The 25 most exciting movies of 2010!

The 25 most exciting movies of 2010. By Simon Miraudo.

So long 2009! We appreciate everything you gave us, from long overdue adaptations of Watchmen and Where The Wild Things Are, surprise hits like District 9 and The Hangover, to the film we’ve spent the last three years talking about, dreaming about and salivating over in anticipation (Avatar – in case you were wondering). But it’s time to move on. 2010 has a tantalising slate of films that make 2009 look like a veritable cinematic wasteland.

I have compiled a list of the 25 most exciting movies to hit cinemas in the first year of the teens (sorry 1910, we’re taking it back!). As I learnt in 2009, it’s impossible to guarantee that every movie on this list will be a winner (last year’s number 4 was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen). Therefore, consider these the 25 movies that have me most eager to shed the skin of 2009 and stride towards the New Year.

Please let us know in the comments section below which films you are anticipating the most!

Without much further ado:

Action impresario Louis Letterier (The Transporter, The Incredible Hulk) helms this remake of the classic 1981 film Clash of the Titans. Gone are the stop-motion villains; enter glorious CGI monsters. With a cast that includes Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes combined with a screenplay from Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark), consider us intrigued. I only hope they figure out a better tagline than “Titans will clash”. No duh.

24. AREA 51

Oren Peli, the financially savvy horror maestro behind breakout hit Paranormal Activity, is already working on follow-up Area 51. The flick will be another ‘found footage’ narrative based around three curious teens who wind up in the notorious Area 51 in the Nevada Desert. A prediction: things go badly for them. Area 51 has a budget of $5 million; roughly 500 times what Peli had to work with on Paranormal.

I Love You … is based on the real life events of a con artist (played by Jim Carrey) who escapes prison to reunite with his former cellmate/love of his life (Ewan McGregor). This film, written by the team behind Bad Santa, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival almost 12 months ago to some great reviews. However, the risqué homosexual content scared distributors away. Maybe 2010 can be the year that an Australian distributor shows they are brave enough to bring a critically acclaimed film to audiences, regardless of its content (which frankly, should not have been a problem in the first place).

22. DAYBREAKERS

Aussie brothers Peter and Michael Spierig throw their hat into the vampire genre with their latest film Daybreakers. Filmed mid-2007, their picture will finally see release in 2010. The pic stars Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe, alongside Australian thesps Isabel Lucas, Vince Colosimo and Claudia Karvan.

Sly Stallone has positioned himself as one of the best action directors working today. The Expendables might just be his masterpiece; a trashy throwback to the muscleman movies of the 1980s. The film stars Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts and features cameos from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

20. YOUR HIGHNESS

Comedy/fantasy is a dangerous game, but in the hands of indie-auteur David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, All The Real Girls), it could be spectacular. Danny McBride and James Franco play two prince brothers (really?) who must rescue Franco’s recently kidnapped virginal bride (Zooey Deschanel). They are joined on their quest by a warrior princess (Natalie Portman).

I should know better than to be excited for a TV-to-film adaptation, but there is something palpably cool about the new A-Team. Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley and Liam Neeson (and to a lesser extent the UFC fighter they got to play Mr. T) look the part, and director Joe Carnahan has long-deserved a big action flick to sink his teeth into. My anticipation is tentative – but a boy can dream can’t he?

Formerly known as A Couple of Dicks (and briefly, A Couple of Cops), Kevin Smith makes his studio debut with this buddy flick starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan. Willis is no stranger to funny action movies, but the real wildcard here is Tracy Morgan. Can he top the heights of Who Dat Ninja?

The Other Guys is, aptly, the other action comedy about police officers to debut in 2010. Adam McKay (Talladega Nights, Anchorman) directs his muse Will Ferrell alongside Mark Wahlberg as they play two detectives who always miss out on the action. Of course, the big reason to get excited is that the film features Michael Keaton in a supporting role. And who doesn’t love Michael Keaton?!

The name David Fincher doesn’t exactly conjure up thoughts of warm comedy and intimate relationship drama as much as it does brutal beatings and horrific, violent imagery. Therefore, I was definitely excited to hear that he would be adapting Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal (adapted by Aaron Sorkin). Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake, I cannot wait to see Fincher bring out his sense of humour on this one. Saying that, perhaps it is apt that the man who depicted the fall of civilisation also direct the Facebook movie.

