(R, 1:37:03, Released 2009)
|Genres:||Art House & International, Drama|
|Release Date:||Jun 25, 2010|
|DVD Release Date:||Jan 25, 2011|
|Starring:||Christos Stergioglou, Michelle Valley, Aggeliki Papoulia, Mary Tsoni, Christos Passalis, Anna Kalaintzidou|
|Directed by:||Giorgos Lanthimos|
|Synopsis:||Three young people exist in a strange world of their parents' devising in this bizarre drama from writer and director Yorgos Lanthimos. A father and mother (Christos Stergioglou and Michele Valley) live in a large house on the outskirts of town with their three children, whose ages range from mid-teens to early twenties. The children have never been allowed to leave the house (which is surrounded by a tall fence), and their knowledge of the outside world has been strictly controlled by their parents, who have chosen to teach them only what they believe is important and have deliberately confused or misled them in many other areas. The parents quite literally treat their children like animals, and the only contact the youngsters have with people outside their family is Christina (Anna Kalaitzidou), a woman who works with the father's business and comes by periodically to have sex with the eldest son (Christos Passalis). Christina makes the mistake of bringing a present for the two younger daughters (Aggeliki Papoulia and Mary Tsoni), and explains the custom is that they should give her something in return. This simple act sets off a chain reaction of events that has terrible consequences for everyone involved. Kynodontas (aka Dogtooth) was an official selection at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi|
|Full movie details|
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Other Top Reviews
July 21, 2012
Older Daughter: Do that again, bitch, and I'll rip your guts out. I swear on my daughter's life you and your clan won't last long in this neighborhood.
Dogtooth is a film that will certainly make you say, "What the fuck." This is also a movie that I can see a lot of people turning off about five minutes in. It's a quiet, disturbing, slow film. There's also a lot of moments when I just didn't want to be watching what I was watching. It's just too weird to think about in spots, especially the sexual stuff between siblings. It's not a movie that will entertain you and you are sure to have zero fun while watching it, but it is extremely interesting if disgusting, creepy, disturbing, and repulsive. I watched the whole thing, and I'll say it is a well developed and made movie. I still didn't like it much.
The movie centers around a family of five living outside of the city. This family isn't normal. The parents keep their kids(a son and two daughters) at home all the time. They don't ever go out. They're home-schooled, except they're lied to. The parents tell them the wrong meanings of words, and protect them from things. Then again they'll tell the siblings that a cat is the most dangerous animal around and could eat them. It may sound funny, but watching this movie is a disturbing ordeal. Still, I watched with my eyes glued to the tv. Why? I don't really know, it's just one of those things I couldn't stop watching.
The movie is really scary to think about and although it is a drama, it has a terrifying plot. To think of parents actually doing this to their kids is scary to think about. There are parts where it seems like the parents are almost sadistic in their approach to their kids. Are they though? Or maybe they think this is actually what's best for them. Maybe they think they truly are protecting their kids from the dangers of the real world. That delusion will be shattered. The ending will truly mess with you. It certainly did me.
I'm giving this a favorable review because it did exactly what the director set out to do. In all honesty, it deserves five stars because it is absolutely perfect at evoking the feelings it tries to evoke. I just can't give it anymore because I am so repulsed. Damn, this doesn't happen to me often, but this one did it. I have to respect it for that. Truly disturbing.
July 3, 2012
The intriguing plot may not be that original (The Village comes to mind), but there is something really fascinating in this extreme case of parental overprotection that goes beyond the bizarre - raising inevitable questions about human nature, innocence and what differentiates us from animals.
April 29, 2012
Unsettling in an amazing amount of respects, Dogtooth is a metaphor gone to the depths of possibility, coming out the other side as a dramatic piece about the overbearing nature of parents. Two parents lock their adult children into their home and create a distinct dreamland, misdirecting their attention from real world issues, and lying to them constantly, including hiding the telephone, lying about the dangers of cats, telling them fake definitions for common words, and perpetuating a violent household by not letting their natural curiosities become sated and their questions left hanging without answer. When an outsider comes into the household everything changes for the family, as everyone starts questioning the ethics of their parents, and the decisions they have lived with their entire lives. The dynamic isn't all too interesting, and since most of this takes place in one vicinity and with several lifeless characters, it repeats itself again and again with its contant message. The characters aren't all too fleshed out, and most of this lingers on the main idea instead of exploring the reasons for the parents' decisions. The violence, sexual misadventures and taboos, I believe, are there for the sake of the film and not just to simply shock once you're comfortable with the misanthropic nature of the characters. It's obvious from the beginning that the nuclear family will not end their time well, and the film will be about exploring their realizations and bitter resignation as the outside world slowly creeps in. The ending is possibly hopeful, as the fence will soon be broached and all the lies their parents told repetitively will be proved to be just that. Most of the lies themselves are explained and their motives are evident, but the reasoning behind why they were told in the first place remains foggy. If the characters weren't so one dimensional and empty this would have been a more empathetic film overall, but I find it unrealistic and pandering throughout as a result.
