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.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Pan's Labyrinth is a political fable in the guise of a fairy tale. Or maybe it's the other way around.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
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.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
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.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
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.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Literally and figuratively marvelous, a rich, daring mix of fantasy and politics.
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
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.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
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.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
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.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
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.
Mario Tarradell - Dallas Morning News
Ofelia, you break our hearts. But you also restore our confidence in human decency.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
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.
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
It is, I suspect, a film to return to, like a country waiting to be explored: a maze of dead ends and new life.
Anthony Lane - New Yorker
Pan succeeds both as a spectacular special-effects fantasy and as a psychological drama, with superb actors.
Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
Unlike most horror movies, this chiller gives equal prominence to reality and fantasy, though the reality is far more frightening.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
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.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
Pan's Labyrinth is beautifully shot and designed, but it's the acting that makes it a remarkable emotional journey.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
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.
Tom Long - Detroit News
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.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
[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.
Andrew Sarris - New York Observer
A richly imagined and exquisitely violent fantasy from writer-director Guillermo del Toro.
Justin Chang - Variety
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.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
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.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
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.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
Del Toro's latest is a darkly enchanting adult fairy tale, flecked with gore and terrifying creatures, both human and fantastical.
Jennie Punter - Globe and Mail
It's not only one of the great fantasy pictures but one of the great end-of-childhood elegies.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
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.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Engrossing mix of horror, fantasy and stark drama.
Ray Bennett - Hollywood Reporter
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.
David Germain - Associated Press
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.
Mary Corliss - TIME Magazine
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.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
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.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Both magical and brutal, del Toro's film is a memorable exploration of the enduring power of fairytales.
Luke Goodsell - Empire Magazine Australasia
The close-out of Pan's Labyrinth not only underlines its status as one of the great fantasy films of all time, but also its importance as a work of refined social and historical commentary.
Simon Foster - sbs.com.au
a captivating, albeit unstable, blend of anti-Fascist social commentary and a visually sumptuous childhood fable
Jay Antani - Cinema Writer
Fully deserving of its place in a distinguished political-fabulist lineage
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
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.
Amy Nicholson - I.E. Weekly
It's complex, it's masterful, and it's a pastiche of priceless talent that sums up to form one of the best films made in the last ten years...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Arresting though they may be, these mind-boggling effects, shot with limpid mystery by Guillermo Navarro and accompanied by chitinous whirs and crackles on the uncanny soundtrack, don't disrupt the double narrative but intensify it.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Pan's Labyrinth is a punishing, evocative poem. It is part ferocious reality and part fearful fantasy.
Tony Macklin - Fayetteville Free Weekly
Bob Mondello - NPR.org
Pan's Labyrinth us that such fantasy offers no real escape from dreadful reality.
Steve Biodrowski - Cinefantastique
...a dark and wonderful fairy tale for grown-ups...
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
Jennie Kermode - Eye for Film
[A] beautiful but relentlessly bleak fairytale.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
A film with vision...
Jason Gorber - Film Scouts
in Pan's Labyrinth, the world of Ofelia's imagination and the realities of Falangist Spain are two different, ideologically opposed ways of telling the same story - a story of tyranny, resistance and the timeless struggle between good and evil.
Anton Bitel - Film4
We feel pity, terror, disgust, wonder, astonishment, shock, and, ultimately, hope. It does everything we could ask ....
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
I saw better films in 2006 -- but none more imaginative than Guillermo del Toro's communal masterpiece. Bring a friend, and you'll have plenty to talk about.
Jonathan R. Perry - Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)
"Pan's Labyrinth" is impeccable filmmaking; it alone might be enough to seal del Toro's reputation as a master of cinema.
Beverly Berning - culturevulture.net
It contains both incredible beauty and horrific violence.
Beth Accomando - KPBS.org
... An exquisite picture with equal doses of the fantastic and horrific.
