User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 294 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 294
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  1. Mar 16, 2015
    8
    Though Howl’s Moving Castle has its narrative shortcomings, Hayao Miyazaki’s direction, Studio Ghibli’s dazzling animation, and a stunning soundtrack turn the onscreen adaption of British writer Diana Wynne Jones’s 1986 novel of the same name into an overall enchanting and endearing world where every moment—including its darkest—has a certain charm beneath it. It also has the best EnglishThough Howl’s Moving Castle has its narrative shortcomings, Hayao Miyazaki’s direction, Studio Ghibli’s dazzling animation, and a stunning soundtrack turn the onscreen adaption of British writer Diana Wynne Jones’s 1986 novel of the same name into an overall enchanting and endearing world where every moment—including its darkest—has a certain charm beneath it. It also has the best English vocal performances within Studio Ghibli’s filmography, general acclaim awarded to Christian Bale, Billy Crystal, and of course, late legends Jean Simmons and Lauren Becall.

    Overall rating: 8.4
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  2. Dec 21, 2014
    10
    Miyazaki's another fantastic, believable film. This film is about love and courage. Well cast voice actors for english dub, memorable characters, and incredlble visuals. The only pickup I have is that how Sophie change to young form when she's asleep. But if that's only one I have, can't think anything else. This is perfect.
  3. Dec 18, 2014
    10
    it is one of the most imaginative films i have ever seen. visually it's stunning with great ideas and designs with amazing animation to back it up and the cast of the english dub were great Jean Simmons and Christian Bale give the performances of there careers and billy crystal brings his A game even though he doesn't have too many lines. Miyazaki really did an excellent job especiallyit is one of the most imaginative films i have ever seen. visually it's stunning with great ideas and designs with amazing animation to back it up and the cast of the english dub were great Jean Simmons and Christian Bale give the performances of there careers and billy crystal brings his A game even though he doesn't have too many lines. Miyazaki really did an excellent job especially with the hard task of following from the fantastic spirited away Expand
  4. Jun 14, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Amazing visuals and a touching story. Although some parts were a bit difficult to understand, it was not enough to make this review mixed, much less negative. Watched it 3 times and loved every second, except for some over exaggerated moments with Calcifer. Some of the characters were better explained in the book. The Witch of the Waste for example. In the beginning you are completely blindsided by why she curses Sophie, but it is revealed to you later in the movie that she was in love with Howl (who could blame her!) and wants his heart for herself (which belongs to Calcifer). She is angry because she notices the budding friendship between Sophie and Howl. All I can say for Howl is… AMAZING! He is kind, yet mysterious and dark, and extremely vain, but I do wish you got to know him a bit better. Over all, he is a perfect addition to the cast of characters, who fits along with the theme, hearts can change, very well. He seems realistic because although at first he seems perfect, you gradually learn that he has flaws.

    Sophie is a typical heroine, low self esteem but oozing inner strength.

    The only other thing I wished they explained more was the missing prince. The fact that Sophie kisses him to turn him back into a human is a bit cliche-ish and unexpected. They only mention briefly that the missing prince is the cause of the war.

    Over all, an amazing and beautiful movie, with minor setbacks that are dwarfed by the pros of the film.
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  5. Rem
    Jun 1, 2014
    8
    Howl's Moving Castle easily captivated me with a sense of adventure as I felt that every character played a part in the movie, and the english dubs were impressive. What I like most is that the movie instilled a sense of wonder everywhere it went all the way to the mesmerizing credits song, Sekai No Yakosoku. Easily one of the best animated films of all time, and I can applaud Gibbly once more.
  6. Feb 6, 2014
    8
    It's not in the same league as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, but still pretty fantastic in its own right. It boasts amazing visuals in a wonderfully realized world, full with rich interesting characters. The plot is engaging and full with much appreciated symbolism.
  7. Jan 11, 2014
    10
    I fell in love with this movie. The first time I saw it I had to rewatch it over and over. Almost know the lines by heart. It seems like I see something new each time.
  8. Jan 2, 2014
    9
    Segundo filme da Ghibli que tive prazer de assistir, sua histórias, personagens, visual que muito bonito e sua trilha sonora, fazem esse belo filme uma obra magnífica.
  9. Nov 20, 2013
    8
    Although beautifully drawn and well scored How's Moving Castle lacks on one large aspect. That aspect is that it fails to have you connect with any of the characters in the movie on a personal level. At times it's hard to tell why you should be rooting for a character or if a character is villainous or not. That being said it's interesting and unique story largely makes up for this deficit.
