Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 46
  2. Negative: 1 out of 46
  1. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jul 30, 2014
    75
    The vibe, if not the specifics, is highly reminiscent of "The Last Starfighter," "Battlestar Galactica," "Battle Beyond the Stars," and others. The fact that the movie's "present" is defined as being 1988 and the soundtrack is peppered with '70s tunes cements the retro feeling.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jul 31, 2014
    88
    Guardians of the Galaxy does the impossible. Through dazzle and dumb luck, it turns the clichés of comic-book films on their idiot heads and hits you like an exhilarating blast of fun-fun-fun. It's insanely, shamelessly silly – just one reason to love it.
  3. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jul 31, 2014
    50
    Guardians of the Galaxy is pretty much where action movies are these days - a combination of comedy without wit, action without drama and elaborate visuals that are nothing much to look at.
  4. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jul 31, 2014
    80
    To see an expensive, big-studio movie freed from creative constraints and directorial cynicism is always a rare and wondrous experience. In a season of bloated indulgence, it’s also fair to call it a marvel.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jul 31, 2014
    70
    A likable lightweight, though it's heavy enough on cosmic combat and dazzling effects.
  6. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jul 31, 2014
    90
    Blessed with a loose, anarchic B-picture soul that encourages you to enjoy yourself even when you're not quite sure what's going on, the scruffy "Guardians" is irreverent in a way that can bring the first "Star Wars" to mind.
  7. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jul 31, 2014
    75
    With its introduction of wonderfully memorable characters and blend of humor, action and catchy tunes, Guardians is perfectly pitched escapist fun.
  8. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jul 31, 2014
    88
    Gunn makes this huge entertainment accessible to the converted and the neophyte alike, and he has only has one goal: To send you out of the theater with a fat smile on your face. Mission accomplished.
  9. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jul 31, 2014
    80
    Here, a pulse, wit, beauty and a real sensibility have been slipped into the fray, alongside the clockwork guffaws, kabooms and splats.
  10. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jul 29, 2014
    50
    Gunn has to juggle so many plot elements — so many booming galactic battles, so many whisker-close brushes with death — that it's little wonder he loses his grip on the thing. He inserts occasional moments of wonder but doesn't bother to smooth over the seams.
  11. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jul 31, 2014
    75
    The film owes its relative buoyancy above all to Chris Pratt as the wisecracking space rogue at the helm.
  12. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jul 31, 2014
    75
    The film’s fast, amusing, good-looking and not overlong, which is all sensible non-geeks ask of such movies.
  13. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 31, 2014
    70
    It’s a high-spirited, swashbuckling lark driven by cartoonish special effects and an ingenious double-layered nostalgia that allows it to become a virtual mixtape of ‘70s hits that predate its intended audience: “Hooked on a Feeling,” “The Piña Colada Song,” “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” etc.
  14. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jul 31, 2014
    75
    Too loud, too long and too busy but – here’s the good part – also wonderfully silly.
  15. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jul 30, 2014
    25
    Guardians of the Galaxy brings to mind some of the most unforgettable sci-fi event movies of the last 30 years. Alas, those films are “Howard the Duck” and “Green Lantern.”
  16. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Jul 31, 2014
    100
    It manages the trick of being both an unironic sci-fi action-adventure flick and a zippy parody of one. It’s exciting, funny, self-aware, beautiful to watch and even, for a flickering instant or two, almost touching.
  17. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Jul 30, 2014
    80
    Gunn, a B-movie enthusiast who got his start at Troma, has found a way to bring funkiness and humanity to a galaxy-spanning blockbuster, one filled with dogfights and floating fortresses, but also with heroes quick with a quip, fast on the draw, and more than a little beaten up by the universe.
  18. 75
    Laugh-out-loud funny and production-designed to death, Guardians of the Galaxy pops off the screen.
  19. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Aug 4, 2014
    50
    It’s a bit of a botch.
  20. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jul 30, 2014
    90
    It's easy to get carried away with movies like this, which lend themselves to fanboy hype. It's not a perfect movie. But it is one that is hugely enjoyable, bears repeated viewings and will be as funny in 10 years (or 50) as it is now. And that's pretty swell.
