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Very odd
paul2001sw-112 October 2011
I must confess that I didn't understand 'Dogtooth', a film that has been billed in some quarters as a "satire"; but I fail to see what it is supposed to be satirising. A couple raise their children in isolation from society, and feed them a diet of false facts about the world; in apparent accordance with their parents' desires, the children grow up with a highly unusual set of behaviours, morals and perceptions. The false picture painted by the parents is frankly bizarre, but their offspring have no external knowledge by which to judge it. But I never got any sense of what motivates the parents to behave themselves in such a strange manner, and they seem to live a similar, fairly joyless existence to their kids. Presumably this film is meant to be about something; but to me, it just felt like a pointless oddity.
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The human condition reduced to an absurdity
timmy_50111 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Dogtooth is not a comedy. The absurd situations in this film became humorous several times but I always choked on my laughter as the subject matter was too serious to be funny. The film is about three young adults who live with their parents in a large but isolated walled compound; the two young women and the young man have no knowledge of the world outside of this place and not much of the world inside of it. In fact the parents deliberately mislead them with nonsense on nearly every topic, for instance they claim that men are commonly killed by cats. Additionally, the siblings are taught the wrong words for certain objects and concepts, thus a "salt shaker" becomes a "telephone." These young people have been given a mostly carefree extended childhood at the cost of ever having any autonomy or knowledge. The parents' theory seems to be that the world is a terrible place and contact with it is more damaging than an isolated life. This Eden-like setting is a blessing and a curse: the characters are free of most problems that face normal people; they have no real responsibility and thus no worry. Still, like any human they yearn for answers and they have a certain half formed desire to be the masters of their own destinies. Further, in what seems to be a recent development the children are seeking an outlet for their sexual needs; while the parents can prevent them from being exposed to any stimulus they cannot stop biological urges from surfacing. Any solution to this problem is bound to upset the already fragile artificial world in which they live.

The implications of this film can be applied to any number of societal relationships. The connection these siblings have with their parents is quite similar to the affiliation between a citizen and his government or a believer and his religious institution. The film implies that for any of these relationships to work the individual must forego intelligence and blindly follow the institution although this sort of obedience is contrary to human nature. At the same time, the few people in charge must play their part perfectly in order to keep the trust they've been given; this proves just as difficult for the leaders as the followers, here for example when the parents allow themselves things forbidden to the children and inevitably draw unwanted attention.

Dogtooth is a film that raises all sorts of questions about the individual and the society he is forced to play a part in and it encapsulates these questions into a deceptively simple plot. Wisely, rather than answer these questions the film leaves these questions to be pondered by the viewer even as it neatly reduces the entire question to the absurd.
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Not that strange or removed from anyones reality
riffraffrichard13 May 2010
A whole language of deceit is created by a father to make sure that his family don't venture into the unknown which he fears will corrupt them. This film talks about the myths and lies we are told to maintain status quo and the appearance of stability and normality. It explores the abuse of protecting a child from outside influences to the extreme of denying human instincts and inquisitiveness about their world. Its shows how telling children lies for their own safety makes them fearful of the world and patronises there innate understanding about life. Its amazing because it creates a world with an absurd, fully realised, vocabulary that is completely understood by the members of this family ; its surreal nature forces you to question the oddness and the parameters of your own existence. A life unquestioned and unexplored leads to a stagnant swamp of confusion.
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Normality is out of the question.
allstar_beyond24 July 2009
I give up. After sitting in front of the computer for almost half an hour, tossing and turning thoughts in my head as I try to write something about my latest adventure at the Auckland International Film Festival – "Dogtooth", I've decided that it is not possible to do so.

What I will say is this: watching "Dogtooth" was one of the strangest experiences I've ever had. I have honestly never seen any other film like it. Sometimes hysterical, sometimes shockingly intense. It is a hypnotic trip that displays brilliant originality and borderlines pure insanity. In my humble opinion, it is a film that should be watched by every single person, for the experience alone. Sadly, like so many other gems, I'm almost certain that this film will never find a wide release, so, please do seek it out, I beg you all.

I am so glad that I watched the movie cold, as the only things I knew about the movie was a promotional photo and the fact that it's Greek, a decision that I believe made the experience even more powerful for me, and a decision that I advise you all to take.
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stunning allegory about totalitarianism and propaganda
Buddy-5117 March 2011
What if you could be the master of your own universe, able to make everything to your own specifications and liking? And what if, in that universe, you could have absolute control over your subjects, so that, not only would they have to do what you told them to, but you could even go so far as to shape the very way they look at the world?

