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Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
"El laberinto del fauno" (original title)

 -  Drama | Fantasy | War  -  19 January 2007 (USA)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 362,707 users   Metascore: 98/100
Reviews: 1,044 user | 392 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

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Title: Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
...
Álex Angulo ...
Manolo Solo ...
César Vea ...
Roger Casamajor ...
Ivan Massagué ...
Gonzalo Uriarte ...
Francés
Eusebio Lázaro ...
Padre
Francisco Vidal ...
Sacerdote (as Paco Vidal)
Juanjo Cucalón ...
Alcalde
Lina Mira ...
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Storyline

In 1944 falangist Spain, a girl, fascinated with fairy-tales, is sent along with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. During the night, she meets a fairy who takes her to an old faun in the center of the labyrinth. He tells her she's a princess, but must prove her royalty by surviving three gruesome tasks. If she fails, she will never prove herself to be the the true princess and will never see her real father, the king, again. Written by Tim

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

girl | spain | fascist | fairy | princess | See more »

Taglines:

In darkness, there can be light. In misery, there can be beauty. In death, there can be life.... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

19 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pan's Labyrinth  »

Box Office

Budget:

€13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$779,427 (USA) (29 December 2006)

Gross:

$37,623,143 (USA) (8 June 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the first week, because so many parents brought small children to the film, movie theaters in Mexico placed signs on the posters warning about graphic violence. See more »

Goofs

The instructions tell Ofelia to turn the hourglass over when the door opens, but she waits until she has entered the Pale Man's domain. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pan: A long time ago, in the underground realm, where there are no lies or pain, there lived a Princess who dreamed of the human world. She dreamed of blue skies, soft breeze, and sunshine. One day, eluding her keepers, the Princess escaped. Once outside, the brightness blinded her and erased every trace of the past from her memory. She forgot who she was and where she came from. Her body suffered cold, sickness, and pain. Eventually, she died. However, her father, the King, always knew...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title and the names of the actors and the production staff are not shown until the end of the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 6 January 2007 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

The River/El río
Written by Javier Navarrete
Produced by Emmanuel Chamboredon Ian P. Hierons
Courtesy of Milan Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The best fantasy of the past decade
12 September 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Everyone's been raving about this. My opinion doesn't differ too much. It did however suffer slightly from the overwhelmingly high expectations I'd developed based on how brilliant everyone said it was, and the whole "20min ovation at Cannes" thing. Really, who stands for that long? That said, it's an amazing work.

Skipping the plot recap (find the briefest synopsis you can if you need to be filled in), I'll go straight to the tech specs. I'm not a huge Del Toro fan, Cronos was interesting but lacked something for me. Mimic was dross. Hellboy was enjoyable and Ron Perlman is always great on screen. But here, the director really outdoes himself. By far. He has wrapped together some amazing elements and somehow maintains a balance, that doesn't tip into the mundane or the ridiculous for a moment. And this is no mean feat. The story is part historical drama, part fantasy, part family melodrama. When it dips out of the fantasy, it still enchants.

Sergi Lopez and Maribel Verdú really drive the story in the historical drama scenes. I haven't seen Lopez in anything other than a film called Lisbon, in which he played a character so completely opposite from the Captain. He is a fierce and terrifying guy but actually comes across as sympathetic in a couple of scenes. Verdu is incredible as Mercedes, the head housekeeper (or something) who is Ofelia's closest friend in the house. The scenes with these characters and the civil war subplot never fail to hold your attention. Ivana Baquero is excellent as the main character Ofelia, her performance is very mature and believable and she shares some beautiful scenes with her mother and Mercedes.

When the fairy tale elements return, it's astounding how naturally they fit into the story. I think that is the real magic of this film. The war drama and the fairy tale stem so naturally from each other.

One thing that most reviews haven't mentioned is the violence. I think it's been firmly established that this is an adult's fairytale, but at times it is a very intense and brutal film. There are a couple of scenes in particular which are very disturbing and difficult to watch. These do not distract from the tone and theme of the film however so they don't seem exploitative at all. If you are squeamish, it may get a bit much for you.

A final and obvious point I spose I can't get away without making: the set design, costumes and effects are superb. That's all.

I was perhaps expecting a little more fantasy, but the unique blend of genres is absolutely compelling. There wasn't a false note anywhere or a plot hole, which are too often present in fantasy films. I can't recall a good, original fantasy film from recent years. Fortunately this blows MirrorMask out of the water. It doesn't share any of the contrivances, vagueness or ineffectual characters with that film.

I just wish I'd seen it without already having read so much. I've tried very hard to not reveal any plot details at all as it does go to some surprising and unexpected places. Fortunately most of the reviews have done the same. I'd urge anyone with the chance to see it to do so immediately, and try not to read too much more.


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