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8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 1814 Ratings

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  1. Jan 24, 2013
    0
    The only "tale" here is the historical aspect. And it's rather a sad tale since it's a blatant propaganda. Other than that, questions arise like: Why so brutal? Why so dystopian? And why is the hourglass one fifth full after a few seconds but goes on for several minutes after that? One of the worst movies I've ever seen...
  2. TonyL
    Jan 10, 2007
    0
    Although I do not think this movie is a zero, I want to decrease the bloated score of this film as much as possible. I am left utterly confused by the many critic and reader high scores. What movie did you see, am I blind, have I lost my sensibility, am I or you in some way deluded? Is there an invisible wave of totalitarian group think affecting all the high scorers where a few high Although I do not think this movie is a zero, I want to decrease the bloated score of this film as much as possible. I am left utterly confused by the many critic and reader high scores. What movie did you see, am I blind, have I lost my sensibility, am I or you in some way deluded? Is there an invisible wave of totalitarian group think affecting all the high scorers where a few high scores compel others to fool themselves into thinking that something is simply profound that attempts to make a profound statement. For how can you not love a movie that critiques Fascism and compares the violence of the real world with the violence of fantasy world. OOOOHHH that must be so profound, how creative and genius he must be to associate these two worlds. I gathered little or nothing from this, and his metaphor was as bloated as the critic scores were. Maybe that's it, people do not want nuance and want a metaphor, an image, and violence to smack them upside the head. It provokes little thought and only near the end when the band of brother comrades ambush the fascists and kill them in the execution style of the captain did I think, yes, that is it even the communist who pretend to be liberators and on the side of the good, participate in the same violence as the fascists. We are all potentially fascists, no one is safe, even in the fantasy world. Although del toro maybe hints at this, he leaves us mostly with his one-dimensional carictaured approach to a time in spanish history that was filled with ambiguity, violence, and tore a country and people apart which resonates to this day and continues to divide and be an issue for spaniards in 2007. At the end I was barely moved and was left numb not by the obvious but by a with-what-did-I-miss daze that everyone else so clearly seemed to see in this supposed beautiful, thought-provoking movie. A movie in the end that is neither a good fairy-tale or insight into the spanish civil war or human nature. Expand
  3. mooman
    Jan 25, 2007
    4
    The best thing about this movie (and so many other movies too) is the soundtrack. The actors weren't so bad and I liked the idea of making some of that fascist Franco regime stuff viewable for a wider audience. Very clever idea to bait moviegoers with the fantasy part, and I am sure many saw the trailer (like me) and couldn't wait to see another fine fantasy film. Nevertheless, The best thing about this movie (and so many other movies too) is the soundtrack. The actors weren't so bad and I liked the idea of making some of that fascist Franco regime stuff viewable for a wider audience. Very clever idea to bait moviegoers with the fantasy part, and I am sure many saw the trailer (like me) and couldn't wait to see another fine fantasy film. Nevertheless, in the end it is just a history movie (definitely focusing on the characters and their role in this time of history) with the famous Nazi-like bad guy I have seen in so many other movies before. In the end I would say it is quite an interesting idea to combine these 2 elements and make a movie out of it, but both are working on completely different level. They just don't match in my opinion! Innocence and violence?! There are much better movies out there dealing with that topic...but surely none with at least a bit of fantasy like this one. Expand
  4. ma
    Feb 4, 2007
    0
    It was unnecessary violent and gory. The fantasy aspect was very limited. The war, cruelty and fighting took over. Parts didn't make sense. *SPOILER*Why did she get to continue the quest when she broke the rules (By stupidly eating the food when she was told numerous times not to eat because her life depended on it) and was banned from the underworld kingdom. This movie is highly over rated.
  5. AMovieCritic
    Mar 3, 2007
    2
    I'm having a hard time seeing what so many critics seem to have loved about this film. It's being marketed as a "fairy tale for grownups" but what that basically means is that it's a fairy tale but with graphically violent images thrown in there as well. The fairy tale portion of the film is shallow and under-developed ("follow 3 steps and you'll be princess") and way I'm having a hard time seeing what so many critics seem to have loved about this film. It's being marketed as a "fairy tale for grownups" but what that basically means is that it's a fairy tale but with graphically violent images thrown in there as well. The fairy tale portion of the film is shallow and under-developed ("follow 3 steps and you'll be princess") and way too simple to have ever stood on its own; it also lacks any real magic. But most of Pan's Labyrinth isn't following the fairy tale subplot, it centers on a story of a very evil army captain who commits some seriously violent murders and tortures. Much of the movie focuses on this story. And while I like gratuitous violence in movies as much as the next guy, Guillermo del Toro really overdoes it here, to the point where it just becomes not only unpleasant to watch, but even unintentionally comical. (Within the span of only about 10 minutes, a man is stabbed repeatedly, has his cheek sliced open, stitches it back together himself, drinks poison, bleeds profusely, and then, to top it all off, is shot in the face right on screen.) The fairy tale portions of the movie lack magic, the army portions are graphic and violent but not exactly fun to watch, and overall, at 2 hours, it definitely stretches the viewers' patience. The unanimous critical acclaim this has gotten is a little puzzling to me. Expand
  6. RichY
    Apr 14, 2008
    9
    I missed this in the cinema and on DVD but finally watched it on TV, and it more than lives up to the critics score. I haven't watched a subtitled film in years and was worried that it would be distracting, but the film keeps such a hold on you that you're virtually reading them subconsciously. The idiots who scored 0 for this film are the ones that can't watch and read at I missed this in the cinema and on DVD but finally watched it on TV, and it more than lives up to the critics score. I haven't watched a subtitled film in years and was worried that it would be distracting, but the film keeps such a hold on you that you're virtually reading them subconsciously. The idiots who scored 0 for this film are the ones that can't watch and read at the same time, or just refuse to accept that a foreign language film can be good too! Maybe if it was dubbed they would have scored it higher? Expand
  7. JoshM
    Jan 9, 2010
    6
    After being slightly psyched to see this, it was dissapointing. One could argue movies aren't only for entertainment but to provoke thinking etc. Possibly, but I rather entertainment. Pan's Labyrinth is thought provoking but in my opinion, not entertaining.
  8. gabriel
    Feb 9, 2010
    9
    I thought this movie was fantastic. The acting was superb. I don't understand why people are complaining about the movie being too violent. It was my understanding that war is a bloody horrific thing. Hm. Maybe I'm wrong? Also, In my opinion this movie was about a young girl using her imagination to help her escape and cope with the traumatic situation she was in. I thought it I thought this movie was fantastic. The acting was superb. I don't understand why people are complaining about the movie being too violent. It was my understanding that war is a bloody horrific thing. Hm. Maybe I'm wrong? Also, In my opinion this movie was about a young girl using her imagination to help her escape and cope with the traumatic situation she was in. I thought it made perfect sense that the movie didn't focus that much on the fantasy element, which I saw upset some reviewers. Lastly, in regards to Nathaniel Z.'s comment, Ofelia and Ophelia are both correct. As you should know, names are spelled differently, constantly. Get used to it. And, she was bleeding out of her nose, because it is possible that after she got shot in the stomach that she had internal bleeding. Please, do your own research before criticizing the absolutely dumbest things. Expand
  9. JoshB.
    Jan 14, 2007
    6
    Great visuals, but the plot lacks quality. The "real" aspect is simplistic and uninteresting, the "fantasy" aspect doesn't make sense, and there are no meaningful crossovers or parallels between the two plot lines.
