A transcendent work of art. Del Toro’s gratifying surreal and fantastical instincts now have an unstinting moral eye on the world. Saying a filmmaker has matured suggests he’s forgone what made him so entertaining in the first place. But in evolving with this voluptuously realized film, with its omnipresent dangers, Del Toro has simply refined the deftness of his storytelling. A beautiful film about ugliness, “Pan’s Labyrinth” is still pure del Toro, but he gazes through a grim historical lens.
January 12, 2007