  10. Aug 23, 2013
    9
    Smart, entertaining, and heartwarming, fits this film to the Ghibli name. With its visual wonder and life lessons, along with a superlative score, will lead to on a fantastic adventure. The film may feel unfocused at times, and is ultimately not as powerful as his previous film "Spirited Away", but it is sure a delight in the eyes of older age viewers.
  11. Jul 13, 2013
    9
    Beautiful film. As always, from 2/3 minutes in your hooked into the film. Would have been nicer if the film played on the theme of beauty a little more, it veered into being cheesey at some stages.
  12. Jun 30, 2013
    9
    "Howl's Moving Castle" is amazing with beautiful and epic visuals. Hayao Miyazaki gives to us a powerful film with a complexity for stylish spectators. After "Spirited Away", Miyazaki returns back with reloaded energy.
  13. Jun 8, 2013
    8
    My very first Miyazaki film, and what a spectacle it was. The animation was absolutely gorgeous; there is truly nothing else like it out there. When it comes to foreign films, I always try to skip dubbed versions and just go along with subtitles; I wish I would have done the same here. At times the script was very cheesy, and I can't help but think that the Japanese to English translationMy very first Miyazaki film, and what a spectacle it was. The animation was absolutely gorgeous; there is truly nothing else like it out there. When it comes to foreign films, I always try to skip dubbed versions and just go along with subtitles; I wish I would have done the same here. At times the script was very cheesy, and I can't help but think that the Japanese to English translation attributed to that. Also, the story got very confusing, especially at the end. Overall though, I absolutely loved this film. Breathtaking and beautiful! Expand
  14. Jun 8, 2013
    10
    Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
  15. Jun 3, 2013
    8
    Although the story may seem quite odd this movie is one of my favorite. One more excellent work of Japaneese genius Hayao Miyazaki. Dont try to understand all plot twists, just watch the movie and enjoy the animation and symbolism.
  16. May 1, 2013
    10
    I'm totally speechless! "Howl's Moving Castle" is a real anime masterpiece! For me it's amazing just like "Spirited Away", i would even say a little better! It's full with action,fantasy and beautiful moments! I really think that if you have no imagination you shouldn't watch movies like this. But if you love magic,dreams and fantasy, no matter how old you are i HIGHLY recommend to youI'm totally speechless! "Howl's Moving Castle" is a real anime masterpiece! For me it's amazing just like "Spirited Away", i would even say a little better! It's full with action,fantasy and beautiful moments! I really think that if you have no imagination you shouldn't watch movies like this. But if you love magic,dreams and fantasy, no matter how old you are i HIGHLY recommend to you this movie! My final score for Hayao Miyazaki's perfect movie is 10/10 Expand
  17. Mar 23, 2013
    10
    One Of The Most Creative Movies I Have Seen In Along Time! Along With All Of Ghibli's Other Movies It's Visually Stunning!
  18. Mar 18, 2013
    7
    Howl's Moving Castle is a beautifully animated fantasy film. As usual with Gibili anime, the movie delivers some intense sweetness and some subtle catharsis. That said, Howl's Moving Castle also has a fair few problems, including some incomprehensible fantasy weirdness, weak character motivations (why exactly is the movie's villain bent on war?) and too many coincidences. But it'sHowl's Moving Castle is a beautifully animated fantasy film. As usual with Gibili anime, the movie delivers some intense sweetness and some subtle catharsis. That said, Howl's Moving Castle also has a fair few problems, including some incomprehensible fantasy weirdness, weak character motivations (why exactly is the movie's villain bent on war?) and too many coincidences. But it's altogether a fun adventure. Expand
  19. Jan 20, 2013
    10
    Despite what some critics think, I believe this film is a masterpiece in animation and narrative that only the perplexing mind of Miyazaki can achieve.
  20. Jan 14, 2013
    9
    Basically this movie was the best ever. Why I really like it though is that I thought of this kind of stuff when I was little and I didn't see this untill I was older but this was my childhood imagination.
  21. 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
  22. Jun 23, 2012
    10
    Another masterpiece from Hayao Miyazaki. In addition an amazing design, the film also has a wonderful story that, in a simple and effective, teaches us many things and manages to inspire all.
