The Terminal (2004)

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An Eastern European tourist unexpectedly finds himself stranded in JFK airport, and must take up temporary residence there. (IMDb)
Product placement and kinda cringe-y “foreign person in America” schtick aside, this could’ve been a good film if it cut a half hour of its runtime and just stuck with the “happy-go-lucky guy living in an airport” narrative. Alas, as it is we get on top of it not one but two baffling romances (one ending in a wedding after literally no relationship, one weirdly melodramatic: “Just stay away from me, Viktor”) and an out-of-nowhere climactic plot point that’s only introduced with 20 minutes left.
6/10 (Mediocre)

The Losers (2010)

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A CIA special forces team are betrayed and left for dead by their superiors, galvanizing them to mount an offensive on the CIA. (IMDb)
Swing and a miss: it doesn’t get a hit but it sure tries hard. This mostly makes it all the more painful to watch (see the spastic “look how cool this movie is” editing and busy soundtrack), but occasionally it makes some contact (see Evans’ comic relief, especially his “Don’t Stop Believin'” moment). The well-paced action-adventure plot at its core keeps it watchable, but only barely, thanks to its generally unpleasant visual style, female exploitation, terrible SFX, and awful cheesy villain.
5.5/10 (Poor)

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

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Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ continues the team’s adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. (IMDb)
A patient, layered narrative does a remarkable job at developing our beloved characters (though some arcs are better than others: Rocket, Yondu, and the touching epilogue > the crazy sisters). Add in shiploads of comedy (not all of it lands, but Drax is always a delight) and this sequel’s almost more like a quirky dramedy set in a colourful 80s-tinged space setting than a superhero flick at times (standard “blow it up” climax aside), which is refreshing–as is the more subtly sinister villain.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

A group of intergalactic criminals are forced to work together to stop a fanatical warrior from taking control of the universe. (IMDb)
A fun and eclectic superhero movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Humour pops up in the most dramatic of moments, and an awesome retro soundtrack delights as it contrasts with the slick futuristic galactic setting. The five distinct guardians form a gang of outcasts that are easy to root for in what is admittedly a typical and lackluster “stop the bad guy, save the world” type adventure story. Standard plot-line aside, this is an entertaining flick with even an emotional moment or two.
7.5/10 (Really Good)