Howl's Moving Castle Reviews

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John Lyttle
New Statesman
December 8, 2014
Howl's Moving Castle is Japanese and anime, and therefore automatically more artistic than its US counterparts. The right cultural cachet gives you a lot of leeway.
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
June 17, 2005
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 | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 9, 2005
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
James Rocchi
Netflix
June 16, 2005
Fantasy tale from master animator Hayao Miyazaki is a feast for the senses ... that makes no sense.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
June 9, 2005
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 | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
June 10, 2005
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.
Anthony Quinn
Independent
June 21, 2005
While there's no denying Miyazaki's visual flair and tip-top draughtsmanship, I found myself less than enchanted by the mile-high convolutions of the plot, and frankly bored by the final half-hour.
Willie Waffle
WaffleMovies.com
June 9, 2005
Howl's Moving Castle is a wildly imaginative and artistic adventure, but one that isn't easily understood.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Gabriel Shanks
Mixed Reviews
June 3, 2005
The straightforward narrative constantly seems at odds with Miyazaki's dreamy landscapes and fanciful flourishes.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
June 16, 2005
Choppy story lines and threadbare characterization often hamper live-action adventures, and Mr. Miyazaki's newest anime endeavor suffers from similar handicaps.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
June 9, 2005
...only the most die-hard fans of director Hayao Miyazaki will find something here worth embracing.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Sean O'Connell
Charlotte Weekly
June 27, 2005
The story ... carries a weak narrative thread that gets lost in the shuffle of magic and mayhem.
| Original Score: 2/4
Mark Pfeiffer
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
June 22, 2005
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 | Original Score: C+
Jonathan Trout
BBC.com
September 18, 2005
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 | Original Score: 3/5
Matt Caracappa
Boxoffice Magazine
June 10, 2005
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 | Original Score: 2.5/5
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly
June 17, 2005
I've seen the best anime movies of my generation destroyed by bad writing.
Luke Y. Thompson
Los Angeles CityBeat
June 27, 2005
Yes, there are moments of great beauty here, but boy, the story could have used some editing.
Philip French
Observer [UK]
December 8, 2014
There is little of the magic and Japanese flavour of such Miyazaki masterpieces as Spirited Away.
Top Critic
Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
June 17, 2005
Increasingly hard to follow, with too many dull patches along the way.
Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central
June 9, 2005
A regression for Miyazaki from his last two films in almost every sense.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
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