Pan's Labyrinth - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Pan's Labyrinth Reviews

November 26, 2012
Guillermo del Toro has crafted a masterpiece, a terrifying, visually wondrous fairy tale for adults that blends fantasy and gloomy drama into one of the most magical films to come along in years.
November 26, 2012
This is a fantasy realm so fully and elegantly realized, it might be the adaptation of a classic novel. Yet the source is Del Toro's own capacious imagination.
May 15, 2009
Ofelia's smock is swiped from Alice, her faun from Narnia, and her magic book from Harry Potter, Del Toro sets her fairytale apart with its unrelenting gore and misery.
Full Review | Original Score: C
August 4, 2007
Pan's Labyrinth suggests that fairy-tale violence helps the vulnerable process and overcome real-life conflicts and that real-life violence permanently smashes the soul and the heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
February 3, 2007
So breathtaking in its artistic ambition, so technically accomplished, so morally expansive, so fully realized that it defies the usual critical blather. See it, and celebrate that rare occasion when a director has the audacity to commit cinema.
January 19, 2007
A violent fantasy set during the Spanish Civil War, this magical film from Guillermo del Toro manages that intellectual high-mindedness, even as it resonates on a primal, mythic level.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
January 19, 2007
It explores the connection between fantasy and reality, with eyes wide open to the dangers of giving either too much credence. That it works on both levels is impressive; that it makes them so clearly one is the stuff of art.
January 19, 2007
It is an adult fairy tale that will lead grown-ups to eagerly await the day that their own children will be old enough to understand.
January 19, 2007
This backdrop of intrigue creates violent scenes that may have you turning away from the screen. Beautifully designed and full of its own strange poetry, Pan's Labyrinth is nonetheless not a children's movie. Take its 'R' rating seriously.
Read More | Original Score: A
January 19, 2007
Ofelia, you break our hearts. But you also restore our confidence in human decency.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
January 18, 2007
Pan's Labyrinth resembles a cross between Alice in Wonderland and H.P. Lovecraft, with some Bu˝uel thrown in for good measure. It's a tribute to -- as well as a prime example of -- the disturbing power of imagination.
Full Review | Original Score: A
January 18, 2007
In coming up with one of the finest modern fantasies to date, del Toro seamlessly blends two stories, one set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and the other in a parallel realm of fairies and fauns.
Read More | Original Score: 4.5/5
January 18, 2007
Pan's Labyrinth is del Toro's home run. He's delivered a film full of power, beauty, horror and, ultimately, sadness.
Read More | Original Score: A-
January 18, 2007
Pan's Labyrinth is beautifully shot and designed, but it's the acting that makes it a remarkable emotional journey.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 17, 2007
The movie is that original, and that attuned to the power of myth. I don't see why it shouldn't sit on the same altar of High Fantasy as the Lord of the Rings trilogy -- it's that worthy.
Full Review | Original Score: A
January 12, 2007
Del Toro's gratifying surreal and fantastical instincts now have an unstinting moral eye on the world. Saying a filmmaker has matured suggests that he's forgone what made him so entertaining in the first place.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 12, 2007
Pan's Labyrinth works on several levels. It boldly captures the horror of war, the bloody violence as well as the emotional stifling of the soul, and juxtaposes it with the enchantment of a nether land bathed in hope and eternity.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
January 12, 2007
Pan's Labyrinth plays with dark magic, a hideous enchantment spun with grief and torment. It is emotionally devastating and sensuously rich: Details are as sharp as the ching of a straight-edge razor, as strange as the squeal of a magic root.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 12, 2007
It's pitch-perfect, impeccably conceived and replete with subtext and meaning. It is, in other words, a masterpiece.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
January 12, 2007
The dark violence of the film (parents, note: Pan's Labyrinth is not for children) is leavened by its invention -- by the way it pushes the limits of reality and fantasy, each world overlapping with the other.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 11, 2007
The creator of such pulp prodigies as Hellboy and Blade II, del Toro mingles myth and history in Pan's Labyrinth, and produces a masterpiece of magical realism.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 8, 2007
Del Toro's made a lot imaginative films. I think this is his masterpiece to date.