The unnamed middle-aged protagonist (Christos Stergioglou) of "Dogtooth" has created just such a kingdom for himself and his wife (Michelle Valley), tucked away in a rural area of Greece, where the two of them have raised their children - a boy (Christos Passalis) and two girls (Aggelika Papoulia, Mary Tsoni) who are all now in their late teens - in such complete isolation that the kids have virtually no knowledge of the world that lies beyond the fenced-in little compound in which they live. They know only that it is a dangerous and scary place and that none of them will be able to venture out into it until their dogtooth falls out - which is to say never. They are so misinformed as to how the real world actually works that they think planes are just tiny objects moving through the air, and that if one of those tiny objects were to fall out of the sky and into their yard, the children would be able to pick it up and play with it like a toy. They've also been taught by their colluding parents to believe that prowling cats are a mortal menace to be destroyed on sight. The kids spend much of the day doing repetitive chores, playing meaningless games and being taught an incorrect vocabulary (they use the word "phone" when they really mean "salt," for example). The father regularly pays a young woman (Anna Kalaitzidu) he works with – the only person from the outside world the children are allowed to meet - to come and have sex with his post-pubescent son, and severely beats the kids every time they step out of line.

A stunning allegory about the evils of totalitarianism, "Dogtooth" is somewhat reminiscent of M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village" in its basic premise and setup, only here the guiding principle seems to be less about protecting the young ones from the harsh realities of a modern world and more about this one man's finding a way to achieve a kind of apotheosis for himself - making himself a god in the eyes of his children. For not only does he make them reliant on him for all the basic necessities of life, but he's made it so that they accept without question the "truths" of the physical and moral order he's established for them to live by.

The man and his wife have together inverted and perverted the very definition of parenthood. Rather than grooming their children for an adult life in the real world, these parents deliberately infantilize their offspring, making it virtually impossible for them to leave the home and start a life of their own. This ensures that the kids will be there to take care of them for the rest of their lives.

On a broader scale, the movie is a searing indictment of the power of propaganda, showing how easy it is to mislead people and to compel them to do what one wants simply by feeding them false information and, thus, skewing their view of realty and the truth. And isn't this how totalitarian dictatorships are born and sustained? But there's also an innate desire for liberty and independence lurking in the recesses of every human soul that must finally assert itself in a desperate run for freedom, and the movie addresses that reality as well.

The movie is both raw and provocative as it takes on some rather touchy sexual themes – mainly involving incest - that some in the audience may find disturbing and discomfiting to put it mildly. There's also a fair amount of full-frontal nudity, brutal violence and more-than-simulated sex scenes in the movie.

Yorgos Lanthimos' direction is spare and stripped-down, as befits a parable, with off-kilter visual framing that heightens the bizarre nature of the piece.

"Dogtooth" is unnerving, thought-provoking and provocative – and a must-see for the unconventional, adventurous movie-watcher.
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No Plato's Cave
arturmachado-2958818 August 2017
Greek indie movie directed by Yorgos Lanthimos about three teenage siblings (a man and two women) who live in isolation without being able to leave home because of their protective and authoritarian parents who told them that they can only leave when their first canine tooth falls of, and another bunch of lies that make this family totally dysfunctional, as well as the film itself. Yes, it serves no function unless your idea of entertainment is to get bored. Towards the end of the film, I ask myself: what is the purpose or message? There are those who see in this film a social / family allegory, because we are largely the product of our education and of the lies we're told taken as truth, but even that perspective does not save the film from my negative evaluation, it was very badly thin and NO, it does not have a deeper meaning. It is what it is.

On the same topic, Plato already did it almost 2500 years ago. Just read his Allegory of the Cave (it's a very short text, you can find it easily on the net) and you'll be 1000x better served in less time.
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Film student would-be-clever artsy-fartsy stuff
vostf3 April 2011
Yes, the story sounds original (although the theme of a sealed-off world and fundamentalist education is nothing new) and it could have been a good film school short. Now, at 90 minutes this is stretching an interesting premise way too far. Full disclosure: I got bored really early on, could perfectly see where this was going and eventually decided to stop watching at the one hour mark.