  21. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Jul 24, 2014
    70
    Director James Gunn’s presumptive franchise-starter is overlong, overstuffed and sometimes too eager to please, but the cheeky comic tone keeps things buoyant — as does Chris Pratt’s winning performance as the most blissfully spaced-out space crusader this side of Buckaroo Banzai.
  22. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jul 31, 2014
    100
    Surrender, earthlings. It’s the Guardians’ world and you’ll be happy to live in it.
  23. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Jul 30, 2014
    78
    Guardians of the Galaxy is an outlier: a space opera in a largely earthbound movie cycle (excepting the occasional red-eye to another dimension in the Thor pictures), candy-colored and bopping where the other Marvel movies are muted and imposing, and the funniest one to date, without a doubt.
  24. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jul 31, 2014
    80
    It is fast, it is fun.
  25. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jul 31, 2014
    91
    A perfectly irreverent counterpoint to movies that take their superheroes a bit too seriously.
  26. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jul 24, 2014
    75
    Though the special effects win the day, Guardians of the Galaxy holds court with a sense of humor that transcends its more familiar ingredients.
  27. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jul 31, 2014
    75
    Guardians of the Galaxy is fun but forgettable, or perhaps Gunn crams so much onto the screen that memory is crowded out. Definitely worth a second look, just to figure out what in the name of Buckaroo Banzai is going on.
  28. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Jul 31, 2014
    88
    It’s filled with a kind of giddy energy that leaps off the screen. It’s corny, it’s dopey, it’s sincere, it’s romantic, it’s thrilling and it leaves one anticipating the next adventure of these heroic goofballs.
  29. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Jul 30, 2014
    75
    Guardians boasts not one, but two Han Solo proxies — not to mention an ass-kicking Princess Leia surrogate, a villain with a very Sithian fashion sense, and the flora answer to Chewbacca. Also, one of the Han Solo types is a talking raccoon.
  30. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Jul 24, 2014
    80
    The fun of it – and Guardians of the Galaxy specialises in fun, served by the sugar-sprinkled ice-cream-scoopload – is in seeing this odd quintet bluster through space battles and alien brawls that would have defeated anyone smarter and better-equipped. Just as the team makes do with the junk they find around them, the film feels like a mound of gems culled from decades of pop-culture scavenging.
  31. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Jul 31, 2014
    70
    The film seems content to be the class clown of the Marvel Universe, which is all well and good. But like most class clowns, sometimes you wish it would apply itself — because it seems capable of being so much more.
  32. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Jul 29, 2014
    91
    [A] blend of classic sci-fi fare and current pop-culture irony is what rockets “Guardians” into the stratosphere.
  33. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Jul 30, 2014
    91
    The film's a giddily subversive space opera that runs on self-aware smart-assery.
  34. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Jul 31, 2014
    75
    The motley crew’s repartee makes for comedy that’s surprisingly consistent, yet freewheeling and sharp enough to pinball from Kevin Bacon to Jackson Pollock and back.
  35. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Aug 1, 2014
    75
    The gadgetry and fight scenes are nicely rendered. The aeronautical battles, though, fall well short of state-of-the-art. Maybe they're collateral damage to the film's goofy style.
  36. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    Jul 24, 2014
    100
    Guardians Of The Galaxy is the most charming Marvel movie so far. The primary ensemble (Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel) is perhaps the most winning group of characters they've introduced in any of these movies.
  37. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Jul 24, 2014
    80
    Overall this is giddy, ridiculous fun, a witty, wacky and wonderfully generous sugary gift of a film.
  38. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Jul 24, 2014
    80
    As much as Guardians largely thrives through its lovably scuzzy style, it cannot avoid the immense tractor-beam pull of The Big Marvel Studios Final Act.
  39. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Jul 24, 2014
    83
    Gunn’s careful to keep the focus on the central five, but certainly proves himself capable of the bigger canvas. The film really pops visually, with an admirably bright color palette (DP Ben Davis doing excellent work), and though there are occasionally some geography issues, the action is mostly satisfying.
