If the Hugo nominations can be taken as a “recommended reading/viewing list,” they succeeded this year in the category of “Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form.” I can personally recommend all the movies on the ballot this year, although for different reasons for each one.Guardians of the Galaxy
Comic book science fiction fun. A collection of petty criminals become allies and save the galaxy (really, they do) with lots of fight scenes and explosions. Nothing deep, and I approached it very unsure about that racoon, but it turned out to be worth watching.Interstellar
This movie may not fully succeed, but it tries very hard. The world is dying, some astronauts fly off to search for a new home for humanity, and one of them delivers the knowledge from the future that humanity desperately needs, although with a very odd communications system. The plot mostly hangs together, and it gets some tricky physics right. If not the year’s best, it is the most ambitious.The Lego Movie
Recommended to me by my brother, who has young children. It tells the story of a Lego construction worker who must save the world from the evil Lord Business using the special Piece of Resistance. This movie is joyous insanity for children and adults, and in retrospect (although not as I was watching it), it even makes sense. It also makes good use of Lego’s unique fantasy possibilities. Everything is awesome!!!The Edge of Tomorrow
I didn’t see this, but my husband, who is also a Hugo voter, provides this summary: "Groundhog Day with war and aliens. Tom Cruz plays a cocky war reporter trying to avoid going to the front, and he ends up dying over and over again in the same battle until he learns how to fight. Well-executed with a lot of obligatory action. Not going to be a classic, but nothing’s wrong with it."Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Another comic-book-based movie, and I think it works successfully on the big screen. Captain America discovers ... well, no spoilers, but he has to defend freedom and protect millions of innocent people, and there’s a political undercurrent to the plot. Tense, smart, and a high body count with lots and lots and lots of well-done fight sequences.
— Sue Burke