February 7, 2012
More than a psychology experiment than a real film, Dogtooth taps into natural human instincts. Its raw and thats what makes it you want to watch more or just cringe in the fetal position.
November 7, 2011
Hmmm really didn't get the hype about this film. It's just plain odd and weird without being that entertaining. A very over protective father keeps his 3 teenage children within the compound of the family home, knowing nothing of the outside world. They have become brainwashed by their parents into an odd existence. A few odd scenes and taboo sex scenes as well make it strange viewing at times. It gets a bit interesting towards the end, but it's a long slow watch to get there.
September 7, 2011
"A "cunt" is a large lamp. Example: The "cunt" switched off and the room got all dark."
Dogtooth is a 2009 film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos about a husband and wife who keep their children imprisoned on their property into adulthood.
Director Giorgos Lanthimos's other-worldly study in provocation seems to be about the dangers of trying too hard to keep your children safe from the world. Not only is it harmful to them, but, as the movie suggests, it's pointless: even if your children don't actively seek out that world, the world will find them.
To say that the patriarch in this film goes overboard in sheltering his children is a hopeless understatement. In fact, words can't really describe the experience of watching this film. I imagine watching someone perform a lobotomy in his garage might come close: what you're seeing makes you sick to your stomach, but it's also so morbidly fascinating no effort of will can make you tear your eyes away.
I'm not sure "Dogtooth" really needs to go as far as it does to make its point. It stops just short of gratuitous, and probably crosses over that line for many. But at the same time, I probably wouldn't still be haunted by it (freaked out is probably a better choice of words) this many days after seeing it if it had been less extreme.
August 30, 2011
Wow. Well done across the board. And always a true thrill when a film knows the right time to end.
May 30, 2011
Kynodontas is both weird and wonderful. Director Giorgos Lanthimos thinks outside the box in this disturbing and darkly comedic look at a family that isolates their children from society.
April 27, 2011
What I am saying is this: watching Dogtooth is one of the strangest experiences I've ever had. This Greek film with a bunch of actors who straight up killed their performances... but that's not all that makes this film great. The whole moral is to show us as humans, what happens if you don't let natural curiousity run free. The parents in this film are protective to the extreme.
The reason for giving this film an average is the full frontal nudity and strangely unattractive sexual content, which, in spite all nudity, did not arouse me ever so little.
The script, filming and direction are repetitive. I understand what they were going for, to make us feel like we are in that world and the monotony of it, but the same feelings are shown over and over and over... I got it after twenty minutes. And still, we never got to see the eldest daughter break free. Also, the most interesting character, Christina, was gotten rid of half way through. I wanted to know her story and I wanted her to open their eyes.
April 18, 2011
What the hell was that all about?? A movie can be disturbing and yet entertaining at the same time, unfortunately this movie is only disturbing. There are moments in this film where you think it has a chance, however you are quickly disappointed as it continues into the absurd. I am amazed that people found this hilarious. This movie was just plain strange....but I kept watching it for some reason. What does that say about me??
April 14, 2011
You know, I must admit that on a personal note, I get a certain amount of sadistic pleasure out of seeing overprotective, neurotic parenting played out on such a horrific, satirical way. Perhaps the most striking thing is that if the "children" were considerably younger, most people wouldn't have a problem with parents "protecting" their younglings from the evils of the world. I've known families that are incredibly similiar to those portrayed here and it's just as unsettling. Even in the larger society, how many parents tell their children things like "a pussy is a very big lamp." The problem is that eventually children grow up, they become tomorrow's parents. No one is perfect, but once you've a child, you must become the very best person you can and even if that fails and you fuck up, you've got to let go. Protection and dysfunction are tidy bedmates. The trick is to be able to see the difference.
fb619846742March 29, 2011
A unique, disturbing, searing depiction of the family from Hell, run by a secretive father who keeps his wife and children imprisoned at their home and does not let any of them get a sense of what the outside world is like. This is pretty much the worst case scenario of parents being super protective of their children, and it is a distressing, unforgettable look that is not shy at presenting itself graphically. The amount of sex in this movie does go a little over-the-top to the point where you think the director just has nothing else to go off of at times, but other than that flaw, this thing is virtually perfect. Certainly not a film for everybody, only one for mature eyes who are prepared to walk into a quiet Hellhole that has is ruled by a robotic dictator who requires his offspring to be as emotionless as he. Be warned.