  10. WalterC.
    Jan 21, 2007
    7
    The merits of Pan's Labyrinth have been pretty well documented. Just look at the other users saying it's the greatest thing they've ever seen. It's definitely got some good points to it. Being marketed as a fairy tale for grown-ups, and with about half of the scenes in the trailer looking like an amped up Chronicles of Narnia, I assumed it would be equal parts fantasy The merits of Pan's Labyrinth have been pretty well documented. Just look at the other users saying it's the greatest thing they've ever seen. It's definitely got some good points to it. Being marketed as a fairy tale for grown-ups, and with about half of the scenes in the trailer looking like an amped up Chronicles of Narnia, I assumed it would be equal parts fantasy and reality. Like many others, I was disappointed to find that the film only had about 15 or 20 minutes of fantasy in it. The rest focusing on an evil stepfather, a mother who makes bad choices, and a plane of reality where people are generally just jerks to each other. Had I gone into this thinking it was going to be a suspensful drama about how lousy life was for that group of people, I would have wondered why they decided to tack on the subplot about the girl's imaginary friends. But even then, any verisimilitude in the "realist" narrative is clouded by hyperbollic characters that are just as over-the-top as a 7-foot faun. Pan's Labyrinth is enjoyable, but certainly not the best movie in its genre, of its time, or even of this year. Expand
  11. KarlaG.
    Jan 21, 2007
    5
    This movie was not as fantastic as everyone is saying. I was sorely disappointed with the fantasy elements, directing and the overall story. I expected much more and am surprised to find everyone rating this so highly.
  12. michaeld.
    Oct 22, 2007
    2
    Violent and grotesque, and sorely lacking in fantasy elements, Pan's Labyrinth is much more a war drama than a proper fantasy film. The story is more simple and common than critics have led us to believe and the effects are poorly-crafted. There's not much for the average viewer, although I'm sure the film is a masterpiece to those who can't see beyond its indie veneer Violent and grotesque, and sorely lacking in fantasy elements, Pan's Labyrinth is much more a war drama than a proper fantasy film. The story is more simple and common than critics have led us to believe and the effects are poorly-crafted. There's not much for the average viewer, although I'm sure the film is a masterpiece to those who can't see beyond its indie veneer or for audiences who prefer violence to substance. Expand
  13. MikeB.
    Jan 20, 2007
    6
    Beautifully done from a technical standpoint, but the frame story is pretty weak. The stepfather character is so over-the-top evil that he's hard to take seriously. Also, the rebels are uniformly brave and virtuous, which is pretty implausible...and not very interesting. I confess I have a lot of trouble with magical realism under the best of circumstances, so I may not be the best Beautifully done from a technical standpoint, but the frame story is pretty weak. The stepfather character is so over-the-top evil that he's hard to take seriously. Also, the rebels are uniformly brave and virtuous, which is pretty implausible...and not very interesting. I confess I have a lot of trouble with magical realism under the best of circumstances, so I may not be the best judge of that part of the movie. Nevertherless, I thought the fantasy seguences were the best part by far of what is otherwise a kind of cross between For Whom the Bell Tolls and the Halloween movies. Expand
  14. JOhn
    Jan 20, 2007
    9
    This film was excellent. To those who scored below and gave the film a low rating because it didn't contain enough fantasy...you missed the point. The fantasy backdrop was brillantly, and purposefully used, as a mirror to the real world events unfolding in the film. If the film was more of a "pure fantasy" then that aspect of the film (the political allegory) would have been lost. This film was excellent. To those who scored below and gave the film a low rating because it didn't contain enough fantasy...you missed the point. The fantasy backdrop was brillantly, and purposefully used, as a mirror to the real world events unfolding in the film. If the film was more of a "pure fantasy" then that aspect of the film (the political allegory) would have been lost. Loved it. Fantastic. See this and Children of Men back to back. Both great, intelligent, politically charged films that don't pander to the crass, thoughtless impulses of most films. Expand
  15. moviegoergeek
    Jan 8, 2007
    4
    I don't usually rate the movies I don't like. This being my first time ever. It is because I can't understand the praise. AT ALL. Look, in spite of real good camerawork and some interesting visuals (hence, the 4) this movie not only does LACK depht in characters, it is worse than that: some of them are the MOST DISGUSTING WALKING CLICHES I've seen in a long long time. I don't usually rate the movies I don't like. This being my first time ever. It is because I can't understand the praise. AT ALL. Look, in spite of real good camerawork and some interesting visuals (hence, the 4) this movie not only does LACK depht in characters, it is worse than that: some of them are the MOST DISGUSTING WALKING CLICHES I've seen in a long long time. Take the Captain, for instance. Not even in the dullest fairytale an evil-minded character was presented so one-sided as this one. It reminded me of Alfred Molina in that piece of crap called CHOCOLAT. Some scenes of torture are just for the sake of violence end doesn't add anything up for narrative or character development purposes. Some plot incoherences: why the hell Pan decides giving Ofelia another chance after she clearly failed to commit to her task? Because Del Toro was in need of some kind of closure?? Look, I live in a country who can really connect to military coups, torture and dissapeared people (I'm an Argentinian). I never expected these things to be treated as shallowy and gratuitous as in this movie. What is REALLY the message of Pan's Laberynth?? Because it HAS to be ANY!! After all, IT IS A FAIRYTALE, isn't it? (You know, the "Once upon a time" kind of thing - at least the movie begins that way) There must be a MORAL LEARNING at the end of it. Could be that ADULTHOOD SUCKS?? What an interesting and unique premise!!! Or there isn't? Oh wait!! It could be a fairytale with that latin-american device taken from novels and called MAGIC REALISM !! That would be GROUNDBREAKING!! Well, it's a crying shame It didn't work for THE HOUSE OF SPIRITS, and didn't work that much (at least for me) for LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLAT. So I wonder why some critics are calling this VISIONARY AND GROUNDBREAKING!! What the f***!!! I'm sick and tired of MAGIC REALISM in movies. It desguises some SOAP-OPERATIC characters trying to lecture us into something REALLY important and profound, ultimately playing for effect and saying NOTHING. I CAN SAFELY BET no one that is giving this movie the highest rating will come away knowing anything of substance about the Spanish Civil War. I CAN ALSO BET no one looking for a fantastic and inspiring fairytale will come away seeing something fresh and new (This is no EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, nor Del Toro is Tim Burton) To me, Del Toro either was not inspired nor confident enough to mesh both worlds together into something plausible or smart. And THIS IS NOT GROUNDBRAKING as some dull critics say, for God sake!!!! He is a fine director, for sure, but he seems like a man desperately in needing of a TRUE plot. Nevermind it is a fairytale or a crime-thriller. If you are looking for a Mexican director making REAL waves, try Alfonso Cuarón's CHILDREN OF MEN instead. Now, that is a movie DESERVING ALL THE PRAISES IT'S GETTING. Expand
  16. AmandaM.
    Feb 15, 2007
    1
    This is definitely in my top 10 worst films of all time. Mediocre acting at best, horribly graphic and violent. Leave the kids home.
  17. MichaelE.
    Feb 7, 2007
    6
    Not a BAD film, but it doesn't feel like anything I haven't seen before. It's flatly shot and much too literal in its portrayal of both worlds. I think it's supposed to feel like The Lord of the Rings as directed by Bunuel, but it feels more like the opposite -- Peter Jackson directing The Phantom of Liberty.
  18. JonasW.
    Mar 10, 2007
    5
    ultimately fails to tie together the fantasy and the civilwar plot. The creature scenes seam strangely stiched on to an otherwise engaging post civil war story.
  19. JeffC.
    Mar 1, 2007
    5
    Rated 98 out of 100. No way. It's short, rushed, kinda pointless. Not bad at all, just fairly boring in the end.
