Written March 09, 2014
If you're unfamiliar with the work of animation master Hayao Miyazaki, then this review probably won't interest you. Stick to Frozen or Despicable Me Part (x) to get your animation fix. Conversely, if you have seen any of Miyazaki's films such as Spirited Away or Castle in the Sky, you get as I do that flight is a huge part of his vision. And The Wind Rises has become the new touchstone when it comes to things that fly. You see stuff that flies everywhere here - flying planes, crashed planes, planes on the drawing board, planes in dream sequences. In The Wind Rises, Miyazaki has accomplished the remarkable feat of making the geeky trade of aircraft design into compelling viewing. Although highly fictionalized, Miyazaki introduces us to a relatively obscure figure in aviation history, Jiro Horikoshi. Miyazaki's masterful use of color, scope, and pathos fleshes out Horikoshi into somebody who transcends some scholarly Wikipedia article. Go see it today - you'll be glad you did.
Written June 26, 2016
A sad and yet uplifting movie about a tumultuous time in Japan's past. A biographical piece. The artwork is classic Ghibli on par with Spirited Away. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves Ghibli films.
Written September 26, 2016
I have been an anime fan since I was 13 years old and I saw my first anime movie on the Sci Fi Channel. 18 years plus later...I still am a fan, but I tend to only watch the quality titles such as Ghibli movies and critically acclaimed series. I thought that Wind Rises would be a masterpiece, a final farewell to Miyazaki's legacy, but instead I watched a disjointed and utterly boring mess of a movie. The story had potential, but it was drawn out and had none of the magic that you find in previous Ghibli titles. Additionally, there was no potent emotional scenes like you find in Grave of the Fireflies. Instead, you get a lovely to look at and beautifully scored period piece with nothing to keep you interested. The biggest crime is the flat characters with no moral conflict or emotion. There is no drive to keep you involved, you don't care what happens to them. I strongly recommend avoiding this movie and just pretend that Miyazaki quit after Howl's Moving Castle, his last great film.
Written May 31, 2016
The art was beautiful and the story was imaginative and bittersweet. I couldn't always understand what was going on, but I still loved the movie and the bittersweet love between the two main characters.
Written November 30, 2015
A beautiful film to look at but much longer than it needed to be. I'm not sure what the point is, but I know the director is a devoted pacifist.