Howl's Moving Castle - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Howl's Moving Castle Reviews

Top Critic
Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
November 19, 2013
What you get, above all, is some enchanting flashes of classic Miyazaki and the nagging sense that something essential is missing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
November 19, 2013
What a moveable feast of delights.
Top Critic
David Germain
Associated Press
November 19, 2013
A strange delight awash in visual splendor, understated humor and clever body-and-soul transmogrifications among its bonny band of weirdos.
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
November 18, 2013
A richly inventive and enchanting delight.
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
October 18, 2008
A stunning example of a pure, disorienting dream logic that cinema provides all too rarely.
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
September 7, 2008
Palaces and shimmering lakes, warplanes and fire sprites all come to life at the breath of Miyazaki's graphic genius.
Top Critic
Ben Walters
Time Out
June 24, 2006
The risibly cloying closing scenes are likely to nix any remaining goodwill, blotting out such delicate early touches as a stroll through the air far above a town square.
Top Critic
Ken Tucker
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 9, 2005
There is giggling, belly-laughing, and gasping to be done watching Howl's Moving Castle.
Top Critic
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
September 26, 2005
Miyazaki's animated adaptation of Jones' book is a charming and thoroughly absorbing treat.
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
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
June 17, 2005
With such an unfocused, impenetrable center, the film grows dull.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
June 17, 2005
So richly detailed and colorful that one almost aches from the beauty.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
June 17, 2005
If you've yet to take the anime plunge, this is a fine place to start; if you're an old hand, you will not be disappointed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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.
Top Critic
Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
June 16, 2005
The world it gives us to live in, for a couple of hours, is pure magic. It is one of those places we might wish never to leave.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
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+
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
June 16, 2005
The whole thing has the heavenly whimsy of Ludwig Bemelmans' illustrations from the classic French children's books.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
June 13, 2005
An insanely creative work.
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
June 12, 2005
The procession of enchanting and spectacular images is intoxicating.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
June 11, 2005
Miyazaki, now in his mid-60s, has a refreshing and persuasive way of relating youth to old age and callowness to wisdom. Rather than presenting them succeeding each other and fighting for supremacy, he shows them coexisting peacefully.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
June 11, 2005
A feast of images and ideas for those who still cling to the idea that animation ought to be every bit as expressive as anything that begins with a blank page, a sharp pencil and an unharnessed imagination.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
June 11, 2005
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.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
June 11, 2005
Miyazaki may not have achieved the level of Spirited Away, but he's still ahead of the curve.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
June 10, 2005
Speaking of enchantment, that's the ultimate thing missing from Howl's Moving Castle. That and soul.
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.
Top Critic
June 10, 2005
Miyazaki is like a soulful cartographer of the soul, mapping our inner landscape, leaving us bedazzled.
Top Critic
G. Allen Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle
June 10, 2005
A wise and wonderful parable of the passing moments of life, and dealing with both the advantages and burdens that make us individuals.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 10, 2005
There's a word for the kind of comic, dramatic, romantic, transporting visions Miyazaki achieves in Howl's: bliss.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
June 10, 2005
Another stunningly beautiful and beguiling work of animation from Japan's Hayao Miyazaki.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
June 10, 2005
With its bold screen-filling imagery, this is definitely a movie to be relished on the big screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
June 10, 2005
Those who appreciate Miyazaki's artistry will find much to savor, even in a work that may not rank among the director's best.
| Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
June 10, 2005
At its best, Howl's Moving Castle offers a rich fantasy of adolescent escape, of romance in the old and epic sense.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
June 10, 2005
There's also a pervasive, intoxicating sense of enchantment. It's magic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
June 9, 2005
This movie often soars, blending a childlike sense of wonder with sophisticated emotions and motives.
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
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
June 9, 2005
Confirms that Miyazaki is one of the most brilliant practitioners of the cartoon feature form ever.
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
June 9, 2005
The latest animated tour de force from the Japanese director Hayao Miyazak is a fitting introduction to one of modern cinema's great enchanters.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
June 9, 2005
Miyazaki's gift for wonder, an ease with fantasy that makes enchantment second nature, is so great it obliterates differences in language.
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 9, 2005
An eye-popping, mind-bending phantasmagoria from one of the greatest living film artists.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
David Rooney
Variety
June 9, 2005
The tireless volley of ideas and inventions make this a delight that should connect with kids and adults in both dubbed and original-language versions.
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
June 9, 2005
Prepare to be thoroughly enchanted. Prepare also to be challenged in ways that few current movies bother with, live action or otherwise.
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 9, 2005
The visuals are stunning, bursting with vivid colors and surreal inventiveness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
June 9, 2005
Howl is often impish -- the slimy black things the Witch of Waste sends after Howl wear Panama hats -- but Miyazaki never panders to moviegoers with Eddie Murphy asides.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
June 8, 2005
The inhabitants of Miyazaki's enchanted universe understand that spirits are as much a part of everyday life as the fishmongers and soldiers and airplanes crowding the confines of the movie frame in set-piece scenes of spectacular detail.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
June 7, 2005
The film is an organic, childlike wonder, fabulously unpredictable and seethingly inventive.
Top Critic
Richard James Havis
Hollywood Reporter
February 23, 2005
Miyazaki exerts a strong command over a wide-ranging story line and skillfully seduces the viewer into deciphering the subtle motivations of the characters.