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Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language.

Reviewed by: Raphael Vera

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Sci-Fi Superhero Fantasy Action Adventure 3D IMAX
2 hr. 1 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
August 1, 2014 (wide—3,800+ theaters)
DVD: December 9, 2014
Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures


thieves in the Bible: theft, robbery, the two thieves

Aliens (extraterrestrials)

What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer

Are we alone in the universe? Answer

Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer

questions and answers about the origin of life

Featuring: Chris PrattPeter Quill
Zoe SaldanaGamora
Vin DieselGroot (voice)
Bradley CooperRocket (voice)
Glenn CloseNova Prime
John C. ReillyCorpsman Dey
Josh BrolinThanos (uncredited)
Benicio Del ToroThe Collector
Karen Gillan … Nebula
Lee Pace … Ronan
Dave Bautista … Drax
Mikaela Hoover … Nova Prime's Assistant
Nathan Fillion … Monstrous Inmate
Laura Haddock … Meredith Quill
Djimon HounsouKorath
Alexis Denisof … The Other
Stan Lee … Xandarian Ladies' Man
more »
Director: James Gunn
Producer: Marvel Enterprises
Marvel Studios
Moving Picture Company (MPC)
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), a legendary outlaw who also goes by the name “Star Lord,” is a member of a mercenary group called The Ravagers. Sent to a distant planet to retrieve a mysterious orb of power, he succeeds and soon travels to the planet Xandar to “cash-in.” However, the broker balks when he hears that the radical Kree named Ronin is after the very same thing.

Ronin (Lee Pace), a powerful but homicidal Kree warrior, has sworn vengeance on the entire Xandarian race of 12 billion and, peace treaty not withstanding, he is determined to wipe them all out. Ronin had agreed to secure the orb for Thanos, in exchange for the mad titan’s promise to wipe out life on Xandar. Thanos’ two daughters, Nebula and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) were sent to aid Ronin in his task, but upon hearing it was stolen he assigns Gamora, an infamous assassin in her own right, to find Quill.

Yondu (Michael Rooker) as the leader of the Ravagers is furious when he learns Quill is trying to sell the orb out from under him, thus cutting the Ravagers out, and so he puts a bounty on Peter Quill. The bounty is what draws Quill to the attention of a genetically altered and cybernetically enhanced raccoon named Rocket.

A skirmish over the orb on Xandar lands Quill, Gamora, Rocket and his sidekick—a walking, talking Ent-like creature named Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel)—in prison where they meet Drax The Destroyer (Dave Bautista) who has his own reasons for wanting to kill Ronin. Alliances are formed to first escape the prison and then sell the orb to someone who will keep it away from Ronin’s hands while the lives of a planet, and eventually the whole galaxy (assuming Thanos gets the orb), hangs in the balance if they fail.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is a fun, no-holds barred sci-fi action film that is no doubt setting the stage for a future galaxy threatening confrontation between Thanos, the Avengers and everyone else but is not without some areas of concern that first need to be mentioned.

Violence: Heavy. People are killed by lasers, explosions, debris, hammer and knives but usually from a distance and bloodless, except for one scene where blood is seen pooling almost ritualistically from an off-screen kill. Killings and severe injuries that take place nearer or close up include impaling, stabbings, ripping out of head/brain implants, shots to the head, crushing of heads, freezing, drowning, electric shock and total disintegration. Scenes of torture include being locked up like an animal, being hosed down in prison and fingers up the nose (and then further into the head). The violence alone makes it unsuitable for younger children.

Language: Moderate. Crude words heard include… sh** (3), bitc* (1), two separate euphemisms for male genitalia (pr**k 1x, d**k 3x), “a-holes” (instead of full word was used twice), whore (1), bastard (2), asses (2), hell (3), damn (2), screw (1), freakin’ (5), crap (1) and the Lord’s name was taken in vain twice, plus once us of “Good God.” Thankfully, the “F” bomb was not used. Off-color rhetoric includs talk of uptight people as having “sticks up their butts” and of Quill having numerous female companions, but none were serious. Some of the lyrics from the older 70s/80s songs Quill listens to are descriptive, along the lines of “making love” and having affairs, but are mostly background music. Language should likewise be a red flag to parents with children.