  20. Inexhume
    Mar 2, 2007
    0
    A film too simple-minded and and too unambiguous to be manipulative, which is why the rabid critical adulation has left me feeling somewhat perplexed. The visuals were subpar at best, though not because they weren't pretty to look at (they were), but because they lacked a keen sense of spatial awareness; the viewpoint remained consistently stagnant, even when in motion. As for the A film too simple-minded and and too unambiguous to be manipulative, which is why the rabid critical adulation has left me feeling somewhat perplexed. The visuals were subpar at best, though not because they weren't pretty to look at (they were), but because they lacked a keen sense of spatial awareness; the viewpoint remained consistently stagnant, even when in motion. As for the narrative bit, both threads, fantasy and real, were equally banal in their cosmology. Both world's were as readable as children's books, which equated to shallow film/character dynamics and total absence of dramatic complexity. All we're left with is a theatrical cartoon tacked with a transparent morality tale preaching the wonders of our ability to be rich, ethereal, and layered beings; ironic considering the movie and its superficial meanderings were anything but in execution. Anyone serious about film will know better than to praise this garbage. Expand
  21. Rex
    May 30, 2007
    6
    I will be VERY blunt . . . This film does not deserve 98 out of 100 from the critics. It blows my mind how this film deserves that kind of score. I liked the movie, yes, but blown away? No, not even close. My main impression of the movie was slow and steady. None of the acting was inspired, the dialogue was not out of this world and even the special effects were ordinary. I am to the I will be VERY blunt . . . This film does not deserve 98 out of 100 from the critics. It blows my mind how this film deserves that kind of score. I liked the movie, yes, but blown away? No, not even close. My main impression of the movie was slow and steady. None of the acting was inspired, the dialogue was not out of this world and even the special effects were ordinary. I am to the point where I think the film got 10 Expand
  22. MacW.
    Jun 13, 2007
    0
    Did we really need yet another movie to teach us that fascism is bad? Or that innocence should be cherished? We know these things, already; but, apparently, the makers of Pan's Labyrinth don't trust us. Really, though ... exactly what demographic is this film catering to?? IS there a market for movies that intercut fairy-tale sequences with graphically violent images of people Did we really need yet another movie to teach us that fascism is bad? Or that innocence should be cherished? We know these things, already; but, apparently, the makers of Pan's Labyrinth don't trust us. Really, though ... exactly what demographic is this film catering to?? IS there a market for movies that intercut fairy-tale sequences with graphically violent images of people repeatedly getting shot and having their faces bashed in? (Yes, this film really does show that...) Wake up, people!! The great movies are about characters and plot, not about visually stunning sequences that ultimately have no meaning. What a waste of celluloid this movie was. Expand
  23. JimmyJ
    Jul 20, 2007
    2
    It is disturbing. People exalt this movie with phrases like "exquisitely violent" letting me know that others saw the same things in this movie that I saw, but what I found repulsive they have found wonderful. For all of its qualities, I cannot wrap my head around the idea that violence in and of itself is entertaining. I like action movies, I like car chases and kung-fu, I am a pretty It is disturbing. People exalt this movie with phrases like "exquisitely violent" letting me know that others saw the same things in this movie that I saw, but what I found repulsive they have found wonderful. For all of its qualities, I cannot wrap my head around the idea that violence in and of itself is entertaining. I like action movies, I like car chases and kung-fu, I am a pretty self centered person when it comes down to it, why is that I am the only one who seems to find the idea of a father watching his sons face being smashed in with a bottle while begging and pleading only for both of them to be shot to be beyond reconciliation with the idea of an entertaining movie. Expand
  24. BickB
    Jul 30, 2007
    0
    Lots of style but virtually no substance. Yes, fairy tales used to be much darker in the pre-Disney era, but just adding real-world violence and unhappy endings to a rather generic and underdeveloped fantasy plot does not the Brothers Grimm make. As for the script's many shortcomings (and, to be fair, the visuals were great and the acting as good as could be expected), other users Lots of style but virtually no substance. Yes, fairy tales used to be much darker in the pre-Disney era, but just adding real-world violence and unhappy endings to a rather generic and underdeveloped fantasy plot does not the Brothers Grimm make. As for the script's many shortcomings (and, to be fair, the visuals were great and the acting as good as could be expected), other users have spoken most eloquently. I would only add that those who see the girl's dark fantasy world as a response to the brutality of living with her oh-so-wicked stepfather seem to have forgotten that the fantasy world was introduced before the stepfather was! Moreover, the ambiguity of the ending---one of the film's few narrative strong points---is apparently shattered by del Toro's DVD commentary; turns out it wasn't all in her head after all. Yet another problem for the "psychological response to cruelty" theory. But even if that WERE the film's intent, the message would be patronizing---as though there weren't countless other children in Spain and around the world suffering far worse yet maintaining their psychological strength (at the cost, of course, of innocence and imagination) rather than collapsing into self-destructive hallucinations. Manipulative rather than moving, "Pan's Labyrinth" calls to mind the old adage: "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with B.S." Don't believe the hype. Expand
  25. RobH
    Jul 3, 2007
    3
    I'm a lover of fantasy movies, and I still disliked this film. I am scratching my head at the mainstream reviews, some of which have the gall to compare this film to "The Lord of the Rings." This is the furthest thing from epic fantasy; it's a bloodbath that should be compared only to other horror films. Highly overrated, and definitely not for the squeamish.
  26. FredrickT.
    Jul 8, 2007
    2
    This is one of those movies that shows that the public can't be trusted to think for themselves. Reviewers gave it high marks, like they do most foreign movies, and people say it was good because they were told it was good. The film had some decent special effects, the over all plot was OK, and scenes were shot nicely. But the story moved along way to slow, the violence was too This is one of those movies that shows that the public can't be trusted to think for themselves. Reviewers gave it high marks, like they do most foreign movies, and people say it was good because they were told it was good. The film had some decent special effects, the over all plot was OK, and scenes were shot nicely. But the story moved along way to slow, the violence was too graphic, and had cookie cutter characters. Expand
  27. DaveRomito
    Sep 10, 2007
    3
    Did I miss something in this movie?? I thought it was awful. Could have used a lot more Labyrinth, and a lot less "Captain" shooting people in the face. This was a huge disappointment, and the whole chalk door on the wall....well that was cool 15 years ago in BeetleJuice.
  28. AndreaF.
    Dec 4, 2008
    2
    A very stupid, pigheaded, and hamfisted movie with a cartoon fascist villain, noble communist heroes(in fact, communists were worse in the Spanish Civil War), and a squeashily soapy story about an innocent girl. What a cheap and low way to tug at our hearts by having the guy tormenting helpless little children? Like the recent chic for Che Guevara the mass murderer, this films is part of A very stupid, pigheaded, and hamfisted movie with a cartoon fascist villain, noble communist heroes(in fact, communists were worse in the Spanish Civil War), and a squeashily soapy story about an innocent girl. What a cheap and low way to tug at our hearts by having the guy tormenting helpless little children? Like the recent chic for Che Guevara the mass murderer, this films is part of the radical leftist revival--funded by capitalists and suckers. Bad ugly movie. By the way, the fantastical elements are hoary and cliched. It's C. S. Lewis crossed with Stephen King. Expand
  29. BryanL
    Jun 5, 2009
    2
    Variety reviewer Justin Chang calls the violence in Pan's Labyrinth "exquisite." I suppose Del Toro's bloodlust is shared by all critics, since its Metacritic score is 100. I don't abhor violent movies. But the violence here is overly gorey and in your face though not in a Kill Bill way. Despite the title, little time is spent among fairies and such, but when they do Variety reviewer Justin Chang calls the violence in Pan's Labyrinth "exquisite." I suppose Del Toro's bloodlust is shared by all critics, since its Metacritic score is 100. I don't abhor violent movies. But the violence here is overly gorey and in your face though not in a Kill Bill way. Despite the title, little time is spent among fairies and such, but when they do appear, their horrific appearances and actions elicit almost no terror from the certifiable little girl around whom the (lack of?) plot revolves. Slow, drab, boring, disturbing, and without anything positive to say, Pan's Labyrinth is one of the worst movies I've seen. Now if only I had savored all those delectable torture scenes and exploding brains like the "pro" critics seem to have done. Expand
  30. regsmith
    Feb 10, 2010
    0
    This was the most horrifying film I have ever seen. Considering it looked like it was for young children, I couldn't believe the violence and gratuitous horrible torture throughout. It was not my cup of tea and I would not recommend it to anyone, there was no value to it unlike Schindler's List or Saving Private Ryan where the story line at least made one understand the This was the most horrifying film I have ever seen. Considering it looked like it was for young children, I couldn't believe the violence and gratuitous horrible torture throughout. It was not my cup of tea and I would not recommend it to anyone, there was no value to it unlike Schindler's List or Saving Private Ryan where the story line at least made one understand the violence. I know this was about war and the horrors of war, but I sure could have lived without seeing this film. It was rated R but I think it should have been rated "Don't bother." Expand
  31. TroncoE.
    Jun 7, 2010
    0
    Netiher Goebbels could have done a better work... Luckyly, is not so easy to change the history. Spanish Fascism also ate the children... "La pasionaria", one of the famous republicans's leaders said once to another politician who had just spoken: "those were that man last words". Two days later, Sotelo was murdered by republicans assassins.
