'Pan's Labyrinth' Critic Reviews

96%
MovieWeb:   15 reviews
96%
Rotten Tomatoes:   211 reviews
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    92
    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 » 8 years ago
  • A.O. Scott New York Times (Top Critic)
    100
    Pan's Labyrinth is a political fable in the guise of a fairy tale. Or maybe it's the other way around.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Claudia Puig USA Today (Top Critic)
    88
    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.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Ann Hornaday Washington Post (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Wesley Morris Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    100
    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 » 8 years ago
  • J. Hoberman Village Voice (Top Critic)
    Literally and figuratively marvelous, a rich, daring mix of fantasy and politics.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Jack Mathews New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    100
    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.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Amy Biancolli Houston Chronicle (Top Critic)
    88
    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 » 8 years ago
  • Mario Tarradell Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    75
    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 » 8 years ago
  • Lisa Kennedy Denver Post (Top Critic)
    100
    Ofelia, you break our hearts. But you also restore our confidence in human decency.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • David Edelstein New York Magazine (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Anthony Lane New Yorker (Top Critic)
    It is, I suspect, a film to return to, like a country waiting to be explored: a maze of dead ends and new life.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Michael Wilmington Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    100
    Pan succeeds both as a spectacular special-effects fantasy and as a psychological drama, with superb actors.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    100
    Unlike most horror movies, this chiller gives equal prominence to reality and fantasy, though the reality is far more frightening.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Carrie Rickey Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    100
    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 » 7 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    100
    Pan's Labyrinth is beautifully shot and designed, but it's the acting that makes it a remarkable emotional journey.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Bill Muller Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    90
    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.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Andrew Sarris New York Observer (Top Critic)
    [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.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Justin Chang Variety (Top Critic)
    A richly imagined and exquisitely violent fantasy from writer-director Guillermo del Toro.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Lou Lumenick New York Post (Top Critic)
    100
    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 » 8 years ago
  • Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel (Top Critic)
    100
    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 » 8 years ago
  • Geoff Pevere Toronto Star (Top Critic)
    88
    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 » 8 years ago
  • Jennie Punter Globe and Mail (Top Critic)
    88
    Del Toro's latest is a darkly enchanting adult fairy tale, flecked with gore and terrifying creatures, both human and fantastical.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
AVG. RATING 4.6 SUPERB
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