  40. Reviewed by: Justin Lowe
    Jul 24, 2014
    80
    Overall, the writers have crafted a well-articulated universe with distinct settings and relatable, compelling characters devoted to a thrilling quest for redemption.
  41. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Jul 24, 2014
    70
    Unlike the stiff-jawed heroics of the other Marvel films, this feels a little looser and lighter, with Pratt as charming, amoral accidental leader Peter Quill, an earthling among the stars who, as he will tell you, is also known as the roving brigand “Starlord.”
  42. Reviewed by: Ben Nicholson
    Jul 24, 2014
    80
    Guardians of the Galaxy is undoubtedly a flashy space opera, but if you are on board with that, it's a resounding success that takes a seat at Marvel's top table and suggests there could still be life after The Avengers.
  43. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Jul 31, 2014
    75
    A fun and relatively fresh space Western. Think “Firefly” pitched at 15-year-olds, with a lot of overt "Star Wars" nods. And super-“irreverent” dialogue that is, more often than not, genuinely funny.
  44. Reviewed by: Abhimanyu Das
    Jul 30, 2014
    63
    For every scene that soars into the dizzying heights of the pop sublime, there's another that crashes back down into the mundane troughs of studio-mandated formula.
  45. Reviewed by: Matt Risley
    Jul 24, 2014
    80
    Mad, marvellous and all kinds of sci-fi magical, Guardians Of The Galaxy is Marvel’s riskiest but most surprising success yet.
  46. Reviewed by: Steve Rose
    Jul 24, 2014
    60
    The movie practically satirises itself as it goes along, glossing over its own absurdity in the process.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 1670 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 413
  1. Aug 1, 2014
    10
    Highly recommend. Definitely the funniest marvel movie I've seen so far, though very different than what they've been doing. It's an ensembleHighly recommend. Definitely the funniest marvel movie I've seen so far, though very different than what they've been doing. It's an ensemble sci-fi adventure comedy with clever dialogue and a memorable cast of characters. Similar group dynamic to what we saw in the avengers, made all the more impressive by the fact that they haven't had several movies to introduce the characters.
    It has very little to do with the avengers specifically and instead widens the lens to encompass the greater marvel universe, making use of characters and alien races we've seen bits and pieces of before (most notably in the Thor films). The tone is very unique, bouncing effortlessly back and forth between comedy and genuine drama with an array of action scenes in a wide variety of set pieces.
    If you've been following the marvel movies so far, you'll want to see this since it helps to expand the cinematic universe while setting the stage for the future avengers films (though in some ways it feels like it's setting up Avengers 3 more than 2). On the other hand, if you haven't been following the franchise very consistently or not at all, it still works as an adventure movie. The main characters have little or nothing to do with any of the movies so far, and while there are one or two faces we've seen before, especially in the villain department, you won't need to know them to be able to enjoy it. There's an important macguffin that ties into the larger story, but it's basically just there to drive the plot along. If anyone has been living in a cave somewhere for the past ten years or so, I'd be interested to hear what someone who hasn't watched any of the marvel movies thought of this.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 1, 2014
    9
    Dont believe the reviews, this movie is WAY better than a 77. Its my new favorite marvel movie. form the hot zoe salanda as gamora, to theDont believe the reviews, this movie is WAY better than a 77. Its my new favorite marvel movie. form the hot zoe salanda as gamora, to the awesome groot and star lord, this movie is very well balanced between sadness, action, laughs and epicness. Very well done Marvel Studios. You will greatly enjoy this movie, i cannot guarantee that enough. Go watch it now. Full Review »
  3. Aug 1, 2014
    10
    I just saw guardians of the Galaxy and all I can think is WOW. That movie was amazing, the acting was top notch, the effects wereI just saw guardians of the Galaxy and all I can think is WOW. That movie was amazing, the acting was top notch, the effects were breathtaking, and the general tone and theme of the movie was thoroughly pleasant. I didn't think a movie could have such a well thought out plot, have masterful effects, and be hilarious. Seriously go see it. Full Review »