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

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