The Shape of Water Buzz: Critics Declare It's One of Guillermo del Toro's Best

Early reviews and social media posts hail it as the director's strongest work since Pan's Labyrinth.

by | August 31, 2017 | Comments

The Shape of Water

(Photo by Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Guillermo del Toro has a new movie on the way, which on its own is very exciting. Plus, the trailer makes it look amazing, sort of like a cross between Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth. Well, it’s time to raise your anticipation even further, becauese The Shape of Water just premiered at the Venice Film Festival, and the response from critics is overwhelmingly positive.

The Shape of Water stars Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, and frequent del Toro collaborator Doug Jones in a Cold War-set fairy tale of sorts, about a lonely woman who forms an unlikely new bond when she and a co-worker discover a secret experiment in the top secret lab where they work. Del Toro has been up and down with critical favor throughout his career, but more than half of his features as a director are Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and his average review score is 77.8%. Currently, The Shape of Water has a unanimously favorable 100% score right out of the gate, and we can assume it will remain one of his higher-rated efforts.

Here’s what critics are saying in reviews and on social media:

A ravishing 60s-set romance, sweet, sad and sexy.
Xan Brooks, The Guardian

A ravishing, eccentric auteur’s imagining, spilling artistry, empathy and sensuality from every open pore, it also offers more straight-up movie for your money than just about any Hollywood studio offering this year…incontestably del Toro’s most rewarding, richly realized movie since Pan’s Labyrinth.
Guy Lodge, Variety

A visually and emotionally ravishing fantasy that should find a welcome embrace from audiences starved for imaginative escape…del Toro’s most satisfying work since Pan’s Labyrinth.
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

Sweet and scary movie magic. [Del Toro’s] best film since Pan’s Labyrinth. It perhaps even equals it.
Jessica Kiang, The Playlist

For first half-hour or so, I thought The Shape of Water might be an all-timer. It’s not, but by far Gullermo del Toro’s best since Pan’s Labyrinth. Richard Jenkins is particularly fantastic.
Paul O’Callaghan, Sight and Sound

I expected lots from The Shape of Water, but not for it to be, among other things, a musical. Surprising and delightful.
Jill Lawless, Associated Press

There are elements of Beauty and the Beast, E.T., Amelie and The Creature from the Black Lagoon at play…something here for lovers of all kinds of movies — even silents and musicals.
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

An immense achievement…this is del Toro’s Beauty and the Beast with the delicate time period touches and social awareness of Far from Heaven.
Brian Formo, Collider

Guillermo del Toro channels all the streams that make him unique into The Shape Of Water, pouring his heart, soul and considerable craft into an exquisite creature fable.
Fionnuala Halligan, Screen International

Not only is The Shape of Water one of del Toro’s most stunningly successful works, it’s also a powerful vision of a creative master feeling totally, joyously free.
Ben Croll, IndieWire

Loved The Shape of Water…visually sumptuous monster movie/love story. Commanding and moving.
Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News

Like the best bath you’ve ever had, it sends tingles coursing through every part of you that other films don’t reach.
Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph

The Shape of Water opens in theaters on December 8.