  23. May 28, 2012
    9
    This Is Such A Amazing Movie! Really Really Powerful Visuals! In Bits It Very Touching, And Warm! The Only Thing I Could Say Is Bad Is The Ending Feels A Little Bit Rushed!
    Still One Of The Greatest Films Of All Time!
  24. May 4, 2012
    10
    Absolutely wonderful film. I usually get bored with long films because they lose my interest at some point, but this one stayed consistently entertaining throughout. It's a heartwarming film I think any age could appreciate.
  25. Apr 1, 2012
    10
    Another fantastic 'Studio Ghibli' production, well deserving to be in the collection of movies from this amazing production studio. Incorporating features from both the Japanese 'Anime' as well as the American animation cultures, this film combines an amazing story together with smooth animations as well as excellent voice acting. Thoroughly recommended to audiences of all ages and iAnother fantastic 'Studio Ghibli' production, well deserving to be in the collection of movies from this amazing production studio. Incorporating features from both the Japanese 'Anime' as well as the American animation cultures, this film combines an amazing story together with smooth animations as well as excellent voice acting. Thoroughly recommended to audiences of all ages and i guaranteed it will be thoroughly enjoyable. From old to young it will rekindle the fires of your imagination and encompass you in its wild and colorful world. Expand
  26. Feb 10, 2012
    10
    This is, in my opinion, Miyazaki's best movie to date. It's an emotionally powerful, humorous, magical, beautifully made and scripted animated masterpiece. Don't listen to all the trolls posting bad reviews; watch this movie now. You won't be disappointed.
  27. Feb 4, 2012
    10
    One of Ghibli's best works. Howls Moving Castle is possibly the most mature Ghibli feature with a story, Character depth and wit made to make one think.

    I love the range of characters in the film and the way the plot unravels and the antagonist isn't quite who you believe it to be from the offset.

    Once again Studio Ghibli prove that they are animation kings and masters of story telling.
  28. Dec 27, 2011
    10
    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%.
  29. Nov 27, 2011
    7
    Miyazaki's usual dazzling animation and engaging characters don't always support its lack of Western charm and cohesion. However, Howl's Moving Castle still manages to capture the heart and the mind with its wit and charm.
  30. Oct 30, 2011
    10
    This is a spectacular show. I read the book and Love the Movie. The animation was amazing, and i just could not believed that this did not win the academy award for best animation.
  31. Sep 29, 2011
    9
    "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.
  32. Oct 26, 2010
    10
    I loved this movie! It's definitely in my top 3 favorite movies! Yes some parts i didn't get the FIRST time watching but i still loved it. It's perfect for someone who still finds hope in things also if you have a young heart and big imagination!
  33. Oct 24, 2010
    10
    Japanese Animation still lives on in this super brilliant movie Howl's Moving Castle. the animation was beautiful, the characters were amazing, and the visuals kick a**.
  34. Aug 17, 2010
    8
    A thoroughly bizarre story, but thoroughly worth watching. Miyazaki's story lines are always a bit on the odd side, but this atypical approach to writing is what makes his movies so fascinating and captivating.
  35. ErinR
    Jul 3, 2009
    10
    I never grow tired of watching this show...charming, beautiful, classic...better than the book to me.
  36. KorennaY.
    Oct 25, 2008
    10
    This Movie Is The Best Anime Movie I Have Ever Seen In My Life! It seems to me that im obessed of it but who cares.
  37. Jim
    Sep 26, 2008
    1
    This movie stinks!
