The New York Times calls it "altogether wonderful". The BBC calls it "an intelligent, tender, beautifully shot, meticulously crafted work of art" and "an affecting and affectionate film". The New Yorker has a positive review.
The Guardian gives it 5 out of 5 stars and concludes,
The genius of Del Toro’s creation is that we know exactly how much Elisa cares for her soulmate and how he makes silent sense of her fish-out-of-water feelings. Watching them dance around each other, I became aware of the shape of my own tears, swept along by the emotional waves of Del Toro’s sparkling drama, succumbing to its seductively melancholy song of the sea.Empire Online gives it 5 out of 5 stars and says, "Watch it and it’s magical; fantastic in all senses." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 92%.