February 17, 2011
It's a real surprise that "Dogtooth" is nominated for the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar. The Academy typically ignores avant-garde film, but for some reason "Dogtooth" made the cut this year. Nothing is so unpredictable (incomprehensible?) lately as the Academy's Foreign-Language category.
"Dogtooth" has a stunningly original and radical look and feel. It looks more interesting than it actually is, however. I found myself entranced by the innovative cinematography and art direction much more than I was by the story. Being highly avant-garde, the film could be interpreted in many different ways. I saw it primarily as a parody of the bourgeois family, particularly anxiety about the molding and protecting of adolescents.
"Dogtooth," which was made in Greece by a young writer/director named Giorgos Lanthimos, tells the story of a family that has isolated itself from the rest of the world. Only the father leaves the compound each day to go to work. He appears to be a middle manager in an ordinary factory. Mom and the three teenage kids, never leave the grounds. It appears that the teenagers have actually never left. They are home-schooled, with bizarre lessons teaching them the wrong words for things. At dinner, one child asks for the salt shaker by saying, "Mom, can you please pass the telephone?" They are taught to be terrified by the outside world, including any animals that invade the back yard.
They also have their sexuality strangely molded. The father periodically brings home a young woman to have sex with his son. He and this young woman methodically go through intercourse as if it's a lesson at school. There are hints that this is to help shape the boy's sexual orientation.
The extremely flat surface of the film is gradually broken as the oldest child starts to bridle under the constant restraints imposed by her parents. One fascinating expression of this comes in a wild improvised dance she performs before the family after dinner one night. This tension builds into a dramatic and slightly gruesome final sequence the details of which I won't reveal.
"Dogtooth" is engaging and creative. It certainly signals the arrival of a brash new talent in European cinema, and the Cannes Film Festival is to be praised for bringing attention to Lanthimos. ("Dogtooth" won the 2009 festival's top prize in the Un Certain Regard category, which focuses on the avant-garde.) But at this point I'd say that Lanthimos only shows promise. He's got to work on more profound story concepts. He's got a brilliant visual eye, but cinema isn't only a visual medium. It's first and foremost a story-telling medium. If he doesn't improve in this area, he will only be a glorified music-video director.
February 12, 2011
A patriarchal father shelters his family from the cruelties of the world. But as his son develops, the father hires a security guard from his workplace as a whore for his son. The influx of sexuality throws the rest of the family into a desire for individuality and sexual exploration.
For much of the film, I didn't know what it was aiming for. Were we supposed to laugh or grimace at the son killing the cat or the odd competitions for parental affection? I know I grimaced when the sexual relationships became incestuous.
Also, the acting was incredibly stilted, and the dialogue was blander than bread left to soak in the sun for a week. I understand that this may have been intentional, creating lives that have simply stopped developing, but the prostitute/security guard character was an excellent opportunity to add some variation, some dimension, some life.
I did like what I found to be a subtle critique of capitalism. The children are forced to compete for affection and prizes, and clearly this is no way to run a happily functioning family. So the critique boils down to we trust capitalism for our external, macrocosmic existence but not our familial livelihoods. It's clever, but the point isn't made before our patience runs out.
February 9, 2011
Dogtooth is a surprising, sometimes shocking, sometimes maddening vicious little film that serves up dark satire with plenty of tense, incredulous laughter. But make no mistake; this is no comedy in the traditional sense. This Greek flick is deceptively slow-witted, drawing us in to a very different world. The film chronicles the three teenage children (one older brother, two twin sisters) kept at home in isolation by their parents. These kids have been taught to fear the outside world, they have been taught erroneous vocabulary (a "zombie" is a yellow flower; a woman's privates are known as a "typewriter"), they believe that cats are man-eating beasts, that Frank Sinatra is their grandfather singing to them, their dead little brother lives on the other side of a hedge that they toss food to, and that overhead planes can be plucked from the sky. They even have to get on all fours and bark to scare away intruders. And then there's a troubling budding sexual element, made considerably more complicated once the woman the father hires to satisfy his son introduces sexual curiosity to the twin sisters. Dogtooth is a detached yet fascinating portrait of one seriously screwed up family, where children are trying to make sense of the limited and sometimes fantastical concepts they've learned through severe sheltering. This manufactured artificial world, a satiric swipe at those who believe ignorance to be a suitable protection, is perilous yet believable. Dogtooth raises plenty of questions about the nature of society, parenting, knowledge, responsibility, and identity all in a package of bleak social satire that Luis Bunuel could admire. It may take some effort, but give yourself over to this Greek oddity and enjoy the unique weirdness.