  38. KazukiA.
    Aug 2, 2008
    10
    Howl's Moving Castle by Miyazaki Hayao A Review Written for Friends by Kazuki Anno, Translators United for Peace Like a vivid dream, Miyazaki's film presents an alternate world for children of all ages. For more mature viewers, however, his works represent the complex realities we face here and now in this cruel, yet beautiful world. Howl's Moving Castle will take us on a Howl's Moving Castle by Miyazaki Hayao A Review Written for Friends by Kazuki Anno, Translators United for Peace Like a vivid dream, Miyazaki's film presents an alternate world for children of all ages. For more mature viewers, however, his works represent the complex realities we face here and now in this cruel, yet beautiful world. Howl's Moving Castle will take us on a journey of moral quest to confront unnecessary and destructive wars that make us victims of, and collaborators with, terror at one and the same time. If our children can handle such serious subjects as war, justice and humanity, so must we. Miyazaki tells us that we are not what we seem to be. Howl is a handsome young man who looks like a dashing rock star and behaves like a flamboyant prince. Nevertheless, he is a wizard. Yet, unlike other wizards, he no longer works for the Palace, and when night falls, he turns into a black monster bird, flying across the sky to intercept a massive bomber formation over defenseless cities burning in flames. Howl spreads his wings and tries to catch bombs in the air, but all he can do is to neutralize a few bombs out of thousands. Thus, he goes to war each day, knowing in advance that he will fail. Which one of his multiple characters is truer than the other ones? Is any one aspect of his as true as any other? Sophie, a 19-year-old girl, is turned into a 90-year-old woman by the Witch of the Waste Land because she attracts the attention of Howl whom the Witch desires for herself, secretly envious of his youth and beauty. Is this a curse by a jealous witch, or does it merely mirror the lost heart of Sophie who does not know what she is to become, having resigned herself to a drab life in her family's hat shop? If the latter is the case, what can she do to break the spell? So, she sets off on an adventure to discover herself. Not even the Witch, an elaborately dressed dowager, is immune to power. When she is called to the Palace, she kowtows to authority and transforms herself into a helpless old woman, going up a flight of steep stairs that lead to a majestic chamber. It has been a long time since the ancient oral traditions she represents were annihilated and subjugated by nation-states in the age of modernization. Calcifer, a cantankerous fire demon, is supposed to be a free being in the universe, but he is under a contract to Howl, so he is kept in a small fireplace to generate energy for the moving castle. When more energy is needed for the castle in crisis, Sophie offers a lock of her hair to Calcifer who then says, "If you give me your soul, I will be able to produce unimaginable amounts of energy." Perhaps, the wizards at the Palace who are in charge of inventing all the machines, warplanes, tanks, bombs, and missiles, have given up their souls to Calcifer to develop nuclear weapons. As citizens of nations with industrial democracies which uphold a single economic model, namely extreme capitalism unleashed by neo-liberal shock treatments in the era of corporate globalization, we have no faces, no voices, and no names. Here we have Miyazaki's invitation to take off on a magical journey, together with Sophie and Howl, to search for the infinite possibilities that dwell in each one of us. It will be as hard an adventure as anyone can undertake in the mysterious frontier of the human mind, as valuable an experience as dreams that would not cease to inspire us, and as easy a task as remembering once again our own names. Peace, Kazuki Expand
  39. EvelynP.
    Jun 26, 2008
    10
    I absolutely loved this movie! It has so much heart, and I was enthralled all the way through. The storyline differs from the book a bit, but that only makes it more original. The artwork is beautiful, and the music is among the best soundtracks I've heard. Bravo!
  40. MezzieB.
    Jun 12, 2008
    10
    THISis one of my ALL time FAVORITE movies!!! I talk about it any chance that i get !! i also love Howl! :)
  41. Katie
    Apr 4, 2008
    10
    There is something deeply wrong with the reviewers who could not follow the plot, and thought that this film has no heart. I am in my twenties and love all Miyazaki films; these films have more heart than any Disney film has in its little finger. The morality of these films is deep and complex; there is not true good or evil, and children are put in places of responsibility where they There is something deeply wrong with the reviewers who could not follow the plot, and thought that this film has no heart. I am in my twenties and love all Miyazaki films; these films have more heart than any Disney film has in its little finger. The morality of these films is deep and complex; there is not true good or evil, and children are put in places of responsibility where they must take responsibility for their actions. Howl's is no different. Spirited Away is my favorite Miyazaki film, but this comes in close second. The film never gets old; it's like a favorite song. Expand
  42. BandiW.
    Mar 17, 2008
    10
    im a your #1 fan also it was the best movie from miyazaki i ever seen i hope he keeps making more movies like this on or Spirtted Away also i was wondering if you were the one who made Princess Monokay bye the way do you have a myspace?
  43. Teresa
    Jan 8, 2008
    10
    I personally loved the movie. It was one of the best movies I've ever seen. I keep thinking back and can't find any flaws! Those critics out there.. yap yap. I guess I'm just one of those people with a childish heart and big imagination to the point that the movie did not bore me! I recommend watching it!!
  44. Tom
    Oct 21, 2007
    10
    I love the idea of witches and wizards in a story and Hayao Miyazaki has made Howl's moving castle my favourite movie ever. The storyline is great and the animation is amazing. I loved it!
  45. Drake
    Aug 12, 2007
    10
    A true bonafide classic from a legend.
  46. sarahb.