I have watched to the end bizarre and unsettling movies like Eraserhead, but here this is not about the gruesome story. There's very little beyond the would-be-clever diluting of the premise. Talent is here in the acting, so it must be somewhere in directing actors. But on the whole there very little to keep your interest: the storyline is obvious, you're in for no surprises (ah, yes they mistake a couple of shock plot points for a bona fide unpredictable storyline) and the only reason to watch more of it would be to make sure nobody thinks you missed the point for you're not clever enough.

Bottom line: a dull movie, with some good acting here and there, taking itself too seriously without delivering anything truly consistent: classic film student stuff. Seems there's a niche for that.
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Can a movie be both boring and disgusting? Sadly, yes.
Red-12527 September 2018
The Greek film Kynodontas (2009) was shown in the U.S. with the translated title "Dogtooth." (Don't ask.) It was co-written, co-produced, and directed by Yorgos Lanthimos.

For the record, this movie has a solid 7.3 IMDb rating. Half of the raters gave it an 8, 9, or 10. It was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

The only explanation I have is that the people who gave it high ratings saw a different film from the one I saw. (Truth in reviewing: I gave up when the movie was about 2/3 over.)

It's interesting to me that many IMDb reviewers had the same outlook that I had. I think many of the people that gave it a high rating didn't bother to review it.

We saw Dogtooth on the small screen. I think it will work just as badly in a theater.
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Very disappointing.
teodoramonika15 February 2022

I am disappointed because I expected much more because of the positive comments. The plot of the film is very interesting and unusual, but it was too slow and at times boring. In the end, I hoped to explain everything, but there was no explanation, it remained undefined, unfinished and without a point. The only thing I really liked about the film was the acting which was good.
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Prison of the soul
chaos-rampant31 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Cinema works two ways in Greece. Theo Angelopoulos is the prestige cinema we export to Cannes or Venice every couple of years, but it's not what we watch as a peoples. The multiplex is crowded with the Hollywood milieu, and the national product we consume either strains for respectability and po-faced seriousness (El Greco, Psihi Vathia) or is plumb stupid in the face of it (Soula Ela Ksana). The irony of Dogtooth then is that it will become the toast of the town for a few months not because we recognize something of importance in it but because the Oscars did. In a strange coup, tinsel town glitz and glamour seems to validate radical art.

Already TV talk shows that wouldn't have anything to do with cinema outside the latest Brangelina gossip are playing the trailer as panelists exchange in a serious manner banalities about this fierce new voice of Greek cinema. The welcome aspect of this is that Dogtooth will be exposed and confront an audience which otherwise would shy away from that confrontation. The moral guardians of society, here and abroad, will once again no doubt grasp the opportunity to condemn or be selfrighteous or pass judgement, the film gives them the podium. Dogtooth addresses them, preemptively addresses their reaction, and it addresses us.

Greece was lucky (or unlucky for some) to barely escape the iron grip of communism, not without a price paid fully in blood, but we didn't escape the grip of a totalitarian state. It's a bit of a stretch to attempt the claim that, in the wake of the military junta of '68, Greek society is divided between those who can afford to drive Mercedez Benz and those who can't, but the exaggeration is rooted in the reality of a class divided society. Nikos Nikolaidis, cult legend of Greek cinema, gave us sorrowful portraits of the down and out, the outcasts and the misfits, Dogtooth invites us behind the mansion walls of the rich.

In Singapore Sling, Nikos Nikolaidis created in microcosm a world where, having satisfied their apparent problems, decadent individuals turned to satisfy their basest instincts, violence and perverse eroticism. Dogtooth takes the comment further, where no more concessions need to be made, is violence all that bubbles at the core of our being or is violence only the symptom of a corrupt being? Is violence our human nature, or is it our inhuman nature, unnatural to us.

I like how the film posits that argument. What is an utopia to the characters, is a dystopia ot the viewer. The first instance of that dystopia is the violence of language, equally emblematic of Maoist propaganda and Orwellian narrative. Not by objects external to us, but how we relate to them. If we begin to replace the ugly for the beautiful, "zombie" for "flower", then a point down the line comes where what stands for an open world must be replaced by the mundane or the casual, "sea" for "armchair". "Zombie" and "sea" pose equal threat to the authority of the parents. In this sense, to speak clearly is to know the true nature of things, and the opposite.