15. PAUL

Greg Mottola follows up the genius Superbad and the touching Adventureland with this sci-fi comedy written by and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. They play British geeks who go on an American road trip, during which time they encounter an alien named Paul (a motion-captured Seth Rogen). Although it has perhaps the most boring movie title of the year, it features an incredible cast that includes Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Jane Lynch and Sigourney Weaver.

Comic author Mark Millar’s ultra-violent superhero satire is getting ready to bombard movie goers in a big bad way. We could discuss the debut of Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin himself) as a dangerous superhero, or the inclusion of the Quickflix team’s favourite actor Nicolas Cage in the cast. But why bother? After its debut, we’ll all be talking about Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) – the foulmouthed sword-wielding 12-year-old with a penchant for decapitating drug dealers.

If it stars Michael Cera, you can pretty much guarantee it’s on my radar. I can’t wait to see Miguel Arteta’s adaptation of C.D. Payne’s novel Youth In Revolt, in which Cera plays nervy Nick Twisp and his suave, moustached alter-ego Francois Dillinger. Early reports say the film harks back to the films of Savage Steve Holland. But I know what you are thinking: when you’ve already made the sale, stop sellin’!

Martin Scorcese’s Shutter Island claimed 11th place on our most anticipated films of 2009. As punishment for Paramount’s decision to postpone the release until 2010, it has been dropped by exactly one devastating position. Marty, the ball is in your court. Impress us!

Judd Apatow’s one and only production for 2010, Get Him to the Greek is writer/director Nicholas Stoller’s first film since Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Russell Brand reprises the character of Aldous Snow from that film, except this time, the hard-living lothario has fallen off the wagon. It is up to young record company intern (Jonah Hill) to get Snow across the isles to an important gig. Co-starring Rose Byrne, Elisabeth Moss and Sean “Diddy” Combs.

Fox Searchlight are producing Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, a psychological/supernatural thriller about two rival ballet dancers. As if the similarities between this and Suspiria weren’t enough to get you excited, then perhaps the “intense” love scene between starlets Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis will.

Let the Right One In was one of my favourite films of 2008, and although I don’t think an English-language remake is necessary, it’s hard not to be intrigued by this new take. Directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield), Let Me In stars Kodi Smit-McPhee as a young boy who befriends a vampire (Chloe Moretz – of future Kick Ass fame). Of course, this ain’t no “aw shucks, aren’t they cute?” relationship. There will be blood.

8. HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 1

Ummm, it’s the last Harry Potter film. Well, Part 1 anyway. Part 2 doesn’t hit cinemas until 2011.

Perhaps this is the riskiest title on the list. Despite my excitement, there are a lot of elements that could go wrong here. Seth Rogen as the legendary masked vigilante; Michel Gondry directing; Christoph Waltz as the villain; a cameo from Anvil. It could all equal an offbeat action classic or an unintentionally comic mess. I’m hoping it’s the former.

Director Jon Favreau and star Robert Downey Jr. proved they are more than capable to elevate the superhero genre with the insanely fun first Iron Man. This time around, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke and Don Cheadle are thrown into the mix. I don’t want to jinx the project, but… oh what the hell! Iron Man 2 can’t fail!

The Coen Brothers have been on a bit of a streak lately – of course, this streak began back in 1989, so it’s also one of the most impressively sustained streaks in Hollywood history. This year they will remake the classic John Wayne western True Grit with Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin. The Dude meets The Duke!

Although The Invention of Lying wasn’t the most auspicious of directorial debuts for Ricky Gervais, we have higher hopes for his first project with his Office and Extras co-writer/director Stephen Merchant. The film takes place in the 1970s and focuses on three young men working at an insurance company. Not intrigued? Don’t forget, these were the guys that made a paper company in Slough more fascinating viewing than any televisual police department.

It’s Pixar. What more do you want? The only real question is, can it top the previous Toy Story installments? Not only that, will it match the flawless triumvirate of the studio’s last three films: Ratatouille, WALL-E and Up? Let’s face it. Probably!

