Pan's Labyrinth

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 2151 Ratings

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User Reviews

  1. May 7, 2016
    3
    Boring pretentious crap. Filled with "deep symbolism" which makes boring pretentious people think they're smart when they pick up on it, hence the high score. Also gutwrenchingly sadistic, but in a pretentious way so intellectual snobs can enjoy it without feeling bad about their lack of empathy.

    I actually felt physically ill after watching this movie. You could say it "moved me
    Boring pretentious crap. Filled with "deep symbolism" which makes boring pretentious people think they're smart when they pick up on it, hence the high score. Also gutwrenchingly sadistic, but in a pretentious way so intellectual snobs can enjoy it without feeling bad about their lack of empathy.

    I actually felt physically ill after watching this movie. You could say it "moved me deeply" as the snobs here do, but it didn't move me in a good or useful way. It moved me like it would move me to watch children being raped. You don't feel enlightened or enriched by being moved this way, you feel violated.

    Unless you're a pretentious snob, that is. I don't only hate this movie, I literally hate the people who would give it a 10. I fear what such people are capable of...

    Pan's Labyrinth is not just a bad movie, but a movie the world would be better off if it didn't exist.

    It still gets 3 stars for cinematic excellence though. Just to show I'm not to stupid to see its qualities and grok the multilayered symbolism. I understand all of it perfectly fine, I just happen to HATE IT.
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  2. RonGephart
    Feb 8, 2007
    2
    This highly overrated film fails at almost every level. As fantasy it is not for kids, nor adults. The violence and brutaility is sadistic. The characters are unexplored and unexplained. In fact, you watch most of the movie not knowing who anyone is, and you don't really care. The special effects/makeup of the fantasy characters are amateurish at best--they look like they wereThis highly overrated film fails at almost every level. As fantasy it is not for kids, nor adults. The violence and brutaility is sadistic. The characters are unexplored and unexplained. In fact, you watch most of the movie not knowing who anyone is, and you don't really care. The special effects/makeup of the fantasy characters are amateurish at best--they look like they were made out of paper mache during your 8th grade Intro to Art Class. Very little of the plot is revealed, and you don't really know the difference between reality and fantasy in this film. If the fantasy in the film is used as an allegory for escaping the brutality of fascism, then it would be nice if it appeared somewhere in the script. I find it unimaginable that this is the highest rated movie of the year. I walked out of the theater thinking it was an utter mess, and absolute piece of crap. Don't waste your money. Don't even see it when it comes on DVD. Expand
  3. Oct 6, 2014
    0
    Not THAT bad, but will give it a 0 just because how overhyped it is; it's fooling future viewers. Depressive, and if that's your thing, you're gonna love it. For me, it was mostly about predictable, transparent shock value. And as someone else said, these annoying cliches... (only ONE rule: don't eat the food, but yeah she HAS TO eat it... i get it, she's starving, so why should she careNot THAT bad, but will give it a 0 just because how overhyped it is; it's fooling future viewers. Depressive, and if that's your thing, you're gonna love it. For me, it was mostly about predictable, transparent shock value. And as someone else said, these annoying cliches... (only ONE rule: don't eat the food, but yeah she HAS TO eat it... i get it, she's starving, so why should she care about that horrible monster in the room... ahh come on.) Expand
  4. AnonymousMC
    Jan 20, 2007
    0
    When I went to go see Pan
  5. Apr 13, 2013
    3
    Increadibly overated...plot full of holes,for example:what's the reason girl's mother get married to sadistic psychopath at the first place?Girl had been told for a million times not to eat food when comes to the monster and yet that's the first thing she did there,why?And maiden didn't kill sadistic bastard when she had a chance-she cut his mouth with a knife but didn't kill him,why?And so on...
  6. StuB
    Mar 3, 2008
    3
    I do not exaggerate when I say there is no other movie whose reception has baffled me this much. This movie is pretty bad. It's not atrocious, but I am tempted to say so in reaction to the herd of reviewers that are on some kind of weird bandwagon kick gushing over this movie. The realistic parts were cliched and the characters like her father were caricatures. The fantasy aspects I do not exaggerate when I say there is no other movie whose reception has baffled me this much. This movie is pretty bad. It's not atrocious, but I am tempted to say so in reaction to the herd of reviewers that are on some kind of weird bandwagon kick gushing over this movie. The realistic parts were cliched and the characters like her father were caricatures. The fantasy aspects were forced, meaningless, and stylized only for the sake of being stylized. Could have been so much more.. And the whole way the movie was portrayed by its marketing as this 'dark fairy tale' was completely misleading. More like a bad wartime drama with a few cool but completely meaningless fantastic scenes spliced in. Expand
  7. DavidSchajer
    Jan 19, 2007
    0
    If you enjoy endless scenes of gratuitous violence -- rush to see this film. If you believe that gunshots to the head, stabbing a man's face then shooting him, a woman cutting a man's mouth open, and so on have any place in a "fairy tale" -- then this is the film for you!
  8. AnonymousMC
    Jan 26, 2007
    0
    Pan's Labyrinth caught me completely off guard. I was not expecting the kind of movie I saw, and while to some degree it is better when this happens, it was just bad timing. I heard some really good reviews about this film. The advertising I saw showed interesting visuals of fantasy elements which seemed to be merged with reality. It focused on a little girl. I thought, "Hey,Pan's Labyrinth caught me completely off guard. I was not expecting the kind of movie I saw, and while to some degree it is better when this happens, it was just bad timing. I heard some really good reviews about this film. The advertising I saw showed interesting visuals of fantasy elements which seemed to be merged with reality. It focused on a little girl. I thought, "Hey, it's the weekend. I need to let off the stress and go see a really interesting and provocative film. It was my fault for not reading more into it, but I still was a victim to faulty advertising to some extent. This was NOT a good movie to be relaxing with Hana.