Where the film stands on its own for me is the unpleasantness, do I recognize in it an important metaphor worth enduring it or am I titilated to sit the duration. I do, not only because I can recognize the tragedy of a human being who doesn't know any better than to perform cunnilingus in exchange for a trivial object, but also because I am moved by the genuine horror of the son who disembowels the harmless cat he considers a grave threat to the peace of his dystopia. The violence of the parents begets more violence, and more, without the moral compass of being able to think for oneself, right and wrong disappear.

Dogtooth tells us that oppression that happens with the best intentions is still oppression, that to seek to protect from outside corruptive influence is in itself an outside corruptive influence. The soul needs to be formed from within at some point. Who makes laws for the lawmakers, who polices the police, it's the same argument for me.

The end is poignant in that sense.

The daughter makes her first steps out on the world but she's dead, literally inside the trunk, or figuratively dead to the world. What's there to be reborn to? Can a future be surmised for her outside of that trunk when she doesn't know any better than to be sexually intimate with someone for a trivial object? Her values, outlook, perspective, have been shaped for her, the movie shows us the cost extracted. Dogtooth's power then is not only the sketch of social allegory but also the means to it. The surreal makes sense to us.

It's also one of the darkest comedies I've seen in a long while. The usual wooden delivery of the actors in a Greek movie, is turned to an asset here. And I like how the daughter's liberation, or the onset of it, from her parents, happens in the form of a manic dance, in a final performance that celebrates the breaking loose from the confines of a prison of the soul.
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love or hate
xfreakart10 June 2010
I was expecting some kind of "The Village" film... Just to avoid spoiling.. The lights turned on, the credits were running and everyone was quiet and searching for answers in others looks. Its best surprise that I've got in years. You don't have to be special to watch it, just sit and you'll end it living it, even that it isn't your life. I appreciate latter how good the movie was when I realized that all the scenes didn't need background violins to drive your emotions to a certain field. Everything goes by itself naturally. I just registered to post this, as I couldn't believe those bad reviews. I'm a normal guy that doesn't read reviews, but this movie is different and I was curious about how would other people feel about it. Maybe its one of those that you just love or hate, but at the end you'll feel something that isn't indifference.
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portisheades11 October 2009
Boy,am I upset with the Sitges Film festival Jurors this year!!! So this film is not for everyone, but if you like realistic and paced films, are not bothered by highly explicit scenes, don't mind taboo subjects, like independent film and are into original stories.... this is the movie for you. I've read negative comments about this movie. I get it. It's not the most easy movie to watch, but I haven't been this pleasantly surprised in a long time. Saw this in Sitges with a packed audience, and I believe most of the people there were glued to the screen and didn't want to see the film end. Surreal, emotional, cruel, realistic and beautiful would be the words I would use to describe this picture. At first you don't really understand what's going on or where you're at, but soon find yourself submerged in the sad and pathetic life of a disturbed family. This is definitely one of the most important indie films of the year; aside from the original and highly meaningful story, the film if impeccably made with astounding performances. Shame on the Sitges film festival! This movie deserved the best actress and the special critics award. And I say that on behalf of most of the other people who were at the festival.
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Brave original and very dark satire
Hifen89 January 2010
If you are easily offended by bold unusual film-making especially in the areas of sex and violence do not see this film. That said I just saw this at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and thought it was a very interesting and very brave film. Well worth seeing if you can like strong, unusual films. Probably close to 30% of the audience walked out, but I was encouraged by the 70+% that remained, especially since most of the audience were 60+ Americans. The 20-somethings I talked to on the way out were very enthusiastic. The woman sitting next to me said "What did it mean? I don't understand" but to me there were enough deep meanings and points to ponder on a 30-minute drive home and I can't wait to tell friends about it. Everything from the dangers of creating a "perfect family" to "the mechanization of capitalism and upper middle class life" to metaphors for the dangers of repressive families and governments. At it's simplest, it proves that people, especially young ones, are in so many ways what their parents make them. This is not a film you will forget!
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Brilliant! An allegoric approach...So true...
Katia_H2 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is about our society and our behavioral patterns as a species.

