Review Of The Year 2010

2010. What a year.

Just 11 or so months ago, the movie landscape was a very different place. Guillermo del Toro was about to direct The Hobbit . Avatar hadn’t quite become the big blue movie that could. And nobody had any clue what Inception was.

Now, the closing credits are about to roll on this year (and this decade). But what a year it’s been. Journey with us as we trace all the seismic shifts and movie tremors that have shaped 2010 into the year that it was…


Where else could we start other than with Avatar ?

James Cameron's decade-in-the-making opus got cinema off to one heck of a cracking start by taking $1bn in just 17 days , making it only the fifth film in the history of cinema to do so. It went on to become the highest grossing film ever. And that’s saying something. Meanwhile, James Cameron admitted that he’d already laid down a “ rough story ” for Avatar 2. And the 3D invasion continued as Warners confirmed that Clash Of The Titans would be in 3D . Uh, yeah...

Robert Downey Jr raised the hackles of Sherlock Holmes rights owners by hinting that a Holmes 2 film might upgrade the bromance to full on romance, musing that Holmes really could be a “ very butch homosexual ”. Luckily, Holmes 2 got greenlit , unluckily forcing Downey Jr to leave Cowboys & Aliens . Daniel Craig jumped in to fill his place .

Kevin Feige said that Thor was “unlike anything we’ve ever put on film before”, while MGM officially put James Bond on ice as they struggled to wade free of their monetary problems.

Other problems arose with Spider-Man 4 , as reports flooded in that Sam Raimi was still having trouble establishing who should be the villain(s). Days later, he’d been dumped , and the reset button had been jabbed. Rumours stirred that Marc Webb would be directing .

Sequel stuff continued as Harrison Ford hinted at an Indy 5 . Ivan Reitman’s apparent signing on to Ghostbusters 3 prompted us to discuss the threequels that we didn’t need . Later, more threequel talk came in the form of Gremlins 3D .

Guillermo del Toro’s Hobbit looked set to begin shooting in June (how wrong we all were), while casting officially began . Then stopped again for almost 8 months.

As Neill Blomkamp discussed the idea of making a prequel to his runaway smash District 9 , we dreamed up some plot ideas . Keeping things spacey, we celebrated Star Wars fan films , while offered more plot ideas , this time for Batman 3.

On the awards front, both Sandra Bullock and Jeff Bridges nabbed leading actor Golden Globes - could it be a sign of things to come at the Oscars? As we contemplated the possibility of those two getting up to thank their grandparents, we plucked out the best and worst Oscar speeches as a guide for what not to do.

In the lead up to the Oscar nominees announcement, we scribbled our 12 Oscar Nominations We Want To See . Some of those films may have made it onto our epic 100 Greatest Movies Of All Time .

The release of Burlesque Undressed gave us an excuse to investigate some saucy burlesque scenes (it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it), while the excellent Precious made us feel sorry for some really messed-up movie families .

Meanwhile, we reviewed A Single Man , Crazy Heart and Ponyo .

As the month came to a close, poor old Zelda Rubenstein succumbed to ongoing health issues and passed away aged 76. We all watched Poltergeist in her memory.

Next: February [page-break]


It’s finally getting released this December, but February heralded out first glimpse of Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy, whetting our appetite for what was to come. Meanwhile, Legacy co-star Olivia Wilde saddled up for Cowboys & Aliens.

Cybersequels were also on the cards with talk of Transformers 3D , despite Michael Bay’s previous reserve with the medium. A less cybernetic sequel was announced with Amy Adams’ Enchanted 2 .

Solomon Kane inspired us to trawl through the library for more pulp classics that needed to be turned into movies, while the release of Valentine’s Day (which we dubbed Yuck, Actually ) prompted us to seek out the 40 Most Inappropriate Movie Couples .

Bill Murray continued to tease us about Ghostbusters 3 , while the most unlikely of films finally ended Avatar ’s eight week death grip on the box office number spot, as Dear John swooned into town .

Comic book adaptations also gathered steam, as Captain America ’s on-screen nemesis was confirmed as Red Skull (of course) and Tim Robbins joined Green Lantern . We got most excited about Chris Nolan’s Batman 3 entering pre-production , with the director tipped to return to direct and act as godfather for the rebooted Superman .

Next: March [page-break]


As March dawned, Shutter Island was ruling the roost at the box office, while Tron: Legacy was still tempting us with gorgeous imagery, as we exclusively revealed not one , not two , no, not even three , but four images from the film. We also figured out what we knew about the cybersequel, before doing the same for Predators .

