The Shape of Water (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Shape of Water (2017)



Critic Consensus: The Shape of Water finds Guillermo del Toro at his visually distinctive best -- and matched by an emotionally absorbing story brought to life by a stellar Sally Hawkins performance.

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Movie Info

From master story teller, Guillermo del Toro, comes THE SHAPE OF WATER - an other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Rounding out the cast are Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones and Michael Stuhlbarg.

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Sally Hawkins
as Elisa Esposito
Michael Shannon
as Strickland
Doug Jones
as Amphibian Man
Michael Stuhlbarg
as Robert Hoffstetler
Lauren Lee Smith
as Elaine Strickland
Nick Searcy
as General Hoyt
Nigel Bennett
as Mihalkov
Martin Roach
as Brewster Fuller
John Kapelos
as Mr. Arzoumanian
Morgan Kelly
as Pie Guy
Marvin Kaye
as Burly Russian
Dru Viergever
as Military Policeman
Wendy Lyon
as Sally (Secretary)
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Critic Reviews for The Shape of Water

All Critics (435) | Top Critics (59)

Hawkins's performance throughout is career-defining. With her eyes, mouth and physicality, she finds a level of emotional eloquence to render speech redundant.

February 16, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

All plot holes can be subsumed within the magical-realist tone for which Del Toro is famed. Yet there's an uncomfortable tension between the film's whimsical, Amélie-light (or, lighter) style and its clumsy political point-scoring.

February 15, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

The Shape of Water almost drowns in its own gorgeousness. It is a Beauty and the Beast fable where both get to be beautiful and neither has to be beastly.

February 15, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Pulses attractively like a luminous toyshop novelty; one inspired by The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954).

February 14, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Del Toro's greatest work. Simply magnificent.

February 14, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

... Del Toro's willingness to court absurdity and bad taste serves to guarantee his integrity, proving he hasn't entirely gone respectable.

January 19, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Shape of Water


The world del Toro created was both visually appealing and unique, but the story of girl meets fish-boy did not resonate with me the way it did with the Academy. Score was fantastic.

Spencer Macklin
Spencer Macklin

Super Reviewer


While the set-up, production design, acting and directing is flawless I found myself a tad underwhelmed by the film after so much praise. It's the story. Once you heard the premise you can pretty much figure out the entire plot. That's a little disappointing for such an unusual and ambitious project. A lot of Del Toro's quirky trademarks are there, but it's a surprisingly mainstream film, if bestiality doesn't bother you.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer


If this is not the 2017 Best Picture winner at the Oscars then I don't know what. Del Toro, writer and director, chooses to keep his leads silent, thereby broadening their appeal in this story about loneliness and separation, and the joy of discovering that that is not exactly so. Like lasagna, there are many levels to this, kudos to cinema, music, dance, photography, to humanity, to love ... it is a tour de force of a work, meant to be experienced more than simply just once. And Hawkins is a revelation.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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