- Starring: Ariadna Gil, Ivana Baquero, Sergi López
- Summary: Following a bloody civil war, young Ofelia enters a world of unimaginable cruelty when she moves in with her new stepfather, a tyrannical military officer. Armed with only her imagination, Ofelia discovers a mysterious labyrinth and meets a faun who sets her on a path to saving herself andFollowing a bloody civil war, young Ofelia enters a world of unimaginable cruelty when she moves in with her new stepfather, a tyrannical military officer. Armed with only her imagination, Ofelia discovers a mysterious labyrinth and meets a faun who sets her on a path to saving herself and her ailing mother. But soon, the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, and before Ofelia can turn back, she finds herself at the center of a ferocious battle between good and evil. [Warner Bros.]… Expand
Positive: 37 out of 37
Mixed: 0 out of 37
Negative: 0 out of 37
Oct 12, 2012This movie moved me deeply in 2006, and hasn't stopped moving me since. The final scene is playing on a perpetual loop in the background ofThis movie moved me deeply in 2006, and hasn't stopped moving me since. The final scene is playing on a perpetual loop in the background of my mind. It is a canonical work of art.… Expand
SiniH.Aug 16, 2007Very sad and fantastic with solid story.
NicholasF.Jan 11, 2007Personally i think this is the greatest movie of all time, its mix of reality and fantasy makes this the ultimate movie to be seen by our Personally i think this is the greatest movie of all time, its mix of reality and fantasy makes this the ultimate movie to be seen by our children and so forth. this movie is no for the weak of mind which is where any bad reviews came from. if any movie deserves higher than a 10, its this one… Expand
Jan 5, 2016An extraordinary and powerful film that left an informed audience in silence.
A film on many levels, part mythical, part a story of aAn extraordinary and powerful film that left an informed audience in silence.
A film on many levels, part mythical, part a story of a violent and internecine
period of great brutality set in Spain.
But what is the film all about? The film sucks you in; whilst in Spanish and
with sub-titles, I had no sense of “reading” these sub-titles but rather a sense
of both watching and being sucked into a powerful story.
The film makes sense when you put in an even more brutal scene played out
almost nine months previously. The captain has clearly terrorised the area
and all the surrounding communities. We have learnt that mother knows it is
important that Ofelia recognise the captain as father; we know that Ofelia is
coldly indifferent or more towards him; that at the time of the dinner she
wilfully rolls in the mud – though ostensibly away with a faun (Pan has
always been the go-between twixt man and gods, being half man and half
mythical beast, a messenger and chord of communication with the other
World) – ruining the expensive shoes and beautiful dress that her mother has
given her for the occasion – Ofelia of course knows that such dress was
provided indirectly by her “father” the captain.
We learn that the mother is considered a great beauty, though in the film she
does not come across so, seeming a shadow, a shell of her perhaps previously
vibrant self; in conversation between her brother-to-be-born, Ofelia talks of
the wondrous way her mother comes alive when she smiles, informing he and
us that her present austerity and zombie condition is not all she can be ..
We know that Ofelia’s real father was a tailor, that the captain was one of his
clients; and the unseen, unshot scene of nine months previous comes
The captain whilst being fitted for a new uniform espies the beautiful wife of
his tailor, he must have her and he kills the father and rapes the mother. In
shades on the Tin Drum we see Ofelia perhaps observing this from beneath
the table and we understand what has driven this child to seek the solace and
comfort of her make-believe book-driven world…
We now understand the opening scene; the late arrival with birth imminent of
the mother and Ofelia and the Faustian pact that mother has made.
We can imagine this butcher, this captain, king of his territory seeing this
beautiful woman ripen into pregnancy carrying the child he must have
fathered and in the death-throes of a war he knows is lost the imperative of
the necessity for him to gather to him his heir – we have been told that he is
illogically certain that the unborn is a boy and we know he is totally unfeeling
to the mother and that her death is of no concern, but rather, at all costs, and
at any risk to the mother, the birth of his son and heir is paramount.