  32. JoshA.
    Jan 13, 2007
    4
    I don't see what all the fuss is about. It was okay. That's all. Just okay. Nothing deep. Nothing profound. The most interesting scenes -- in the labyrinth -- are about 20 percent of the movie. Just not much to write home about. Total example of critics being too scared to be the only bad review for an artsy film.
  33. GiulioP.
    Jan 14, 2007
    1
    Stay away from this film unless you would like to see pointless violence, a vapid heroine, two dimensional characters, and boring seen-it-before art direction. This film is a complete loss and a waste of time.
  34. ZimonZ.
    Jan 14, 2007
    1
    The high ratings for the movie are absurd - there is very little original or imaginative here - we've seen it all before a thousand times. The story is pointless, the little girl is really stupid, and the violence adds nothing. It's a total wreck.
  35. ChadShiira
    Jan 15, 2007
    8
    "Pan's Labyrinth" might've been a coming-of-age film had there been a boy for Ofelia(Ivana Baquero) to come-of-age with. In the absence of cute guys, Ofelia invents a fantasy world, which can easily be read as a sublimation of sex. There's phallic symbols all over the place. In one scene, she seems to run away from, by all appearances, a seven-foot penis, after eating some"Pan's Labyrinth" might've been a coming-of-age film had there been a boy for Ofelia(Ivana Baquero) to come-of-age with. In the absence of cute guys, Ofelia invents a fantasy world, which can easily be read as a sublimation of sex. There's phallic symbols all over the place. In one scene, she seems to run away from, by all appearances, a seven-foot penis, after eating some forbidden fruit. Her sexual awakening is conducted brilliantly in code. An argument can be made that she's actually creating from her bed whenever the film switches into fantasy mode. In another scene, Ofelia crawls into a tree stump and gets mud all over her face. She feels dirty, but still her curiosity lingers. Check out the size of the key she discovers. "Pan's Labyrinth" also works as a very sophisticated genre film(like "The Devil's Backbone"), which is this filmmaker's speciality whenever he's not making inspired pop entertainments, because he shrewdly places the fantastical firmly in a very realistic setting. "Pan's Labyrinth" is a great film to "read". Expand
  36. A.Had
    Jan 10, 2007
    5
    The extreme violene and gore in the real-life depiction sucks the life out of the movie. Cutting back and forth between the two stories, fantasy and reality, was tiresome. The experience was laborious for me and at times just distasteful.
  37. E.K.
    Jan 20, 2007
    1
    Maybe if I had been able to get past the unrelenting nonsensical violence and gone, I might have been able to enjoy this. I agree wholeheartedly with the comments about the deceptive advertising of this film--I was expecting much less blood and much more fantasy... and maybe a few points of light throughout the film. I left feeling depressed and unfulfilled.
  38. MarkA.
    Jan 20, 2007
    4
    Vastly overrated. If you're a fan of violence and horror movies, this movie is for you. If you're looking for an engaging story, skip this one. The graphic violence and torture scenes (which together make up more of the movie than the fantasy scenes, as others have pointed out) place this movie squarely in the category of "routine horror movie", not worthy of its must-see hype.
  39. KurtS.
    Jan 20, 2007
    4
    I went to this movie with very high expectations, due to the critical acclaim in the press. Despite the intriguing visuals, the "fairy tale" aspect of this film lacked on a few key points. While classic fairy tales often weave their story between normal and alternative realities, the fantasy world of Pan's Labyrinth exists in a bubble, unaffected by the violence of war-torn Spain, I went to this movie with very high expectations, due to the critical acclaim in the press. Despite the intriguing visuals, the "fairy tale" aspect of this film lacked on a few key points. While classic fairy tales often weave their story between normal and alternative realities, the fantasy world of Pan's Labyrinth exists in a bubble, unaffected by the violence of war-torn Spain, and indifferent to changing those events. Ultimately, these two sides of the film don't speak to each other, and the viewer is forced to change gears between short snippets of a fantasy world and unrelenting, violent scenes of torture and civil war under the constant grim stare of the captain. I would have found it far more interesting if these two realities were allowed to intermingle and comment on one another. In the least, the fantasy should bring some point to the cruelties of a war-torn world. When it doesn't, this viewer is disinterested by what amounts to gratuitous violence. Expand
  40. ChazM.
    Jan 20, 2007
    4
    (**Possible SPOILERS warning**) Though this film has solid acting all around, pretty cinematography and an impressive visual imagination and control, the writing is just weak. For all the people who gave this movie a 10, can you remember me one line that stood out in your mind? Did any of the characters use--exercise--their minds or hearts deeply at any point in the story? No. They were (**Possible SPOILERS warning**) Though this film has solid acting all around, pretty cinematography and an impressive visual imagination and control, the writing is just weak. For all the people who gave this movie a 10, can you remember me one line that stood out in your mind? Did any of the characters use--exercise--their minds or hearts deeply at any point in the story? No. They were wound up with keys in their backs in the beginning and set off: the vapid mother, the gritty servant, the evil tyrant, the earnestly vapid daughter, etc. Plus, for a movie called Pan's Labyrinth, why is the Labyrinth nothing more than an easily navigated maze that ends in an easily descendced staircase to a dull pit where nothing happens other than some dull conversation. What is so magical about this? The challenges Ofelia faces seem arbitrary, unpoetic, tasklike, and none of them really challenges her mind, her spirit, her heart, etc. Compare her choosing the keybox on the left instead of the middle with the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indy realizes the Holy Grail is the simple wooden cup, because that would be the cup of a carpenter. That scene showed both Indy's mind and his expansiveness of understanding humans. Ofelia strikes me as sort of dumbly just following Pan's directions other than her inexplicably leisurely stroll through the pale guy's lair, in which she, suddenly disregarding the faeries for no good reason, eats just one grape from a table filled with cakes and such. What was that? Del Toro thinks some really harsh violence will spice things up, but any of us could make an audience wince if you stick a sharp object where it ought not be stuck. That is no challenge, and it was so extreme as to be aggressive to the audience, and it left me with a real sense of disrespect for Del Toro as a person. Overall, such a disappointment from what this could have been. Expand
  41. DavidG.
    Jan 27, 2007
    0
    Dull, uninspiring, trite, over the top and clichéd. The ending? Give me a break.
  42. JeffA.
    Jan 4, 2007
    4
    Unfortunately this movie does not live up to it's glowing reviews. It falls short in that I didn't feel anything for the characters except for disgust for the "captain' and without that basic motivator I can only say the special effects were interesting. The graphic violence was unsettling to say the least , and the scene with the archetypal figures of "God"( the father) , Unfortunately this movie does not live up to it's glowing reviews. It falls short in that I didn't feel anything for the characters except for disgust for the "captain' and without that basic motivator I can only say the special effects were interesting. The graphic violence was unsettling to say the least , and the scene with the archetypal figures of "God"( the father) , the "Virgin Mary" the mother, and the baby jesus (her brother) was as cliched as you can get. I wouldn't tell people to bother seeing it. Expand