Stiller made everybody happy by confirming that Zoolander 2 was on the way . Bill Murray continued to talk about Ghostbusters 3. Harrison Ford followed suit on Indy 5. The world collectively shrugged.

Mother’s Day heralded our annual celebration of all those great birds in the movie world, before we raised a glass to some of the best movie drunks , and made a list of people we’d hate to have as babysitters . Just cos.

Our expectations for the Scott Pilgrim film adap were sent sky high when Kevin Smith revealed he’d seen and loved it , and Wolverine 2 got a shooting date . Ridley Scott’s Alien prequels jumped on the 3D bandwagon .

In trailer land, big, flappy, slow-mo owls made a hooting entrance , we got our first glimpse of Iron Man’s suitcase and FINALLY Tron: Legacy ’s first ever trailer hit the web . We couldn’t get our socks back on for a week.

The sad passing of Corey Haim got us feeling nostalgic, so we revisited his classic The Lost Boys - which timed well with the new Twilight : Eclipse trailer .

Buzz for Batman 3 and the new Superman continued as Chris Nolan let a few little details slip , while Hugo Weaving signed on to play Red Skull in Captain America , closely followed by Chris Evans as the shield-flinger. And, after the phenomenal success of Kick-Ass , Mark Millar told us all about Kick-Ass 2 . Meanwhile, Bryan Singer teased us with the possibility of an X-Men 4.

Another fourquel was on the cards with the announcement of Scream 4 , which got our grey matter bubbling over with plot ideas . And you chatted with Rob Rodriguez about Predators .

Further sequel chatter came courtesy of John Malkovich and Frances McDormand joining Transformers 3 , while Brad Bird considered heading into live-action terrain to direct Mission: Impossible 4, Eastern Promises 2 seemed likely and Power Of The Dark Crystal rose from the ashes .

Also, we loved Whip It , How To Train Your Dragon , and the new Scott Pilgrim trailer . We didn’t love Clash Of The Titans.

Next: April [page-break]


April began with a bang, as we exclusively reported that The Hobbit would be shot in 4D . Except, sorry, it was all a bit of a joke on our part for April Fool’s Day. Karma wasn’t on our side, though, as weeks later the project hit further delays , and we felt very bad. Sort of.

Meanwhile, MGM’s woes forced Bond 23 into suspension , meaning that potential director Sam Mendes thought about taking on The Great And Powerful Oz instead.

In further actual real news that we didn’t make up, David Fincher signed on to remake The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo , Ryan Reynolds crammed R.I.P.D. onto his slate , and Harrison Ford finally stopped talking about Indy 5 and joined the increasingly-awesome sounding Cowboys & Aliens.

On the flipside, Emily Blunt turned down a chance to star in Captain America , paving the way for Hayley Attwell . We also learned that Tron 3 is already being scribbled , and that the third Riddick movie would be (bizarrely) subtitled Dead Man Stalking .

Next: May [page-break]


Happy May! Fancy some good news? Well we had it in spades, with the release dates for Batman 3 and Kick-Ass 2 announced , Tommy Lee Jones in talks for Captain America and Matthew Vaughn interested in directing X-Men: First Class.

As the Nightmare On Elm Street remake failed to rivet , well, just about anyone in cinemas, we looked forward to 20 Awesome Movies Coming To IMAX , while picking out some great guilty pleasures .

The release of Robin Hood prompted us to take a look back over the life and times of Russell Crowe , while we played around with stupid movie titles .

As news dropped that Lindsay Lohan was going to be playing porn star Linda Lovelace, we chuckled over the 20 Greatest Movie Porn Parodies .

J.J Abrams gave us the first glimpse of the mysterious Super 8 , a new Mummy was on the cards , we got some cool pics from Let Me In , and the Fright Night remake suddenly looked interesting with the addition of Toni Collette and Colin Farrell.

Of course, it wouldn’t be May without Cannes, and we were there with the rest of the world, watching movies and chatting with the stars . Not to mention getting ignored by Russell Crowe, discussing Kill Bill 3D , watching Blue Valentine and blogging like crazy .

Our impatience at having to wait for Tron: Legacy prompted us to revisit the original film, and we discovered we still love it .

Judge Dredd got set for a system reboot , Pixar dumped Newt , and as Megan Fox got the boot from the Transformers franchise, we considered who might replace her .

