As is typical in a Gilliam production it is intensively designed, and both very funny and very scary by turns. Matt Damon (Wilhelm)and Heath Ledger (Jakob) do not so much act as react, but they are given much to react to. Gilliam populates the landscape with faces that are interesting and grotesque, and does not miss a trick in working in resonant references, from the red cloak worn by the first victim we see, to the village harridan coming to the brother's door, intent on presenting them with a shiny red apple. Like many of Grimm's often grisly tales, some of the movie is too intese for young children, especially the literally nightmarish scene of the enchanted horse, and the very disturbing sequence involving the 'gingerbread man'.
The leads are well supported by Gilliam veteran Johnathan Pryce, as the authority figure who won't recognize that reality is not as he wills it to be, Lena Headly as the "cursed one," whose father and sister have been taken by the forest, and Monica Bellucci (Persephone in the "Matrix" films) as the beautiful wicked queen, Peter Stromare as the brutal henchman who becomes a convert, and many others.
Highly reccomended. Too scary and violent for young children.