Opening

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Howl's Moving Castle Reviews

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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Howl's Moving Castle moves -- in short, choppy, jumpy jerks that will never make anyone forget how fluid the truly great hand-drawn cartoons look by comparison.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 2/5

June 17, 2005
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A parade of weird characters comes onstage to do their turns, but the underlying plot grows murky and, amazingly for a Miyazaki film, we grow impatient at spectacle without meaning.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

June 9, 2005
James Rocchi
Netflix

Fantasy tale from master animator Hayao Miyazaki is a feast for the senses ... that makes no sense.

Full Review Source: Netflix | Original Score: 2/5

June 16, 2005
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

An overly familiar affair that will strain young attention spans with its plodding lessons about greed (it's bad) and nature (it's good).

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 2/4

June 9, 2005
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There is no story, or rather, there's no force to the story, which meanders almost casually this way and that for no apparent reason.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

June 10, 2005
Willie Waffle
WaffleMovies.com

Howl's Moving Castle is a wildly imaginative and artistic adventure, but one that isn't easily understood.

Full Review Source: WaffleMovies.com | Original Score: 2/4

June 9, 2005
Gabriel Shanks
Mixed Reviews

The straightforward narrative constantly seems at odds with Miyazaki's dreamy landscapes and fanciful flourishes.

Full Review Source: Mixed Reviews | Original Score: C+

June 3, 2005
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Choppy story lines and threadbare characterization often hamper live-action adventures, and Mr. Miyazaki's newest anime endeavor suffers from similar handicaps.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: C+

June 16, 2005
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

...only the most die-hard fans of director Hayao Miyazaki will find something here worth embracing.

Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Original Score: 1.5/4

June 9, 2005
Sean O'Connell
Charlotte Weekly

The story ... carries a weak narrative thread that gets lost in the shuffle of magic and mayhem.

| Original Score: 2/4

June 27, 2005
Mark Pfeiffer
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

The visual power of Miyazaki's animation is as strong as ever, but it's all for naught when you can't make heads or tails of the story on screen.

Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema | Original Score: C+

June 22, 2005
Jonathan Trout
BBC.com

Youngsters and Miyazaki fans will coo at the world's depth and rich surreality, but opaque plotting, and a tendency to mope with Sophie whilst Howl is off affecting events let the momentum of the first act vanish into thin air.

Full Review Source: BBC.com | Original Score: 3/5

September 18, 2005
Matt Caracappa
Boxoffice Magazine

The film is at its worst when trying to outright engage you and at its best when it doesn't pay the audience much mind.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/4

June 10, 2005
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly

I've seen the best anime movies of my generation destroyed by bad writing.

Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

June 17, 2005
Luke Y. Thompson
Los Angeles CityBeat

Yes, there are moments of great beauty here, but boy, the story could have used some editing.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles CityBeat

June 27, 2005
Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com

Increasingly hard to follow, with too many dull patches along the way.

June 17, 2005
Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central

A regression for Miyazaki from his last two films in almost every sense.

| Original Score: 1.5/4

June 9, 2005
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Speaking of enchantment, that's the ultimate thing missing from Howl's Moving Castle. That and soul.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

June 10, 2005
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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Meanders so listlessly that its details become less and less charming. Miyazaki's storytelling style resembles that of a breathless young tot who's fearlessly exercising his newfound powers of expression.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

June 11, 2005
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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With such an unfocused, impenetrable center, the film grows dull.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2/4

June 17, 2005
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