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
It is excellently made, and I am very glad I saw it, but I could never see it again, no matter how cool the faun was.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
A fantasy for adults that will make you feel both the intense wonder and fear of childhood more than any film in years.
Brian Tallerico - UGO
Del Toro parallels the horror of two civilizations (one real, one imagined, each with their own monsters), crafting a rich and violent film for grownups who haven't lost touch with their childhood resources.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
It is not my cup of grim ...
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
Guillermo del Toro's excellent new film, "Pan's Labyrinth," is a violent, enthralling children's movie made for adults.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Dean Essner - culturevulture.net
Del Toro has an unmistakable aesthetic -- his movies bear the stamp of an auteur.
Randy Shulman - Metro Weekly (Washington, DC)
..."Pan's Labyrinth" is an outstanding film and, along with fellow multiple Oscar nominee "Babel," a true testament to the talent that exists outside America.
Michael A. Smith - Nolan's Pop Culture Review
In the British newspaper, Guardian Unlimited, del Toro credited British illustrator Arthur Rackham and the works of Goya...Guillermo del Toro has joins their ranks with this film.
Uri Lessing - eFilmCritic.com
Is Pan's Labyrinth a war movie with fantasy elements? Or is it a fantasy film laced with political allegory? The beauty of del Toro's story is that it could be read either way.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
When was the last time a fantasy flick brought to mind Schindler's List?
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
A gorgeously executed and disturbingly violent moving picture poem that bravely flies in the face of genre convention and stands alone in its purpose.
Jovanka Vuckovic - Rue Morgue Magazine
Pan's Labyrinth is bold and original, a mini-masterpiece of fantasy filmmaking that deserves to be seen by a wide audience.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
Pan's Labyrinth, a masterpiece of fantasia by Mexican director Guillermo del Toro, is at turns exquisitely beautiful, horrifying, and heart-wrenchingly sweet.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Blending fantasy and reality, Pan's Labyrinth is an engaging film about a young girl looking to escape the horrendous environment in which she finds herself.
Wesley Lovell - Oscar Guy
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
A woman's revolutionary fearlessness, with a touch of magic.
Prairie Miller - WBAI Web Radio
Del Toro's film reveals a sad truth. With each life experience, one gets further and further from the naivete that makes pure imagination possible.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
Un ambicioso y no del todo convincente cuento de hadas para adultos, que reivindica el poder de la imaginacion como via de escape ante la adversidad y como arma frente a la intolerancia.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
In no way can one mistake this for a children's film.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
... told both from the numb, accepting view of an adult... and from the eyes of a child where even the tiniest glimmer of hope pierces the darkness like a shard of starlight.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
Del Toro specializes in taking horror and superhero films to bold, baroque places, yet Pan's Labyrinth is a step above his usual forays into the fantastic.
David Fear - Time Out New York
This one has mind-blowing visuals that employ many 'organic' effects (del Toro prefers to use makeup prosthetics and other devices, eschewing computer graphics).
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
An uneasy mix of childlike, Tim Burton-esque imagination and brutal Spanish war-torn drama.
David N. Butterworth - rec.arts.movies.reviews
the most beautiful and redemptive film of 2006
John A. Nesbit - Old School Reviews
Employing elegance, tension, fright and invention, Pan's Labyrinth holds court with rapture and awe from start to finish, with an invigorating conclusion solidifying it as the stuff of stories-turned-legends. It's one of the best films of 2006.
Nick Rogers - State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)
Unlike many other popular fantasists, del Toro is brave and honest enough to acknowledge that if fantasy is a refuge, it's not necessarily a shield.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Although it's a story of a child's fantasy world, Pan's Labyrinth is not for children.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
A dark fairy tale that only Guillermo del Toro could bring to life. The screenwriter/director can do no wrong.