Sex/Nudity: Mild. Quill is hosed down in prison while shirtless and wearing only boxers. Gamora and Nebula are both in tight-fitting clothes, and Quill follows Gamora’s leather-clad backside as she walks up some stairs. Some of the conversation contains diffused innuendo, not pronounced, and are only implied, as were Quills’ “relationships.” The most inappropriate scene involves Quill landing on Gamora during a fall, and though his body is placed both atop and between her legs, it is a non sexually charged moment.


One of the oldest lessons in the Bible can be seen in the way both Isaac and Jacob created problems by showing favoritism. Thanos, in the presence of both daughters Nebula and Gamora refers to the latter as his favorite. It is no wonder that Nebula hates her so. The Word of God expounds on the natural reaction to this and condemns its use as well.

“Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age… and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.” Genesis 37:3-7

“My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.” —James 2:1

Ronin admits early on, “They call me terrorist, radical, zealot because I obey the ancient laws of my people, the Kree, and punish those who do not.” He sees himself as a deliverer of justice, as many do today, but his corrupt nature, as evidenced by his love of death, clouds his vision, as it will for all evil men, just as Solomon said,

Evil men do not understand justice.” —Proverbs 28:5

Drax has the singular focus of seeking revenge on Ronin for having killed his wife and daughter. His loss was great, but we understand the God of the Old and New Testament has always spoken with the same voice.

“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:18

“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, ” says the Lord.” —Romans 12:19

Gamora, a ‘cold hearted’, trained assassin since childhood when she herself was abducted, at a pivotal moment declares, “… I have lived most of my life surrounded by my enemies. I would be grateful to die among my friends.” She, just as the others, give proof of the kind of self-sacrifice that is rare but is to be treasured when found.

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” —Proverbs 18:24

Along those same lines there are two great moments in the film, instances of a willingness to give up your life for others that are both profound and moving in their own way and should remind us of Jesus’ own words when he said, as a foreshadowing of his coming death

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” —John 15:13

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is a lightning paced, visually stunning, action packed and exciting film truly meriting 3D or the IMAX 3D experience and whose entry finally takes the Marvel film universe “cosmic.” Peter Quill, as played terrifically by Chris Pratt as the self deprecating and only “slightly flawed” hero, leads a well cast group of characters that are each given great moments in which to shine. This is one of the most enjoyable films I have seen all year and is marred only by the sporadic language and violence referenced earlier. “Guardians…” manages to bring back the fun and long lost feel of the epic space opera, and I enthusiastically recommend it for age appropriate audiences.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—I like Rocket Raccoon. Groot says “I’m Groot.” That all he says. I like it. Looks like “Star Wars.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Thomas Dickensheets, age 53 (USA)
Positive—This is a great summer movie for kids!! The moral of the story is to work hard and always help others. This is a quality that you don’t always see in films today. The violence was minimal, no more than a typical Saturday morning cartoon.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Byoung, age 35 (USA)
Positive—As with most Marvel movies, this was a very entertaining movie. Overall, there was a lot of humor, and it was a fast-paced, action movie. Some may say it could be a stand-alone movie, but I think the movie makes more sense, and one appreciates it more, if the other Marvel movies have been viewed first.

As mentioned by other viewers, the biggest disappointment is the language. It was totally unnecessary, and didn’t add anything to the movie. The problem I wish Marvel would understand is it limits it’s audience unnecessarily by adding the language—no one ever leaves a movie saying, “good movie, but it could have been so much better if there was more profanity”.

Overall, good, funny story with lots of potential for future Marvel movies, but the language is something to consider for younger viewers.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jason, age 40 (USA)
Positive—Six members of my family (3 generations) viewed this film, and all the males enjoyed it; while the women were disappointed. It's not just the violence, but the boring dialogue of the female characters that is largely to blame for this. Some scenes with the villain and the females are so dark and incomprehensible that we all were getting restless.