  43. FrederickD.
    Jan 7, 2007
    2
    This would be a timeless and classic movie had del Toro enjoyed telling a faery tale as much as he seemed to enjoy depicting graphic violence. The film maintains a delicate balance between fantasy and violent reality for half the film, and then it sinks into violence so extreme, extended and brutal that it wipes out the joy of the fantasy fable. Violence is so extended and graphic in this This would be a timeless and classic movie had del Toro enjoyed telling a faery tale as much as he seemed to enjoy depicting graphic violence. The film maintains a delicate balance between fantasy and violent reality for half the film, and then it sinks into violence so extreme, extended and brutal that it wipes out the joy of the fantasy fable. Violence is so extended and graphic in this film that it reaches the point of being gratuitious. And at that point, it becomes a form of pornography. The joy of the fairy tale, the momentary triumph of the innocent young woman...are overridden the sheer amount of time the director spends depicting graphic violence...spoiling what could have been a moving and enduring story. Expand
  44. InsanelySane
    Feb 11, 2007
    1
    "Pan's Labyrinth" is probably the most disappointing film I have been to in the last few years... I am absolutely gob-smacked for words. How could one give such high praise to a film that is below average on so many levels?! For someone that appreciates foreign films' subtlety and depth this film is anything but. The script is shallow, spells out details that would have been "Pan's Labyrinth" is probably the most disappointing film I have been to in the last few years... I am absolutely gob-smacked for words. How could one give such high praise to a film that is below average on so many levels?! For someone that appreciates foreign films' subtlety and depth this film is anything but. The script is shallow, spells out details that would have been obvious without mention. The plot on paper would have been ok but the execution is confused, boring and cliche'd. I cant believe that this is what I am writing about this highly rated 'adult' 'fantasy'. The acting is obvious without ever feeling sympathy for the characters. The sound design is irritating, harsh on the ears and exaggerated in detail. The music is generic and mixed way too low (maybe that's why...). The camera work is bland. The only good thing seems to be the constumes and sets. Last but not least the violence is gratuitous and of putting and could have done so much better without it. A film like "Apocalypto" used violence that had meaning and celebrated death and pain and the reality of it all. "Pan's Labyrinth" was empty, detached and comical more than anything. Not suitable for those looking for a magical experience at the cinema. Expand
  45. BernieM.
    Feb 10, 2007
    0
    I saw this in its spanish language version in Spain and can only assume that changes were made to get it through with a 15 cert in the UK. Out of politeness for the crowd that I was with, I did not walked away before the end but never have I ever felt so much like doing so. I found out later that the feeling actually was universal! The violent scenes did not just serve to demonstrate the I saw this in its spanish language version in Spain and can only assume that changes were made to get it through with a 15 cert in the UK. Out of politeness for the crowd that I was with, I did not walked away before the end but never have I ever felt so much like doing so. I found out later that the feeling actually was universal! The violent scenes did not just serve to demonstrate the brutality of the character invloved which would have been ok, they were gratuitously violent to the point of being overwhelmingly distracting. The result is a crude film, which has nothing more than some quite nice photography in it at times. I've since seen this film described in cinema literature as a scary fairytale and am horrified to think that Parents might think it ok for young children on the basis that its not an 18 so can't be that bad - my little Johnnyis only twelve but he's mature enough for a 15 cert film..... I'm occasionally disappointed by a film but never have I had one that spoilt my weekend - until I watched El laberinto del Fauna. Expand
  46. DoratJ.
    Feb 14, 2007
    1
    I got disappointed from this movie, the line between fantasy and reality, it didnt overlap, no useful pauses to reflect in the movie. No magic, just boring Spanish faun and completely too hard scenes with blood just to make the audience jump, there is just nothing else to impress us with.
  47. D.D.D.
    Feb 16, 2007
    1
    [***SPOILER***] Pan's Labyrinth is 90% Violence, blood guts & gore. 10% fantasy. This movie is not for the faint of heart. The trailer is misleading. Shooting children is wrong. How do I get my money back? I'm very sorry I wasted my time watching this piece of trash.
  48. MattC.
    Feb 19, 2007
    5
    This movie is highly overratd. It is dark and depressing. The violence is gratuitous and used as a blunt tool to contrast the innocence of the protagonist. This is a weak excuse for real human tension. The special effects are good, but there is little human triumph to speak of.
  49. Kevin
    Feb 20, 2007
    5
    Disappointing - a missed opportunity. Graphic violence used to compensate for a lack of cinematic skill.
  50. JackH.
    Feb 5, 2007
    4
    While tastefully ambiguous at times, this film is too mean-spirited and gruesome for children, too simplistic and derivative for adults. Disappointing.
  51. W.R.
    Feb 6, 2007
    2
    If you like your movies twisted, depressing, gruesome and full of gratuitous violence then you'll love this but you'd have to be pretty desensitised. If, like me, you like movies that don't give you nightmares afterwards, steer clear. And yes I'm slightly worried about film critics that recommend movies like this for *children*.
  52. AnonymousMC
    Mar 10, 2007
    1
    Some nice visuals, but the film sorely disappoints. I think this director's technical skills matched with a good script could be magnificent, but this is the perhaps the most overrated film I've had the misforute of seeing. I truly feel duped. I am so glad the German film won the oscar.
  53. SeanB.
    Mar 14, 2007
    4
    As someone who lives in Spain and loves history, I was looking forward to this film, especially after the critical acclaim. Sadly it was disappointing. Stereotypycal characters, sadistic fachas and good commies, sentimental, whimsical, predictable and with disturbing pedophiliac overtones. Typical modern lefty propaganda. It illuminated nothing about its historical period, childhood or As someone who lives in Spain and loves history, I was looking forward to this film, especially after the critical acclaim. Sadly it was disappointing. Stereotypycal characters, sadistic fachas and good commies, sentimental, whimsical, predictable and with disturbing pedophiliac overtones. Typical modern lefty propaganda. It illuminated nothing about its historical period, childhood or Spanish culture. Just prettily filmed fluff masquerading as art. No wonder the critics loved it. If you want to see a truly great Spanish language movie try Amores Peros, it's in a whole different league. Expand
  54. Preefeld
    Mar 3, 2007
    1
    The story is way too simple and "black and white" to make this movie interesting in any way. Acting is also poor. Oh, and really annoying sound design.
  55. Jack
    May 17, 2007
    0
    Pretentious crap. That's all it takes these days to impress you morons isn't it - oh look it's a magical forest with Satan underneath it and there's oh look there's fascism in it which is a reminder to us all to SUPPORT THE WAR ON TERROR right! Right!! Goddamn sheep.
  56. FredB.
    May 18, 2007
    5
    I thought the movie was talked about way to much. I wasn't even that good. I wouldn't ask anybody to watch this because its to dark for kids and its to dull for adults.
  57. ER.
    May 3, 2007
    1
    Dross. Riddled with clichés and inexplicable plot holes, not to mention one-dimensional characters. The fantasy sequences were derivative and underplayed, as if the makers were embarrassed to be delving into the genre, and the aspects concentrating on the human characters were nothing that hasn't been seen a hundred times before. The direction and editing were particularly Dross. Riddled with clichés and inexplicable plot holes, not to mention one-dimensional characters. The fantasy sequences were derivative and underplayed, as if the makers were embarrassed to be delving into the genre, and the aspects concentrating on the human characters were nothing that hasn't been seen a hundred times before. The direction and editing were particularly poor: scenes and characters just walked onto the screen with no element of suspense, and were all too frequently tediously predictable. The attempt to mix fairytale fantasy and war film was a real disaster, too; the whole thing seemed very mean-spirited, with even the child's fantasy world being a pretty unpleasant, miserable place, and the overall impression was of a failed attempt to tack an aborted kiddie film onto a mediocre war drama. Most hateful of all was the way the ending was so neat, with the rebels winning and the little girl escaping to her fantasy world to be a princess. Listen up, people: the bad guy DIDN'T die at the end of the Spanish Civil War, he WON it. Watch a film that doesn't try to hide this; watch something which doesn't try to impose a limp, cop-out ending onto it. If you're an adult, you shouldn't watch Pan's Labyrinth, because of its oversimplified, obvious nature; if you're a child, you shouldn't watch it because of its jarring violence. Just because a film tries to tackle "issues" doesn't mean it succeeds. Expand