    What I got was 90% Spanish Civil War film and about 10% a Fantasy film. I was in the mood for a fantasy film. I was not in the mood for a war film. Call me an idiot if you must, but I'm just human. I wasn't ready for it. There are times when I want to see a war film, and times when I really don't. This was one of those times I really didn't. Thinking back, I probably would have enjoyed this movie more if I had known about this, but watching extreme brutal and sadistic violence was not my idea of a night out.
    Despite this, however, the film had pretty good acting and cinematography but I felt a little cheated with the writing. I honestly felt all the characters were a little one-dimensional (I do admit this is essential at times for big dramas) but more importantly I did not connect with Ofelia. The challenges she faced were, as another reviewer pointed out, "arbitrary, unpoetic, and tasklike". And "none of them really challenge her mind, her spirit, or her heart". I have to agree with all these things. Most of the movie she is just blindly following Pan's directions. And the scene where she disregards the fairies to eat the grape from the table really showed the idiocy of her character. She seemed to just be leisurely strolling through her fantasy world for no apparent reason. This made me not really like her character, which made the last scene where she got shot, not very compelling.
    Another complaint about the fantasy presented is that it did not effectively parallel the real world. The only bloated metaphor I could pull from the film was that the dark violent fantasy themes were comparable to the dark violent events going on around her. Other than that, none of the actual substance of what was going on in the fantasy world really came together in the plot. And by the end when it is really obvious it is all in her head (or atleast not connected at all to the "real world"), I felt cheated. It's not that I didn't agree with this seperation, but it just made me feel like it was a big waste of my time. The whole film could have existed as a movie about Spanish fascists and the girl's perspective could have been deleted and it still would have worked.
    I was torn after the film was over about what I really thought. But the truth was the film didn't really make me think at all. It just made me depressed. I really didn't care about any of the characters and the story didn't bring about any deep meaning that I had hoped for. What was supposed to be a beautiful, thought provoking film came off as a cliched battle between spanish facists and rebels with fantasy elements here and there slapped on.
    I can see how some would like this film, but the faults in the script really bring it down for me. The film had a lot of potential and there were elements I really liked. But all in all I really didn't like it. Having seen The Fountain not too long before, I knew what kind of film gives me hope for the artists of the future. Watching both these films really brings back the meaning of what works and what doesn't in my mind.
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  9. DaveR.
    Jan 4, 2007
    2
    Am I the only one that hated this film? It had some interesting visuals, but my huge gripe was the characters were completely lacking in depth. Really, all you needed to know about anyone was whether they were a Franco Fascist (bad guy, boo!) or a Red (good guy, yay!). The plot was contrived and arbitrary; the obstacles had no logic other than to make the movie run for the desired number Am I the only one that hated this film? It had some interesting visuals, but my huge gripe was the characters were completely lacking in depth. Really, all you needed to know about anyone was whether they were a Franco Fascist (bad guy, boo!) or a Red (good guy, yay!). The plot was contrived and arbitrary; the obstacles had no logic other than to make the movie run for the desired number of minutes. The whole viewing experience was so artificial that I couldn't care less who came out on top. Expand
  10. sointelligent
    Jan 26, 2007
    1
    man, i'm really really smart, and this movie just wasn't as smart as i am! i'm sorry, but it really makes me feel even smarter when i can say a movie sucks that everyone else loves. i also hate the godfather (totally unreal storyline), gone with the wind (yeah, as if there was a civil war??), and pulp fiction (not very well directed). i just wish more people would consult MEman, i'm really really smart, and this movie just wasn't as smart as i am! i'm sorry, but it really makes me feel even smarter when i can say a movie sucks that everyone else loves. i also hate the godfather (totally unreal storyline), gone with the wind (yeah, as if there was a civil war??), and pulp fiction (not very well directed). i just wish more people would consult ME before making a movie, because i could really write a much better movie than this one. that's why i'm sitting on my ass passing judgement on people WAY more talented than i am! Expand
  11. MichaelB.
    Jan 10, 2007
    3
    Apparently, I saw the same film as fellow reviewer Dave R. did. If you look beyond the special effects, the plot is hackneyed and paper-thin. So many of the characters appear as one-dimensional caricatures.
  12. IRom
    Feb 3, 2007
    0
    This was the most horrible and horrific movie I've ever seen. It is NOT brilliant....it is insulting to women, children and mankind. The man that made this movie is a SICK FUCK!!!! It has nothing to do with fantasy.....it is all about DEATH......death is a much more beautiful thing that this asshole has conveyed. He needs to check his fucken brain. How dare you kill children andThis was the most horrible and horrific movie I've ever seen. It is NOT brilliant....it is insulting to women, children and mankind. The man that made this movie is a SICK FUCK!!!! It has nothing to do with fantasy.....it is all about DEATH......death is a much more beautiful thing that this asshole has conveyed. He needs to check his fucken brain. How dare you kill children and women in your movie the way you have!!!!!! Expand
  13. 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...
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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. Collapse
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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.
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
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.