Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
  1. 88
    There's a word for the kind of comic, dramatic, romantic, transporting visions Miyazaki achieves in Howl's: bliss.
  2. You run across animation this ingenious about as often as a moving castle comes your way.
  3. The worldview, the sense of childlike fun shaded with adult melancholy, and the joyful, serene attention to visual oddity and wordless beauty could only be made in Japan. And, specifically, made by Hayao Miyazaki.
  4. 100
    Parse it any way you like, Miyazaki's gifts as an animator place him in a category of his own. To see his latest film is to be somehow reminded of Italians who could hear Verdi's operas as soon as they were sung or English readers who could experience the novels of Dickens episode by episode.
  5. A moveable feast of delights.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Clever and often enchanting.
  7. The movie's dreamlike spaces and characters are sometimes worthy of Lewis Carroll.
  8. A picture from an old man working at the top of his game.
  9. Perfect for anyone with a youthful heart and a rich imagination.
  10. 100
    Howl's Moving Castle is one animated epic that has it all: poetic intensity, potent storytelling, vivid and surprising characters, and intoxicating powers of visual imagination.
  11. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    The perfect e-ticket for a flight of fancy into a world far more gorgeous than our own. The film doesn't halve itself to appeal to two generations. At its best, it turns all moviegoers into innocent kids, slack-jawed with wonder.
  12. Movie magic is only as powerful as the imagination that casts it. Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki's imagination is the most creative in animated filmmaking.
  13. Sophie, in both her incarnations, joins an impressive sisterhood of Miyazaki heroines, whose version of girl power presents a potent alternative to the mini-machismo that dominates American juvenile entertainment. Not that children are the only viewers likely to be haunted and beguiled by Howl's Moving Castle - all that is needed are open eyes and an open heart.
  14. 90
    Another soulful gem from the peerless Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki.
  15. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Howl's Moving Castle has the logic of a dream: behind every door lie multiple realities, one more astonishing than the next.
  16. 100
    An organic, childlike wonder, fabulously unpredictable and seethingly inventive.
  17. It's one of the best and strangest films of Miyazaki's career.
  18. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    The plot is pretty convoluted, but Miyazaki has a very good handle on it and lavishes his customary heart, humor, and inventiveness on every situation he depicts.
  19. In the best moments of Howl's Moving Castle and in his extraordinary body of work, Miyazaki teaches his viewers more valuable lessons.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 241 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 95 out of 102
  2. Negative: 3 out of 102
  1. Dec 27, 2011
    With thrills, heart, love, visual beauty and humor and the great original score Hayao Miyazaki has directed another fantastic and beautiful adeventure. I give this move 95%. Full Review »
  2. Sep 29, 2011
    "Howl's Moving Castle" is amazing with powerful visuals. Mostly the symbolism of the movie, that life can be seen through adversity, was very touching and true. It's a movie you would like and become spellbound to. Full Review »
  3. KenE.
    Mar 22, 2006
    It was almost totally incomprehensable. I was pretty much hoping they would finally fall over a cliff and get it over with.... a huge dissapointment given the glowing ratings from most sources. Full Review »