July 08, 2013 Slideshows

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Before Pacific Rim: The Films of Guillermo del Toro 

Guillermo del Toro's latest film -- the already lauded Pacific Rim -- hits theaters this week. The filmmaker, a Guadalajara, Mexico native, has directed, written and produced since the late '80s. He's also known for the movies he almost made: del Toro departed from The Hobbit franchise in 2010 after delays in production, but a few of his fairy-tale fingerprints remain on those films, which were picked up by Peter Jackson. Here's a look at the notable films of del Toro: Horror, fantasy, monsters and fairy tales.

Pacific Rim (2013)

Director

Our review:
"[del Toro's] Pacific Rim is summer entertainment with a pulse. The effects are so overscaled and lavish as to be occasionally mindless. But then, the deep-sea monsters that populate the movie -- scaly, nubbly, pissed-off behemoths called by their Japanese name, kaiju -- are also motivated by something primal, a drive that can’t be readily explained." Read the full Pacific Rim movie review.
Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

Director

Our review:
"Magic realism leavened with moral seriousness, Pan's Labyrinth belongs with a handful of classic movie fantasies: Cocteau's Orphée, Charles Laughton's The Night of the Hunter, Neil Jordan's The Company of Wolves." Read the full Pan's Labyrinth review.
Hellboy (2004)

Director

Our review:
"Adapted by Guillermo del Toro from Mike Mignola's cult comic, Hellboy is both jocular and rhapsodic. There's plenty of Wagnerian sturm und drang but a dose of teen weltschmerz as well. The skies brood, and so does the eponymous protag." Read the full Hellboy review.
Mama (2013)

Executive producer

Our review:
"…Subjecting Victoria to numerous recorded therapy sessions, Dr. Dreyfuss is convinced that Mama is the product of his patient's isolation-induced dissociative personality disorder. But soon this man of science begins to believe in the supernatural, especially when he starts digging around the county records office and a whey-faced clerk tells him, 'A ghost is an emotion bent out of shape destined to repeat itself until it rights the wrong.'" Read the full Mama movie review.
Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Executive producer

Our review:
"Jack Frost (Chris Pine), the hoodie-wearing hero of director Peter Ramsey's sweet, fun Rise of the Guardians, has the terrifying ability to accelerate entropy and therefore hasten the heat death of the universe -- or, in the comforting parlance of children's stories, he nips noses with frosty mischief." Read the full Rise of the Guardians movie review.
Splice (2009)

Executive producer

Our review:
"…[Splice is] mortifyingly fascinating, and its spell lasts right up until the junk heap of a grand finale -- did the projectionist platter a reel of Jeepers Creepers 3? -- topped by a capstone that will please only those people who are gratified when they can guess a twist ending well ahead of time." Read the full Splice movie review.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Director

Our review:
"…Hellboy and his girlfriend Liz (Selma Blair), who can turn herself into a ball of fire at will, are living in a government-run bunker belowManhattan, hunting demons. As Liz gets ready to announce her pregnancy, up pops the centuries-dead-yet-still-stylish Prince Nuada (Luke Goss, channeling David Bowie), scouring Manhattan for a shard from a magic crown that, when reassembled, will raise the titular Golden Army, whose soldiers turn out to look like high-end, Neiman Marcus–catalog versions of Transformer toys."

Read the full Hellboy II review.
The Devil's Backbone (2001)

Director

Our review:
"…An experiment in anti-fascist supernaturalism set late in the Spanish Civil War, shortly before the fall of Catalonia. Largely confined to a single, crumbling location, the movie is an expert, sunlit chiller audaciously predicated on an unquiet historical memory: "What is a ghost?" an introductory title asks. "A tragedy condemned to repeat itself again and again." Read the full The Devil's Backbone review.
Puss in Boots (2011)

Executive producer

Sort of a Shrek prequel, Puss in Boots sits on the opposite end of the del Toro spectrum from films like Splice.
Blade II (2002)

Director

Del Toro took over directing duties from Stephen Norrington for the sequel to Blade, a film were Wesley Snipes' Blade teams up with the vampires instead of hunting them to take on a more dangerous, common enemy.
1/10
Pacific Rim (2013)

Director

Our review:
"[del Toro's] Pacific Rim is summer entertainment with a pulse. The effects are so overscaled and lavish as to be occasionally mindless. But then, the deep-sea monsters that populate the movie -- scaly, nubbly, pissed-off behemoths called by their Japanese name, kaiju -- are also motivated by something primal, a drive that can’t be readily explained." Read the full Pacific Rim movie review.
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