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3.5 out of 5 stars
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3.5 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 September 2014
Greek film-maker Yorgos Lanthimus’ award-winning 2009 feature is an elliptical, darkly comic tale of social conditioning taken to the nth degree. So bizarre (though often astute) is Lanthimus’ tale of Christos Stergioglou and Michele Valley’s anonymous parents and their three ‘brainwashed’ and incarcerated offspring that it pretty much defies categorisation (not necessarily a bad thing, of course) and whilst its oftentimes apparently random plot points and 'inexplicable’ events do at times stretch this viewer’s tolerance levels, I found it ultimately to be increasingly intriguing, certainly innovative and actually containing some hilarious moments.

Lanthimus also ups Dogtooth’s unsettling ambience by populating his 'dysfunctional’ family with offspring approaching adulthood – two girls (Aggeliki Papoulia and Mary Tsoni) and a boy (Christos Passalis) whose lives (skewed vocabulary, sexual experiences and moral sense) have been conditioned by dictatorial (though eccentrically caring?) parents and whose isolation from wider society is ensured by (physically) a ten-foot high perimeter fence and (psychologically) one of many 'parental myths’ that they will only be 'ready’ to leave once their dogtooth (canine) falls out. Of course, this all sounds totally ridiculous – and this is (in the main) how Lanthimus’ tale comes across, albeit with increasingly dark overtones – if it wasn’t for the fact that, historically, social, political and religious conditioning has had similarly alienating and distorting effects (whether or not this was one of Lanthimus’ concerns).

Looks-wise, Lanthimus (and cinematographer Thimios Bakatatakis) gives us a light and airy (albeit sterile) environment – again, just what mainstream cinemagoers would not normally expect for such a dark subject. Acting-wise, all the leads are (worryingly) convincing – the 'children’ taking on the personae of automata (rather in the vein of a Haneke or, even, Bresson) – whilst other potential cinematic influences might include Bunuel (for the surrealism) and von Trier (for the dark humour and 'off the wall’ subject matter). On the humour front, particular highlights for me are the sight of the 'barking family’ and the father’s 'translation’ of Frank Sinatra singing Fly Me To The Moon.

Whatever one makes of Dogtooth, and I’m sure there are plenty of people who will hate it, it undoubtedly contains a relatively rare mix of twisted and dark themes – both dramatic and comic – which are carried right through to the film’s denouement.
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on 30 April 2012
A story which is disturbing and strange. A modern man brings up his family away and shielded from the world. His children have no concept of the world today. They are introduced to sex but not to life. One of them rebels. Well made, well filmed and worth one look
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on 25 January 2011
This film starts promisingly. I was intrigued by the premise and impressed by the quality of the acting and attention to detail. And yes, I found it funny, in a bleak kind of way.

But as the film goes on, the story goes nowhere. The comedy dries up, giving way to an increasingly meaningless string of scenes in which there is no progression or explication. What begins as fascinatingly weird soon becomes tediously disturbing, culminating at the moment where the viewer has to watch the adult son having graphic sex with his sister.

I think the director had a good idea for a scenario - and having no idea how to develop it, resorted to shock tactics instead.

I'd recommend Dogtooth to people who are terrified of being seen as conventional.
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on 11 August 2012
Dogtooth [DVD] (2009)

This movie was really enjoyable and had moments were I was thinking WTF?!, the incest scenes were just plain wrong, something was definitely wrong with the parents, e.g. Elder daughter: "Mom, what is a pussy"
Mother: "A pussy is a big light"
Mother: "When the pussy is turned off, the whole house plunges into darkness"

This movie was brilliant and it was kind of funny as well.
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on 3 March 2011
Artstically this film is beautiful. The story is told through various types of media and is intricate and detailed. A wonderfull piece of cinema.
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on 17 April 2011
I hate it when I read a review of a movie I love and some knob says that it's nothing but rubbish.

The roles are perhaps reversed here. I just couldn't see much to like about this movie. I was intrigued to begin with... and I mean 'to begin with' as after 10 minutes I was becoming bored. The acting was excellent and characters showed promise but then the movie seemed to dribble along. The only thing that was disturbing was how dull it was.

When I watched 'Withnail and I' for the very first time I thought it was pants. 100 viewings later...

Perhaps I missed something but jesus this was a boring movie. At least the younger (adult!) daughter was pretty good to look at.
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on 19 June 2015
This is an EXCELLENT FILM. An intelligent, witty and disturbing portrait of the claustrophobia of power and society (family or nation). I would STRONGLY recommend it.
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on 25 October 2015
I loved it and hated it at the same time. This is one of the weirdest films I've ever seen. It's written really well and is totally gripping but VERY odd.
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on 1 April 2016
Totally, totally loved it. Would give it 6 stars if I could.
So much going on. Very, very similar to Miss Violence.
This is a gem.
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on 29 May 2016
An interesting premise but not fully explored and over too quickly. Would make a good play perhaps, but not exactly cinematic.
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