Renegade Staff Picks: Top Summer Movies 2014

summer movies 2014Guardians of the Galaxy / Marvel
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Best Summer Movies 2014

 

summer movies 2014

The Expendables 3

Caliber Winfield: Despite quite a few flaws, and being the weakest of the series, I still enjoyed the hell out of this film. Mel Gibson makes a fantastic return, showing that he’s more than capable of carrying a big role, in a serious film. Snipes slipped back into the action hero role like a glove, and made me realize just how much I’d missed him from this genre. We got plenty of action, comprised of shoot-outs, fist-fights, explosions, vehicle chases & crashes, as well as exploding buildings. Yeah, I missed the heavy violence from the first two, and despised the new team, the greatness of the original Expendables as well as Gibson more than make up for it.

 

Summer Movies 2014

Jersey Boys

Conrad Moynihan: Clint Eastwood always hits a home run!

 

summer movies 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

Ruby Le Rouge: When I think of summer, I think of action movies and blockbusters, and this summer Guardians of the Galaxy was the home run for over the top blockbusters. The CGI was spot on, it was pretty much the perfect formula of action and camp. It delivered everything it promised in the previews.After watching a lot of horror and drama, I needed a fun movie like this one.

Allison Fleischer: For me it’d have to be Guardians of the Galaxy. I went in expecting an average superhero film, but this movie surprised me with the funny moments and the heartfelt moments. It was well-written, well-directed and well-acted. I look forward to Guardians of the Galaxy 2 more than I thought I would.

Shawn S. Lealos: I knew I was going to like Guardians of the Galaxy. I also knew it was a giant risk for Marvel because no one really knows anything about these heroes. However, that worked out perfectly for the movie. While there are always going to be people who pick Iron Man and Captain America movies to death because of what they expected from them, there was no chance of that with GotG. However, what happened did surprise me. I have all the faith in the world in James Gunn, but what he did with Guardians of the Galaxy was create a movie that might be better than anything Marvel has made so far. This movie was easily my favorite movie of the summer – funny, action packed and full of heart. It deserves being the number one movie of 2014.

 

Snowpiercer Red Band Trailer

Snowpiercer

Bethany Lewis: Snowpiercer, the quirky and smart US/Korean co-produced adaptation of a French sci-fi graphic novel, was a surprise hit this summer. It seemed to come out of nowhere and left a lot of buzz in its wake. It all the fun elements of an American action movie with all the intelligent and twisted sensibilities and dark humor of a Korean thriller. I was initially pulled in by Chan Wook Park’s name as producer and by all the diverse cultures and elements that went into its making. I was delightfully surprised by its complexity and unconventional approach to action moving making, as well as its unexpected abstract beauty.

 

summer movies 2014

The Lego Movie

Robert Kingett: I’d say The Lego Movie. There’s a lot of movies that try to show something by way of nifty CGI effects and dialog aced with puns and pauses so the audience knows when to laugh. The LEGO movie, however, is a different kind of experience. The movie centers around a very cliché story and typical action movie characters, made entirely out of LEGOS but the presentation is far from cliché. The movie gives you some advice before diving into the main plot, just stop thinking about the mechanics of a movie and enjoy what the movie has to offer. With a blend of witty dialog and a truly stunning voice cast this delightfully delectable will surely remain on Netflix accounts for years to come

 

summer movies 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Derek Johns: It’s not often that the seventh movie in a series ends being the best but that’s exactly what happened this summer when the latest X-Men was released. While the action and the writing was done well, the most surprising element was the performance of James McAvoy who easily carries the film’s more dramatic moments. Also, even though the continuity will now likely be all over the place I think it’s well worth it so we can now pretend The Last Stand never happened.

Caleb Masters: This summer came down to three different picks for me:

1. The nostalgia and groundbreaking filmmaking of Boyhood.
2. The impressive number of laughs per scene in Guardians of the Galaxy.
3. A franchise fully regaining its reputation in its seventh entry using time travel in X-Men Days of Future Past

Despite a relatively lackluster summer, these three films really stuck out as the films I’ll be revisiting over and over in the years to come. Of the three I think I have to go with Days of Future Past thanks to its smart script, return to form for Bryan Singer, and heartfelt story led by James McAvoy, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender. This truly is the Avengers of the X-men universe with a more philosophical edge. This movie has appearances from nearly every character from the past films(save Nightcrawler) and yet never feels overcrowded. It’s fun, weighty, and is the perfect sendoff to the first generation of X-men many of us grew up with.

And it somehow made X-men: The Last Stand and Wolverine Origins almost feel worth it. Almost.

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About the Author

Shawn S. Lealos
Shawn is a film critic with over 25 years of experience in print and online media. He is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and loves everything from critically acclaimed movies to B-level action flicks.
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