Elisa, a mute janitor at a secret government facility in the ‘60s (think Area 51) discovers and connects with an amphibious humanoid research subject. Fantasist extraordinaire Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) makes movies like no one else, and with this boundary-crossing, otherworldly fable he pulls out all the stops. It’s an homage to classic creature features and the transformative power of love. It shouldn’t work, but it does, thanks in large part to Sally Hawkins, who conveys more without a word than most actors do with reams of dialogue. Also Olivia Spencer and Michael Shannon. (123 min)