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.
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.
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.
When Disney bought Marvel Studios, they gained a huge backlog of intellectual properties and stories to mine. The Avengers and the various supporting live-action superhero flicks like Ironman and Thor were just the beginning, as we can see from this new trailer (below) for upcoming animated adventure, Big Hero 6, based on the comic of the same name.
“Big Hero 6 [is] an action comedy adventure about brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada,” says the Disney press release, “who finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo. With the help of his closest companion – a robot named Baymax – Hiro joins forces with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters on a mission to save their city.”