Christopher Nolan follows up The Dark Knight with a mind-bending thriller in which “your mind is the scene of the crime”. It also features the best cast of 2010: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe and Michael Caine. It threatens to change the face of action/sci-fi cinema like The Matrix before it. Inception will be a tremendous hit and will likely be atop many ‘most anticipated’ lists. And it almost topped mine, but not quite.

Much like last year’s number 1 film, my most anticipated picture of 2010 is another long-awaited adaptation of a graphic novel. Bryan Lee O’Malley’s six-part Scott Pilgrim saga is equal parts (500) Days of Summer and Super Mario Bros. It is an evocative and truthful romantic comedy, wrapped up in an absurd video-game, executed with satirical (and sometimes blisteringly earnest) perfection. It skewers Hollywood, fighting games, indie-punk, Canadian/American affairs, ‘the scene’ and post-teen/pre-adult relationships – all in the most loving manner possible.

Michael Cera stars as slacker Scott Pilgrim, bass player for the band Sex Bob-omb, who falls in love with the elusive roller-skating delivery girl Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). He’s ready for romance, but Ramona’s affection comes at a price – he must defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends, including the dastardly Gideon Graves (Jason Schwartzman), if he wishes to claim her hand.

Directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) and adapted for the screen by writer Michael Bacall (he was an Inglourious Basterd!), Scott Pilgrim has been atop my most-anticipated film list for some time now. At its best, it could be a hilarious, action-packed and very touching film that captures Generation Y better than even Juno or Superbad. At its worst, it’ll probably just rock really hard.

Fun Facts

Last year’s top 3: Watchmen, Up and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

Titles that ended up in my top 10 movies of 2009: 5

Titles that ended up in my 10 worst movies of 2009: 3

Films that were not released in 2009: 3

Most embarrassing assumption: In regards to The Lovely Bones “Chalk it up for Oscars 2010!”

Discuss: So there you go! What are you looking forward to in 2010?

7 Responses to “The 25 most exciting movies of 2010!”

  1. Great list Simon. As you have seen in the past and made note of there will inevitably be one or two that fail to deliver amongst your list. In addition to the 25 above I am looking forward to Invictus, The Road, and Alice in Wonderland. Have been waiting for many years to see Morgan Freeman play Mandela in a biopic, just didn't think it would be about rugby (would have expected story following him through apartheid south africa and his prison sentence as per "The Hurricane"). The Road – Cormac McCarthy adpatation, Viggo Mortensen, post-apocalyptic world = high levels of anticipation. Lastly, Tim Burton is probably the best director to bring Lewis Carroll's tripped out Alice in Wonderland to life. Should be good, plus an aussie in the lead role is great!

  2. Inception has me positively drooling with anticipation. It looks delicious and I want a piece.I took that analogy too far.

  3. I am also tremendously excited to see what Northern goods Edgar Wright has been cooking up in Toronto. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one, and it's sounding increasingly like this is going to be the film that propels Wright into the mainstream.

  4. Not too bad a list, but you missed a crucial movie…Sex and the city 2

  5. Great list of flicks, man! Found I actually am hyped for quite a few of these. INCEPTION would be my #1, but I've never read SCOTT PILGRIM, so… Plus, I want Wright, Pegg & Frost to quit messing around with other people & make THE WORLD'S END already!!!And I love that someone else gets as excited about Michael Keaton as I do!

  6. I enjoyed the list but have been worked up enough to say the following:• please spell Scorsese correctly!• the Coen brothers have had a dodgy film in their output – The Ladykillers• much as I used to love Nicolas Cage, I can't believe he is still one of your favourite actors – it's just been disappointment after disappointment for the last five to ten years; here's hoping that will change this year!

  7. Anonymous – Scorsese's name is one I frequently spell wrong, so I'll pay that one. My sincere apologies.HOWEVER, I will not stand for any Nicolas Cage bashing. Sure, The Wicker Man was hilariously terrible. But even amongst all his terrible films, he has produced a solid number of GREAT movies in the past 10 years. Adaptation, Matchstick Men, Knowing etc. And lets face it – he's worth watching in the worst of movies.As for The Ladykillers, I kinda like it.

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