25 Must-See Movies in 2010

25 Movies to See in 2010The New Year is here, which can only mean one thing: twelve more months of new movies! Sadly, while hundreds of movies will be released in 2010, most of them will end up being bland, disappointing or just plain bad. Which ones will amaze? Which ones will conquer? Which ones will  be at least worth two hours of your time and $10 to $15 of your income? We have the answers right here.

Inevitably, as much as I believe that I am always right, even I’ll admit that it’s hard to predict what will be good and what will be bad this early in the year. After all, even bad movies can have good movie trailers (look at Terminator Salvation), and many of the good 2010 movies have yet to be marketed or even announced. Looking at 2009’s Must-See Movies List, 19 of the 30 wound up being well worth it – that’s only 64%. Most of the best 2009 movies were still in their infancy at the beginning of the year, too.

Now that I’ve marketed this list as obsolete, here are 25 movies you should see in 2010. Some will be great, some will be disappointments, but all deserve a chance – for better or for worse.

Visit our 20 must-see movies of 2011 article.

25. The Expendables

A couple years ago, Sylvestor Stallone showed that he still has what it takes by providing audiences with a ridiculously gory and violent sequel to Rambo. In The Expendables, the director has collected several recognizable faces to star in a tongue-in-cheek action film. The cast, beyond himself, includes Curtis Jackson, Randy Couture, Eric Roberts, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Jason Statham and Charisma Carpenter. I’m not saying the movie is going to be incredible, but it could be a lot of fun.

24. Predators

The thought of remaking the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick Predator bothers me, as even today with its special effects as outdated as they are, it still holds up surprisingly well. But Robert Rodriguez isn’t exactly the last person I’d choose to make a new Predator movie (and thank God alleged director Paul W.S. Anderson is not allowed anywhere near this project). Only time will tell, but this could be a fun ride.

23. Hot Tub Time Machine

John Cusack and several other recognizable faces star in the comedy Hot Tub Time Machine, about four friends who discover that their hot tub… allows them to travel through time. Didn’t see that one coming, do you? The R-rated teaser was funnier than the green band trailer, but the movie has potential to be one of the funnier movies of the year.

22. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

I can’t believe I’m including this movie on this list, considering that the Twilight series is, simply, not very good, but I am looking forward to seeing Eclipse, the third movie in the successful franchise. New Moon was dreadfully boring and downright bad, but Eclipse has a few things New Moon does not: a plot, a fair amount of action and a climax. In Eclipse, the red-headed vampire (to be played by Bryce Dallas Howard) wages war on a shaky vampire-werewolf alliance – by default, it has to be better than the first two.

21. The Green Hornet

Seth Rogen – yes, that Seth Rogen – will play the Green Hornet in the upcoming action movie. There are still a lot of questions around whether Rogen has what it takes to play a legitimate superhero, and the answers will only come when people see the final product. But if even just as a curiosity, The Green Hornet is something to keep an eye on in 2010.

20. Tron Legacy

Personally, I’m more intrigued than excited for this long-anticipated sequel to the 1980’s virtual reality thriller; I’m not convinced that the world of Tron has much relevance these days. Nonetheless, the movie could make up for the injustice that was Speed Racer (I know, bad comparison) and end up being a truly satisfying action film. Or it could end up sucking.

19. Jonah Hex

Other than a few images of Megan Fox in a corset, little has been seen from this production, but Jonah Hex, based on a DC/Vertigo comic book, holds some promise. The movie stars Josh Brolin as the Western anti-hero, which brings instant credibility to the production. As with any adaptation, this one could end up being disastrous, but right now it’s one to see in 2010.

18. Repo Men

Jude Law and Forest Whitaker play repo men in – yes, Repo Men – a futuristic thriller where a company sells body parts for ridiculous sums of money. When people can’t pay, the repo men come to collect the company’s material. Law plays one such man, but when he himself is injured, he finds himself on the run from his former colleagues. While the action-thriller appears oddly similar in concept to the Goddawful Paris Hilton-starring Repo: The Genetic Opera, it has potential to be good fun.

17. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

This Harry Potter rip-off is directed by Chris Columbus, the man behind the first two Harry Potter movies, and it has the potential to be just that: a cheap money grab looking to take advantage of the male youth audience. But with legitimate special effects and an intriguing concept, Percy Jackson has potential to be the next Harry Potter franchise. Will it? Likely not. But it has a chance of being entertaining, which is more than can be said about the other God-action movies coming out in 2010.

16. A Nightmare on Elm Street

Wow. Remaking one of the best and imaginative horror movies ever made. That’s a tall task. I just watched the original Wes Craven masterpiece not too long ago, and it still stands the test of time. While I’m excited to see what Jackie Earle Haley can do with the role of Freddie Krueger, it will be tough for him to overcome Robert Englund’s iconic performances. Furthermore, there have been rumors that the studio wanted parts of the film to be re-edited to be scary, which doesn’t bode well. Nevertheless, A Nightmare on Elm Street is one to see in 2010, for better or for worse.