It's about what IS happening. Think about it. Τhat is why we don't know where or when everything is happening. This film demonstrates a universal problem. People might think that it is a mockery of western society or capitalism. I don't believe that to be true. It's the same weather you live in the middle east or in Europe. Whether you have cappitalism or communism. It's not specified politically. Because in the end it doesn't matter. It is about our lives and how we choose to lead them. We ARE trapped. We are being told LIES every day from our parents, who want the best for us, but they don't know any better. But they were raised the same way they are raising us. It's a circle. And from our governments as well. But we can't break free, because that's all we know. We still choose to participate in such a society. That is the absurd. And that is why this movie is surreal or supposedly weird and raw.

But what about reality shows? Or splatters? Or Rambo? Or Die Hard? Aren't they absurd? Yes. Do we watch them? Yes. Because they're not about us. That's why so many people hated this movie, or didn't want to understand it.

We are trained to watch absurd things and yet, when it comes to mirror our society or our lives, we turn away from it.

Please watch it. It's brilliant!
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Strange, disturbing, brilliant
aierobamwn15 January 2011
In Greece, when talking about Greek movies we like, one of the expressions we mostly use is "it was good, for a Greek movie". I am glad to say that this one was good, period. It is definitely not an easy movie to watch, as it can be really intense and deals with one or two traditionally taboo issues, but it is definitely worth giving it a chance. For me it has been a completely surreal experience, best described as stepping into a world as peaceful as heaven and as confining as hell, where things seem to work in their own whimsical way, leaving me with a constant bafflement as to what is to come next. I honestly did not realize how time went by and, when it all came to an end, I found myself asking for more. This is a movie that disturbed, moved and fascinated me while I was watching it and made me think after having watched it. It is surreal, it is symbolic (it could definitely be seen from a political point of view), it is ironic and at times it can be unexpectedly funny in a dark, twisted way. Directing it in a "dry", "strict" manner, as if just trying to capture the events that take place, was definitely a perfect choice, as was the complete absence of music. The actors did a great job at acting in the emotionally detached manner that was required plus, I have to say, it probably took lots of guts for them to do some of their most "awkward" scenes. All in all, I would say I admired the artistic integrity of the director and actors and their dedication to getting across the main idea and the atmosphere of this movie.

I don't really know how I could classify "Dogtooth". Is it a drama? (Well for a drama it is kind of under-plotted.) Is it a comedy? (It is definitely not a comedy, even when you laugh you are still disturbed by the absurdity of it all.) Is it horror? (It is not horror, it's just a horrific situation but everything, the horror, the violence etc is mostly implied.) Is it fantasy? (Well it is an alternate reality, but mind you this is a family that kind of looks "normal" on the outside!) So really, I give up. It's just a really strange, really intriguing movie, one that in my opinion is definitely worth your time.

Oh and one more thing: it is also one of these movies that it is best to know the least things possible before you see them. Quite a few things (particularly the funny ones) are based on shock value - not that the whole movie is based on shock value, of course. If you ask me, even the theatrical trailers show too much.
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An awful film beyond anyones comprehension
jaybob12 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I have reviewed & or have seen many films over the years, DOGTOOTH has to be among the worst ever made.

The plot & story line is about an incestuous family relationship.

I have been waiting a long while for a movie tackling this.

Dogtooth from Greece is not such a film. I have see better porn movies than this. We have 3 late teens 2 sister & one brother,They & the father all have some suggested sex scenes throughout the film. This in itself is not that bad, BUT the dialog they all speak is mostly nonsense,

This bore of a film has won an Golden Globe & been nominated for an Oscar. What were they thinking ?

There is nothing to recommend here at all,the acting & production is bad as well.
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Weird and original
perica-4315120 July 2018
This movie is somewhat uncomfortable watch, seems weird, but that is perhaps necessary to gain perspective into how reality can be distorted. In the age of fake news and criminal media, advanced propaganda and lots people living in bubbles, it is perhaps refreshing to understand how weird YOU might look to an outsider. This movie can help with that, among other things. As all great art, it will make you think. Highly original and not easy to forget.
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Provocative and Disturbing
howard.schumann28 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
DOGTOOTH (Kynodontas) Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece, (2009), 94 minutes Winner of the Un Certain Regard Award at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth is a provocative and disturbing film about the effect on a middle-class suburban family when the father takes total control of the lives of the three adult children, restricting their access to the outside world. Presumably in their early to middle twenties, the three unnamed children, a boy and his two sisters (Christos Passalis, Aggeliki Papoulia, and Mary Tsoni) walk, talk, and act like zombies.