Alex Sandell - Juicy Cerebellum
A film of great visual imagination, depicting a child's dream world on one hand, and man's inhumanity to man in the real world.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
The fantasy segments are splendidly spooky and full of memorable images... a haunting heartbreaker... that dares to enter a troubled child's mind to sympathetically sort out the contents.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth brilliantly melds the realms of fairy tale and brutal 20th-century history. Beautiful, horrible and deeply affecting, it's the 21st century's first film masterpiece.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Del Toro has realized a work of art that's too terrifying and politically motivated for young audience members who should be swept up in Ofelia's royal dreams.
Sean O'Connell - Charlotte Weekly
An imaginary garden with real toads.
Louis Proyect - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Films this extraordinary don't come along every day -- or even every decade.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
A gorgeous film that ought to be seen on the largest screen possible -- try to catch it in a theater.
Jette Kernion - Cinematical
Holy ruby slippers, is this one grim film. Enthrallingly spooky, appropriately frightful, but grim. Grim like it might make the Brothers Grimm say, "Well, it's a bit dark, isn't it?" in an accusatory tone.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
The dual story threads merge seamlessly in del Toro's elegant style.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
... a maze of naive politics and gruesome brutality. It's no more about Franco's Spain than a can of Franco-American spaghetti is about Italian food.
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
Guillermo Del Toro has achieved a rare success in crafting a mature movie with some of the ingredients that make a good bedtime story. But good luck sleeping after taking in Pan's Labyrinth.
Mike Ward - Richmond.com
The movie is a visual marvel, with a depth that goes beyond storybook effects. Del Toro creates a tenebrous visual undertow that pulls Franco's Spain and Pan's labyrinth together.
Michael Sragow - Baltimore Sun
A dazzling masterpiece. Cannot be seen just once.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
Dean Essner - Sydney Morning Herald
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
It's as if Lewis Carroll's Alice had wandered into a Francisco Goya painting, particularly the famously gruesome Saturn Devouring His Son, in which an ancient demon has ripped the head off his progeny.
Paul Byrnes - Sydney Morning Herald
Dean Essner - Baltimore Sun
The film is impressively acted all around.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
...a powerful, haunting film replete with phantasmagorical visions and inexorable dread. Painted in shadows and lit by a moon the color of a frog's belly, Pan's Labyrinth is an emotional cousin to David Lynch's creepy puzzle films.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
In its supremely confident and effortless blend of the fantastic and the grittily realistic, Pan's Labyrinth not only compares favorably with Terry Gilliam's best work (Brazil), it also exceeds it.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Mexican filmmakers are having a good year, in whatever language they film... However with Pan's Labyrinth, Del Toro may have topped them all.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
A haunting, but beautifully conceived mix of fantasy and reality that is like no other film released in 2006 - or any other year.
Pete Hammond - Maxim
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.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
Triumphs both as allegory and riveting adventure tale.
Donald Munro - Fresno Bee
Pan's Labyrinth is an astonishing tale in which a child employs her vivid imagination to keep herself sane in a world gone mad.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
[Del Toro's] stories have the haunting persistence of repressed memories filtered through history and folklore that can make audiences tremble with recognition, and is the hallmark of fantasy as social, sexual and psychological allegory.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
With Pan's Labyrinth, director Guillermo del Toro taps the same magical vein that made his Devil's Backbone so memorable.
Cole Haddon - Orlando Weekly
Pan's Labyrinth is del Toro's home run. He's delivered a film full of power, beauty, horror and, ultimately, sadness.
Bob Longino - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Pan's Labyrinth resembles a cross between Alice in Wonderland and H.P. Lovecraft, with some Bunuel thrown in for good measure. It's a tribute to -- as well as a prime example of -- the disturbing power of imagination.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
Mexican writer-director Guillermo del Toro couches his allegory about fascism in a tale as cruelly fascinating as any from the Brothers Grimm.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
"Pan's Labyrinth" is one of those films that's so moving, heartbreaking and wonderfully haunting, you sigh when the end credits roll.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
Labyrinth director Guillermo Del Toro is a master at making the otherworldly seem this-worldly and vice versa.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Guillermo del Toro gives us one of the masterpieces of the fantasy film.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
The acting is superb, and Baquero steals the movie.