So he sends his troops and convoy to fetch this woman, this carrier of his
ripening seed, such that he too can pass on his watch..
The last scene, the death of Ofelia shot by the captain sees that as her life force
ebbs she seeks refuge in becoming her fairy princess alongside her mother
and real father and thus can, and does die, with an almost smile on her lips.. This is the only way that makes sense of this sometimes graphically brutal tragedy; the way a young girl seeks refuge from brutal reality and in the understanding comes an even greater sense of this time of brutality and savagery, which whilst set in the aftermath of the real civil war – the captain at one point reminding us of this by proclaiming that such war his side had “won” – sees an extension of this under the cloak of the broader 2nd world war. One of the best, perhaps even the best film I have seen that clearly has marked the psyche and consciousness of all who have seen it; though not one for either the faint-hearted or those without the backdrop understanding of this traumatic period. The impact and trauma of the times and the way this reverberates through the generations to the present day is a theme indirectly explored in the book by Robert Wilson, “The Blindman of Seville”, which book I am now moved to reread; or should I instead re-read “The Wisdom of Crocodiles” a book which explores the extreme consequentiality of disparate actions… A powerful film that has had me thinking all night and caused me to put pen to paper at 4am…..… Expand
RobE.May 7, 2007I don't understand the people bashing this film. It's not a fantasy film, not does it have any intention on being one. The fantasy I don't understand the people bashing this film. It's not a fantasy film, not does it have any intention on being one. The fantasy elements are the girl's way of escaping an otherwise terrible life. As for a cop-out ending, how can you say that everyone winds up happy. There's no celebration with the rebel victory, as they know a looming threat still exists in franco and the fascists. As for the girl, she's dead, the only reason she's happy in the fantasty is because she'd rather die then live in her reality. To say the movie is a cliche of oversimplified elements is just to go against the grain and refuse to admit to the film's popular reception. It's a fantastic film and a entertaining, moving experience.… Expand
SteveO.Jan 22, 2007A bit disappointing. Yes, this was a good movie, not spectacular. Much potential but didn't capitalize I don't believe. Not ThatA bit disappointing. Yes, this was a good movie, not spectacular. Much potential but didn't capitalize I don't believe. Not That Gory! No worse than Private Ryan. Well shot scenes left a lot of the gore to the imagination so these ppl must have some perverted thoughts. Anywho - worth seeing. But as a fairy talle i would've appreciated a more in depth look into the fantasy world - the tasks in the fantasy world were brief, and not enthralling. and seemingly simple. Seems to me the director wished to say more about the time in history than the story of this little girl and her imagination. The labyrinth could've been done away with - there was no point in having it in the movie. He did nothing with it. It could've been "Pan's Closet" for all intents and purposes. The faun was the most interesting character and did not reveal his purpose - be it self serving or if indeed his purpose was to help Ofelia. Ending was good. Very good Idea for a flick - just didn't explore what had been set up from the beginning as an ingenious fairy tale. Left me wanting more. Good movie though.. Not a masterpiece.… Expand
RyanC.Jan 18, 2007This movie was a major disappointment. I can't say it was horrible because it was generally entertaining with some great visuals, but a This movie was a major disappointment. I can't say it was horrible because it was generally entertaining with some great visuals, but a 97/100? If this film did not have such an inflated score I would normally have given it a 6 or 7. I realise a zero may not be in the best taste but for the sake of future readers the score needs to be lowered.… Expand
Published: April 16, 2010Oscar-winning foreign language film "The Secret in Their Eyes" arrives in American theaters this weekend. But it's not the best-reviewed foreign film of the past year, continuing the Academy's decade-long trend of selecting lesser titles. What films have they overlooked?
Published: December 17, 2009Our best of the decade coverage continues with a look at the past ten years in cinema. While the decade's best-reviewed movie may not have been a commercial blockbuster (or even in English), our lists turn up plenty of recognizable names in addition to obscure gems you may have missed.