They are wooden, undeveloped emotionally, and uncertain about how to handle their sexual urges. Their affect is bland and they talk in short, choppy sentences, delivered without expression. Confined to their house and not allowed to set foot outside the gate that encloses a lovely garden and a swimming pool, they are told that only when their dogtooth falls out and then grows back will they be ready to leave the nest. Everything the children think, feel, and do is tightly controlled by their father (Christos Stergioglou) and mother (Michele Valley) who feed them lies about the world.

Words are distorted to the point of absurdity. They learn that "a motorway is a very strong wind, and "a carbine is a beautiful white bird." A woman's sexual organs are called a typewriter, a zombie is a yellow flower, and Frank Sinatra is their grandfather. The father teaches them that they must be protected from the world because there are cats out there that are ferocious man-eaters, leading the brother to horribly kill a stray cat he sees in the garden with a shearing knife (it is stated that no animals were harmed in the making of the film).

On the outside, the siblings are docile, but underneath there are elements of rage that occasionally flare up as when the elder sister slashes her brother's foot with a knife because he was playing with her toy airplane. Though the children have been home-schooled and seem intelligent, they spend their day playing bizarre games such as seeing who can keep their fingers under a hot water tap the longest, and smothering themselves with an anesthetic to see who will be the first to wake up. The insanity is even choreographed to a bizarre dance routine in which the elder sister works herself into such frenzy that she is ordered to stop by her father.

The only outside influence comes from Christina (Anna Kalaitzidou), a security guard at the factory the father works at who is brought to the house blindfolded to have uninvolving sex with the brother. Though there is no rape or sexual abuse, there is a physical assault when the elder sister watches a VHS tape of the films Rocky and Jaws in exchange for sexual favors from Christina and is hit over the head with the videos by her father. Viewers get a repeat showing of the father's violent tendencies when Christina is likewise battered with a VCR for "bringing evil" into their home.

Her presence in the home does have the effect of loosening the household's tightly-woven structure, however, and brings the film to a powerful but ambiguous end. Lanthimos offers few clues as to what he is trying to say and the viewer must decide whether the film is a darkly humorous social/political/economic satire in the tradition of Luis Bunuel, a sci-fi horror story in the mold of Michael Haneke, an attack on capitalism, a reaction to the excesses of home schooling, or something else. Whatever meaning you ascribe to it, Dogtooth is a jarring experience that you are not likely to soon forget.
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A VERY POOR Excuse For A Film !!!!!!!
JoeKulik18 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Yorgas Lanthimos' Dogtooth ( 2009) is a VERY POOR excuse for a film, in my opinion. It portrays a social situation that is so very highly improbable, and so full of internal contradictions, that it could NEVER happen in real life. As such, this film can't even be called some kind of commentary on family life because it only bears a very superficial resemblance to actual family life at all. As such,this film definitely belongs in the Fantasy genre. But the fantasy portrayed in this film is o veritable "freak show" and, such, the only value that I can attribute to it is the entertainment value of viewing a "freak show", just like the actual "freak shows" of the 19th Century, where people paid money for a chance to gawk and gape at poor, unfortunate people born with a severe birth defect, or with a severe genetic anomaly. But, sorry, I myself just see no entertainment value, no "fun" in gaping and gawking at such SICK portrayals of human life. That this film won so many film awards would be utterly laughable to me, were it not such a tragic commentary on the state of Western Culture.
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There's a difference between funny and stupid ...
SteveJ_88826 October 2011
If I learned anything from reading viewer reviews on IMDb it is that no matter how good I think a film is someone is going to hate it, and vice versa. I've also learned that when a film has won an award at Cannes there's a good chance it's going to be awful. I've concluded that some people like certain films solely because they are "different." Even when there is no story, no humor, or no action a film can still have some value if it has one essential element - truth. This film has absolutely nothing. The "characters" portrayed are no-shows. There are no reasons for their actions - they have no "reality." That's okay for a comedy, but this film isn't the least bit funny.

The film is sometimes visually appealing – but so what? Some images are nicely composed, but even completely random use of a camera will eventually yield something. As an alternative to watching this I'd recommend simply walking around or sitting on a park bench for 90 minutes. That would be just as visually appealing and more interesting than watching this dog of a film.
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Utter $hit
thebogofeternalstench12 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Rented this out today from my local library and it was displayed in their must see section.

What a joke.

