Josh Harshbarger’s review published on Letterboxd:
So much fun with an awesome soundtrack. The moment you see Quill dancing in those ruins while the “Guardians of the Galaxy” title fills up the screen above him, you know exactly what kind of movie this is going to be. And while I did enjoy Winter Soldier, it’s a very “serious” entry to the MCU. At this point, it felt like ages since there was a fun MCU film. The Avengers was the last one, but even that doesn’t reach the same level as this. This was by far the most fun and funny MCU film up to this point, and still remains one of the very best in my opinion (top 5 for sure).
The character development of the Guardians has been one of my favorites to watch in the MCU (next to Tony Stark). Watching them all go from being loners to learning how to have friends to learning how to be a family. Everything is beautifully written, perfectly cast, and you can see how much love James Gunn has for these characters. And the end where Groot saves everyone by sacrificing himself is always emotionally effective.
The only thing that doesn’t really work for me is Ronan. He’s a boring villain who wants to destroy Xander because... reasons. He has no personality at all and is, I think, probably one of the worst MCU villains. However, this movie is so good, I can forgive it.