Top 10 movies of 2014 you absolutely must watch

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2014 has been an intriguing 12 months for movies. With no obvious breakout Oscar winners (a la 12 Years a Slave) or billion-dollar box office smashes (like The Avengers), it’s easy to think it’s been a forgettable year.

But that’s not really true. Peer beneath the surface and it has, in fact, been a very strong year for movie fans — from emotional masterpieces like Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and returns-to-form like Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street to action-packed blockbusters such as Guardians of the Galaxy, there’s truly been something for everyone.

So what are our picks for the 10 “must see” movies of 2014? Keep reading to find out.

Marvel Pinball goes free to mark new Guardians of the Galaxy table

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San Diego Comic-Con 2014 may be over, but with all of the announcements out of the way, now we get to reap the rewards. Among the event’s iOS-related announcements was Marvel’s proclamation that its great Marvel Pinball app is getting a new table, to celebrate the company’s new Guardians of the Galaxy movie. To mark the occasion, the app is going free for the first time ever.

Why Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel’s iWatch

With Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios is spinning its movie empire forward into the future. Image courtesy Marvel Studios
With Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios is spinning its movie empire forward into the future. Images courtesy Marvel Studios

A comic book movie about misfit space superheroes might not seem to have much in common with Apple’s long-rumored entry into wearable computing. However, for a handful of reasons, Guardians of the Galaxy is to Marvel Studios what the iWatch is to Apple –- a high-profile release that’s critical to the company’s future success.

Here’s why.

Guardians of the Galaxy sneak peek proves Avengers wasn’t a fluke

In Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel brings together a band of misfits to fight evil. Image courtesy Marvel Studios
In Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel brings together a band of misfits to fight evil. Image courtesy Marvel Studios

Who are the Guardians of the Galaxy and why should you care? Marvel Studios gave lucky fans a nice long look at the weird team of space heroes during an extended sneak preview of the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

The 17 minutes of footage introduced the five key players: Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord (played by Chris Pratt); talking raccoon Rocket and his treelike buddy/protector Groot; beefy blue badass Drax the Destroyer (part-time WWE wrestler Dave Bautista); and steely, green-skinned assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana). It also gave us a sustained looked at the movie’s not-so-secret weapon: humor.

Action-packed Guardians of the Galaxy trailer raises the sci-fi stakes

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The new trailer for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, has us chomping at the galactic bit for the full movie, due out in theaters August 1. There’s plenty of action in this new preview, along with some fantastic moments between our protagonists.

With Bradley Cooper as wisecracking badass raccoon Rocket and Vin Diesel as giant, flower-giving tree-thug Groot, the upcoming flick from the makers of Thor, Iron Man and The Avengers is promising a lot to moviegoers; let’s hope it’s worth the wait.