Michael Black - ReviewExpress.com
The magic that many films promise actually works in Pan's Labyrinth.
Stuart Klawans - Nation
There are lessons to be taken from Pan's Labyrinth -- the value of belief, hope and courage, for example -- but the whole is such a dingy downer that despite the fine performances on display, it is impossible to recommend it.
Jean Lowerison - San Diego Metropolitan
Stuart Klawans - The Nation
The sets, the sights and the sounds are original and imaginative, but the dirty little secret is that a little of it goes a long, long way.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
If you are prejudiced against fantasy, put those prejudices aside. If you see one film this year, make it this one.
Michelle Thomas - Future Movies UK
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.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
It's pitch-perfect, impeccably conceived and replete with subtext and meaning. It is, in other words, a masterpiece.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
This isn't kids' stuff, though adventuresome teens would find plenty here to engage them. It's dark poetry set to startling images, a one-of-a-kind nightmare that has a soaring, spiritual center. It's not to be missed.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
Technically magnificent and flawlessly acted, the picture incorporates 20th century Spanish history and classic fairy-tale elements in a way that seems completely new.
Carla Meyer - Sacramento Bee
It all adds up to what many regard as the year's best film (a National Board of Review best picture), a work of imagination that is thrilling and feels like something completely new.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Pan's Labyrinth, like del Toro's previous and related The Devil's Backbone, is a saturated vision, an artist's work. What it lacks is successful unity.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
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.
Bruce Newman - San Jose Mercury News
A magical, frightening and heartbreaking movie for adults who want to take the journey, and read the subtitles.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
...as repellently fascinating as watching a snake devour a rabbit.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Pan's Labyrinth catapults del Toro to the top ranks of international filmmakers. His fertile imagination appears to have no limit, and all his previous work is hopefully a mere warm-up for a fecund future.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Like the folk tales from centuries past, Pan's Labyrinth is a dark odyssey with nightmarish visions and cruel threats...
Sean Axmaker - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Fairytales are seeded in the darkest of forests, and Pan's Labyrinth emanates as one of the most enticing.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Pan's Labyrinth, with its unblinking sense of the baroque, may be a tough sell for anyone generally not interested in fantasy. But the film is one of the most original and spectacular of the year.
Phoebe Flowers - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
One of the most fascinating, imaginative yet darkly disturbing political fables of our time.
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
A dark, creepy, sad tale of incorruptible innocence and ultimate sacrifice.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
...a finely crafted film of Ofelia's two distinctive worlds where the humans can be the real monsters and the creatures beneath the earth showing humanity.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Del Toro's made a lot imaginative films. I think this is his masterpiece to date.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
[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.
Noel Murray - AV Club
Adeptly [blends] magic realism, fairytale trappings and special effects for a film charged by the unrest that lingers in the aftermath of the war.
Michael Dwyer - Irish Times
The childhood desperation that permeates his dramatic sensibility is elevated by del Toro's sincere devotion to imaginary belief systems rooted in cycles of nature.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
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.
Gene Seymour - Newsday
A fantasy film definitely not made for children, Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth" is a strange but enchanting voyage into the hellish imagination of a young girl as she comes to terms with the infernal reality of her life.
Angela Baldassarre - Sympatico.ca
It's both blissfully naive and emotionally heartbreaking, a movie which calls on fantasy not to distort reality, but to enhance it.
Steven Snyder - Zertinet Movies
The kind of familiar that astonishes with our inability to imagine it better than the way del Toro has.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
An engrossing feat of craft and imagination, 'Pan's Labyrinth' is among the best films of 2006 and would stand out in any year.
