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Giorgos Lanthimos

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Plot Summary

In this acclaimed art house hit, three teenagers are confined to an isolated country estate that could very well be on another planet. The trio spend their days listening to endless homemade tapes that teach them a whole new vocabulary. Any word that comes from beyond their family abode is instantly assigned a new meaning. The father is the only family member who can leave the manicured lawns of their self-inflicted exile, earning their keep by managing a nearby factory, while the only outsider allowed on the premises is his colleague Christina, who is paid to relieve the son of his male urges. Tired of these dutiful acts of carnality, Christina enlists the elder daughter for provocative action, carelessly disturbing the domestic balance. Next stop: rebellion.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 62
  • Fresh: 57
  • Rotten: 5
  • Average Rating: 7.7/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Mr. Lanthimos's ends may be obscure, but his means can be seductive. – A.O. Scott, New York Times, Jun 25, 2010

Fresh: As a film, it's pure and singular, but it's not quite fully formed enough to be what one could call truly visionary. – Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, Jan 6, 2011

Fresh: Horror and cold humor commingle in Dogtooth. – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter, Jan 28, 2011

Fresh: The most original, challenging, and perverse film of the year so far, Giorgos Lanthimos's artfully rigorous treatise on human conditioning can be viewed as absurdist horror or the cruelest of comedies. – Aaron Hillis, Village Voice, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Pleasantly unpleasant

This is a fascinating and disturbing film. Lovers of offbeat films should definitely check this one out.

The only film of the year that left me speechless.

Playing out like an exremely graphic "Twilight Zone". This is a movie that will grow on you after you see it like a cancer (in a good way). Brilliant and disturbing, If you are a lover of films, this is a must see! If you are a lover of cats or if those SPCA commercials on TV make you cry, then this film is not for you.

Doesn't live up to the hype

I appreciate a lot of foreign films. I wanted to like this one, but I'm not one of those viewers who thinks that if a film is "different" it is thereby something brilliant. I often find an increasing appreciation for a film in the days after I watched it. That is not the case with "Dogtooth".

The story is interesting. Parents cut their children off completely from the outside world. All they know is what Mom and Dad tell them, true or not. Naturally, their stupidity/naivety turns to chaos when someone from the outside world messes with their reality. It's certainly interesting to see unfold, because it's a strange family that seems like they could be real. "Dogtooth" successfully sets a consistent mood — in this case an eery innocense that is uncomfortable to watch.

But I enjoy foreign films because they sometimes tend to have deeper and richer stories often with solid acting that pulls you in on multiple levels. What lacked here was that I felt no emotional attachment to the characters. They were strange, obviously, but I didn't care about them. As their unique story continued, I stopped being surprised by anything, mainly because I didn't care. Also, the acting is really bad. Nothing pulls me out of a story faster than something clearly just trying to get through their lines and coming across as fake and rehearsed, in any language.

Also, The ending was a huge letdown. I like a creative artsy finish as much as the next guy. Do something unique, subtle, and let me ponder it for a while, that's fine. But this attempt just failed. Some films end suddenly, leaving the viewer's mind roaming for answers. This one just stops, and instead of thinking about the characters as the credits roll, I just kept thinking about how the film missed the mark.

I understand people wanting to disregard the films widely accepted as being good because they don't want to be like every other viewer. We all want to be different, right? Many of us want to be the educated viewer who finds something to appreciate in "different" movies and then swears by them. But there's nothing to hold on to here. This film was a letdown, certainly not Oscar-worthy in my opinion.

Is it "Different"? Yes.
Good? Nope.

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