Nate's Grade: B+
February 7, 2011
A man and his wife keep their three adult children locked away from the outside world, changing the meaning of everyday words and convincing them that the cats that prowl outside will kill them if they leave the estate; but words and ideas from the outside world inevitably reach the protected children, causing confusion and stress. A strange parable about the way that authority (i.e., government) tries to control every aspect of our perception, and the tragic impossibility of that attempt.
February 7, 2011
I tried so hard to like this movie more and really expected so much more. The concept was great, but the acting and story were weak.
January 27, 2011
I almost don't know how to review this film. It is one of the most fresh and original movies I have seen in a long time. At times really hard to watch, but at the same time incredibly powerful. Sure, the directors message is by no means subtle, but I feel it is important.
Will I buy this on Blu-Ray? No
Is it an important film to watch? I think so.
December 2, 2010
Dogtooth pushes the boundaries somewhat but stands on the shoulders of films like The Idiots and more obviously Salo but I don't think Giorgos Lanthimos is in any danger of being murdered any time soon. Dogtooth works on many levels, makes a lot of statements and asks a lot of question. It's a dark comedy but it's pretty light on laughs to be honest and although it says a lot, it's a little bit like being told the same joke over and over again, or at least it is until the last thrilling 15 minutes when Utopia's flaws are revealed. It's a great film and it is beautifully filmed. Lanthimos is definitely a director to keep an eye out for, that's for sure.
November 4, 2010
Bizarre, f***ed up movie that takes the protective Greek family stereotype to its ultimate extreme. It will be remembered both for its absurdist humour and disturbing scenes.
October 27, 2010
You can definitely feel the dogma vibe, not for me..
September 15, 2010
Scores highly in conviction and dedication to the bizarre premise, less so in the coherence and meaning of the vision. Certainly keeps you engaged to see where it will go next but the ending was a cop out.
September 2, 2010
If you are fan of cult movies,shouldnt miss this one.It has intresting plot and i wish it was longer ,so i could enjoy more.Dogtooth is about controling the wild nature of human being by restricting the instincs and keeping them away from civilization and dangers of modern society.Somehow similar to Ki duk Kim's Spring Summer, which of course was a masterpiece and better than Dogtooth.I dont judge the true and falseness of movie's concept.Nature of human is too complicated to be discussed.In my opinion its diffrent,original and intresting.
fb1142797643November 14, 2011
Some have called "Dogtooth" a black comedy, but there's nothing to laugh at here. The film may be somewhat surreal, but it's not funny. Rather, it's a grotesque tale of prolonged child abuse and imprisonment, faintly reminiscent of the Jaycee Dugard tabloid story from a year or so ago.
Dramatically flat, "Dogtooth" essentially marks time until the closing 15 minutes. Before then, it's just scene after scene piling on examples of an inscrutable couple's hideous effect on their pasty, college-age children. The two daughters and son (it's implied that a previous son escaped, or possibly was killed) don't even have names. There is little psychological insight into either the parents or their offspring. Instead, we just get a deadpan parade of disturbing set pieces, including three scenes of brutal, bludgeoning violence that are cringeably realistic.
The potential "humor" of the children's mistaken ideas about the outside world is squelched because we pity, rather than ridicule, these innocents who have been sadistically fed wrong information.
"Dogtooth" is more watchable than "Salo," but that's not saying much.
There's one scene about halfway through where the father is disheveled and covered with fake blood in one moment, and then neatly groomed in the next. I have no explanation for this. It's too obvious to be a continuity error. Help? I'd rather not sloppily write this off as "surrealism."
fb1144932598April 8, 2011
A haunting tale of a family dynamic unlike any that you have seen before, this film was extremely bizarre, and somewhat disturbing. The father (Christos Stergioglou) keeps his wife (Michelle Valley) and three teenage children (Aggeliki Papoulia, Mary Tsoni, Hristos Passalis) isolated in a rural compound, and rules with an iron fist. Only a woman who works as a security guard at his factory is allowed to visit, and then she is blindfolded for the journey. The children are ignorant of the world and all of their schooling has come at the hands of their parents, and is designed to keep them from wandering off the compound and from getting curious about the world at large. The movie is beautifully filmed, which masks the violence that simmers near the surface and occasionally manifests, at strange times and in strange ways. This is not for the squeamish or the faint of heart. Animals, children, and a grown woman are brutalized, and there are highly charged, perversely erotic scenes played out. The acting is very good, but the story just bewilders.