It's hard to rate this after viewing once, but I would say this movie is epic: a fateful love story with magnificent CGI.
They reorganized the five volumes of the original novels except for the ending. This change in the end of the story was unexpected for me, so I'm still trying to understand what Director Oshii wanted to say from it. The theme of the movie was "the meaning of living a plain life." So he might want tell us that there should be something new in our lives even if we think they're featureless.
The dog fight scenes were breathtaking works. I choose The Sky Crawlers to be the best air fight movie of the decades as well as Macross Plus. Contrary to the dynamic fight scenes, the description of the pilots' lives on the ground was flat. I know they intentionally did it to make a contrast between the vivid fights and the ordinary dull life.
The Skywalker Sound studio did an amazing job, again! Their outstanding performances put more realism to the dog fight scenes and made it a perfect art.
I don't like Kikuchi Rinko's acting as Kusanagi Suito. Other voice actors were doing well especially Kase Ryo as Kannami Yuuichi. Kusanagi is a half-adult and half-child or Killdre character, so the acting must include both sides, but her acting was indecisive in that point.
In the middle of the movie, I felt "Oh this is another Innocence, great arts with a tiresome story", but as approaching to the end, something different came to my mind "The director was coming down to our eyelevel." This movie is about us and not being put unworldly. I need to rewatch this to fully grasp the meaning of Kannami's decision.
Overall, this is a thought provoking movie for the young generations having uncertainty in the modern life. The awesome CGI is worth watching by itself.