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

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