Dogtooth is utterly boring, contrived and irritating. Boring, static camera work, with over lit scenes.(Too much whiteness) We have these idiots talking complete nonsense all the way through. Is this supposed to grip and interest the viewers?? It goes from one bloody boring scene to another with some half ar$ed, supposedly controversial sex scenes which is nothing more than a few bad h@ndjobs and brief sex. We see a cat get killed via some hedge cutters. THat was the only mildy amusing part of the film.

This is a garbage film disguised in a wrapper it doesn't belong in.

Don't believe the hype on the DVD case as you will sorely regret watching this mundane, pointless trash.
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cix_one27 February 2011
I see how this can be a movie that Hollywood-hating crowd can be fooled into liking. The folks who marketed this movie pulled it off masterfully. As I said, impressive...

Let me explain. I *do* like good European movies. Yes, even the ones with long pauses (think Tarkowski's original Solaris). I *do* think Hollywood puts out a lot of violence-drenched crap (oh, but Got forbid, can't show any sex!). So I *am* as thirsty for European cinema and for indies as the next guy. But this doesn't mean I'm going to swallow anything you pour in my cup...

The story of movie, simply put, has nothing. Nothing. OK, so sick people do exist. No breaking news there. The story *could* be interesting if the movie meant to be a dystopia, but it's completely unbelievable as portraying the "real" world (because the character's actions are unbelievable). So it's not dystopia and doesn't feel real. Then what is it? Most likely, just a bad movie...

I can definitely believe that people either go gaga about this movie or they see it for what it is. As an intellectual American aspiring to rise to the refined taste of the Europeans, you're naturally compelled to see something in this movie. But as an European transplant in the States, I can only tell you not to fall for it; sometimes a bad movie is just that and nothing more. Oh, and when I tally my festival-going experience in the past 10 years: US & Canadian indies win over European movies, hands down.
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Oh for God's sake (IMDb won't let me put caps lock)
missraze29 November 2016
0/10. SO BORING!

I agree with user reviews from:

-paul2001sw-1 from UK

-cliffbressette from USA

-Der_Schnibbler from Germany


rectangular_businessman from Peru

among many others, from ALL around the world, I am SURE, who *hated* this film, or at the very least, felt let down and then some by the overhype from imbecile viewers and reviewers, and the empty promises that this movie would be so extreme, and an original masterpiece. I've seen things that make Ichi the Killer look like a kid's film. So seriously before you take to the public praising something as "extreme," mean it. Don't just cheer that it's the "best thing ever!" 5 seconds after watching it, like a child getting off their first roller-coaster ride T_T.

1st of all...

huh?? Who are these people saying it's a metaphor for politics and religion? Who are these atheists and nihilists who decided to take that view? Nowhere in the film was there any praying or mention of religion, nor society or politics...they don't even mention the current president/prime minister, or a fictional one...and if they did, that must've been during the time I dozed off and had to rewind... And what the hell in this bimbo movie gave them the material to even interpret it that way? Was this film SO empty that you figure it's got a deeper unspoken meaning? Pfft. It's got as much meaning as a Ziploc bag.

2nd of all...

huh?? Who are these people? What time period is it? Though it was clearly the first and only indication for what type of family they are, the Frank Sinatra scene and their vintage technology and wardrobe and diction could be perfectly normal if it is based on the time during the song's first release, you know. But you wouldn't know because they don't explain it. Last time I checked, when you give no background information on setting, time, or characters, it's a trash film. But whoop-dee-doo, it showed her jerking off (her own brother, mind you, because...why?) so I guess it's good, right? Wrong. The father raised the children to be airheads, so they don't realize incest is a no-no. So deep? If the director has a problem with incest and thinks bad parenting leads to it, it doesn't seem like it. If the director wants the movie to suggest it's totally fine to "free yourself from your parents' and society's restrictions" it didn't work for me because it was too poorly made.

And people think how he raised his kids is some sort of freedom statement for how "WE" should be now? Including the part where he beat the crap out his daughter for watching an action film? Or where he hired a hooker to constantly have sex with his son? Or when he convinced his son that massacring a house cat is the way to go? Mind you, the father's blatant hypocrisy of raising his kids to be weirdos in his attempts to keep them from bad outside influences however not stopping him from inviting the bad influences in single-handedly was not an intended crux of the movie, but a clear sign of poor plot creation, character development, and script writing. So don't be fooled, losers. And his useless obedient wife who never talked sense into him wasn't even controlled by great sex since they didn't have it. What literally is the message here? There isn't one. The director just wanted to be weird and no one around him cared about his stupid ideas, so they tossed a trash "script," vapid "actors" and an ugly landscape at him to work with.

