2010 Movie Preview: The Year's Most Anticipated Films

  • Publish Date: January 12, 2010
  • Comments: ↓ 40 user comments

Comedies

When in Rome
(Jan. 29)

Disney's romantic comedy starring Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel certainly isn't threatening to break any new ground, although there might be some nice scenery in the half of the movie that was shot in Italy. A big red flag: the director and co-writer is Mark Steven Johnson (Ghost Rider 35, Simon Birch 39), who is entirely unfamiliar with the concept of green Metascores.

Cop Out
(Feb. 26)

This buddy cop comedy starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan was directed by Kevin Smith but penned by Mark and Robb Cullen -- marking the first time that the Clerks director is helming a movie that he didn't write himself. Judging from his recent output, that might be a good thing.

Hot Tub Time Machine
(Mar. 19)

Boasting the most intentionally stupid title and premise since Snakes on a Plane 58, this time-travel comedy (in which a group of friends are transported back to a ski resort in 1986) also features a top-notch cast that includes John Cusack (in a welcome return to comedy), Rob Corddry, Chevy Chase, Craig Robinson, and Crispin Glover (who is welcome in anything). With a promising trailer and a chance to see Cusack skiing for the first time since Better Off Dead, Hot Tub Time Machine is threatening to become this spring's sleeper hit.

Greenberg
(Mar. 12)

The latest dramedy from writer-director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale 82) stars Ben Stiller in low-key mode (to an extent) as a 40-something slacker at a crossroads in his life. After losing his job, he agrees to housesit for his younger brother, where he falls for his brother's personal assistant (Greta Gerwig). LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy provides the score.

I Love You Phillip Morris
(Mar. 26)

Based on a true story, this dark comedy from the writers of Bad Santa 70 stars Jim Carrey as father, husband and con man Steven Jay Russell, who falls in love with his male cellmate Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor) after he is imprisoned. After Morris is released, Russell escapes from prison -- four times -- in order to be with him again. The film was extremely well received at Sundance last year, but its subject matter scared away potential distributors.

Date Night
(Apr. 9)

Even a talented cast (Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Mark Ruffalo) may not be enough to save this comedy from a flimsy mistaken-identity premise and a poorly-reviewed director (Shawn Levy of The Pink Panther 38 and Night at the Museum 48 "fame").

Death at a Funeral
(Apr. 16)

The once-talented Neil LaBute (The Wicker Man 36, Your Friends & Neighbors 70) directs this American remake of Frank Oz's 2007 British farce of the same name. Set at a funeral where anything that can go wrong does, the black comedy stars Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan and Martin Lawrence, but the need for a remake isn't immediately apparent, as this new version changes almost nothing from the original, save for the stars, accents, and location.

The Back-Up Plan
(Apr. 16)

Now that she has put her New Year's Eve fashion breakthrough "behind" her, Jennifer Lopez attempts to jump-start her career once again with this romantic comedy about artificial insemination -- one of two such films on the 2010 schedule. It also marks the second release for the new CBS Films label (which, like Metacritic, is owned by CBS Corporation).

MacGruber
(Apr. 23)

Sure, there have been successful movies based on "Saturday Night Live" sketches in the past -- okay, so maybe 1980's The Blues Brothers and possibly also 1992's Wayne's World 53 were the only ones -- but this "MacGyver" spoof isn't likely to join their ranks. Ryan Phillippe and Val Kilmer join a cast led by SNL's Will Forte and Kristen Wiig.

Please Give
(Apr. 23)

Director Nicole Holofcener (Lovely & Amazing 75, Friends with Money 68) is known for making intelligent, adult-oriented, female-centric comedies starring Catherine Keener, and Please Give promises to continue that trend. In addition to Keener, the ensemble cast includes Amanda Peet and Oliver Platt. The film will screen at Sundance before arriving in theaters in late April.

Killers
(June 4)

Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl star as a couple targeted for assassination in this action-comedy from director Robert Luketic (The Ugly Truth 28). Killers also includes a rare big-screen appearance by Tom Selleck.

Get Him to the Greek [aka Get Me to the Gig]
(June 11)

More of a spinoff than a true sequel, Nicholas Stoller's comedy centers on rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), a character first introduced in 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall 67. Jonah Hill (playing a different role from the one he portrayed in the first film) and Rose Byrne co-star. The comedy will feature original music written by Jason Segel and Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, which could make for an interesting 2011 Academy Awards telecast.

Grown Ups
(June 25)

Adam Sandler co-wrote the screenplay for this ensemble comedy about a reunion of childhood friends in which he stars alongside Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade. While the big-name cast may point to a hit, the trailer doesn't.

Knight and Day
(July 2)

Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz star in an action-comedy about a woman who goes on a blind date with a man who turns out to be a secret agent -- and the two go on a globe-trotting journey to fight bad guys and protect a powerful battery that holds the key to an infinite power source. (Thank you, random-plot-generating computer.) James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma 76) directs.

