Ever since it's first U.S. screening at the Alamo Drafthouse during Fantastic Fest in September, word has been spreading like wildfire about just how damn good the latest film from Guillermo Del Toro is. It capped my personal top ten list for 2006; I didn't have to think twice about it. There is something legitimizing about a sentiment, however, when a first-run movie release shows up on the cover of the Austin Chronicle and receives ostensibly the highest rating that the paper gives, 4.5 stars (granted, they can award 5 stars to films, but the only films in their archive at that rating are Fritz Lang's M-1931 and Akira Kurosawa's RAN-1985). Take some time to check out the Austin Chronicle cover story and the Chronicle movie review. Pan's Labyrinth also supports a staggering 99% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It'd be 100% were in not for the dull haze of opinions by reviewer Gabriel Shanks. Feel free to email him to tell him to pay more attention when in the sanctity of the theater.
Don't spend too much time on that email though, it is a cinematic moral imperative to go and see this film. They don't get much better.