A Powerful, Dark Fairy-Tale.
Story/Plot: "In the fascist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world."
There are sub-plots, one concerning Ofelia, a young girl caught in a brutal reality, while the others' are wrapped around the "villain", who, like his father, is somehow obsessed with time and power, we don't get a in-depth look why he is the way he is, but, on-screen we witness his sheer evil, almost unflinchingly, he is kinda one of those, "evil just for the sake of being evil" characters, but, it's done well -- a doctor and care-taker, who also plays a big-role in this film(Just because the movie is the way it is, I won't explain any further about these characters)
The film manages to bring fantasy with reality quite nicely, it doesn't feel out-of-the-ordinary or anything like that -- We get a story told to us remarkably and brutally. Although, the movie may seem vague, we don't get some answered questions on certain things, but, it may only seem that way because what we witness is such a magnificent story, that we yearn to learn more about. Overall a great story the feels like what could be a "dark" version of Alice In Wonderland. 9.9/10
Acting: The acting in this is very convincing. I don't recall any fake reactions, cheesy-lines or anything sub-par in this subject. The leading star, Ofelia(played by Ivana Baquero), is really, really talented. She portrays innocence and neglect quite beautifully -- Vidal(played by Sergi López) also did an amazing job, we truely get an evil charachter here, not so much in an unrealistic way. I'd like to also give an applause to Mercedes(played by Maribel Verdú), Carmen( played by Ariadna Gil), and anyone else involved in this extraordinary film. 9.3/10
Cinematography/CGI: This is another beautiful aspect on the film. The fantasy world is done with such effort -- Along with the setting, it's really something. I saw the film on DVD and because of that, the CGI didn't seem special, while it was decent. Overall, I love the look of the film. 9.7/10
Direction: Guillermo del Toro picks some nice shots for this film and there are some truly great-scenes in this movie, along with providing a story to be told very-well, nearly perfect. 9.5/10
Editing/Sound: I thought they did a good job -- Everything sounds nice and nothing felt out of place. 9.5/10
Effectiveness: It's not necessarily scary, but the atmosphere is creepy. The film is extremely dark, so, they show the overly graphic things off-screen(such as an amputation and a torture-scene) -- the latter particularly we see the aftermath of. it's bloody, disturbing and just out-right brutal. Because of the context and victim(which I will not give away), I don't think I would've watched this scene if they included it uncut. The film knows how to pull emotions out of you and it's extremely
Accurance: There's obviously goofs in this movie(IMDb.com), but, a lot of them, I didn't even notice. 8.1/10
Entertainment: I was nothing more than amused until the second-half -- This is where things get extremely interested. 8.9/10
Worth-Factor: It's definitely true, in this case. If you can handle the graphic violence and dark theme, this is a must-watch. 9.8/10
Other Redeeming Qualities: Great Script and costumes -- A film that doesn't prolong itself even though it seems it can and it's a complete not-waste of time. that manages to be very thought-provoking. 9.9/10
Conclusion: This is close to a masterpiece. I witnessed a goof once, and the ending relies too heavily on the individual audience perspective. I thought a lot about this film after I watched it. The memorable-scenes, dark themes, great acting, eerie atmosphere, killer-direction, unique characters', and lovable cinematography make this film something special. it's the ultimate fantasy movie for the older audience.
My Score: 9.4/10(Note: I would honestly like to give this a higher-rating, but, based on how I rate it, this is how everything turned out to be. If it wasn't for the rating, I'd give it at least a 9.8/10.)