    Aug 10, 2007
    9
    I loved this moving . the cast and the characters . i wish they would make a howls moving castle 2 . like the book castle in the air but more by the book not peoples ideas very one should read castle in the sky after this moving and howls moving castle the book . howl and Sophie just might have a kid and her sister read both books to find out !!!!
  47. AMovieCritic
    Jul 8, 2007
    8
    Yet another classic from Miyazaki. His animation is so much more dazzling (to me) than any computer animated movie, and I really hope he continues to make animated movies even as he enters "old age." It's hard to really explain why this movie is so great. A girl is transformed into an old woman by a witch and boards a moving castle, (controlled by a kind-hearted wizard and his Yet another classic from Miyazaki. His animation is so much more dazzling (to me) than any computer animated movie, and I really hope he continues to make animated movies even as he enters "old age." It's hard to really explain why this movie is so great. A girl is transformed into an old woman by a witch and boards a moving castle, (controlled by a kind-hearted wizard and his awesome fire sidekick named Calcifer, dubbed by Billy Crystal)with doorways that open into different places. It's pretty incredible stuff. Japanese animation just has creativity and inventiveness that American animation just doesn't have (with the possible exception of Pixar.) It seems almost like it's from another world. Really cool movie and I actually liked it better than Miyazaki's (good, but overrated) Spirited Away. Some problems with Japanese anime in general are present here. It's too long by about a half hour and it starts to make less and less sense as it nears its conclusion. Also, the actions of a particular character towards the end of the movie become frustrating. Still, it doesn't take much away from what can best be described as (yeah, I know it's corny as hell,) "movie magic." Expand
  48. andiev
    Jul 2, 2007
    10
    This movie is beautiful. it's like a strange fairy tale. i like the strangeness of the plot and how howl is not what he seems to be at first, you do alot of thinking after watching the movie, i recommend it to anyone.
  49. NancyN.
    Jun 14, 2007
    10
    Look quietly and deeply and you will understand that hope must prevail lest we are doomed. I am enthralled by the beauty of this film I watch it and admire its masterpiece. See it for yourself and fall in love again.
  50. JoshH.
    Jun 10, 2007
    10
    One of the best movies I've ever seen in my entire life. Watch it right now if you like magic, anime, or complex stories. The animation is fantastic (probably the best I've ever seen), and so are the characters, locations, and adventures. Too bad I didn't get the chance to see this in theaters. This is a movie experience I will never forget, and I hope it will be the same One of the best movies I've ever seen in my entire life. Watch it right now if you like magic, anime, or complex stories. The animation is fantastic (probably the best I've ever seen), and so are the characters, locations, and adventures. Too bad I didn't get the chance to see this in theaters. This is a movie experience I will never forget, and I hope it will be the same for you too. Collapse
  51. BeccaB.
    Oct 29, 2006
    10
    One of those movies I could watch over and over again. Yes, it is hard to understand at some points. Yes the plot can be a tad hard to follow. But once you watch it a few times and once you start paying attention to what the crowd says (like the scene where the two men are talking in the background just before Sophie meets Howl) you can truly understand this masterpiece. I can't say One of those movies I could watch over and over again. Yes, it is hard to understand at some points. Yes the plot can be a tad hard to follow. But once you watch it a few times and once you start paying attention to what the crowd says (like the scene where the two men are talking in the background just before Sophie meets Howl) you can truly understand this masterpiece. I can't say that I've read the book because I haven't, but I love this story anyway. Expand
  52. DaniaA.
    May 17, 2006
    10
    Even it's quite late for me to watch this movie but it was spectacular and womderful. I love Miyazaki creation. And I'm simple fall in love with Howl and all character in Miyazaki masterpieces.
  53. RachelR.
    Mar 31, 2006
    10
    i've seen all of miyazaki's work and this is my new favorite! i can't seem to stop watching it. it's so well done!
  54. JenniferP.
    Mar 29, 2006
    7
    Visually beautiful. The witch of the waste character was both darkly compelling and good comic relief. The set up of the story is good but the payoff at the end really shortchanges the viewer.
  55. Stefan
    Mar 29, 2006
    8
    Top rate animation, spirited story, but if you have read the book by diana jones you end up a little disappointed. It lacks a little of the magic that all other Miyazaki films have abundantly.
  56. KenE.
    Mar 22, 2006
    2
    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.
  57. BramH.
    Mar 21, 2006
    10
    this is a wonderful movie and the sountrack is wonderful.