  58. AlexH.
    May 6, 2007
    5
    Although I can definitely see why the critics gave it the rating they did, I just can't get around the fact that I hated this movie. Yes I understand that the director was trying to make a point fascism during WWII by focusing on how pan doesn't pay attention to direct orders whether they come from a fascist leader or from an obsurd monster man whose face looks like the mask Although I can definitely see why the critics gave it the rating they did, I just can't get around the fact that I hated this movie. Yes I understand that the director was trying to make a point fascism during WWII by focusing on how pan doesn't pay attention to direct orders whether they come from a fascist leader or from an obsurd monster man whose face looks like the mask from the Saw series (really i couldn't get over that . . . ). What really got me, however, was that people seemed to think that it was a valid metaphor/analogy. I can see how watching a little girl defy a fascist government could be important, but, in all seriousness a government is nothing like a magic Saw-esque thing. When a mythical creature asks you to do something you listen. The whole movie all i could think about was how stupid Pan was and then it worked out perfectly for her and that just ruined my evening. Stupidity should be painful. Expand
  59. RaptormanS.
    Jun 11, 2007
    2
    This had to be one of the most boring, lifeless and surprisingly graphic fairie tale wanna-be movies I have ever seen. I have no idea why the critics loved it so much. I hated it and nearly turned it off after the first 30 minutes. We rented Apocalypto the same night expecting it to be exceedingly gory... which it was...., but wasn't expecting the exceptionally graphic violence in This had to be one of the most boring, lifeless and surprisingly graphic fairie tale wanna-be movies I have ever seen. I have no idea why the critics loved it so much. I hated it and nearly turned it off after the first 30 minutes. We rented Apocalypto the same night expecting it to be exceedingly gory... which it was...., but wasn't expecting the exceptionally graphic violence in Pan. Apocalpto worked... pan didn't. There were a variety of other things that somewhat disturbed me as well including some casually concealed political undertones and not so casually concealed allusions to hell/satan/evil etc. (and no I'm not a holy roller in the least! :) ) Definitely not a kids movie. Not much of one for adults either. 2 for the graphics and acting on "Faun", otherwise 0. Expand
  60. PessieJ.
    Jun 19, 2007
    2
    A terribly over-hyped steaming heap of cartoonish values. A propaganda wolf in young adult's movie clothing. The values of this director seem as fascist as it's central bad character. There is no need for quotes around "bad"!
  61. Mike
    Jun 3, 2007
    0
    Hate it the first time I seen it. Seen it again on DVD and I still felt the same way. This is one movie that is way over hyped, it only recieved a high score as it did, because its a foreign film.
  62. DannyB.
    Jul 1, 2007
    4
    Please....this movie is hopelessly overrated. Look hard enough and you will find what you want no matter what happens on the screen.
  63. KyriakosV.
    Jul 10, 2007
    5
    A boring mix of Harry Potter-Narnia and Corelli's Mandolin movies.I wonder why is so high to your ratings.If something had to win an Oscar was the trailer of the movie. Sorry but i didn't enjoy it and i was wishing to end.
  64. AnonymousMC
    Feb 10, 2008
    3
    I thought this was unmitigated rubbish. It didn't say anything meaningful that I could discern. The 'real world' was just violence, violence, violence, with absolutely no exploration of the real and important politics behind what was happening. The fantasy world was silly, incoherent and without any sense of real magic.
  65. PaulW.
    Mar 5, 2008
    2
    I'm not much of a wardrama movie fan, but sometimes a genre film can raise itself through a good or original storyline and or sub story. Labirinto doesn't at all. It offers nothing more than a meandering tale about the evil of men, which's message is brought far too directly to make any impact. People that taut this movie as a fairytale should consider watching the movie I'm not much of a wardrama movie fan, but sometimes a genre film can raise itself through a good or original storyline and or sub story. Labirinto doesn't at all. It offers nothing more than a meandering tale about the evil of men, which's message is brought far too directly to make any impact. People that taut this movie as a fairytale should consider watching the movie again with a timer. Perhaps only 7% of this movie deals with what can vaguely be described as a fairytale, although I would rather like to call it fable-imagery. We didn't call Kill Bill a Manga movie either just because it had some Manga scenes in it, now did we. Although it was beautifully shot and contained good acting, this movie was bland and over the top at the same time. At no point are you required to think because the movie exposes everything it touches upon. It was just that year's cinematic darling and the audiences slavishly followed suit. Expand
  66. PrinsM.
    Mar 6, 2008
    4
    This film is vastly overrated. The plot is paper-thin and the characters so cliched it beggars belief. The overall impression is of a badly written amalgamate of half a dozen Brothers Grimm fairy tales, couple of poor war dramas and a coming-of-age, straight to TV Disney flick from the eighties. The four points are for the ideas for Pan and the white monster, and Doug Jones' This film is vastly overrated. The plot is paper-thin and the characters so cliched it beggars belief. The overall impression is of a badly written amalgamate of half a dozen Brothers Grimm fairy tales, couple of poor war dramas and a coming-of-age, straight to TV Disney flick from the eighties. The four points are for the ideas for Pan and the white monster, and Doug Jones' performance. It's surprising that such an unoriginal creation would come from the director of The Devil's Backbone and a well executed Hellboy adaptation. Expand
  67. VictorH.
    Jun 20, 2008
    1
    Me and a buddy saw this movie one night, and halfway through the film he begged me to switch to another movie. I insisted that we saw it through because of the metascore, but at the end I almost fell asleep. The whole World War II / Fantasy mix is the most boring plot ever and never makes any sense.
  68. kevinc
    Apr 10, 2009
    2
    Are you fraking kidding me. First off, don't ever call this a horror movie. Secondly, it sucked. If I wanted to see scary little gremlins and elfs I would have watched Lord of the Rings...which also sucked, might I add. What is it with all the dorks out there and their love for weird ogres and elfs? Gay. Bad movie.
  69. MattC
    May 27, 2009
    3
    Pretty slow and terrible movie, in my opinion. The best part was when it ended. Who comes up with this crap, and why does it get such a high rating?? It's on the "All-Time Highest Rated" chart? Are you kidding?
  70. JoeE.
    Jan 1, 2007
    4
    Oh dear, another classic for the ages (one of thousands, in the minds of moviegoers). One could quibble with the the lack stylistic variation between the "real" and the imaginary (the horrific "real" episodes are shot with a gliding horror-movie camera which robs them of conviction), but the real failing of this film is its literality. The filmmaker is obliged to enact everything going on Oh dear, another classic for the ages (one of thousands, in the minds of moviegoers). One could quibble with the the lack stylistic variation between the "real" and the imaginary (the horrific "real" episodes are shot with a gliding horror-movie camera which robs them of conviction), but the real failing of this film is its literality. The filmmaker is obliged to enact everything going on its the child's mind. No mystery is left unrifled. Viewers who are persuaded this movie is a masterpiece are urged to check out Victor Erice's "Spirit of the Beehive" which does ten times as much, with 1/10th the exposition, and which was obviously the model for Pan. Would that the filmmaker had paid closer to attention to his master. Expand
  71. MikeH
    Jan 10, 2007
    5
    This was an unnecessarily violent film that's marketed as being mostly fantasy when actually it's only 25% fantasy and 75% reality, and I didn't care about/connect with the reality narrative. I feel duped after having sat through this film.
  72. DukeC.
    Jan 10, 2007
    4
    Insane!!! But not insane enough. There is too much reality in this movie, and not enough fantasy.