Dinner For Schmucks
(July 23)

A remake of the 1998 French comedy The Dinner Game 73, Schmucks stars Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, and Zach Galifianakis as participants in a weekly dinner party where guests are instructed to invite the most idiotic guests they can find (and, in one particular case, succeed all too well). Jay Roach directs for the first time since 2004's Meet the Fockers 41.

Morning Glory
(July 30)

We're pretty sure that the last time we saw this movie it was called Broadcast News 84 and it was much better. However, this J.J. Abrams-produced comedy about the cast and crew of a network television morning news program does boast some big-name stars (Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, and Jeff Goldblum) and a script penned by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada 62).

The Other Guys
(Aug. 6)

This buddy-cop comedy from director Adam McKay (Anchorman 63) features one of the best casts of any summer movie: stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are joined by Dwayne Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, Anne Heche, Michael Keaton and Steve Coogan.

The Baster
(Aug. 20)

Like the J.Lo-vehicle The Back-Up Plan, The Baster uses a premise centering on artificial insemination to inject laughs into a traditional romantic comedy structure. Here, however, the cast is much stronger (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston star), and the film is based on a story by Pulitzer Prize-winner Jeffrey Eugenides.

Your Highness
(Oct. 1)

Set during the Middle Ages, this fantasy spoof stars Danny McBride (who co-wrote the script), James Franco, Zooey Deschanel and Natalie Portman, with David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express 64) directing.

Going the Distance
(Oct. 8)

The first narrative feature for documentarian Nanette Burstein (The Kid Stays in the Picture 75), this romantic comedy stars Drew Barrymore and Justin Long as a couple trying to survive a long-distance relationship.

The Zookeeper
(Oct. 8)

It's like Night at the Museum 48, except in daytime ... and at a zoo. Zookeeper Kevin James (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 39) gets romantic advice from a group of talking animals voiced by the likes of Adam Sandler, Jon Favreau, and Cher. Hilarious! (But only in a bizarro world.)

Due Date
(Nov. 5)

Hot on the success of The Hangover 73, director Todd Phillips re-teams with star Zach Galifianakis and pairs him with Robert Downey Jr. on a hurried cross-country road trip so that Downey's character can witness the birth of his child. Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monaghan co-star.

Love and Other Drugs
(Nov. 24)

A corporate dramedy set in the pharmaceutical industry (more specifically, the male-performance-enhancement-drug industry) during the 1990s, Love and Other Drugs stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. It marks the first comedy for director Edward Zwick since 1986's About Last Night....

Untitled James L. Brooks Project
(Dec. 17)

Brooks directed just one film in the previous decade -- 2004's poorly-received Spanglish 48 -- but his output prior to that means that any film of his merits attention. This still-untitled romantic comedy (also written by Brooks) centers on a love triangle between Reese Witherspoon, business executive Paul Rudd, and professional baseball player Owen Wilson -- with Jack Nicholson playing Witherspoon's father.

ImagePuppets say the darndest things

The Beaver
(TBD)

Well, here's something you don't see everyday. This Jodie Foster-directed dark comedy stars Mel Gibson as a business executive who experiences a mental breakdown and starts speaking only through a beaver puppet that he wears at all times. It's Gibson's first comedy in seven years, and Foster's first turn behind the camera since 1995. Kyle Killen's screenplay (it's his first) earned raves when it first circulated in 2008.

Cemetery Junction
(US: TBD / UK: Apr. 7)

Although Ricky Gervais' movie career hasn't produced may gems so far (see, e.g., The Invention of Lying 58), hopes are higher for this 1970s-set coming of age comedy, his first big-screen collaboration with longtime writing partner Stephen Merchant. Cemetery Junction, written and directed by the pair, is expected to land in the states later in 2010 after debuting in the UK in April.

The First Gun [aka A Simple Noodle Story]
(TBD)

One of the year's strangest entries, The First Gun centers on a noodle shop owner in a remote Chinese desert town who attempts to murder his adulterous wife and her lover. Yes, we're still in the comedy category (it's actually part farce, part thriller). The film is directed by Zhang Yimou, who usually helms dramas or martial arts adventures (Hero 84, House of Flying Daggers 89). Despite the fact that it is set in ancient China, it includes a hip hop dance routine set to an original rap song. And here's where it gets really bizarre: it's actually a remake of the Coen Brothers' Blood Simple 81.

Life During Wartime
(TBD)

Todd Solondz's sequel to his 1998 dark comedy Happiness 81 returns the same characters -- ten years later -- but confusingly features an entirely different cast. The talk-heavy film received mostly positive buzz on the festival circuit last fall.

