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Best Picture, Director: "American Sniper"
Ultimately, this decision came down to a duel between "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "American Sniper." While "Galaxy" was a juggernaut and a critical hit, it's not valued among fans for its prestige. Even if we're likely to see a Best Picture win for a superhero film in the next 20 years, I don't think "Guardians of the Galaxy" is the ultimate cinematic experience viewers would agree to exalt. Meanwhile, "American Sniper" outperformed every estimate of success and managed to score critical plaudits and a resounding audience response. The shocking box office performance of "American Sniper" feels like the biggest moviegoer statement of the year, and for that reason Clint Eastwood's hit (which netted an A+ on CinemaScore) is the people's Best Picture.