  58. RobH.
    Mar 15, 2006
    10
    Absolutely outstanding - my favorite Miyazaki movie so far. Awesome plot, glorious, imaginative art, and beautiful soundtrack. I was absolutely enchanted.
  59. Liz
    Mar 14, 2006
    10
    This movie is...amazing. See it, I'm begging you. Perhaps you aren't really into Japanese Animation. You tbink..."it's just cartoons, kid stuff..." Some is. But Miyazaki's movies are "for those who are ten, for those who will be ten, and for those who used to be ten." So please, immerse yourself in the fantastical world of Miyazaki, see it like a child, see it as an This movie is...amazing. See it, I'm begging you. Perhaps you aren't really into Japanese Animation. You tbink..."it's just cartoons, kid stuff..." Some is. But Miyazaki's movies are "for those who are ten, for those who will be ten, and for those who used to be ten." So please, immerse yourself in the fantastical world of Miyazaki, see it like a child, see it as an adult. You will see something different in each viewing, and this will only make you enjoy it more. Expand
  60. CrystalT.
    Mar 13, 2006
    10
    other than inuyasha and fruits basket it was the best anime movie.
  61. 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.
  62. animefan
    Mar 8, 2006
    5
    Complete mess, aswell as weakest Ghibli movie so far.
  63. PhilipZ.
    Jan 11, 2006
    10
    Very nice movie realy touch our heart.
  64. julesd.
    Nov 21, 2005
    10
    One of the best animated movies of this year!! Bravo!! Move over Disney!!
  65. cruzr.
    Oct 7, 2005
    10
    The best movie ever¡¡¡
  66. jonb.
    Oct 6, 2005
    10
    I loved it!
  67. isabellea.
    Oct 6, 2005
    10
    It was super! it's soooo beautiful!! and fun to watch and wonderful characters. I loved Sofie and I loved Howel and I loved Calcifer! and just everybody! and the surroundings were sooo beautiful! Miyazaki is a genius, as we all know, and Ghibli's films are always very well drawn, and Diana Wynne Jones isn't famous without reasons, so it's no wonder that the film is so It was super! it's soooo beautiful!! and fun to watch and wonderful characters. I loved Sofie and I loved Howel and I loved Calcifer! and just everybody! and the surroundings were sooo beautiful! Miyazaki is a genius, as we all know, and Ghibli's films are always very well drawn, and Diana Wynne Jones isn't famous without reasons, so it's no wonder that the film is so great! I want to see it again, and again, and again, and own it. this is gonna be my precious.... ^_^ Expand
  68. carenC.
    Oct 4, 2005
    10
    One of the best movies ive seen so far! It was better than Spirited away!
  69. AliC
    Sep 27, 2005
    9
    'It's like dreaming....' says Sophie half way through the film. I couldn't have put it better myself. Watching Miyazaki movies is like having a brilliant dream: this is the best of his movies that I have seen. It's tighter, with a stronger narrative thread, and avoids going too far along the surreal, blob-lined tangents that Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away 'It's like dreaming....' says Sophie half way through the film. I couldn't have put it better myself. Watching Miyazaki movies is like having a brilliant dream: this is the best of his movies that I have seen. It's tighter, with a stronger narrative thread, and avoids going too far along the surreal, blob-lined tangents that Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away linger on. As always, the visuals are exceptionally beautiful, breathtaking in a way that non-animation landscapes can never hope to match. We watched it exhausted after a day of packing before a house move, and yet were gripped and enchanted for the full two hours of the movie, with idiot grins fixed on our faces both during it and for at least an hour afterwards. Wonderful. Expand
  70. ArtoS.
    Sep 27, 2005
    10
    The best moovie when i ever seen.
  71. CecilyS.
    Sep 26, 2005
    8
    It could have used some more explanation of why things are as they are, but the characters are adorable and the story is fascinating. I liked it, my 8 year old girl liked it and my 16 year old son liked it!
  72. JoannaL.
    Sep 11, 2005
    10
    A very nice, warm and funny film where an aimless girl, who is placed under a spell meets a "heartless" wizard and each help each other through various obstacles... The animation and scenes are breathtaking as usual. Double thumbs up! Great heart-warming film.
  73. ErinG.
    Sep 10, 2005
    10
    This was the best movie that Disney has put its name on in ten years.
  74. F.C.
    Aug 16, 2005
    9
    Definitely the best from his works by far. The art work and background are beautifully married to give as much visual input to the story it's self.