However, the dialogue between the male characters (including a tree and a raccoon) is cinematic genius, which could lift this movie to cult status. Already I am seeing references to this movie in reviews of other films. So even if you lack a Y chromosome, go see this movie; even if it's just to understand “I am Groot” when you hear it on the street. As with all MARVEL movies, sit through all the credits for the final scene.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Brian Schacht, age 67 (Canada)
Positive—Except for the profanity, this movie is brilliant! It begins with our Star Lord character as a child listening with headphones to “I’m Not In Love” by 10cc, the first song of an outstanding movie soundtrack (me being of that generation). The song is interrupted by his father removing his headphones ***SPOILER*** and taking him to see his dying mother who gives him a wrapped gift he waits to open at of the end of the movie. He then is mysteriously transferred to another star system more he becomes a real Star Lord with an interesting power and the action really begins. ***END SPOILER***

He is joined by a ragtag group of interesting characters described in the original review. One of the best things about this movie was the editing of the fight scenes. Right in the middle of the fight scene of one character they would cut to the fight scene of another character. If I remember correctly they would cut in the middle of that fight scene to go to a third fight scene and cut in the middle of that to return to the first and so on and so on. To my knowledge, that is a completely original editing concept. Anyway, I have never seen it before.

There are also some biblical lessons also described in the original review. After the end of the movie, a sequel is promised graphically, and I simply cannot wait. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is by far the best movie of the year and the first gift on my Christmas list. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jeff, age 57 (USA)
Neutral—“Guardians of the Galaxy” is definitely an interesting direction for Marvel Studios. While it certainly packed all the action you could ever ask for in a Marvel Movie, it presented itself also in a light weight humorous form (more so than with previous Marvel films I’ve seen in the past). My feelings are mixed. The plot is pretty strong (although for me there was some confusion on the identification of the villains in the beginning of the film and the dialog between each villain). Most of the confusion, however, cleared within 45 minutes of viewing.

Chris Pratt, and his band of cohorts, are funny (and my fellow audience members agreed) and the right actors were picked for the right roles. The action sequences were definitely heavy when they occurred. In addition, I enjoyed the homages made to the 1980s (in the form of music).

My objection: The language. There was language in that film I never thought would EVER come across in a Marvel film, let alone a PG-13 rated action flick (including a couple uses of the word pr**k). It was unnecessary and especially inappropriate coming from what is intended to be a Disney supported film. The violence seemed heavy at time, but not in excess of what would be called for with this film’s rating.

Bottom line is that I found this film enjoyable. While the tone may have been strange for a film in this genre (aka “the humor”), I still chalk this film up to one of Marvel’s finest achievements in the film industry. Relatively okay for Christian viewing but if you are willing to put aside some of the objections, you may enjoy the ride.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Alexander Malsan, age 24 (USA)
Neutral—“Guardians of the Galaxy” may be an installment into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it sure feels like it could just be a stand alone film. As there are only a few references to previous films. Also, unlike the other Marvel films, this film really isn’t a superhero film but more of a space adventure one.

With the movie, I’ll just say first off it’s ridiculous, but I mean that in a good way, everything from the music, the weapons, to the aliens, and the script which makes for quite a humorous movie. This film can also have it’s serious moments though, as the opening scene of the film shows.

Morally, I’d put this film about on the same footing as an “Iron Man” film. There is some swearing throughout the movie including one incomplete F-bomb. There are thankfully no sex scenes in the movie, though Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is portrayed as being a playboy. The biggest moral issue that may come to people is the violence, as there’s a lot of it with this being a PG-13 action, adventure movie.