John P. McCarthy - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
One of the most dazzling fairy tales to hit the big screen in a long time.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
...a solid film, though del Toro fans won't find many surprises in store.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
Though not for the squeamish or fans of Fascism, this morbidly bewitching fantasy is an enchanting, escapist fairy tale, even if one designed strictly with adults in mind.
Kam Williams - Black Star News
A fairy tale without the Disneyfication
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
A brilliant juxtaposition of truth and imagination guaranteed to lay waste to every emotion.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
It's like watching Alice in Wonderland while tripping on LSD.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
Childlike but never childish, fabulist but never fantastical, it's a triumph.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
A fresh opportunity to revel in the darkly beautiful dreamscapes unleashed by the increasingly masterful del Toro.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
Is (1) a victim of its own hype, and (2) nothing like what it's being marketed as, but there is an audience involvement writer-director Guillermo del Toro manages to work up all the same.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
The dream horrors of the labyrinth mirror the human horrors of the world above in the way that classic fairy tales, in their unexpurgated form, always have.
Kurt Loder - MTV
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.
Jim Emerson - RogerEbert.com
Ranks with the best examinations of children's inner lives, but be warned: Its haunting insights are best left to adults.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
The film is the announcement of the complete arrival of a major filmmaker, and we can only hope that the qualities del Toro brings to this work do not get lost in the maze of Hollywood for future films.
Scott Huver - Hollywood.com
Pan's Labyrinth is one of those underdog films that needs to be seen and I encourage anyone who likes movies of any kind to check it out.
Don R. Lewis - Film Threat
It would probably have delighted Tolkien and Lewis, who believed that fairy tales help us apprehend the reality of grace as it glimmers through a screen, darkly.
Jeffrey Overstreet - Christianity Today
An awesome movie, but not for little kids. At all.
Dave White - Movies.com
It's like being in a labyrinth, you never know what's going to be around the next corner.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
...a precious chance to feel the wonder and fear of childhood once again.
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
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.
Ruthe Stein - San Francisco Chronicle
...a startling, idiosyncratic combination of children's fantasy and brutal political realism that switches effortlessly from early Fascist-era Spain to the fairytale world of a young girl's imagination.
Andy Klein - Los Angeles CityBeat
He's managed to create one of those unexpected masterpieces that both touches both our inner child and our inner cynic, something that not too many people can do.
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
Del Toro's obvious strength here is his forceful vision of a night-time fantasy and his ability to bring that vision to pulsating life.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
This morbid, visually stunning fairy tale gives you plenty to think about and plenty to be entertained by.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
The only part where Pan errs is in its marketing, via a top-of-the-poster blurb that proclaims it a "fairy tale for grown-ups."
Kevin Biggers - FilmStew.com
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.
Ella Taylor - L.A. Weekly
An escape from everyday dreariness of which you'll want more than the film will offer.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
An astonishingly inventive portrait of childhood fears and hopes, an eerily beautiful modern fairy tale that truly merits the overused adjective magical.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
For adults who remember those long-ago nights under the covers... its temptations prove almost too much to resist.
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
Guillermo del Toro's vision has created a film that will last: an enduring fairytale that resonates and offers new interpretations with every viewing.
Marcy Dermansky - About.com
Visually, this is del Toro at his most fearless, effortlessly shaping a lurid realm of magic for Ofelia, and a stark, cold-blooded fear factory for the Captain.
Brian Orndorf - OhmyNews.com
Rarely in film history has such elaborate fantasy been put in the service of such a profound and serious treatment of reality. But Pan's Labyrinth is an extraordinary film made by an exceptional visionary.
Bruce Kirkland - Jam! Movies
[Del Toro's] newest film is arguably his most accomplished to date.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Guillermo Del Toro creates an alternate reality where danger is a constant state and where fantasy and reality are equally vivid.
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
A wicked wonderland of haunting horror.
Staci Layne Wilson - Horror.com
Too adult for children and too simplistic for most adults, it ultimately leaves us with some of the prettiest cinematic pictures of the year. And nothing more.
