Tom Cruise is a movie star, even if the box office doesn’t show it. By all standard measurements, Edge of Tomorrow wasn’t a success. But who cares about measurements? This is an excitingly unique blockbuster, the kind that had inevitably been forgotten by the end of the year because it wasn’t tied to any franchise. Cruise stars as Cage, an inexperienced officer in the military who, after being doused in alien blood, gains the ability to relive his first day of combat every time he dies. If this sounds a little far-fetched, rest assured that Edge of Tomorrow is more believable than past Tom Cruise movies (i.e. Top Gun) because it contains real people, like Emily Blunt’s war hero or Brendan Gleeson’s uncompromising general, instead of action figurines.
Quicker take: The best blockbuster of the year after Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy, Snowpiercer, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, How to Train Your Dragon 2…dang, 2014 was a good year for blockbusters.