There was also the first trailer for Adjustment Bureau, which reminded us a bit of The Box , Pirates 4 going 3D , and the first image from Cowboys & Aliens.

The Killer Inside Me got our pulses racing (much like Heartless ), while Amanda Seyfried made a turkey (much like The Rock ). We also celebrated awesome fantasy smackdowns .

As May drew to a close, we lost one of cinema’s greats as Dennis Hopper died aged 74 after a lengthy battle against cancer. We looked back over the great man’s career .

Next: June [page-break]


Tragedy strikes. Guillermo del Toro departs production of The Hobbit , citing the lack of a green light for his departure. Quick as a whip, we come up with 10 possible replacements , while Peter Jackson is an obvious frontrunner .

Hobbit rumours would persist throughout much of the month, as first Harry Potter helmer David Yates , and then Neill Blomkamp were singled out as potential replacements for the gig.

In news about projects that actually are being made, we confirmed that model Rosie Hungtington-Whiteley was up for Transformers 3 and chatted with Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley . In other comic news, concept artwork for Thor and Captain America was released and Michael Fassbender considered suiting up as Magneto in X-Men: First Class (we figured out everything knew about that, too ). He was soon confirmed .

Angelina Jolie, meanwhile, was mulling over whether or not to play Cleopatra, Geoffrey Rush decided to return for Pirates 4, and Tom Cruise signed on to make a full length movie based on his Tropic Thunder Len Grossman cameo .

Oh, and Harrison Ford was back on his Indy 5 kick, talking up possible plotlines that seemed to top Crustal Skull for rubbishness.

Remakes of Martyrs and Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead looked set for the green light – we decided to go vintage and tell you why we love the original Fright Night.

We also looked over the 60 Best Looking Films Ever , realised that movies with ‘Rise’ in the title are totally rubbish , and had a laugh at the expense of subtitles .

As news that Goonies 2 was a no-go were met with sighs of relief , Robert Downey Jr decided he fancied a crack at Oz . We also got new trailers for Scott Pilgrim , The Illusionist , Green Hornet , Little Fockers , Harry Potter and Never Let Me Go .

Crap cinema releases like Trash Humpers and Killers prompted us to compile a list of the 27 Most Boring Movies , while we also considered the most savage serial killers and cool movie premakes for good measure. We awarded Inception four stars .

We also said ‘ta mate’ to the dads of the world with the 12 Greatest Movie Dads , and counted down the best and worst SNL movies (MacGruber’s in there ).

Finally, we closed the month by getting a little footie crazy, splicing all that dribbling madness with our love for movies. The result? Hybrid monstrosities like England's 10 Best , Beckham's Movie Reviews , and 12 World Cup Movie Lookalikes ...

Next: July [page-break]


Meryl Streep

Summer continued at a cracking pace with perhaps the most awesome/scary casting news we’ve heard all year: Meryl Streep wanted to play Margaret Thatcher. We can only imagine what kind of thrillingly icy performance she’ll bring.

In more scary movie news, former O.C . funnyman Adam Brody and Mary McDonnell joined Scream 4 , Eli Roth agreed to produce Hostel 3 and FrightFest gave us a peek at their 2010 line-up .

The biggest casting of the month, of course, came in confirmation that relative unknown Brit Andrew Garfield had snatched the role of Spider-Man from his competitors,

As the BT oil spill continued to make headlines, we pondered which historical disasters would make for awesome movies , and felt the sweet vibes of 20 Rocking Music Documentaries .

Then there was the small matter of ‘Future Day’, which we confessed to after Twitter, then the internet, then the national press got whiff of our sci-fi conspiracy. We made up for it by suggesting 12 Inventions To Send Back To The Future .

If that wasn’t cool enough, we rustled up the 30 Coolest Movie Moments (Edgar Wright even told us his ), loved The Blues Brothers all over again and discussed the Prequels We Didn’t Want To See .

First looks came in the shape of a Let Me In trailer and Dangerous Method pics , while Twilight: Eclipse sucked the box office competition dry.

We also rejoiced at the idea of an adults only Fraggle Rock movie and contemplated who might be in it . And as Bond 23 looked to be on ice for four whole years , we considered who might be up for the gig in four years' time.

Sam Worthington did damage control on Clash Of The Titans 2 , Michael Caine told us Batman 3 would begin shooting in April 2011 (we decided the essential elements ), and Peter Jackson looked more likely than ever to be directing The Hobbit.