Gabriel Shanks - Modern Fabulousity
..."Pan's Labyrinth" unfolds with the confidence of a classical fable, one that paradoxically feels both timeless and startlingly new.
David Ansen - Newsweek
An irresistible and affecting mixture of horror, fantasy, history, and drama.
Pam Grady - Reel.com
Triste como A Espinha do Diabo, esta e uma obra de forca inegavel e de poetica melancolia, encerrando-se com uma nota ambigua que levara o espectador a refletir profundamente sobre o que acabou de testemunhar.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Pan's Labyrinth is another jewel in a fast-expanding line of movie gems.
Kevin Lally - Film Journal International
Dark, twisted and beautiful, this entwines fairy-tale fantasy with war-movie horror to startling effect.
Kim Newman - Empire Magazine
Dark, dreamlike and dangerous, Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth is a fairytale every bit as scary and moving as they were always meant to be.
Jonathan Trout - BBC
Superbly acted and beautifully directed, this is a bewitching tale that will stay with you long after you leave the cinema. One of the best films of the year.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Maybe Del Toro wanted to make two different movies and decided to merge them together.
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
...offers escapism of the highest level, transporting the viewers to an entirely different world altogether that holds you in its clutches until the very end.
Paul Salfen - Supercala.com
By juxtaposing inhuman military brutality with the idealism and imagery of a fairy tale, del Toro integrates the two, creating a credible tension between both.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Has a sumptuous visual creepiness that contributes to its affecting portrait of shattered childhood innocence.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
Pan's Labyrinth does speak to the poetic and the brutal in man.
Donald J. Levit - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
This magnificent and moving horror-fantasy for adults has already been raking in nearly unanimous acclaim... I'm not only on the bandwagon, I'm proudly riding shotgun for one of the richest films of 2006.
Aaron Hillis - Premiere Magazine
A relentlessly grim and violent film that blends a redemptive fairy tale with a glimpse of the horrors of war in 1944 Spain.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Fantasia sin azucar y sin moralismos edulcorados.
Alex Ramirez - Cinenganos
In Pan's Labyrinth, del Toro pays as much attention to his humans as he does to his beasts, unleashing a story with all the shivering intensity and satisfying denouement of the darkest Grimm's fairy tale.
Chris Barsanti - Filmcritic.com
Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth is that rarest of cinematic rarities, a fully and flawlessly realized fantasy film.
Dean Essner - RogerEbert.com
Best picture of 2006: This vividly aesthetic, poignantly haunting, densely rich fable for adults represents the maturation of del Toro as a director of the first rank, raising the bar of the fantasy genre; the most visionary film in Cannes Fest this year.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
[Guillermo] del Toro is a master at this type of film, going beyond the realm of mere fantasy to create a fable wrapped within a carefully crafted drama.
Kim Voynar - Cinematical
An adult fairy tale mixed with brutal reality, the product of an exquisite imagination.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
A filmmaker blossoming into true greatness... Pan's Labyrinth is a film of breathtaking emotional, thematic and visual depth.
Devin Faraci - CHUD
If Tim Burton and Jan Svankmejer had teamed up to make The Chronicles of Narnia, the result probably would have looked something like this picture.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
Unlike The Devil's Backbone, Pan's Labyrinth's allegories are not particularly rich, but the film's fantasy sequences remain seductive pageants of spiritual and cultural nuance.
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine
Stunningly beautiful and movingly honest, this is one of best films of the year and another notch on the belt of one of the today's most exciting filmmakers.
Joe Utichi - FilmFocus
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.
Ben Walters - Time Out
In his highly atmospheric film, Del Toro also extracts some excellent performances, especially Lopez, who makes his character a monster with some human qualities, and Maribel Verdu as Ofelia's ailing mother.
Richard Mowe - Boxoffice Magazine
I only wish more people in Hollywood would take chances on films with this kind of imagination behind it!
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium