Mexican-born auteur Guillermo del Toro hit the Oscar jackpot with his fantastical love story “The Shape of Water” (2017), which took home four prizes including Best Picture and Best Director. But that’s just one of many eye-popping fantasies he has crafted throughout his career. Let’s take a look back at all 12 of del Toro’s films, ranked worst to best.
Del Toro made his feature directing debut with the Spanish-language horror drama “Cronos” (1993), which established him as a maker of dark, visually-stunning fright-fests. The film wrote him a ticket to Hollywood, where he helmed the creepy chiller “Mimic” (1997). Over the next two decades, he would bounce back-and-forth between mainstream American productions (the “Hellboy” films, “Pacific Rim,” “Crimson Peak”) and more personal stories in his native language (“The Devil’s Backbone,” “Pan’s Labyrinth”).
It was for “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006), a fable about a young Mexican girl escaping into a terrifying fantasy realm during the falangist Spain of 1944, that del Toro reaped his first Oscar bid for Best Original Screenplay. The film took home prizes for its cinematography, art direction, and makeup, but lost Best Foreign Language Film to “The Lives of Others.” Del Toro, meanwhile, was bested by Michael Arndt (“Little Miss Sunshine”).
It took 11 years for del Toro to return to the Oscar race with “The Shape of Water,” a romantic fantasy about a mute janitor (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with a fish man (Doug Jones). The film amassed a whopping 13 nominations and won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Production Design and Best Score. In addition, del Toro swept the major industry prizes for directing, taking home the DGA, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Critics Choice awards.
He returned to the Academy Awards with “Nightmare Alley” starring Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett. His first animated feature is the glorious “Pinocchio” for Netflix.
Take a tour through our gallery of del Toro movies, including a few for which he should’ve received Oscar nominations.