The 99% approval rating at RottenTomatoes may be a little misleading, as PAN'S LABYRINTH is clearly not for everyone. There are scenes that are difficult to watch, but oh-so worth it in the larger picture of the film. The trailers also don't acknowledge the fact that the film is entirely in Spanish. I knew this going in, but I don't think your average viewer knows the background of films outside of what they see on a trailer. I could hear the reactions of some as they learned that the movie was not in English after they had paid their 10 bucks.
That said, I loved it. Whatever that's worth.
It is really hard to go into detail about this movie without spoiling it for those who haven't seen it yet... which judging from the domestic box-office is a lot of you out there.
All I can say is... if you are interested in making films and enjoy seeing the combination of artful storytelling combined with blockbuster craft... SEE IT. Guillermo del Toro proves that a filmmaker's unique vision and a commercial product are not mutually exclusive elements.
I also find it interesting that this movie, along with CHILDREN OF MEN have found a large foreign marketplace before being released in the US.