The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
So breathtaking in its artistic ambition, so technically accomplished, so morally expansive, so fully realized that it defies the usual critical blather. See it, and celebrate that rare occasion when a director has the audacity to commit cinema.
It's as if Lewis Carroll's Alice had wandered into a Francisco Goya painting, particularly the famously gruesome Saturn Devouring His Son, in which an ancient demon has ripped the head off his progeny.
It explores the connection between fantasy and reality, with eyes wide open to the dangers of giving either too much credence. That it works on both levels is impressive; that it makes them so clearly one is the stuff of art.
This backdrop of intrigue creates violent scenes that may have you turning away from the screen. Beautifully designed and full of its own strange poetry, Pan's Labyrinth is nonetheless not a children's movie. Take its 'R' rating seriously.
Pan's Labyrinth resembles a cross between Alice in Wonderland and H.P. Lovecraft, with some Bu˝uel thrown in for good measure. It's a tribute to -- as well as a prime example of -- the disturbing power of imagination.
In coming up with one of the finest modern fantasies to date, del Toro seamlessly blends two stories, one set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and the other in a parallel realm of fairies and fauns.
Del Toro's gratifying surreal and fantastical instincts now have an unstinting moral eye on the world. Saying a filmmaker has matured suggests that he's forgone what made him so entertaining in the first place.
Pan's Labyrinth works on several levels. It boldly captures the horror of war, the bloody violence as well as the emotional stifling of the soul, and juxtaposes it with the enchantment of a nether land bathed in hope and eternity.
Pan's Labyrinth plays with dark magic, a hideous enchantment spun with grief and torment. It is emotionally devastating and sensuously rich: Details are as sharp as the ching of a straight-edge razor, as strange as the squeal of a magic root.
The dark violence of the film (parents, note: Pan's Labyrinth is not for children) is leavened by its invention -- by the way it pushes the limits of reality and fantasy, each world overlapping with the other.
I've seen this film three times and cannot claim to know whether its fantasy characters and events are meant to exist solely in the imagination of the 12-year-old girl at the center of the story, or if she is the only human aware of them.
Pan's Labyrinth artfully fuses a war film with a family melodrama and a fairy tale. The result is visually stunning and emotionally shattering. Though graphically violent in parts, it still manages to be enchanting.
As each turn of events proves more menacing than the last to the young heroine of Pan's Labyrinth, her mother admonishes her: "Life isn't like your fairy tales." But it is. That's the secret at the center of Guillermo del Toro's magnificent film.
Although Pan's Labyrinth relies heavily on special effects, including the computer-generated kind, you're never aware of them. Del Toro, who wrote the story, has created a special universe. The spell it casts lingers long after the final reel.
Because the violence is used not for titillation but to create a world we can be fearful about, because the film lives up to its tagline that "Innocence has a power evil cannot resist," we see it all without wishing we were somewhere else.