In the wake of The Last Airbender , we suggested 7 Ways To Save Shyamalan’s Career , while Black Dynamite inspired us to check out the Best & Worst Movie Spoofs .

Then, of course, there was Comic-Con 2010. In a whirlwind five days of activity, we got first glimpses of Super , the brilliant Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark , Battle: Los Angeles , and more Tron: Legacy .

Elsewhere at the Con, Johnny Depp got in character for a Pirates 4 tease , Joss Whedon confirmed he was directing The Avengers before uniting his cast on-stage, we saw some Green Lantern and Thor footage. And we posted our favourite 10 moments from the Con .

As the month considered taking a nap, Daniel Craig jumped at Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, a Predators sequel looked likely , and James Cameron joined Del Toro at The Mountains Of Madness . We also liked Splice , Down Terrace and City Island . We didn’t like Mega Piranha . At all.

Next: August [page-break]


Comic adaps continued to take prominence over 2010, as Spider-Man received a start date , Robert Rodriguez fancied directing Deadpool , and Matthew Vaughn exacted some changes to his X-Men: First Class after watching Inception . By the end of the month, Rodriguez seemed unlikely for Deadpool , while Darren Aronofsky got interested in Wolverine 2.

As we lapped up the Eccentricities Of A Blonde-Haired Girl , we celebrated movie blondes , while Adam Sandler's Grown Ups prompted a celebration of The 30 Best High School Movie Kids . We also got hooked on a new web-crack known as Tumblr, and wrote about our favourite Tumblr blogs .

Will Ferrell explained just what went wrong with Anchorman 2, a very tiny Avengers teaser trailer cropped up online (while we figured out what we knew about the film), but that was okay because we also got the awesome Scott Pilgrim iTrailer . And Tom Cruise took a pay cut for M:I4 , prompting us to take a look through his CV .

Other 2010 mainstay Avatar stuck in the headlines as Cameron discussed filming Avatar 2 and 3 back-to-back , Scarlett Johansson thought about Gravity , Terminator looked to be going the animation route and Rooney Mara bagged the Girl With Dragon Tattoo lead.

As the Black Swan trailer gave us funny feelings , we sought comfort in The Human Centipede , and not finding it there , went to see The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and The Expendables . Which left us a bit disappointed.

FrightFest kicked off, and we blogged about it . We also gave exclusive first reactions to Fanboys , F , Buried , A Serbian Film , I Spit On Your Grave and Monsters .

Then we decided the movies needed a kick up the backside with our 30 Ways To Improve The Movies .

Trailers for Little Fockers , Fair Game , Hatchet II , I’m Still Here , 127 Hours and Monsters all cropped up.

We got animated with a Scott Pilgrim vs Springfield experiment , considered how to save Mel Gibson’s career , loved The Last Exorcism and wrote about the best and worst exorcism movies ... And as Bruce Willis seemed tipped to be the villain in Expendables 2, we dreamed up some possible plots for the meaty sequel .

As Hollywood flapped about looking for a director for Fantastic Four Reborn , we considered how to reboot the franchise , then confessed our love for John Hughes .

Oh, and the Total Film iPhone app officially launched ...

Next: September [page-break]


Kick-Ass 2 seemed a dead cert as we wended our way into September. As the first image from Fright Night hit the web, Angelina Jolie departed Gravity , and we chatted to Kevin Feige about Captain America.

The Venice Film Festival also promised all kinds of goodies, and we put our excitement right out there with 12 Festival Picks . We then blogged the whole glorious thing , before Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere won the big prize .

Meanwhile, Ghost Rider 2 got the potential plot treatment , and we imagined how one might make an Angry Birds movie .

Ridley Scott was still working away on his Alien prequels, calling them “ really nasty ”, while Gemma Arterton met him . More horrifically, Resident Evil got a fivequel , Pinocchio became a real boy and Andy Fickman signed on to make Boy Scouts Vs Zombies . The latter inspired our 20 Movies Improved By Zombies .

As trailers for The Fighter and The Tourist dropped, we dug up everything knew about the latter , as well as Spider-Man 4 .

TV outings seemed likely for GoodFellas and True Lies , inspiring us to look at the 27 Films That Need A TV Spin-Off . We also celebrated the Brits who made it on US TV . As Chris Nolan began his search for a Superman director , we turned our attention to who could play the man of steel himself .

A flurry of activity seized production of Sherlock Holmes 2 as first Stephen Fry signed on as the detective’s bro , and then Jared Harris bagged the role of villain Moriarty .

