1. Guardians of the Galaxy
Hands down, I didn’t have more fun at a movie over the past year than I did watching Guardians of the Galaxy. When I first heard Marvel was adapting one of their more obscure titles, I thought it was a gamble, but it’s one that paid off huge. Not only is it the biggest domestic movie of the year (number two globally behind the latest Transformers), but director James Gunn delivered a pitch perfect blend of swashbuckling action in the vein of Star Wars, sarcastic humor, and legitimate emotional connection. It’s even more impressive considering that the main cast includes an unrepentant thief, a vicious assassin, a revenge-driven madman, a talking raccoon who likes guns, and an anthropomorphic alien tree who only says three words. In a cinematic universe that often feel homogenous across titles, casts, and crews, Guardians breathed some much appreciated life into the MCU, and, more than anything Marvel has done to date, stands as it’s own unique thing, and we can’t wait to see more.