Dogtooth (Kynodontas)

2010

Dogtooth (Kynodontas)

Critics Consensus

It'll be too disturbing -- and meandering -- for some, but Dogtooth is as disturbing and startlingly original as modern filmmaking gets.

92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 66

76%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 10,226
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Movie Info

The father, the mother and their three kids live at the outskirts of a city. There is a tall fence surrounding the house. The kids have never been outside that fence. They are being reared in the manner that their parents deem appropriate, without any influence from the outside world. The only person allowed to enter the house is Christina. She works as a security guard at the father's business. The father arranges her visits to the house in order to appease the sexual urges of the son. The whole family is fond of her, especially the eldest daughter. One day Christina gives her as a present a headband that has stones that glow in the dark and asks for something in return.

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Critic Reviews for Dogtooth (Kynodontas)

All Critics (66) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (61) | Rotten (5)

  • To put it mildly, "Dogtooth" is not for everyone, but it can grow on you even if you think you've rejected its influence.

    Mar 10, 2011 | Rating: 3/4
  • This is the second feature for Lanthimos, and it's a leap from his well-received debut Kinetta. He skilfully doles out tantalizing pieces of information, keeping the viewer in a constant state of suspense and wonder.

    Jan 29, 2011 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • The true dark-horse nominee among this year's foreign-language Oscar contenders, Dogtooth leaves bite marks that stick around long after you are released from its grip.

    Jan 28, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Horror and cold humor commingle in Dogtooth.

    Jan 28, 2011 | Full Review…
  • As a film, it's pure and singular, but it's not quite fully formed enough to be what one could call truly visionary.

    Jan 6, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Doesn't rank as a great film, but it's difficult to take your eyes off it, as you wonder what impossibly bizarre thing might happen next.

    Sep 2, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dogtooth (Kynodontas)

  • Sep 30, 2015
    Dogtooth is a film where the viewing experience is very much dependent on the sensibilities of the viewer. For myself, I found it quite absurd and ridiculous from the outset and was not shocked (much). I rate Dogtooth up mostly because I enjoyed the indie style of shooting, reminiscent of Submarine and Wes Andersen films, which made gave the film a more satirical than disturbing character. After reading other reactions, I wondered whether this is a film that ought to be laughed at or if it ought to induce cringing (at least one scene, in particular does). After thinking about it, I thought that yes, satire ought to be laughed at and the subject matter ought to be seen as quite stupid; horror and fear are not an appropriate response. If anything, horror and fear bolster something that should be opposed. However, having some parts, here and there, that are more serious than funny is also good, since we do not want to just totally laugh off topics that are important.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 24, 2014
    This Greek drama directed by Yorgos Lanthimos about a husband and wife who keep their children ignorant of the world outside their property well into adulthood seemed like unique one, but there was some resemblance with the 1972 Mexican film The Castle of Purity. It stars Christos Stergioglou, Michelle Valley, Aggeliki Papoulia, Mary Tsoni, and Christos Passalis. Dogtooth is Lanthimos' second feature film as solo director, and according to the positive review, most of the viewers liked it. Me, too! Don't ask me why, though... I just liked the craziness, the quirkiness, surprises... The story of this family who lives in a large compound with a garden and swimming pool, a tall fence surrounding the property and the children who had never been on the other side of it, had its holes - plenty of them! But it was interesting to imagine for a moment how would children turn up if their parents have kept them unaware of the outside world, even of the existence of the telephone. They are taught different meanings for everyday words. For example, they are told that a "zombie" is "a small yellow flower," and that "sea" is a chair. The parents promise that each child will be ready to venture outside the compound once she or he has lost a dogtooth. Although the children are told they have a brother just on the other side of the barrier, he never appears, and later the others were told that he was killed by a cat. The film won the Prix Un Certain Regard at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards. It was definitely fun watching it. But, this is not for everybody! If you like the surrealism of Buñuel, the scalpel of Haneke, the underground horror of a thriller without the splatter, check this movie which was described as "the greatest Greek triumph of recent years".
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Dec 23, 2013
    This is one of the darkest, most disturbing film I've ever seen. I cringed so many times, it's that disturbing. Ambitious and original but not for everyone's taste, and I failed to find it funny, just emotionally strained watching it.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Jul 08, 2013
    Thirty six years after Ripsteins' Mexican masterpiece of 1973 <i>El Castillo de la Pureza</i>, Lanthimos does not give proper credit to his sources of influence, yet develops a thorough essay from a personal perspective about the human condition in circumstances of isolation, episodically shifting from a Dogme 95 visual style to the static power of the language of images that would receive Haneke's approval, as a couple of parents play God through the construction of a small universe for their sons while keeping external sources unavailable to any possible extent. <i>Kynodontas</i> borrowed from Mexico's classic: i. The idea ii. Several scenes, replicated from a different perspective iii. Sexual impulses iv. Domestic violence v. The father's authoritative and violent nature Nevertheless, Lanthimos' analysis places a "what if" question at the movie's core to discuss what could be the psychological implications for the entire family if they were taken back to their primitive instincts with no external influence. Unlike <i>The Castle of Purity</i>, every member of the family is given equally distributed screen time and development, and they interact more individually, whereas the original was a commentary against the evil nature of humanity and how living a life without belonging to society will ironically build an internal inferno. No idea is better than the other one; what mattered for me was the plot development and the execution in both stories. The fans of <i>El Castillo de la Pureza</i> tend to be unfair towards this bold Greek modern effort and viceversa. Both deserve justice and credit, because both are different microcosms. The intentions of the father were clear before, but in this film they are not. 84/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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