Reviewswise, Wall Street 2 was okay , we quite liked The Runaways , I’m Still Here earned bonus weird points . But it was the re-release of Back To The Future that earned the full five stars . Social Network g ot four .

Next: October [page-break]


Vampires suck. And so did the movie Vampires Suck . A bit like Charlie St. Cloud and Life As We Know It . Red had big explosions , and A Town Called Panic tripped us out in a really good way .

As behind the scenes footage of Scream 4 got us seeing dancing ghostfaces, the first coolly brilliant True Grit trailer prompted us to discover everything we knew about the Coens’ new film .

Bourne Legacy got a new director , who didn’t want Jason Bourne to actually be in the movie . And look! After months of nothing, Ghostbusters 3 is still banging around the place like a peeved poltergeist. Then Martin Freeman got cast as Biblo Baggins . Which pleased Guillermo del Toro. The world was happy to hear that Harry Potter’s Deathly Hallows: Part 1 wouldn’t be in 3D , while Tom Felton revealed his top ten movie bad guys . And we conjured up some plots for a possible Harry Potter 8 .

In the comic world, things really were beginning to take shape, with the headlines all but dominated by comic movie adap happenings. Zack Snyder got the Superman reboot gig , and we weighed up the pros and cons of his signing . Emma Stone was cast in Spider-Man , while Aronofsky continued to tango with Wolverine 2 , and the sequel’s character list leaked online .

The release of Rhys Ifans’ Mr Nice prompted us to find out just how the movie got made , while Mr Nice himself blazed up with his five favourite drug movies . He also inspired us to write about the Best & Worst Biopics .

Talking of Rhys, he also got signed on to the Spider-Man reboot, and we kindly suggested some roles for him . He was eventually confirmed as playing The Lizard .

Next: November [page-break]


The cinematic re-release of Peeping Tom and Saw 3D chimed well with horror-flavoured news at the beginning of the month, with a new Texas Chain Saw Massacre in the offing and John Carpenter signing to direct Darkchylde .

In celebration of Fireworks Night, we presented the Biggest Movie Bangs , while the release of Jackass 3D had us trawling through the guys’ best stunts , and Dream Home had us taking a trip to 18 Terrifying Movie Addresses .

In Hobbiton, John Nesbitt joined The Hobbit , James Cameron dissed Warner Bros’ attempts at 3D , Hugh Jackman confirmed he wouldn’t appear in X-Men: First Class. And with Ghostbusters 3 rumours continuing to circle , we sent out a casting call . Just before Dan Aykroyd discussed the recent spate of casting rumours .

Skyline ’s opening had us pondering 30 Unsuccessful Alien Invasions , while we exposed some Dodgy Movie Morals . Then there was the trippy second trailer for Sucker Punch , as well as trailers for Hall Pass , No Strings Attached , and the similar but better looking Friends With Benefits .

Spider-Man casting continued apace with Sally Field and Martin Sheen both signing on, James Cameron confirmed he’d be sticking to Avatar territory .

Meanwhile, projects on ice seemed suddenly set to defrost, with Bond 23 tipped to rise from the grave, that Akira reboot set to do the same with Zac Efron and Morgan Freeman , Matthew Vaughn wanted for Oldboy and Jeremy Renner reportedly interested in Escape From New York .

Next: December [page-break]


So we’re in the last month of 2010, and we seem to have misplaced our crystal ball. Instead of spoiling everything with scarily precise predictions about what December will hold, here are some general musings on what will probably go down…

We’ll get our first shot from Spider-Man . Probably nothing fancy, though – it’s still 18 months til the movie hits cinemas. Information about Batman 3 ’s villains and general story will get leaked by the Daily Mail.

Everybody will love Tron: Legacy , and hail it as the movie of the year. Tron 3 will get officially greenlit six days after release. Nobody even notices that Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader is out.

Megamind will show the guys who made Despicable Me how it should be done, Monsters will turn out to be this year’s District 9 . Rare Exports will become crowned the best Finnish movie about killer Santa Clauses ever made.

Hollywood will announce that no more remakes or reboots will be put into production. Oh, alright, that last one’s a tiny bit of a stretch.

Keep track of everything right here at Total Film , and make sure you sign up to our Facebook group, follow us on Twitter and YouTube , and check out our Tumblr page – if you haven’t already been doing that all year, of course.

Here's to 2011...

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.