With positive morals, this film it doesn’t have the redeeming elements of say a “Captain America” movie, and it isn’t a movie that sparks conversations or gives you something for your mind to chew on. That being said, it isn’t just some mindless summer blockbuster, it deals with people who formerly were just outlaw and come together for different reasons; money, revenge, freedom. In the end though, they get the opportunity to fight for something bigger than themselves and literally get the chance to become the “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Overall, I’d say it was a very enjoyable movie and it’s a fun addition to the Marvel canon. However, I would say that it’s not for everyone and it’s not as good as “The Avengers” or “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Samuel O, age 18 (USA)
Neutral—I gave this film a neutral rating because I couldn’t give it both a good and bad rating at the same time.

Good: The movie itself was GREAT, and being a Marvel movie, we had no reservations about taking our two sons to see it. Super hero violence doesn’t bother them at all (even though they’re 8 and 5). They loved the movie, and it had a great moral-of-the-story, just as all Marvel movies do.

Bad: I was completely embarrassed and caught off-guard by the overwhelming language. I don’t use language like that, but as a movie-goer, I expect to hear some from time to time. This movie, especially for its intended audience, was over-the-top in both the word choices and the inappropriate timing of such. Also, while some would say there is no nudity in the movie, I don’t agree. There is no obvious nudity from a human, but there are human-like beings who are partially nude in some scenes (in particular, a blue man’s behind as he’s being dressed by others), and the modesty of the women’s attire leaves much to be desired. In one place, the raccoon is seen adjusting his crotch in a skin-tight suit. The PG-13 rating is appropriate in my opinion. I’ve spoken to my children about the inappropriateness of some scenes, but if you have younger children, you may want to reconsider allowing them to see this film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Chrystal, age 38 (USA)
Neutral—Enjoyed the movie, but IT IS NOT for kids!!!… The movie is very violent and the subject matter is dark at times. In one scene, they went to a mining colony in space and it was a dead alien’s head! They were harvesting what was left of him. In another scene, it is implied that Ronan bashes a guy’s head in with a hammer of sorts.

Parents really boggle my mind when they take their children to see these types of movies with such adult content and then wonder why the child begins to act out. I did appreciate the humor and the old school classics, that helped lighten the movie up a bit. Good Marvel flick, but it was violent and some of the subject matter was dark.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Chaka, age 40 (USA)
Neutral—I found it bland and not very funny, with poor writing. It’s clean, for the most part, but has a bit of swearing, including God’s name once. Most of the time I couldn’t follow it, and I was daydreaming a lot of the time. It was like not getting a joke that everyone in the room does. I guess I’m not really into that kind of story or humour. It is based on a Marvel comic book, and I’ve never seen the cartoon, so I had no point of reference. Based on how others in the theatre were reacting, I guess it was funny to them!

There is quite a bit of violence, but they tone down some of it so that they show the killing off camera. I was glad when it was over. I stayed only because I wanted to see what was in the gift his mother gave him.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Kathy Pj, age 54 (Canada)
Negative—This is one of the movies you’ll forget you ever watched, in a month. It is a waste of time, unless you watch in 3D (it does indeed have some awesome and unique scenes for 3D). My son (age 14) loved it, as it has some humor that adults find tasteless, boring and overused… even primitive. Story-line is predictable at times, and sometimes not predictable, as it is too fairytale-ish to be even remotely plausible even in the sci-fi world. Characters are flat. Even the main character has no positive characteristics to be sympathetic towards, even if he dies.

PS: I wouldn’t want my galaxy guarded by a lustful dude, emotional hunk, raccoon, and a tree.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Vladislav Valentinov, age 37 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—This was a great movie; I saw it with my friend, and we both agreed it was even better than the Avenger's. Good story and acting, plus it was very funny. The only objectionable content was the language. Other than that, great film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Matthew, age 13 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—I have not seen the movie, but any film that is contrary to what the Bible says is NOT a good movie. It’s extremely sad when Christians let there guards down long enough for the enemy to come in. And I know that a lot of professed Christians would disagree with me on this, but that’s what the world did too with Jesus.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: none
—Andre Wallace, age 38 (USA)

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