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remaking the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick Predator bothers me, as even today with its special effects as outdated as they are, it still holds up surprisingly well.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


  • Luke Baggins

    Can’t say I’m too interested in seeing anything beyond the top 5. But I did see Youth in Revolt this past weekend and it really exceded my expectations (which were pretty average). Great first movie to see this year.

  • Piero

    Quite a list. So far the only one’s I would like to see are Jonah Hex, Green Zone, Robin Hood and Shutter Island. As for the other’s I’ll wait to see the reviews then decide.

  • @Luke – I would have put Youth in Revolt on the list, but it had already come out by the time I wrote this.

    @Piero – Have you seen the trailer for Inception???? It looks frikkin’ awesome.

  • Piero

    Your right Erik,I just added Inception to my list. That’s two movies for DiCaprio worth seeing. Maybe this time hollywood won’t pass him over. He’s long over due for a win.

  • Hi Piero, cool, glad you liked it! Both of the movies look great – however, neither really look like they’re Oscar-style roles (one’s a horror movie and one’s a summer blockbuster). Never know, though – he is one of the best actors working today.

  • How can you say that the atawilight Saga series is “dreadfully boring” you have no idea what your talkin about !!!!!!!!! the rest of the films you have on here are a load of crap apart from Eclipse 🙁 🙁 !!!!!!!!

  • and you have absoloutly no idea about the characters and the actors/actresses !!!!!!!!!!!

  • @lexy14, The Twilight Saga is considerably more boring than most book franchises. So there is no other film on this list that you want to see?

  • Gonna watch one by one..

  • no there is not you FREAK

  • no there is not freak

  • Chetan Palrecha

    wELL…!! THE List looks awesome, but few movies r overated… 😀
    nevertheless, i’m surely gonna follow tis list n watch all of dem 😀 he he:)
    lol 😀

  • Cameron

    @lexy14 You really are 14 arent you…

  • jeffarama

    Lexy what u mean “How can you say that the atawilight Saga series is “dreadfully boring” you have no idea what your talkin about !!!!!!!!! the rest of the films you have on here are a load of crap apart from Eclipse!!!!!!!!”.

    Have you not seen new moon.. Waste of money and time.. the whole freaking movie was waiting for something to happen and so was the damn book.. hence 1 book down for boring series.. it was like Star wars Phantom menace a complete let down for a series..

  • Loved Edge of Darkness!…Mel Gibson movies are always awesome. Would love to see some of the other movies in the top 20 of the 2010 list…for example, Salt, Inception, Repo Men, Babies, Despicable Me, and Lovely Bones. I will come back and comment when I have viewed them. I think it is great to have this list and website to comment. Happy viewing!

  • Celso

    Repo: The Genetic Opera was an awesome movie with a completely original concept. I find it sickening that they would bite the idea and just give it a bigger budget in hopes that people would forget where the idea came from.

  • Kim-B

    How can you say that Eclipse is boring??? It’s The best of the List!!

  • @Kim-B – I said New Moon was boring, which it was. I never said Eclipse was boring, which it wasn’t. :o)

    @Celso – The Genetic Opera was indeed an original idea; I can’t say the movie itself was very good, though.

    @Jessiam – glad you liked Edge of Darkness. Come back and let us know what you thought of others!

    @ Others – thanks for defending me from lexy14

  • kenny

    The list was valid up until I saw Twilight listed.

  • Chris

    you should add prince of persia to this list that was a great movie very well done.

  • Amri

    twilight is absolutely mind-numbing.

    “kenny says:
    July 10th, 2010 at 7:59 pm
    The list was valid up until I saw Twilight listed.” agreed!.

  • Shana

    Are you guys not excited for the Deathly Hollows? It’s #2 for goodness sakes!
    Before there were those sparkling vampires, there was the greatest wizard that ever lived. Now that’s some real fantasy, beats Twilight to the curve!

  • james

    i agree with u that twilight series is quite boring. robin hood, inception miust see

  • Nick

    Toy Story should be 1 or 2
    nothing could beat that

  • Nick


  • lemuel

    Inception, Shutter Island and Edge of Darkness. Great movies. Prepare your mind folks. Leonardo is one hell of an actor. He’s amazing. Thrilling and boggling! Enjoy it guys!

  • lemuel

    Yeah. \”lexy14\” might be teenager. I can\’t blame her. My 9 year old niece loves this movie. Its one of her collectible together with \”Lion King\”, \”Ice Age\”, etc.

  • Coolguy

    I will watch Inception (I loved matrix). I did not understand a bit of shutter island and previous version of Twilight. Kick ass well..(ha ha) it’s nice. I haven’t started watching harry potter so I can’t just watch this and understand. Salt not very good. I will watch I Love You Phillip Morris (Jim Carry). I can’t watch all but i don’t think what genera is mine and which movies to choose from above list.

