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Universal acclaim- based on 271 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 271

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  1. Jun 14, 2014
    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.
  2. Rem
    Jun 1, 2014
    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.
  3. Feb 6, 2014
    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.
  4. Jan 11, 2014
    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.
  5. Jan 2, 2014
    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.
  6. Nov 20, 2013
    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.
  7. Aug 23, 2013
    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.
  8. Jul 13, 2013
    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.
  9. Jun 30, 2013
    "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.
  10. Jun 8, 2013
    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 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
  11. Jun 8, 2013
  12. Jun 3, 2013
    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.
  13. May 1, 2013
    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 you this movie! My final score for Hayao Miyazaki's perfect movie is 10/10 Expand
  14. Mar 23, 2013
    One Of The Most Creative Movies I Have Seen In Along Time! Along With All Of Ghibli's Other Movies It's Visually Stunning!
  15. Mar 18, 2013
    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's altogether a fun adventure. Expand
  16. Jan 20, 2013
    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.
  17. Jan 14, 2013
    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.
  18. Dec 7, 2012
    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 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
  19. Jun 23, 2012
    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.
  20. May 28, 2012
    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!
  21. May 4, 2012
    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.
  22. Apr 1, 2012
    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 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
  23. Feb 10, 2012
    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.
  24. Feb 4, 2012
    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.
  25. 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%.
  26. Nov 27, 2011
    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.
  27. Oct 30, 2011
    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.
  28. 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.
  29. Oct 26, 2010
    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!
  30. Oct 24, 2010
    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**.

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
    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
    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.