  73. ThomasN.
    Jan 19, 2007
    0
    This movie has been vastly overrated, and the television advertising is terribly deceptive. The storyline concerning the fantasy world takes up only 10% of the screen time, with much of the remaining time consisting of nearly unrelenting graphic violence and torture. Be warned--the violence in this film is much bloodier and more sadistic than in "The Godfather" or "Silence of the Lambs." This movie has been vastly overrated, and the television advertising is terribly deceptive. The storyline concerning the fantasy world takes up only 10% of the screen time, with much of the remaining time consisting of nearly unrelenting graphic violence and torture. Be warned--the violence in this film is much bloodier and more sadistic than in "The Godfather" or "Silence of the Lambs." More shamefully, the violence is used to shore up what, in the end, turns out to be a rather monotonous and poorly developed story. There is little in the way of character development, and the fairytale storyline is, for all intents and purposes, incoherently dropped one-third of the way into the film. Sure the movie has an emotional wallop, but being hit over the head with a 2x4 also leaves a lasting impression. (To paraphrase an old joke: Why see this movie? Because it feels so good when it's over!) I've been warning all of my friends about this movie, and I obtained a refund based on the grossly misleading advertising campaign. Expand
  74. Drew
    Jan 19, 2007
    2
    HORRIBLY OVERRATED! How can this receive a 98/100??? It wasn't even as good as Chronicles of Narnia (and that movie sucked). I guarantee if this was an English-speaking film made by an American filmmaker it would have been rated around a 50/100. It was pretty to look at but there was zero plot or character development, leading to a final act that was implausible and unsatisfying. Out HORRIBLY OVERRATED! How can this receive a 98/100??? It wasn't even as good as Chronicles of Narnia (and that movie sucked). I guarantee if this was an English-speaking film made by an American filmmaker it would have been rated around a 50/100. It was pretty to look at but there was zero plot or character development, leading to a final act that was implausible and unsatisfying. Out of the four movies I Expand
  75. MiKE
    Jan 22, 2007
    2
    I really wanted to get into the movie, but it didn't happen. There's no magic here, its just a very dull boring movie, and to spice things up the director put in extreme violence! Which did not offend me at all. I just didnt see the point in all the graphics scenes. This movie isnt for children or adults. Overall a very huge disappointment, could if be that it recieved all the I really wanted to get into the movie, but it didn't happen. There's no magic here, its just a very dull boring movie, and to spice things up the director put in extreme violence! Which did not offend me at all. I just didnt see the point in all the graphics scenes. This movie isnt for children or adults. Overall a very huge disappointment, could if be that it recieved all the great reviews becasue it was a spanish movie?? I think so. Expand
  76. AdamF.
    Jan 22, 2007
    5
    What's the message of this film? I wondered about it to try to figure out why the story didn't capture me as much as I'd expected after reading the stellar reviews. Partly it was because there were a few cliches, and not the most nuanced of characters. But ultimately it was more to do with the lack of ideological distinction between Ofelia and the fascists. She has elitist What's the message of this film? I wondered about it to try to figure out why the story didn't capture me as much as I'd expected after reading the stellar reviews. Partly it was because there were a few cliches, and not the most nuanced of characters. But ultimately it was more to do with the lack of ideological distinction between Ofelia and the fascists. She has elitist fantasies, in which she and her parents rule over both people and nature (represented by the subservient body language of Pan at the end). She's nice and relaxed, and the fascists are nasty and high strung. But she's internalised much of their basic world view, not those of the freedom fighters (who's worldview is never explored). So what is the purpose of this movie? What's the message? I don't think there is much of worth. But 5 points for the creepy monsters. Expand
  77. AramisG.
    Jan 22, 2007
    5
    So sorry. The symbolism in this movie lacks the meaning that would have given this movie more emmotional and intellectual depth. Guillermo Del Toro has made a decent movie, but falls quite short of his obvious intentions to make a piece of art.
  78. BibliotechaSanchez
    Jan 20, 2007
    5
    Hmmm...I'm torn. Some unusual scenes I hadn't seen before, but then again scenes I had seen before, the bad guy facist reminded me of the bad guy from Romancing the Stone who got eaten by the crocodiles. The only good scene was the strange creature at the dining table(scary to kids, one 12 year old girl got up to walk out temporarily covering her eyes with her jacket). The Hmmm...I'm torn. Some unusual scenes I hadn't seen before, but then again scenes I had seen before, the bad guy facist reminded me of the bad guy from Romancing the Stone who got eaten by the crocodiles. The only good scene was the strange creature at the dining table(scary to kids, one 12 year old girl got up to walk out temporarily covering her eyes with her jacket). The little girl had a knife. I don't know why she didn't just cut that blind creatures heart out with it. Mel Gibson would have had her do that. Anyhow, I do not understand the good ratings on this film and I watched it intently for something great to happen, which never did. I don't get it. Is it so great because it was in Espanol? My 2 cents. Expand
  79. LP
    Jan 26, 2007
    4
    I agree with those who felt this didn't work. There were two parallel stories, one vicious and the other fantasy. They didn't really meld, in my view. Moreover, there were a lot of foreshadowing details that were extremely obvious to the point that it was just a matter of sitting and watching an already known story unfold. Lack of suspense from the nasty story line and lack of I agree with those who felt this didn't work. There were two parallel stories, one vicious and the other fantasy. They didn't really meld, in my view. Moreover, there were a lot of foreshadowing details that were extremely obvious to the point that it was just a matter of sitting and watching an already known story unfold. Lack of suspense from the nasty story line and lack of enthrallment from the fantasy story line. But, great idea and good acting. Expand
  80. SteffieG.
    Jan 26, 2007
    4
    Not worth a 98. I was expecting to see one of the best movies ever. I think it fell really flat. The characters were not very developed, the fantasy only mildly broke up the dark, evil background. It seemed like it should have been an anime movie. Just not really that impressed.
  81. AlbertaM.
    Jan 27, 2007
    5
    This really should have been two films. I would not have seen the one about the war.
  82. LewisP.
    Feb 13, 2007
    5
    [***SPOILERS***] It's strange but this film sort of reminded me a little of one of those moderately successful "Twilight Zone" episodes. Does anyone recall "The Pitchman" starring Ed Wynn? In that Twilight Zone episode a kindly street vendor makes one last 'pitch' to the Devil in order to save a little girl's life. In the end he sacrifices his own life so the girl can [***SPOILERS***] It's strange but this film sort of reminded me a little of one of those moderately successful "Twilight Zone" episodes. Does anyone recall "The Pitchman" starring Ed Wynn? In that Twilight Zone episode a kindly street vendor makes one last 'pitch' to the Devil in order to save a little girl's life. In the end he sacrifices his own life so the girl can be saved and in so doing wins a round against the Devil. Here, the 'pitchman' is a not so charming Faun creature who gives a little girl the power to save her infant brother's life but in a variation, the little girl is the one who must be sacrificed at the expense of the Devil ('the Captain'). Like in the Twilight Zone episode, the Devil takes a life but in the end loses to the forces of justice and morality (The Pitchman dies but the little girl lives; in Pan's Labyrinth, the little girl dies but the infant brother lives and in saving him, the little girl attains eternal life). The best part of the film is the dark tale of the Facist Captain who relentlessly pursues the Rebels without mercy and is pitted against Mercedes, the Rebel leader's sister who works undercover as the Captain's housekeeper. No, these characters don't have the depth of the Facists or their opponents in a film like "Schindler's List" but as far as a dark melodrama, a lot of it is as good as some of the best of Twilight Zone. The only part I didn't buy in regards to this aspect of the film was when Mercedes has the opportunity to finish off the Captain. Why doesn't she just kill him right there? The film falls down when it decides to mix fantasy with horror. While the grim scenes with the Captain have a real ring of truth, Ofelia's machinations with her fantasy antagonists take us away from the gut-wrenching scenes of war and offer us a side-show that can never come close to what's happening in the real world. While the Captain is torturing prisoners, Ofelia is stuffing stones into the mouth of a giant toad who ends up exploding! The fantasy becomes ridiculous, bordering on farce. And I didn't believe for one minute that Ofelia would eat the grapes especially after she was warned more than once (and quite emphatically) that it would be a disaster if she did. In a sense the film was very much true to Rod Serling's influence on Twilight Zone--it was Serling who wrote the majority of the overly moralistic and sappy episdoes. And Pan's Labyrinth was sappy to the hilt. The ending could have been much more powerful if Ofelia was not resurrected. Most people just can't accept that sometimes bad things happen to good people. Instead, the viewer needs to be 'comforted' with magical thinking--that the dead can be resurrected and overcome evil through some kind of miracle. It's a very Christian film without ever mentioning Christ and one sees that the basic tenets of Christianity are firmly rooted in pagan folklore. It's no surprise that the film is very highly rated across the board as most people have a thirst for these type of 'Passion plays'. What the film needed was a darker and much more clever ending, instead of another 'Jesus' meeting his father in 'heaven'. Expand
  83. Jeff
    Feb 9, 2007
    3
    Enjoyed the visual presentation. Bored by the graffic violence. Overall a yawner. Ended up reading e-mails on my Blackberry instead of watching.