Tag Cloud

documentary gangster Nickelodeon king arthur SXSW 2022 hist Ovation football Adult Swim The CW anime TV One renewed TV shows ID high school Lionsgate Best Picture HBO Go werewolf zero dark thirty critic resources telelvision Academy Awards The Purge suspense talk show travel Apple TV+ 93rd Oscars Biopics game of thrones sitcom mcc BET mission: impossible VOD TV renewals Star Wars reviews docuseries TIFF dramedy Trailer Sneak Peek cults films mockumentary Disney Channel Sci-Fi The Walking Dead comic books Quiz slashers marvel cinematic universe MSNBC breaking bad National Geographic scary movies french SXSW Mudbound diversity cancelled TV shows Premiere Dates Holiday transformers series sports cats Wes Anderson Marvel casting Rom-Com twilight Turner Tomatazos Prime Video SundanceTV VICE TCA 2017 Oscars crossover venice directors worst movies genre Western DC Universe adventure discovery Amazon reboot lord of the rings Valentine's Day versus marvel comics green book superman 007 Lifetime Best Director Warner Bros. Interview Hulu leaderboard franchise Superheroes Rocketman President obi wan Disney+ Disney Plus classics comedies 4/20 comics El Rey Nat Geo toronto Musical American Society of Cinematographers trophy Infographic Fall TV WarnerMedia biopic video WGN children's TV 73rd Emmy Awards fresh hispanic comiccon nbcuniversal dexter joker Sundance Masterpiece Legendary rotten festivals Lucasfilm TCM comic book movies Awards witnail AMC young adult critics TCA Winter 2020 E! Neflix Amazon Studios Summer Television Critics Association spinoff black comedy Classic Film Teen rt archives A&E MGM action-comedy cinemax romantic comedy stoner natural history YouTube Premium Emmy Nominations rom-coms ABC spider-man zombies X-Men 24 frames cops Netflix Christmas movies royal family Super Bowl deadpool Martial Arts Pixar Election spanish Alien Winners dc MCU animated Turner Classic Movies BBC One 20th Century Fox Comics on TV Oscar Discovery Channel NBA VH1 Image Comics police drama FXX Red Carpet science fiction 90s First Reviews godzilla basketball true crime PlayStation archives Hallmark Christmas movies free movies DC Comics Pop TV Showtime screen actors guild Grammys 2019 LGBT FX Television Academy video on demand die hard The Witch Tumblr rotten movies we love HBO Max HBO broadcast dreamworks Musicals robots new zealand ratings Mystery YouTube Red Disney streaming service MTV a nightmare on elm street Tokyo Olympics hidden camera tv talk comic book movie 99% Podcast singing competition Awards Tour space stop motion TCA Awards teaser blockbuster 2021 technology razzies Writers Guild of America Hear Us Out FX on Hulu book GoT finale Cosplay Logo composers Song of Ice and Fire NBC best political drama facebook BET Awards mutant laika Winter TV Set visit Vudu 94th Oscars Comic-Con@Home 2021 Binge Guide aliens New York Comic Con james bond popular sequel strong female leads historical drama summer preview Film Paramount Plus Columbia Pictures dark Best and Worst GLAAD binge parents blaxploitation spain Anna Paquin latino remakes Funimation cartoon CMT chucky rt labs cars Walt Disney Pictures Peacock Tubi adaptation universal monsters sequels social media hollywood Paramount Network prank ViacomCBS aapi Apple based on movie 2018 Crunchyroll toy story Cartoon Network 2016 politics golden globes PaleyFest revenge Pride Month Brie Larson south america Shondaland trailers Paramount Pictures DGA Lifetime Christmas movies Epix Instagram Live golden globe awards TNT award winner Heroines indie sag awards vampires Hallmark Best Actress Country monster movies History BBC America boxing italian 79th Golden Globes Awards Ellie Kemper TruTV harry potter nature Certified Fresh Box Office crime drama Marvel Studios Sundance Now Freeform ITV book adaptation Tarantino Baby Yoda quibi Avengers posters kong international Starz YA Shudder debate Cannes screenings movies TV Land Reality IFC Films NYCC satire japan zombie superhero Fantasy jurassic park Black History Month FOX Mary poppins movie heist movie Spectrum Originals Mary Poppins Returns theme song TCA japanese doctor who Acorn TV canceled Captain marvel docudrama psychological thriller CBS All Access Focus Features Universal Pictures justice league Fox News Disney SDCC documentaries Syfy nfl pirates of the caribbean Spike Broadway Pacific Islander art house Elton John ESPN Best Actor live action worst 72 Emmy Awards new star wars movies Creative Arts Emmys Mary Tyler Moore CBS RT21 Food Network obituary 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards First Look HFPA mob Animation war OneApp cancelled television Photos Esquire TBS Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Fargo Trivia Crackle batman king kong supernatural anthology Dark Horse Comics Endgame halloween Bravo elevated horror kaiju ABC Family Arrowverse Superheroe halloween tv Pop scene in color GIFs BAFTA foreign rt labs critics edition 45 TV movies A24 wonder woman Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Amazon Prime Video canceled TV shows criterion women disaster dceu Apple TV Plus Film Festival San Diego Comic-Con See It Skip It adenture black biography DC streaming service 2017 Hollywood Foreign Press Association 2015 Nominations Mindy Kaling vs. AMC Plus Netflix 1990s know your critic Rock game show IMDb TV indiana jones E3 target OWN stand-up comedy Horror new york comic Amazon Prime Pirates The Academy Music jamie lee curtis psycho Tags: Comedy Stephen King child's play scary australia ghosts Exclusive Video 71st Emmy Awards dragons Disney Plus Paramount 2020 asian-american all-time Character Guide Fox Searchlight Thanksgiving spy thriller Reality Competition live event saw The Walt Disney Company Countdown legend Schedule CW Seed feel good Pet Sematary BBC streaming movies Kids & Family what to watch sopranos concert Britbox crime Watching Series dogs Trophy Talk USA Network richard e. Grant summer TV preview blockbusters ABC Signature Star Trek streaming Family independent Travel Channel cancelled TV series CNN Year in Review cooking The Arrangement TV unscripted Drama Rocky Spring TV LGBTQ 21st Century Fox Action Black Mirror thriller Emmys YouTube crime thriller emmy awards Marvel Television olympics name the review Ghostbusters Toys South by Southwest Film Festival Chernobyl Video Games RT History TLC kids Extras streamig hispanic heritage month Comic Book Polls and Games boxoffice PBS USA news medical drama summer TV christmas movies Comedy Central Christmas romance spider-verse IFC DirecTV Calendar period drama spanish language APB serial killer festival television Marathons Sundance TV cancelled scorecard fast and furious miniseries Holidays Universal Sony Pictures slasher Women's History Month Opinion Comedy