  • code 7

    Wow, th eguy who wrote about tron legacy:

    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.

    dude, ur a complete retard !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • code 7

    The guy writing the reviews for each video is a complete moron, probably some fat old 50 year old. he says about TRON LEGACY:

    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.

    dude your a fknin retard and made yourself look like a dumb ass

    fk u and fk this site

  • @code 7 – er, I’m in my 20’s and at least I can spell words such as “the” and “you” correctly.

  • Emmanuel

    Wow…. what an uninspired list. What, did you just list all of the movies you went to see this year?

    I might as well have just looked in the paper to see what’s currently showing and list that.

  • Emmanual, I wrote this article in January before any of these movies were released. And while I much prefer to recommend movies I don’t want to see in a given year, I took exception here.

  • Classics freak

    Toy Story 3 huhuhuhuhuhuhuhu it made me cryyyyyy a bucketful of tears. =((((

  • KC

    Disagree with Hot Tub Time Machine. Thought it was terrible!
    Expendables… really great actors in it… but not as good as it could have been.
    Shutter Island- Did not like it.
    Iron Man 2- the 1st one was way better!! I was disappointed that Mickey Rourke was not in it as much as he was.
    Can’t wait to see the Lovely Bones and the Green Zone!

  • Trey Gibson

    Nice list man! Thanks for the recommendation, i read the comments so i wanted to put up some encouragements! Too many asshole filled comments rather than encouragement, which bothers me. haha, But Movie wise, in my opinion the harry potter deathly hallows #1 was a huge awkward disaster, it had really good action to kick off then we were allowed into the world of hiding in a tent for an hour and a half, with random talk of action but no actual footage of that action. And the script was just terrible in my opinion, the people who will really like this movie i foresee being the original book lovers, the people that just love the series regardless of its quality. And i am also a twilight hater, anything that glows in the light is a fairy not a vampire. And the forever awkward Bella takes us back to fifth grade to show us how relationships work. the action was good, but mixed in with all the bad acting… it was just too much for my tastes. But yeah man! good list. Keep it up!

  • Godsend

    Keep up the good work buddy…dont worry about these idiot’s comments

  • roshan

    i really agree with ur comment on twilight.i hate vampire movies.

  • I’m not going to get into the fact that out of the 15 movies on your list I’ve seen I only give three of them a rating better than average. Instead I’m going to pick out how many awesome movie you left off.

    1. Black Swan – Probably going to be the best movie of the year. Plus, even if your taste is to mainstream Hollywood to truly enjoy it(which I’m guessing it is due to your crappy list), it has explicit sex scene with Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis so you should see it anyway.

    2. True Grit – You left off a Coen Brother’s Western starring Bridges, Brolin, and Damon? Are you stupid?

    3. 127 Hours – Danny Boyle’s follow up to Slumdog. Might not win an Oscar but it will be a fun ride.

    4. The Ghost Writer – Roman Polanski making a thriller, need I say more.

    5. Winters Bone – So much festival hype. Looks like a winner.

    Those are just the more mainstream movies you left off your list. When you’re done snuggling up to Hollywood why don’t you try branching out a little and watching a movie that doesn’t follow a generic formula? You could even try one with subtitles, that is, if you can read.

    And in response to this quote “Sadly, while hundreds of movies will be released in 2010, most of them will end up being bland, disappointing or just plain bad.” I say good thing you made a list of all of them. Thanks, your list has helped me decide what movies not to watch and what website to never check again.

  • I take back my last comment, I will check the site again. I still hate your list though.

    Also, I’m sure you can read Erik, you just have the most generic list ever.

  • Hi Filmbalaya,

    Thanks for your comment and list. I agree that the five you list are all must-see films. Just realize at the time when I wrote this, there was very little if any information available on some of those projects or when they would be released.

    Bottom line – at the beginning of the year, the releases that have the most information (including trailers) are typically the larger, blockbuster-style films, which is why those films end up on a list like this. I also do “Top movies to see this month” every month, which list more of the smaller, dramatic films – which, in fact, are the movies I look forward to most each year.

  • Pretty good list. Although I don’t agree with all the picks, I’d say that the 3 must see movies of this list are: “Inception”, “Shutter Island” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street”.