For example:

The scene where he tells his son he now has to have sex with someone else (since the hooker he brought got violently fired) doesn't exist. It was only lazily implied. Why didn't the children stand in a line, shoulder to shoulder, and the father calmly pacing back and forth in front of them like a drill sergeant looking to see if the cadets have unlaced boots. They would be standing there kind of nervously. And he would announce that his son has to choose one of them, now, to sleep with. And then the son feels them up in front of his own parents, who stand there visibly not bothered sipping tea. And THEN the incest sex scene happens. That would've been cool only because it would have been well done, or done at all.

But no. They just went STRAIGHT to the sex scene. This is the kind of stuff people get therapy for: withstanding years of (domestic) sexual abuse. And this movie skips to it and through it and away from it like no biggie, and passes it off like a deep statement. Excuse me? Am I supposed to be brainwashed by this lazy, pseudo-controversial garbage?

Instead I was left to toss my sweets into the air and try to catch it with my mouth for an hour.

I see this film as simply what it is:

nonsense. If you just HAVE to make sense of this film since you did waste all this time on it, the only thing I can come up with off the top of my head is that it's a film about patriarchal sexism within the family, NOT society, and weird rich families who pretend to be perfect. And this film was a cheap, poor excuse to show taboo (you guessed it, kids!) sex. If you wanna see sex so bad, have some of your own, or watch porn. I have no problem with sex, I have no problem with violence. But that's because I know how to use them. Putting them in a film and wrapping some flimsy clingfilm excuse of a plot around it and selling it off as art, however, is insultingly ridiculous.
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Dogtooth - close to a masterpiece
pratyush19 December 2010
Not a lot of movies shock me. So I was quite surprised the unsettling impact Dogtooth had on me. A father locks up his 3 children who are in their late teens - early twenties in a large house and they have stayed there all their lives.

The three children are told lies of various degrees. Living totally isolated from the world and in a manufactured universe, they do not react like normal people would. The lack of awareness and exposure makes for very interesting scenarios and reactions.

The film can be pondered upon on several levels. For instance, governments never really tell their people any thing close to the whole truth. Thoughts on these lines - the harms caused by leaving people in the dark are the obvious things one can take back from the movie.

I am very interested in the alternate viewpoint of the parents though. They genuinely thought exposing the children to the world would be harmful for them. While that is not some thing one can possibly agree with, there are some positives which do come out of it in my opinion. For instance, when one of the girls who has never having been exposed to popular culture, dances, she creates some thing unique. As she has not seen any thing before, she is not influences by any thing and creates her own style. That is a positive in my mind.

This is film which is close to a masterpiece. When the film had released, it was panned in The New York Times and received an average review from Roger Ebert. I am quite pleased then, that it is slowly getting appreciation and is ending up in a few best of the year lists as well. This is a must watch according to me. 8.5/10.
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beauty is in the eye of the beholder - like so many other things, apparently
karlericsson8 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I don't like Shakespeare. I may like what many people make out of Shakespeare but when I check the sources, it just isn't there. The wisdom and beauty was interpreted. What I found was just another glorification of power and all the other shenanigans going on in this abomination that we call "society". It seems, that this film is Shakespeare to some.

What I find, however, is just another warning against setting yourself apart from "society". I know, that some people have interpreted the film just the other way around but I'm sorry to have to tell them that this is just a figment of their splendid imagination and nothing that this film can boast with. It's as it is with all successful "art" (as opposed to the mostly unsuccessful, yet in hindsight most successful, real art) being sold by the most impertinent of bulls-t artists: the better you sell, the more you get.

I give this film 2 stars and not 1 because it still shows how far people can go in their delusions and imagined horrors ("war on terror" etc), thereby creating real horrors. However, the film "The Valley" did this much better. Another reason for giving this film 2 stars is the full frontal nudity and strangely unattractive sexual content, which, in spite all nudity, did not arouse me ever so little. That is, in a way, an achievement. Just to make sure that I am properly understood: I would have loved to see a film in which parents successfully protect their children from the bad influences of this abomination we call "society" and how these children don't have to be blocked out from the abomination because they are immune to it. That, for sure, this film does not show.
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