string(4) "home"
Yorgos Lanthimos films ranked

From Kinetta to Poor Things: The films of Yorgos Lanthimos ranked by how weird they are

If it stars Barry Keoghan you know you’re in for the wildest ride

Not many filmmakers have a surrealist vision quite as fascinating as Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos – let alone manage to take their arthouse style and make mainstream cinema releases without compromising what makes these pictures unique and bizarre. How does one begin to describe a Yorgos Lanthimos film to someone who’s never seen one? With great difficulty, but all his films have trademark stylings even when their genres differ. You know you’re in for some signature emotionless characters with deadpan dialogue, you know you’re in for dark themes even when the film remains a pitch black comedy. But which is weirdest? From his very beginnings all the way to Poor Things, here are the films of Yorgos Lanthimos ranked by sheer weirdness.

7. Kinetta (2005)

Taking the least weird crown is Kinetta. Kinetta is Lanthimos’ solo directorial debut after he was part of a two man directorial team for My Best Friend before it. Kinetta tells the story of three strangers in Kineta, Greece who team up to recreate homicides.

These two Greek films are pretty much impossible to find and watch – and maybe that’s for the best. Kinetta is weird in the sense that it’s experimental, but it’s a mess. It doesn’t have the intent and focus that Yorgos’ later films will be known for – and it got dragged by critics, with 17 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes. Completely inessential.

6. Alps (2011)

Mont Blanc (Aris Servetalis) leads a group of people who offer a peculiar service: the replacement of departed loved ones. Imitating hairstyle and favorite quotes is normal, though some in his group go so far as to re-enact more private events.

Yorgos Lanthimos had his breakthrough with Dogtooth, so Alps was his follow up film and the first where an international audience really had his name on their lips. Alps is bleaker than most Yorgos Lanthimos films, forgoing dark comedy for the truly gloomy as the plot tells the tale of an organisation of actors who basically act as stand-ins for people who’ve died to make it easier for the loved ones as they grieve. The fact that that’s the plot premise and it’s the second least weird of all the Yorgos Lanthimos films ranked here tells you all you need to know about his movies.

I think what makes it slightly less weird than the others is the move away from comedy. The dark comedy of Lanthimos’ films is what makes them so weird to me – the offbeat tone. Still, a weird and fascinating watch and well worth a viewing for any fan.

5. The Favourite (2018)

I think what makes it slightly less weird than the others is the move away from comedy. The dark comedy of Lanthimos’ films is what makes them so weird to me – the offbeat tone. Still, a weird and fascinating watch and well worth a viewing for any fan.

5. The Favourite (2018)

Olivia Colman won an Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Anne in Yorgos Lanthimos’ British period drama The Favourite – a setting that feels unusual for his filmmaking but one where his comedy has arguably never been funnier. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz play two rivals vying for the Queen’s affection and the film descends into a grotesque and ludicrous, queer story of love and lust and insanity.

The film plot itself isn’t that weird, but the way that Yorgos Lanthimos brings his tone and style to locations UK viewers have seen done boringly or years makes it feel surreal in the best way.

4. Poor Things (2023)

For his most recent film, Yorgos Lanthimos directs arguably his magnum opus – an adaptation of Alasdair Gray’s book with a hefty dollop of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Emma Stone plays Bella Baxter, the reanimated corpse science experiment of Godwin Baxter who rampages her way through different cities in a Victorian-esque era with sexual voracity and childlike innocent and honest wonder.

Whilst the story feels familiar with its gothic tropes, this film’s weirdness comes from not only the surrealist beats you’d expect from Lanthimos’ film but the strange, dreamlike wonder all the locations have. Skies are fantastical, technology is retro-futurist and there are weird animal hybrids trotting about.

3. The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

Yorgos Lanthimos films ranked

The Killing of a Sacred Deer was the first film I ever saw starring Barry Keoghan, and I was instantly obsessed with him. What an actor. What a perfect, little freaky weirdo. Barry’s turn as Martin is what makes The Killing of a Sacred Deer as good as it is and as weird and deranged as it becomes. The plot centres around the connection between Colin Farrell’s Steven, a surgeon, and the vengeful Martin. To say what events Martin causes in this film would be to ruin it, but the descent from a film set in the most ordinary of worlds in Yorgos Lanthimos’ films to one set in a world that feels supernatural and sinister makes it a weird and harrowing watch.

Also, Raffey Cassidy sings almost a full a cappella rendition of Burn by Ellie Goulding whilst standing by a tree. That’s got to count for something, right?

2. The Lobster (2015)

Yorgos Lanthimos films ranked

This is a film about people who have to check into a hotel and find love within 45 days or be permanently turned into an animal. Enough said.

1. Dogtooth (2009)

Yorgos Lanthimos films ranked

Yorgos Lanthimos’ weirdest film is the one that put his name on the map, and got him a nomination for Best International film at the Oscars. Dogtooth is a harrowing tale, but all the deadpan, emotionless mannerisms and jarring dark comedy are here in full force. It’s the story of three siblings who are not allowed to leave their own home, due to the rules of their parents. They have been raised in total isolation and only know the strange ways their parents have taught them – having their own words that mean the wrong thing but the correct thing to what they’ve been raised with.

Like Poor Things, it is sexually disturbing at times – but horrifically so. There’s incest and brutal self harm to the extremes of Titane, and completely bizarre performances the children do for their parents to entertain them. Watch if if you want your boundaries pushed.

Poor Things releases in UK cinemas on Friday. For more like Yorgos Lanthimos films ranked, and for all the best film, music, reality TV and entertainment news, like Pop Culture Shrine on Facebook

Related articles recommended by this author:

Poor Things: A life-changing, eye-popping odyssey of epic surrealist proportions

Inside Poor Things’ sex scene so controversial it had to be edited for release under UK law

• Only Oliver Quick himself could get full marks on this rock-hard Saltburn trivia quiz