15. I Love You Phillip Morris

No, this isn’t a Farrelly brothers comedy. In I Love You Phillip Morris, Jim Carrey stars as a married father who is sent to prison and subsequently falls so deeply in love with his cell mate that he escapes four times to be with him. Interesting, and apparently a true story. Carrey hasn’t dabbled in drama in quite some time, so it will be interesting to see how this one turns out.

14. Babies

One of the few documentaries that is getting some real promotion, Babies simply follows the lives of four babies in four different parts of the world for a year. Babies are pretty entertaining – especially when you don’t have to take care of them – and Babies looks to take full advantage.

13. Despicable Me

This animated film, from Universal Pictures, stars Steve Carrell as Gru, the second most nefarious villain in the history of the world. But Gru isn’t pleased about his ranking – he wants to be #1. So, Gru sets out to take over the top spot, but proceeds to fail at every attempt. The teasers for the movie have been great, featuring Gru in various acts of evilness (like blowing up a little kid’s balloon and then popping it). This one looks like a lot of fun.

12. The Lovely Bones

This Peter Jackson movie technically was released in 2009, but for whatever reason Paramount decided to keep the movie in only three theaters through December and half of January. The movie, which is about the murder of a teenage girl, looks visually intense; though early reviews have described the movie as “good, but not great.”

11. Knight and Day

Is it an action movie or an action-comedy? It’s hard to tell from the previews, but in all likelihood this movie, starring Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise, is going to be this year’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith in terms of a blended approach. Diaz is by no means a reliable star, but Cruise has consistently shown he can pick good projects.

10. Salt

Angelina Jolie plays a CIA agent who is investigating a double agent. When it is revealed that she’s the double agent, she goes on the run to prove her innocence and find the people responsible. From the director of Clear and Present Danger and Patriot Games, Salt looks like it could be a great summer thrill ride; we’ve seen Jolie in similar pictures in the past, but as long as she’s looking good and kicking ass, that is more than enough.

9. Green Zone

Matt Damon + Paul Greengrass + gritty action. What does that equal? The Bourne Identity 4! No, wait… calm down. This action-thriller is Green Zone, about an undercover operative in Iraq who stumbles across some sort of conspiracy. Since the fourth Bourne film has been delayed indefinitely, fans at least will get to feast on this very similar-looking action flick.

8. Robin Hood

Is it Gladiator 2? Not quite, but this Ridley Scott/Russell Crowe collaboration looks like a Gladiator-esque version of the classic tale. It’ll be interesting to see if audiences are turned off by the ultra-gritty Robin Hood, but my bets are that this one plays big. The first trailer didn’t blow me away, but it left me wanting more.

7. Toy Story 3

Toy Story was good. Toy Story 2 was also good, if not better. And since Pixar is making better and better movies ever year, expectations for the third Toy Story can only be described as “very, very high.”

6. Edge of Darkness

Mel Gibson returns to on-screen work after his off-screen tirade – maybe you remember it? Edge of Darkness looks like a mix between Ransom and Payback, so at the very least it’s territory Gibson views as comfortable. The movie has the potential to be pretty badass, primarily thanks to director Martin Campbell, who has proven that he’s adept at conducting action with such films as Goldeneye and Casino Royale.

5. Iron Man 2

Following up the shockingly successful Iron Man, Jon Favreau returns with Robert Downey Jr., Gwenyth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle and Mickey Rourke in tow. Early teasers are promising, though you never know with big-budget sequels. Nonetheless, Iron Man 2 is set to do big business this May.

4. Kick-Ass

This one looks… kick-ass. While the green band trailer presents a movie with a lot of promise, it’s the R-rated Hit Girl teaser that sold me. In it, a little girl runs around and obliterates her enemies, shooting guys through the head, cutting off limbs and cursing up a storm. This one won’t be for everyone, but its combination of tongue-in-cheek comic book humor and brutal action looks delicious.

3. Shutter Island

Originally scheduled for 2009, excitement for the latest Martin Scorsese picture is no less enthusiasm. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley and others, the movie has a great and reliable cast and director – which is enough to convince me. Shutter Island looks authentically creepy and suspenseful.

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I

The beginning of the end is almost here. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is one of the most enjoyable books I’ve ever read, and I’m quite happy they’ve split it into two parts – simply because so much happens. Though Part I is going to end with some kind of unsatisfying cliffhanger, there’s no reason to expect this movie isn’t going to be one of the best of the year. Director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves showed that they have the magic touch with the excellent Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows is going to be even better.

1. Inception

Memento. Insomnia. The Prestige. Batman Begins. The Dark Knight. That’s not a bad track record for Christopher Nolan, the director of the upcoming sci-fi action film Inception, which looks like a dream-based version of The Matrix. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard, among others, Inception looks simply amazing. The mind-bending special effects make the movie look like it will be a real treat on IMAX.

For a full list of movies being released in 2010, visit FilmJabber!

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Movies, Top 10 Movie Lists