Hauru no ugoku shiro 2004

Critics score:
87 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: 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. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: With such an unfocused, impenetrable center, the film grows dull. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Miyazaki's gift for wonder, an ease with fantasy that makes enchantment second nature, is so great it obliterates differences in language. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: 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. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: An eye-popping, mind-bending phantasmagoria from one of the greatest living film artists. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: Confirms that Miyazaki is one of the most brilliant practitioners of the cartoon feature form ever. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Another stunningly beautiful and beguiling work of animation from Japan's Hayao Miyazaki. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: The whole thing has the heavenly whimsy of Ludwig Bemelmans' illustrations from the classic French children's books. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: What a moveable feast of delights. Read more

Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times: What you get, above all, is some enchanting flashes of classic Miyazaki and the nagging sense that something essential is missing. Read more

G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle: A wise and wonderful parable of the passing moments of life, and dealing with both the advantages and burdens that make us individuals. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: An insanely creative work. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The procession of enchanting and spectacular images is intoxicating. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: Miyazaki's animated adaptation of Jones' book is a charming and thoroughly absorbing treat. Read more

Richard Nilsen, Arizona Republic: 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. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: At its best, Howl's Moving Castle offers a rich fantasy of adolescent escape, of romance in the old and epic sense. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: 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. Read more

Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle: So richly detailed and colorful that one almost aches from the beauty. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: 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. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: Choppy story lines and threadbare characterization often hamper live-action adventures, and Mr. Miyazaki's newest anime endeavor suffers from similar handicaps. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: 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. Read more

Gene Seymour, Newsday: Prepare to be thoroughly enchanted. Prepare also to be challenged in ways that few current movies bother with, live action or otherwise. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: A richly inventive and enchanting delight. Read more

Ken Tucker, New York Magazine/Vulture: There is giggling, belly-laughing, and gasping to be done watching Howl's Moving Castle. Read more

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News: There's also a pervasive, intoxicating sense of enchantment. It's magic. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: The latest animated tour de force from the Japanese director Hayao Miyazak is a fitting introduction to one of modern cinema's great enchanters. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Miyazaki may not have achieved the level of Spirited Away, but he's still ahead of the curve. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: 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. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: There's a word for the kind of comic, dramatic, romantic, transporting visions Miyazaki achieves in Howl's: bliss. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com: 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. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: Miyazaki is like a soulful cartographer of the soul, mapping our inner landscape, leaving us bedazzled. Read more

David Germain, Associated Press: A strange delight awash in visual splendor, understated humor and clever body-and-soul transmogrifications among its bonny band of weirdos. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: The visuals are stunning, bursting with vivid colors and surreal inventiveness. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: With its bold screen-filling imagery, this is definitely a movie to be relished on the big screen. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: 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. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Palaces and shimmering lakes, warplanes and fire sprites all come to life at the breath of Miyazaki's graphic genius. Read more

Ben Walters, Time Out: 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. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: A stunning example of a pure, disorienting dream logic that cinema provides all too rarely. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: This movie often soars, blending a childlike sense of wonder with sophisticated emotions and motives. Read more

David Rooney, Variety: 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. Read more

Michael Atkinson, Village Voice: The film is an organic, childlike wonder, fabulously unpredictable and seethingly inventive. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: Speaking of enchantment, that's the ultimate thing missing from Howl's Moving Castle. That and soul. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: 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. Read more