Every year, there's an unofficial song of the summer, a particular jam that makes the season special. Not that this is something universally agreed upon by anyone, just a topic for discussion and a means to good times. If there had to be any movie equivalent in 2014, it's Guardians of the Galaxy. Of course, it helps that the movie has a great soundtrack full of retro tunes that could count as songs of the summer. It's an awesome mixtape for playing out by the pool.
As far as this summer's blockbusters go, Guardians might just be the best. But it has some strong competition from movies that are so differently great that it's hard to compare them. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes proved once again that sequels can be as great as if not better than the original -- not to mention that franchise reboots in general can be done really well. That was also evidenced in Godzilla, a remake with flaws that don't matter in the grand scheme of its impeccable execution.
Oh, and I can't forget Edge of Tomorrow -- or are we calling it Live Die Repeat now? The Tom Cruise sci-fi actioner wasn't a big hit at the box office, which is a shame since it was the greatest theatrical thrill ride of this year so far, in any season. For many of us, the actor redeemed himself after last year's immensely faulted sci-fi flick Oblivion, as well as especially his last summertime release, 2012's Rock of Ages. There's nothing like a good Cruise in the summer (then again, I like Knight & Day and War of the Worlds).
As for the smaller movies, often referred to as counterprogramming in the summer, I've regrettably not seen the films with the best buzz, such as Boyhood, Snowpiercer, The Rover, Ida, Chef, The Trip to Italy and Calvary. But I did finally see Obvious Child, and it's hilarious and surely will still be among my favorites once I catch up.
There have also been a lot of excellent documentaries released over the past few months, some that will definitely be on my best of the year list, including Life Itself, The Internet's Own Boy, Rich Hill, The Kill Team and Expedition to the End of the World, which opens this week. If you think docs can't be as exciting as most summer blockbusters, definitely check that last one out. It beautifully and humorously follows a ship full of artists and scientists to the Arctic to another awesome soundtrack mixing up Mozart and Metallica.
What was the best movie of this summer?
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