Howl's Moving Castle

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 349 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 349

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User Reviews

  1. animefan
    Mar 8, 2006
    5
    Complete mess, aswell as weakest Ghibli movie so far.
  2. BenA.
    Jun 12, 2005
    6
    Though beautiful as usual with an excellent first half, the second half of Howl is a narrative mess. Way below the standard Miyazaki has set for himself with his past films.
  3. JeffJ.
    Jul 22, 2005
    5
    A big disappointment. It was beautiful, of course, as all Miyazaki movies are, but the story Made No Sense At All. I'm sorry, but it's inexcusable that the plot was so incomprehensible. It was impossible to be transported into a fantasy mood when you're wondering what the hell is going on. Roger Ebert nailed it in his review.
  4. NirmalK.
    Jun 21, 2005
    4
    I enjoyed
  5. Dec 7, 2012
    5
    Stunning animation and charmingly idiosyncratic characters fail to make up for an incomprehensible, utterly nonsensical plot- even by anime standards. I never once felt like I understood what was going on. What, exactly, is this "war" about? Who is the Witch of the Waste, and why did she curse Sophie? Who is Howl? Why does the moving castle have a tongue? Perhaps the answers to theseStunning animation and charmingly idiosyncratic characters fail to make up for an incomprehensible, utterly nonsensical plot- even by anime standards. I never once felt like I understood what was going on. What, exactly, is this "war" about? Who is the Witch of the Waste, and why did she curse Sophie? Who is Howl? Why does the moving castle have a tongue? Perhaps the answers to these questions can be found in the book on which the film is based, but you won't find them here. Children and adults alike will enjoy the intricate, vibrantly colored artwork that fills each and every frame of "Howl's Moving Castle," but I doubt many among us would be able to explain just what the heck the movie was about. Miyazaki's previous film, "Spirited Away," is a far superior work. Expand
  6. Dr.suess
    Jun 7, 2005
    6
    I'm a big fan of Miyazaki, but this movie was a bit of a let down. The story is vague and the characters aren't very original, however, the animation is very beautiful.
  7. DW
    Mar 9, 2006
    6
    If only the last five minutes of this film didn't happen, it would be a seven, maybe an eight, but come on, has anyone actually SEEN the ending? It compromises the whole story and insults the viewer's intelligence. His other movies are much better.
  8. PatrickW
    Jun 17, 2005
    6
    The characters weren't appealing, and their behaviour wasn't consistent throughout the film. The story just didn't make much sense. It felt an awful lot like they started with a reasonably good idea, but the "hollyweird experts on what kids like" got in involved and ruined it. Doesn't come close to the quality of entertainment I expect from Ghibli studios.
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
  1. Consequently, though it's difficult to work out what's going on, it's never boring.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    90
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    80
    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.