  • Manoman

    I saw inception and that was a great movie, I completely agree on the position it was given on this list (1st). All the twilight saga movies sucked in my opinion. Didn’t understand shutter island the first time watching it. Harry potter…eh not a fan but the movies before the deadly hallows was better i think. Kick-ass was mediocre. Iron man 2 had a terrible story to it, iron man 1 was better. Edge of darkness was a good movie. toy story 3 was to be expected, just as good as the 1st and 2nd. Robin Hood, Green Zone, Lovely Bones, Babies, I Love you Phillip Morris, Percy Jackson, Johan hex, tron, green hornet, predators and salt didn’t see. knight and day was good, hot tub I would label good but place it last on a list. Expendables was a action packed movie but had a very narrow story.

  • Manoman

    oh yeah didn’t see nightmare on elm street either….

  • A year later, I’d consider 10 to be must-see’s, another five or six to be OK and the rest to be massive disappointments. That’s how things go!

  • Avalon

    hey why is the A Team not on the list.itz a great one

  • Kristen

    25. The Expandables were so-so. It was more of a guy movie than a mutual movie that both guys and girls could enjoy although Sylvestor Stallone does not look like he is as old as he actually is…

    24. Predators… hmm what to say. This movie wasn’t that bad. Heck it might even be good. There is a couple of very exciting moments in it. If you take those moments out those… there goes the movie.

    23. Hot Tub Time Machine was a good rental and very funny… but I wouldn’t buy it. I wanna see a movie I can watch time and time again.

    22. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: From what I can see so far is that this movie has been greatly debated on. Okay, let me simplify this for you. GUYS, we all know this movie would be simply boring and too mushy-mushy for ya, if you don’t like it get off your butt and go watch something else…. GIRLS, just cuz the guys don’t like it doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good movie. They don’t like it cuz ain’t nobody shooting anybody and there ain’t no boobies on it. ADULTS, I am 22 so I do understand a bit of what watching it is.. you don’t believe in vampires, therefore the movie is just redicolus. I for one like this movie. Heck I like the whole series. I like the mystery in it. I saw the movie before I read the book. I didn’t even no about the books until I saw the movies….(shut up I don’t wanna hear anybody say what time you living in or any other insults.) Point blank more people like this series than hate it. Get over it please, and no more name calling. GROW UP….

    21. I haven’t seen The Green Hornet…I probably will today or tomorrow. It something my husband will want to watch.

    20. I also haven’t seen Tron Legacy.. This one I really want to see.

    19. Jonah Hex was a boring movie.. It had some good parts in it and yes Megan Fox was in it. So all is good. But the dang movie is just boring. Sorry

    18. Rep Men: OMG Loved this movie… This is one you can watch 15 different times and it would never get old..

    17. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief: This movie was really cute and had some exciting moments in it. Although it is nothing like the Harry Potter Series…

    16. A Nightmare on Elm Street: I will give credit where credit is due… This movie was nothing like the original. Sadly it was a very boring and unfortunately it put me right to sleep… Never could stay awake during this movie. I did end up seeing the whole movie but only piece by piece.

    15. I haven’t seen I Love You Phillip Morris, but it looks like the remakes of another Brokeback Mountain movie…sorry.

    14. Babies look like it could be entertaining for a documentary.

    13. Despicable Me….. This movie was the FUNNIEST movie I have seen in a while. I mean come on evil turn good with the help of 3 little girls… And little girls can be quite entertaining..they are always coming up with some kind of drama… (I have a 5 year old daughter.. which is why I saw the movie to begin with.)

    12. The Lovely Bones was alright but it was slow. That all I can say for that movie.

    11. Knight and Day… Okay I like this movie. It wasn’t that is the best movie ever by no standards, but it has its possibilities.

    I have seen some of the movie on the top ten of the list so let me just summarize it in the best way I can…

    10. Salt was an entertaining movie. It had drama and action.

    09. I haven’t seen Green Zone and probably won’t.

    08. Robin Hood was okay, but didn’t live up to the hype.

    07. I haven’t seen Toy Story 3, I will soon.

    06. I haven’t seen Edge of Darkness either… Is that a good thing or bad?

    05. Husband loves the Iron Man series, I feel so-so about them.

    04. I freaking HATED the movie Kick-Ass… This is one movie that I was sooo dissappointed in.

    03. Shutter Island was just confusing. Enough said.

    02. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 was good but they could have made it a whole lot better… And Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince made me so freaking mad… If they screw up part 2 of this movie I am writing them a very long and nasty letter.

    And we come to the end of this list of craziness…

    01. Inception: Not as good as everybody thinks but it is still pretty good.

  • @Kristen – thanks for the great analysis of the list! We agree on some and disagree on others (Inception, Kick-Ass), but I love the attention to detail.

  • Alanis

    I also suggest “Black Swan”

  • Pascal

    hey guys, freakin chill!! just cuz erik made that list dont mean yall have to watch those movies, its his opinion and if u dont like those movies dont watch em. i think that list is awesome, to see what movies i might wanna see….CHILL OUT guys