ImagePilgrim zero, World one

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
(TBD)

Based on Bryan Lee O'Malley's award-winning comic book series, Scott Pilgrim is already one of the most anticipated movies of the year (at least among the people who know it exists). Michael Cera plays the title character, a slacker/garage band bassist who has met the girl of his dreams but must defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends, who are coming to kill him. The comedy is directed by Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz 81), and the soundtrack includes indie favorites like Broken Social Scene, Beck and Metric. A late summer release is likely.

Musicals

Footloose
(June 18)

The latest concept to get the movie --> Broadway musical --> movie musical treatment is Footloose, once a classic 1980s movie about a town where dancing was illegal until one teen dared to cut loose, and now a Kenny Ortega-directed musical about same. "Gossip Girl's" Chace Crawford stars in the role originally played by Kevin Bacon.

Burlesque
(Nov 24)

Pop star Christina Aguilera stars as a small-town girl who tries to make a name for herself at a Los Angeles burlesque club in a musical inspired by (but not based upon) Cabaret. Kristen Bell, Alan Cumming and Cher (!) also star, with original music by Sia and an uncredited rewrite by Diablo Cody. Heard enough yet?

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (40)

  • Kristin P  

    Who r you kidding about ECLIPSE??? You must live in another universe from us Twihards, who r already harassing for previews of Eclipse, and the New Moon DVD hasn't even been released yet. I note that no movie has dared to be released on the same date...It's a death wish for any movie to rival A TWILIGHT sequel...

  • Saturday Morning &la  

    [...] 2010 Movie Preview – Metacritic [...]

  • ed h  

    "sex and the city" is not an anticipated movie; it is a constipated movie.

  • 2010 Movie Preview:  

    [...] the original editorial comment from Metacritic and the film’s release date.  Read the full Metacritic 2010 Movie Preview to get full descriptions of 120 anticipated films for [...]

  • Christy Kulasingam  

    Am I missing the point or is it not useful to have the trailers hosted on Hulu, when they are not accessible outside of the States?

    How about Hulu introduces a mechanism to allow a subset of their content to be viewable worldwide, or Metacritic sticks to YouTube.... assuming of course, that the content owners want audiences worldwide to see the trailers.

  • Jared  

    Oops, did some research: apparently there was a made for TV one.

    Still, could be cool

  • Jared  

    No Machete? That looks like one of the best.

    I could see Zookeeper being like Paul Blart Mall Cop, which is fine with me; that was an entertaining movie and the better of the two mall cop movies of 09.

    And why doesn't Disney make a Tower of Terror movie?

  • Tyler  

    Where's Green Zone? Greengrass, Damon. Should tide us over till Bourne IV.

  • ahulla  

    I Guess anticipated movies don't have to be good movies do they? cough*Twilight*cough

  • JB  

    Also: Serenity.

New in Metacritic Features

What Our Users Are Talking About

  1. /feature/2017-films-contending-for-oscar-best-picture Image
    Meet This Year's Oscar Best Picture Contenders
    November 9, 2017 - 4 comments
    1. Frogacuda : The race is not very obvious to me this year. I'm usually pretty good at calling these things, but there aren't any... Read »
    2. hyoismywaifu : Get Out will win. Make anti white movie=get oscars. Read »
    3. cinewest : The nominees are never that difficult to predict. The Academy likes certain kinds of movies, those about historical... Read »
    4. DanBurrito : Current predictions: Best Picture: Dunkirk. Best Actor: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) Best Actress: Jessica Chastain... Read »
  2. /feature/best-of-september-2017 Image
    Best of September 2017: Top Albums, Games, Movies & TV
    October 1, 2017 - 2 comments
    1. SamuelYuri : I'm sorry, but where is Samuel Yuri's new albums? His musics can be found at spotify and many digital streaming sites... Read »
  3. /feature/tv-renewal-scorecard-2017-2018-season Image
    2017-18 TV Season Scorecard
    June 1, 2017 - 5 comments
    1. mariusi : Isn't Ten Days in the valley the first cancellation of 2017-2018? It was pulled, replaced with Shark Tank and airs... Read »
    2. asmanraj : 9-1-1 will premiere in January. Read »
  4. /feature/major-upcoming-video-game-release-dates-xbox-ps4-pc-switch Image
    Notable Video Game Releases: New and Upcoming
    November 13, 2017 - 11 comments
    1. eli_fjr : Cant wait to play most of these next year. #XBX Read »
    2. Graphicdesign : Graphic Design Template Is the one of most graphic resource site. We are give all graphic template for free. Flyer... Read »
  5. /feature/game-publisher-rankings-for-2014-releases Image
    Metacritic's 5th Annual Game Publisher Rankings
    January 27, 2015 - 13 comments
    1. AlmanShafiulla : A sweetheart, good looking, nice person, great body, kitchen set bandung someone you really like, loving term. A good... Read »