  75. MadisonM.
    Aug 5, 2005
    10
    Best Dang Movie I Ever Saw.
  76. ClareN.
    Jul 27, 2005
    10
    Miyazaki managed to bring some of his best work together in this. There were pieces of his previous movies mixed into it and something totally new. He worked more on closer relationships this time (Howl/Sophie) and showed how people in power can manipulate things like war (Sulliman). I'm also a fan of the book Howl's Moving Castle but the book and the movie are completely Miyazaki managed to bring some of his best work together in this. There were pieces of his previous movies mixed into it and something totally new. He worked more on closer relationships this time (Howl/Sophie) and showed how people in power can manipulate things like war (Sulliman). I'm also a fan of the book Howl's Moving Castle but the book and the movie are completely different. Miyazaki didn't make a film version of the book. He borrowed the characters and then created a new world for them to inhabit. This movie was a treat for all the senses with the story, the animation, and the music (Joe Hisachi's music is addictive and magical, get the soundtrack). One of the best movies in a while. Expand
  77. 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.
  78. ZachL.
    Jul 21, 2005
    8
    Very impressive piece. Was it Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away? No, but those are classics. This one will go down as very good but not quite perfect piece from the master himself.
  79. PaulB.
    Jul 19, 2005
    10
    Miyazaki has managed the impossible with Howl's Moving Castle-- he's equalled his previous masterpiece, Spirited Away, and in some respects even surpassed it (though Spirited Away will always be my favorite). The visual beauty of Howl is extraordinary, full of Miyazaki's meticulous attention to detail; and the story is as deeply moving and enjoyable as anything he's Miyazaki has managed the impossible with Howl's Moving Castle-- he's equalled his previous masterpiece, Spirited Away, and in some respects even surpassed it (though Spirited Away will always be my favorite). The visual beauty of Howl is extraordinary, full of Miyazaki's meticulous attention to detail; and the story is as deeply moving and enjoyable as anything he's done before. As with Spirited Away, the English language dub is excellent, and while I was doubtful about how Billy Crystal would sound as Calcifer, he does a fine job and doesn't descend into cutesiness. If only Disney would give this magnificent film a wider release. Expand
  80. LindaD.
    Jul 16, 2005
    9
    What a magical ride! The animation reminded me of 'The Triplets of Bellville'. Original and beautiful to look at. While the story line kept shifting it didn't matter because the characters were the thing. They were complex enough for adult enjoyment and quirky enough for children to giggle at.
  81. KeithP.
    Jul 16, 2005
    9
    Visually stunning fairytale. Animation with organic qualities. Better than any of the American animated movies in terms of vision. Miyazaki creates a world that stands on its own without popculture references or the annoying minority sidekick. A muted Billy Crystal voices a sidekick character, but does not annoy. Highly recommended for both adults and children.
  82. KaylaI.
    Jul 13, 2005
    10
    Omg i love this movie! i cant wait to got it on dvd. besides inuyasha this is top one on my list. the movie was venturus and exciting and romantic. i wish there was a sequel.
  83. BrentR.
    Jul 9, 2005
    10
    My 4-year-old said, "This moviie is beautiful, Dad!" Wonderful story, amazing scenes. Does My Totoro one better. Exceptional on the big screen. It is nice to have a film the whole family can enjoy without the intensity and volumn of some.
  84. [Anonymous]
    Jul 5, 2005
    10
    By far one of my favorite movies of all time. Very uplifting.
  85. Lizz
    Jul 1, 2005
    10
    The beas cartoon movie yet, i loved it!
  86. JeffL
    Jun 29, 2005
    8
    Wonderfully magical. You'll get caught up in the movie and not notice the time passing.
  87. timm
    Jun 27, 2005
    10
    Awesome and ridiculously trippy on a psychological and visual level seen it twice so far.
