Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
The pastel palette bespeaks a determined, almost demented lightness.
New York Post:
Miyazaki offers a vivid, at times fantastical view of Japan between the wars, wracked by the Great Depression, a fearsome earthquake that leveled Tokyo in 1923, a tuberculosis epidemic and the rise of fascism.
While it's not quite as magical as some of his previous films, it makes a fitting and often moving farewell.
Hayao Miyazaki's hauntingly beautiful historical epic draws a sober portrait of Japan between the two World Wars.
While The Wind Rises isn't top-shelf Miyazaki, it features more than enough gorgeous imagery to make his loss feel acute.
The beauty of "The Wind Rises" - and it really is gorgeous - does not mask the troublesome aspects of its story, or of human nature itself.
All he wanted, Jiro ruminates in this film, was to create something beautiful. Which is, at least, a feat that director Miyazaki has achieved. Once again.
The movie's a gorgeous, problematic anomaly in an illustrious career-a case of rapturous artistic blindness.
The film is one of the most rapturously beautiful that Miyazaki has made, and all the more unsettling because of it.
Christian Science Monitor:
The great Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki has said that his new film The Wind Rises, will be his last. For all sorts of reasons, I hope this is not true.
At 73, Miyazaki's farewell is many things -- gorgeous, beckoning, compassionate. For better and worse, it soars above child's play.
When Jiro dreams, "Wind" soars; when he comes down to earth, the film can feel a bit stiff and murky. But then, that may be the point.
As gorgeously animated as any of his previous movies, Wind has Miyazaki trading in his more fantastical impulses for contemplative, old-fashioned drama and period detail.
A film about the beauty of flight and the prelude to war, whose astonishing visuals shout that life is wonderful.
Los Angeles Times:
To see "The Wind Rises" is to simultaneously marvel at the work of a master and regret that this film is likely his last.
Its questionable subtext is less problematic than the fact that it simply isn't that moving.
The studied whimsy hits plot points on the nose and seems likelier to inspire calculation than imagination; rather than just telling a story of regimentation, the movie feels regimented.
New York Times:
"The Wind Rises," with its complex diminuendo, underlines Mr. Miyazaki's much longer, richly creative odyssey.
Orange County Register:
The movie's story and visuals are all of a piece. The incidents are layered; the wind reveals their secrets.
In terms of tone, visual beauty, and storytelling, The Wind Rises represents Miyazaki at the apex of his abilities.
The Wind Rises may come as a shock for fans of the kid-friendly, pro-feminist, deeply pacifist Miyazaki... It's a big story, and in this landmark film Miyazaki is up to every demand.
A work of immense mystery and strangeness, loaded with unforgettable images, spectacular sweeps of color and nested, hidden meanings.
San Francisco Chronicle:
Miyazaki is arguably at the Kubrick/Polanski level, where his lesser films still yield great rewards. Even during the moments that don't soar, "The Wind Rises" continues tosatisfy.
The Wind Rises has the historical sweep of a David Lean picture, complete with panoramic shots of migrating populations against a background of disaster ...
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Koreans, Chinese and others who experienced war atrocities at the hands of the Japanese have accused the film of political irresponsibility. But its real agenda, if you look carefully, is quite another matter.
Miyazaki isn't taking sides, merely observing how the winds of fate often propel us into situations not entirely of our choosing and open to interpretation.
'Airplanes are beautiful dreams' is a phrase reprised throughout Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises, and the same could be said about Miyazaki's films.
Even Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli wizardry can't ward off this story's jinxes.
The film, like the wind it references, has wonderfully soaring sequences.
Visually, "The Wind Rises" is a thing of sensual, contemplative poetry, from the pearlescent cloudscapes and verdant countryside of Horikoshi's youth to the hulking gray factories he visits in prewar Germany as a young man.