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This summer had a daunting task to be something with the prospects of a new Star Wars, Avengers, and Batman/Superman movie begging to make 2015 the best blockbuster year of all-time. But after delays and other movements, it dwindled down and 2014 became something generally unique and interesting, but most importantly, a fun time at the movies.

5) 22 Jump Street

The studio sequel is something that has come to dominate Hollywood. If the first one does well, a second will follow and without much changes. Director/writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller took that concept and turned it on its head with a comedy that was practically the same as the first, but one that also realized this and satirized it. While not always perfect, 22 Jump Street was exactly what fans of the original wanted, and one that had me laughing just as much. Jonah Hill continues to show that he is one of the funnier actors working in the business and Channing Tatum shows that he is more than the hunk in the rom-com.

More in my review.

 

4) X-Men: Days of Future Past

After the success, and positive critical reception of First Class, director Bryan Singer went with the incredible task of putting both the new set of characters (led by James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence) with the old set (Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellen) to make one of the more satisfying blockbusters of the year, and one that got the super team-up right. McAvoy steals the show with his second performance as Charles Xavier and seeing both the young and old versions of Xavier and Magneto are worth the price of ticket alone.

More in my review.

 

3) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Even with a choppy title, this blockbuster was daring and epic. The first movie was a surprise and laid the groundwork for the sequel, which takes the concepts and develops them into one of the better franchises going right now. Director Matt Reeves breaths a new sense of life into the property that takes on the tension between two factions trying to do what they perceive as right, and builds not only a blockbuster that entertains you, but also makes you think. Andy Serkis continues to do fantastic work as Caesar with a scene-stealing performance by Toby Kebbell as the “villain” Koba.

More in my review.

 

2) Edge of Tomorrow

The video game movie not based on a video game, Edge of Tomorrow wasn’t a movie I had on my radar until massively positive press hinted that the movie could be more than just another Tom Cruise vehicle. Instead, it was a thoughtful, entertaining, and intelligent movie that not only was an engaging action flick but a showcase for a fantastic performance by Emily Blunt. The concept of sci-fi Groundhig Day seems odd, but totally works in all the best ways.

More in my review.

 

1) Guardians of the Galaxy

I liked the way I summarized this movie in my review as the one we would be most nostalgic about in the coming years. Both self-aware and utterly engaging, Guardians of the Galaxy is the Star Wars film we were never given and one that had me cheering the entire time. The humor, the action, and the ambiance felt everything like being in an original trilogy Star Wars movie but with a little more modern flair. Chris Pratt is great as the swashbuckling lead with scene-stealing work by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel as Rocket and Groot respectively. This is the film I will most definitely go back and re-visit time and time again after this summer is over and the one that I will be thinking about most if summer blockbusters get oversaturated with superhero movies in the coming years.

More in my review.

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