January 6, 2007
His palette here is deep-toned, with bottomless blacks and supersaturated oranges and blues -- as if the Walt Disney of Pinocchio had collaborated with Goya.
January 6, 2007
I've seen this film three times and cannot claim to know whether its fantasy characters and events are meant to exist solely in the imagination of the 12-year-old girl at the center of the story, or if she is the only human aware of them.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
January 6, 2007
[Pan's Labyrinth] isn't really a movie about one person or one historical moment; it's about the larger question of how history judges what we do.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
January 4, 2007
Pan's Labyrinth artfully fuses a war film with a family melodrama and a fairy tale. The result is visually stunning and emotionally shattering. Though graphically violent in parts, it still manages to be enchanting.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 4, 2007
The horrors of both the realistic and surrealistic worlds are woven into the beautifully aligned narrative structure of del Toro's story. This is fabulous filmmaking in every sense of the word.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
January 3, 2007
[Th film is] distinguished by another in a long line of recent child performances that are nothing short of astonishing in their accomplished matter-of-factness.
January 2, 2007
It is, I suspect, a film to return to, like a country waiting to be explored: a maze of dead ends and new life.
December 29, 2006
As each turn of events proves more menacing than the last to the young heroine of Pan's Labyrinth, her mother admonishes her: "Life isn't like your fairy tales." But it is. That's the secret at the center of Guillermo del Toro's magnificent film.
December 29, 2006
It's not every day that you see a movie that not only references both Victor Erice's creepy modernist classic Spirit of the Beehive and Ray Harryhausen's Seventh Voyage of Sinbad with equal reverence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 29, 2006
Although Pan's Labyrinth relies heavily on special effects, including the computer-generated kind, you're never aware of them. Del Toro, who wrote the story, has created a special universe. The spell it casts lingers long after the final reel.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 29, 2006
Pan's Labyrinth, horrific and heartfelt in the way it sees the trauma of war through the eyes of a little girl, is some kind of great movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 29, 2006
Childlike but never childish, fabulist but never fantastical, it's a triumph.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
December 29, 2006
Pan's Labyrinth represents a quantum leap in del Toro's storytelling, drawing on Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio and many other inspirations to create something quite new and wonderful.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 29, 2006
Because the violence is used not for titillation but to create a world we can be fearful about, because the film lives up to its tagline that "Innocence has a power evil cannot resist," we see it all without wishing we were somewhere else.
December 29, 2006
Unlike most horror movies, this chiller gives equal prominence to reality and fantasy, though the reality is far more frightening.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 29, 2006
Pan's Labyrinth is a political fable in the guise of a fairy tale. Or maybe it's the other way around.
December 29, 2006
Whole worlds open before our eyes and then fold back upon themselves; dimensions of time and space are creased into shape as if the movie was an elaborate origami creation.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 28, 2006
Like his terrific 2001 The Devil's Backbone, Mexican horrormeister Guillermo del Toro's new movie offers us both real-life and fantastical monsters, and if you know his work, you won't waste time figuring out which to root for.
December 28, 2006
An achievement. Many films with 'split personalities' invest all their creative energy into one aspect of the story, causing the other one to founder and feel obligatory.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 28, 2006
Literally and figuratively marvelous, a rich, daring mix of fantasy and politics.
December 28, 2006
Pan succeeds both as a spectacular special-effects fantasy and as a psychological drama, with superb actors.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 11, 2006
Pan's Labyrinth unfolds with the confidence of a classical fable, one that paradoxically feels both timeless and startlingly new.
October 13, 2006
It's not only one of the great fantasy pictures but one of the great end-of-childhood elegies.
September 23, 2006
Del Toro's latest is a darkly enchanting adult fairy tale, flecked with gore and terrifying creatures, both human and fantastical.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
August 24, 2006
A disjunction remains between the story's childlike form and its gruesome execution, but few directors are so adept at conveying both the uncanny in the real and the recognisable in the fantastic.
May 30, 2006
Engrossing mix of horror, fantasy and stark drama.
May 30, 2006
A richly imagined and exquisitely violent fantasy from writer-director Guillermo del Toro.