Box art for Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth

drama, horror, thrillers


Amidst a civil war, armed with only her imagination, young Ofelia discovers a mysterious labyrinth and meets a faun who sets her on a path to saving herself and her ailing mother from the tyranny of her new step-father.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    95%
  • Audience Score
    91%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 15
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Sex
0 out of 5
Violence
5 out of 5

Brilliant, poignant fairy tale isn't for kids.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that, while this gorgeous, subtitled Spanish fantasy-drama focuses on an 11-year-old girl's experience, it's not meant for children. It's full of mature themes and violent scenes (including the bloody death of a child) -- in fact, it opens on the face of a child who has been hurt, her mouth bleeding. The villain is a captain in the fascist military who repeatedly brutalizes others: He berates his wife, threatens his stepdaughter, kills villagers (beating them and shooting point-blank), and tortures his servant. Weapons include guns, knives, and grenades; some violent acts are explicit on screen (pain and bloody wounds visible). Some of the creatures Ofelia meets are frightening: The giant toad, the Faun, and the Pale Man are all strange, noisy, and physically threatening. Language includes two uses of "f--k."

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the nature of fairy tales. How do they reflect (and comment upon) real-life experiences? In this movie, how do Ofelia's experiences in the fantastical world mirror what she's going through at home?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    95%
    reviews counted: 5
    see all Pan's Labyrinth reviews
  • Audience

    91%

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: Ofelia's smock is swiped from Alice, her faun from Narnia, and her magic book from Harry Potter, Del Toro sets her fairytale apart with its unrelenting gore and misery.

- Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh:

- Bob Mondello, NPR.org, Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fresh:

- Peter Keough, Boston Phoenix, Thursday, April 23, 2009

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Inglourious Basterds meets Alice In Wonderland. I thought it was amazing. Beautiful. Suspenseful. Everything you'd want a movie to be. It was kinda sad and the villain, Vidal was very evil. I don't know what took me so long to see it. I'm glad I did. I didn't even notice it was it wasn't in english after awhile, I was in to it, watching and reading.

- theylovealexis, Thursday, August 19, 2010

5 stars

this movie was excellent. i was blown away. it's very imaginative. has a great story and great acting and is really original. a masterpiece. A

- bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb1, Monday, August 2, 2010

4 stars

"You are not born of man. It was the moon that bore you." Pan's Labyrinth is a beautiful movie. It's also brutal, unique, harsh, and powerful. I can't easily recall a film that interweaves magical wonder and sinister violence in such a seamless way. I hate to simply repeat the well-worn description of the movie as a fairy tale for adults, but that's exactly what it is. We may see the movie through the eyes of a child, but she's living in a world where even fantasy is tinged with the terrible influence of reality. We wonder at every fantastical thing that young Ofelia encounters on her quest to return back to where she's been told she belongs, because even those that seem to be trying to help her have an air of danger that we've been trained to sanitize from anything a child might encounter. You never really know if Ofelia is more threatened by the alien and unfamiliar dangers of the night that are brought to her by the questionable satyr, or the all-too-human and familiar dangerous of the day and her war-torn country. Creature and set design is a definite strength of del Toro. Unlike in Hellboy, where the striking visuals were wasted on a story that wasn't worthy of them, Pan's Labyrinth provides a strong fabric to support the beautiful creatures and sets that move the plot forward. There are entire stories hinted at by the lair of the Pale Man and the ancient labyrinth with its faun-shaped entrance. So much imagination and creativity went into this movie, that it would be worth seeing for those things alone. There's a lot about Pan's Labyrinth that I haven't gone into, because it's best to watch it with as little knowledge about it as possible, as I did. Rest assured that it's a very good movie, and you'll be filled with nothing but admiration for Guillermo del Toro by the end. I can't wait to see it again.

- lewiskendell, Tuesday, July 13, 2010