When I first arrived to the theater, I came in thinking Pan's Labyrinth was more a fantasy film than anything else. After the film ended, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. After thinking more about the film (a reason why I think the film works - it forced me to really think about the outcome) it was clear that it was more than just a fantasy film. Pan's Labyrinth found a way to balance a story between fantasy and reality that forces the viewer to imagine what life in war is like, and how everyone involved must deal with the situations in their own way.
The story puts all of the major characters in a situation where they are each trying to achieve their own goals, even the villain. It is a classic story, told and re-told through different mythology and fairy tales in many different cultures. The director's achievement is that it is a totally original story which brings together elements of fantasy and reality to make us reflect on our own lives.
Overall, the movie was very well made, but not for everyone. I believe many expected it to be purely fantasy or perhaps even horror, but this movie transcends all genre's and is unlike any other we've seen in a long time.