  84. LinL.
    Feb 9, 2007
    1
    i must say that this is one of the most over-rated films i'd ever seen. i've seen the director's other work and liked it. he was more of a theatre director in "the devil's backbone," but at least he tried. in pan's labyrinth i find a horrifically thin and lazy story, with characters barely developed but all very pretty for the eyes, doing stupid things without any i must say that this is one of the most over-rated films i'd ever seen. i've seen the director's other work and liked it. he was more of a theatre director in "the devil's backbone," but at least he tried. in pan's labyrinth i find a horrifically thin and lazy story, with characters barely developed but all very pretty for the eyes, doing stupid things without any apparent motives. strip away the special effects and the violence, there're only a few very conventional storylines hastily interwoven together without traction or necessity. the acting was ok, yet with the exception of the actor who played mercedes, annoyingly one-dimensional and unengaging. and the movie's heart is a horrendously dark one, with the meek saved but unredempt, and the victors seeking vengeance. an intellectually and spiritually bankrupt movie, and no amount of pretty special effect or pretty faces can save it. Expand
  85. AnthonyB.
    Feb 9, 2007
    3
    Good Visuals and monsters. Lacked interesting story. They did good job keeping hidden the fact that the whole movie is in subtitles. Besides the monsters, this movie is worth waiting to see until it comes on tv so you have a chance to turn it off.
  86. JunichiF.
    Apr 2, 2007
    0
    One of the worst film of the year. I was terribly disappointed because I have heard so much good things about the film. Shallow story, cheap effects, and bad acting makes for a very frustrating 2 hours.
  87. MichaeltenPas
    Apr 30, 2007
    0
    There were two different plots in this story: the one about the people caught up in a war and then some attempt at a fairy tale. Both came across as underdeveloped and entirely unconnected.
  88. SZSZ
    Apr 9, 2007
    4
    Too dry for a fairy tale, too silly for a drama. Zero excitement, with a weak point at the end. Near pointless movie experience. No idea why there's so much hype around it.
  89. DD.
    May 31, 2007
    5
    Average movie....Didn't get the hype. A little strange but nothing worth what was built up for this movie.
  90. PE
    May 5, 2007
    1
    A very disappointing film, especially after all the hype. The characters are crudely drawn to the point of parody and the fantasy sequences lack magic. The Fascists are laughably evil and the resistance fighters handsome and are noble. This is a travesty of a war film married to a poorly-realised fantasy. The cop-out ending is especially irritating.
  91. TracyC.
    Jun 13, 2007
    1
    Grossly and unnecessarily violent.
  92. EricE.
    Jun 14, 2007
    0
    I felt totally ripped off by this movie. Nowhere in the ads, commercials, or anything I heard about this film, did it say the movie was in spanish. Granted the back of the DVD had a small box that said it was in spanish, but, since the commercials talked about other films he was involved with, I didn't think to look to see it was not in english. Not once in any commercials I sawI felt totally ripped off by this movie. Nowhere in the ads, commercials, or anything I heard about this film, did it say the movie was in spanish. Granted the back of the DVD had a small box that said it was in spanish, but, since the commercials talked about other films he was involved with, I didn't think to look to see it was not in english. Not once in any commercials I saw for the film did any of the characters speak to show that it was in a different language than the majority of DVDs that you hear about on english channels on TV. I have no problems with spanish movies, I would just like to know they are in spanish before spending my money on them and not being able to return them because they are opened. In the least you would think that a movie would have an english track on it since it was being advertised so heavily (and IMO deceptively) on all types of english channels. Looking back on the advertising I saw how deceptive they were in their ads. Not once did they show anyone speaking. They just showed some graphics, then talked about the producer and the other films he's done (english speaking movies), and then compared it to the Lord of the Rings. It might be a great movie but they should be honest about it and say that it is subtitled in english or that it is in spanish. That is what I am mad about. That is what I will be sure to look for on any future purchases! Expand
  93. Ashl.
    Jun 25, 2007
    1
    One of the most boring movies I have seen in a long time. I hate fantasy movies and this one is just an adult's wet dream. Can somebody in the fantasy genre please tell the writers to get over the come-to-life trees. 98 by metacritic... this site is flawed!
  94. JasminC.
    Jun 29, 2007
    1
    Trite and overdone, hoping to score authenticity points with excessive violence.
  95. JoeD.
    Sep 21, 2007
    4
    Definitely not worthy of a 98. I was expecting a movie that changes the way I view the world, not a confused, clumsy collage of characters and images that pre-date this movie, in some cases, by decades. Plus, with two exceptions, the acting was terrible.
  96. ES
    Jan 15, 2008
    4
    why would I want to subject myself of a Peter Pan / Hostel hybrid movie(but well shot)? Because it's critically acclaimed. I learned that you can't always rely on critic reviews for good movies to watch. I found this movie disturbing, and not in a good horror flick kind of way... more like... distasteful. It's like a stark antithesis of Pixar's Ratatouille.
  97. anonymousanonymous
    Feb 29, 2008
    0
    This movie sucked flat out. I really don't see what there was to like about it. The fantasy elements were shallow and simplistic, and lacking in characters, location, and screen time. The real world scenarios were simply mediocre. None of the characters were likable or believable. There was no exploration of the mechanisms behind the conflict except for some naive black and white This movie sucked flat out. I really don't see what there was to like about it. The fantasy elements were shallow and simplistic, and lacking in characters, location, and screen time. The real world scenarios were simply mediocre. None of the characters were likable or believable. There was no exploration of the mechanisms behind the conflict except for some naive black and white paradigm. The violence was pointless, it was like the movie was trying to reaffirm for two hours "look at this guy, he is EVIL, EVIL, EVIL!". The little girl is a shallow idiot. There was about as much personality in this film as in an aquarium. Expand
  98. BazL
    May 13, 2008
    1
    Woeful plot. Good animation here and there but thats about all I can say that is good about this movie. Why is it that directors assume their audiences to be dumb and weave about unbelievable plots? Not only that but they give their characters 1/2 the IQ of an average person? God help us if Del Toro turns the Hobbit into another Pans labyrinth.
  99. SammyR.
    Jan 4, 2009
    4
    This movie ripped off it's plot and it's major theme, almost verbatim, from Victor Erice's SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE, supplanting elements of the original with the carefully studied window dressing of its fantasy/reality hybrid. Nothing in it justifies the critical reception it has received; everything this movie has to say and show us has been said before, with more eloquence This movie ripped off it's plot and it's major theme, almost verbatim, from Victor Erice's SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE, supplanting elements of the original with the carefully studied window dressing of its fantasy/reality hybrid. Nothing in it justifies the critical reception it has received; everything this movie has to say and show us has been said before, with more eloquence and less self-important stylistic bombast. Expand
  100. MiguelV
    Apr 2, 2009
    2
    This movie has two parts. One explains who where the good guys and bad guys in the Spanish civil war, for the thousandth time and with simple and recognizable stereotypes so there is no chance you miss it. So, If you are a complete moron you must see it, if not, you do yourself a favor passing. The other part is a fantasy plot with nothing new or remotely interesting. I can't believe This movie has two parts. One explains who where the good guys and bad guys in the Spanish civil war, for the thousandth time and with simple and recognizable stereotypes so there is no chance you miss it. So, If you are a complete moron you must see it, if not, you do yourself a favor passing. The other part is a fantasy plot with nothing new or remotely interesting. I can't believe the rating it got here. Expand
Metascore
98

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 37
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 37
  3. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    100
    Dark, twisted and beautiful, this entwines fairy-tale fantasy with war-movie horror to startling effect.
  3. 100
    One of the greatest of all fantasy films.