When it comes to blending the boundaries between monster and man, no one does it better than Academy Award-winning director, Guillermo del Toro. Whether he’s directing a superhero film or a gothic romance, he brings his unique visual flair to any story he’s at the helm for.
What do you think his best film is? Do you agree with our list? Keep reading to see where your favorite monster story lands on our list of the best Guillermo del Toro movies of all time.
Guillermo del Toro Movies and TV Shows
10. Blade II (2002)
A script light on character development ultimately dooms Blade II. Fortunately, Guillermo del Toro, with an eye for both horror and action, manages to stage epic set pieces while still providing ample doses of sympathy for the Reapers. It just goes to show that no matter who you have at the helm of your film, you can never make a good movie out of a bad script. Del Toro does what he can, and it can be pretty fun at times, but this sequel just doesn’t come together.
Guillermo del Toro Films
9. Mimic (1997)
It’s hard to fault del Toro for the relative mediocrity of Mimic. Del Toro butted heads with Miramax boss Bob Weinstein, who worked tirelessly to get del Toro fired from the film. He would even go on to describe the process as being a “horrible, horrible, horrible experience.” When you take control out of the director’s hands, more times than not, it just ends up with an inferior film that everyone else tried to work so hard on.
Guillermo del Toro Best Movies
8. Crimson Peak (2015)
Del Toro wanted Crimson Peak to have a throwback feeling in a crowded arena of found footage and B-movie horror films. The visuals and production design are phenomenal in this film. The themes are intriguing, but you can’t help but compare it to The Shape of Water in terms of romance. Crimson Peak is an interesting concept, but among all the beauty, the story falls to the wayside when looking at the entire Guillermo del Toro filmography.
Guillermo del Toro Filmography
7. Pacific Rim (2013)
There’s a point in Pacific Rim where a Jaeger pulls out a giant sword while it and a Kaiju are fighting in space and cuts the Kaiju in half. This is a film that knows exactly what it is and just goes all in 100%. It’s a fun adventure ride, and you can either be into or not. For me, I’m very into it. It has flaws for sure, but when you just want to shut off your brain and watching giant monster battles, this is where it’s at.
Guillermo del Toro Top Movies
6. Hellboy (2004)
Many fantasy and sci-fi films have an audience surrogate character who’s there to offset the overall weirdness of the movie. For Hellboy, that’s John Myers, and it works to the movie’s detriment. A little exposition is necessary, but Myers’ presence feels too at odds with the rest of the craziness of the rest of the movie. It’s a film that juggles tones to various degrees of success, and while it’s pretty fun, mostly due to Ron Perlman’s excellent take on the character, it feels like a lesser movie in the overall superhero pantheon as well as this list of the best Guillermo del Toro films.
Guillermo del Toro All Movies
5. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Sequels tend to get a bad name, but when it comes to the superhero genre, in many cases, the sequel surpasses the original. With Hellboy II, you can see why that is the case. It no longer needs the audience surrogate, and it can fully embrace the weirdness of the character while doing some very entertaining world building. With Hellboy fully going into a fantastical world while finding his place amongst humans, it’s just an overall more intriguing film that really deserved a follow-up.
Analysis of Guillermo del Toro Movies and TV Shows
4. Cronos (1993)
One interesting aspect of these “Best Of” lists is seeing how many directors’ feature film debuts set the stage for what they would explore throughout their filmography. Cronos is one such beast because it showcases how del Toro would balance horror and comedy, for the best and worst. Cronos is a smaller-scale vampire film with an intriguing premise, and it’s fascinating to see how much del Toro could do with a small budget.
Guillermo del Toro TV Shows
TV Series Created by Guillermo del Toro
The Strain (2014-2017): Dr. Ephraim Goodweather’s CDC team discovers a viral strain displaying similarities to vampirism. As the virus spreads, it’s up to his team to wage a war for the soul of humanity.
Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia (2016-2018): James Lake, Jr. discovers a magical amulet as well as a realm filled with trolls. It’s up to him and his friends to protect their world from dangerous monsters who come out of this realm.
3Below: Tales of Arcadia (2018-2019): Two royal aliens accidentally crash land on Earth. They adapt to humanity’s ways while trying to fix their spaceship so that they can return home.
Now that you have some awesome Guillermo del Toro TV shows to binge watch, let’s get back into the top three movies in the Guillermo del Toro filmography.
All Guillermo del Toro Films
3. The Devil’s Backbone (2001)
Horror movies have always been an interesting way of dealing with political realities. The Devil’s Backbone critically examines the Spanish Civil War where the orphanage functions as a microcosm of the politics occurring throughout the country of that time. Even the ghosts are pitiable in a unique way without del Toro ever resorting to the melodramatic. It’s effectively scary and poignant and remains an underrated horror classic.
Guillermo del Toro Best Movies List
2. The Shape of Water (2017)
The concept for The Shape of Water came to del Toro when he wanted to remake Creature From the Black Lagoon but with more sympathy for the creature. Studio execs rejected an outright remake, but del Toro saw his vision come to fruition in the form of The Shape of Water. It’s a lovely story thanks to how much earnestness del Toro puts into the central romance, but it also has his trademark visuals in ample supply. You can study virtually any aspect of this film and find something brilliant to dissect.
The Best of the Guillermo del Toro Filmography
1. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Pan’s Labyrinth is the film Guillermo del Toro was destined to make. While it deals with dark themes, such as how either death or imagination are the only ways to escape from the horrors of reality, it never loses its sense of hope and wonder. The story is poignant, continuing del Toro’s exploration of the ramifications of the Spanish Civil War, but it also features stunning practical effects. Pan’s Labyrinth stands for everything del Toro stands as a filmmaker and is a stunning triumph in every way.
Del Toro’s Color Palette
One of the most noticeable things out of all Guillermo del Toro films is the way in which he employs colors. With stunning contrasts and vivid associative colors, del Toro’s films always pop, and you always find yourself entranced by what’s on the screen. Let’s look at how all of these films utilize color in StudioBinder’s blog focusing on what colors he predominantly uses.