best picture and best director.
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