  88. DanB.
    Jun 22, 2005
    8
    The plot was spinning out of control, with not much sense (seemingly) underpinning it. It's not so much that it was hard to follow as that the purpose of different episodes was incomprehensible. BUT. The film looked good and there were so many individual sequences that really evoked characters uniquely, and that made the film for me. I really enjoyed it. But Spirited Away and The plot was spinning out of control, with not much sense (seemingly) underpinning it. It's not so much that it was hard to follow as that the purpose of different episodes was incomprehensible. BUT. The film looked good and there were so many individual sequences that really evoked characters uniquely, and that made the film for me. I really enjoyed it. But Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke it ain't. I think it could've kept all of its visual ideas and playfullness while paring down the plot to make it more sensicle. But nobody's perfect, god knows what convoluted process a film like this goes through in the making.... oh, and, I hope Miyazaki makes a movie dedicated to blob-ish oozing creatures, cos he does them amazingly and the ones in the film were AWESOME. Expand
  89. NirmalK.
    Jun 21, 2005
    4
    I enjoyed
  90. WAKOJAKO
    Jun 21, 2005
    8
    No, this is not the Masterpiece that was Spirited Away, but nevertheless, it still holds as a fairly good, entertaining and fairly original film.
  91. D.McNorris
    Jun 20, 2005
    10
    As of right now, Howl's Moving Castle is the best film of the year. Another Masterpiece from Miyazaki. Go see this movie right now it's easily worth your time.
  92. Jeff
    Jun 20, 2005
    9
    I loved this film. I did not find it hard to follow at all, though the ending feels rushed.
  93. zs
    Jun 18, 2005
    1
    Very sorry to say, but i was astounded by the high reviews given here. I am a very long term fan of Miyazaki and was expecting to be thrilled by this film. Instead, i found myself completely bored stiff. Maybe it would make more sense if translated differently, but damn...that movie had absolutely no logic or sense or structure of plot to allow the viewer even the remotest sense of Very sorry to say, but i was astounded by the high reviews given here. I am a very long term fan of Miyazaki and was expecting to be thrilled by this film. Instead, i found myself completely bored stiff. Maybe it would make more sense if translated differently, but damn...that movie had absolutely no logic or sense or structure of plot to allow the viewer even the remotest sense of experiencing any kind of coherant narrative. In response this this, i imagine people will say 'yeah but what the about the art, what about the art', and yes, of course the art was good. Anything that Miyazaki touches will be pretty. However, he has done nothing here that we havent already seen, failing instead to come close even to the beauty AND coherence of say...Castle in the Sky. I saw this film last night with 5 friends of mine who are all die hard Miyazaki fans and by the end 3 of them were fast asleep in their theatre seats. Boo. Expand
  94. 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.
  95. criticsaredumb
    Jun 15, 2005
    10
    Critics are so very very dumb, those who rate any of miyazaki's stuff under 80, so dumb, they should go watch pokemon if they think this is bad, what idiots.
  96. dons.
    Jun 15, 2005
    10
    Astonishing thematically, visually, in the subtlety and skill of developing fascinating, complex, multi-layered characters and a never-ending series of unpredictable adventures. Works as fantasy, mythology, fairy tale and sci-fi. Simultaneously dazzling to the eyes and the imagination and touching and transformaive to the heart. A supreme master at work here!!!!!!Blessings, Miyazaki!!!!
  97. Chris
    Jun 13, 2005
    8
    Another great one from Miyazaki....not quite the achievement that Spirited Away was. However, this film is extremely, inventive?, creative to say the least, and easily worth anyone's time.
  98. AlbertoC.
    Jun 13, 2005
    10
    Miyazaki has become one of my favorite directors of all-time, the man is genuis, every film I've seen from him I've either liked or loved. Howl's Moving Castle is his latest film and I have to say is a Masterpiece, a great work of art, a great achivement in it's genre, I don't know if its his best work but is definitely up there with Spirited Away, Castle In The Miyazaki has become one of my favorite directors of all-time, the man is genuis, every film I've seen from him I've either liked or loved. Howl's Moving Castle is his latest film and I have to say is a Masterpiece, a great work of art, a great achivement in it's genre, I don't know if its his best work but is definitely up there with Spirited Away, Castle In The Sky, & Princess Mononokee. As of right now Howl's Moving Castle is the best film of the year, by far, and it's going to be very hard for any other film coming out this year to top this. Expand
  99. MarkL.
    Jun 13, 2005
    8
    While the story wanders almost as much as the castle does, there are still scenes that make you breathe in a little and think to yourself "just awesome!" Quiet moments and subtle beauty are richly depicted with a clarity usually missing from much cinema, much less animated movies.
  100. BobS.
    Jun 13, 2005
    8
    While this isn't as good as Spirited Away I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I am a big fan of Miyazaki and all of his films and consider this a pretty good effort by him. My only complant is that they did not completely explain how the curse is lifted (has something to do with expressing her love of Howl), and I'm not sure if the curse is completely lifted in the end.
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.