(Photo by New Line/courtesy Everett Collection)
All Guillermo del Toro Movies Ranked by Tomatometer
One easy way to get that Best Picture win at the Oscars? Spend your burgeoning directing career on strange and grotesque genre pictures, then hook up with a major studio to work on Lord of the Rings, with hundreds of millions of dollars in budget. Obviously! It worked for Peter Jackson, whose Dead Alive and Meet the Feebles movies did little to suggest he would one day get the gold trophy for The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.
And it worked for Guillermo del Toro, whose success with cult cinema fanatics led him to toil for years on The Hobbit movies. Del Toro didn’t win anything for those movies — hell, he didn’t even end up directing them. But he did get the top prize for The Shape of Water, an unlikely win for the unlikeliest of love stories, which currently puts a lovely bow on a career characterized by dark fantasy, big sci-fi, and creature features, of visions where the lines between dream and nightmare blur.
Del Toro got his start in his native Mexico in the early ’90s with the mythological Cronos, featuring Ron Perlman in the first of several collaborations. As with many international filmmakers with a hit on their hands, del Toro was wooed to Hollywood to do exactly his thing… except, of course, with tons of studio interference, notes, and meddling. The result was the compromised Mimic, whose lackluster reception was enough to get del Toro to go back abroad for his next film. The Spain set-and-shot The Devil’s Backbone was another cult hit, again enough for him to get tempted back to the States.
What followed was Blade II and Hellboy, which gave the pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe era of comic book movies an unpredictable shot in the arm. The latter film reunited him with Perlman, along with physical artist Doug Jones, who he first worked with on Mimic and would be crucial on his journey towards The Shape of Water.
2005’s Pan’s Labyrinth was a cross-cultural phenomenon, a grim fantasy and political commentary that’s still heavily watched today. Then 2008’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army had the unfortunate luck of being released a week before The Dark Knight. It took del Toro five years to return with the mech brawler Pacific Rim, which was followed by the Gothic ghost love story Crimson Peak. And then we come to The Shape of Water, his tender ode to Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Del Toro is currently prepping noir-thriller Nightmare Alley for a December 2021 release. Now, we’re ranking all Guillermo del Toro movies by Tomatometer!
Adjusted Score: 60725%
Critics Consensus: Though Blade II offers more of what worked in the original, its plot and character development appear to have been left on the cutting room floor.
Exploding from the pages of Marvel Comics comes the thrilling follow-up to the blockbuster "Blade." Half Man ... half vampire,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 66141%
Critics Consensus: Mimic finds director Guillermo del Toro struggling to inject his unique sensibilities into a studio picture - and delivering just enough genre thrills to recommend.
When a cockroach-spread plague threatens to decimate the child population of New York City, evolutionary biologist Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino)... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83686%
Critics Consensus: Crimson Peak offers an engaging -- albeit somewhat slight -- diversion driven by a delightfully creepy atmosphere and director Guillermo del Toro's brilliant knack for unforgettable visuals.
After marrying the charming and seductive Sir Thomas Sharpe, young Edith (Mia Wasikowska) finds herself swept away to his remote... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84164%
Critics Consensus: It may sport more style than substance, but Pacific Rim is a solid modern creature feature bolstered by fantastical imagery and an irresistible sense of fun.
Long ago, legions of monstrous creatures called Kaiju arose from the sea, bringing with them all-consuming war. To fight the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88434%
Critics Consensus: With wit, humor and Guillermo del Toro's fantastic visuals, the entertaining Hellboy transcends the derivative nature of the genre.
At the end of World War II, the Nazis attempt to open a portal to a paranormal dimension in order... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96226%
Critics Consensus: Guillermo del Toro crafts a stellar comic book sequel, boasting visuals that are as imaginative as the characters are endearing.
Hellboy (Ron Perlman), his pyrokinetic girlfriend, Liz (Selma Blair), and aquatic empath, Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), face their biggest battle... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93330%
Critics Consensus: Guillermo del Toro's unique feature debut is not only gory and stylish, but also charming and intelligent.
Antique dealer Jesus Gris (Federico Luppi) stumbles across Cronos, a 400-year-old scarab that, when it latches onto him, grants him... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96338%
Critics Consensus: Creepily atmospheric and haunting, The Devil's Backbone is both a potent ghost story and an intelligent political allegory.
After losing his father, 10-year-old Carlos (Fernando Tielve) arrives at the Santa Lucia School, which shelters orphans of the Republican... [More]
Adjusted Score: 127149%
Critics Consensus: The Shape of Water finds Guillermo del Toro at his visually distinctive best -- and matched by an emotionally absorbing story brought to life by a stellar Sally Hawkins performance.
Elisa is a mute, isolated woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government laboratory in 1962... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104471%
Critics Consensus: Pan's Labyrinth is Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable.
In 1944 Spain young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her ailing mother (Ariadna Gil) arrive at the post of her mother's... [More]