The Ten Best Movie Trailers of 2010

I gave you my top ten movies of the year last week, but today I wanted to make a new round of picks for which films had the best trailers.

I’m a big trailer fan, and my job makes me watch nearly every one released each year, practically moments after they debut, so I have a wide base to choose from. These ten were my favorites, though I’m pretty sure with the hundreds or so I’ve seen, that I’ve missed a few that might deserve to be included.

Check out my picks below, and feel free to disagree or link to ones you think are deserving.

10. Hereafter


This is actually the only movie on this list I haven’t seen, but this trailer made an impression on me to the point where I still remembered to include it in the list. I don’t know why, but it gives me chills, and it just looks like a very subtle, nuanced look at the afterlife. Shame on me for letting negative reviews make me skip this, and I’ll have to catch it on DVD.

9. True Grit


This is a really well-cut trailer, and it gets you very excited for a film that you KNOW will be quality between the Coens, Damon and Bridges. I actually like the second half of the trailer more than the first, as that’s when the music kicks in. My only complaint is that this spot drastically alters the tone of the movie, which is more lighthearted than what’s portrayed here, but that might have actually been good to hide.

8. Daybreakers


If I was making a most underrated movies of the year list, Daybreakers would lead it. I though I would hate it as I’m currently about to pass out from vampire fatigue, but I promise it’s actually worthwhile, and is a cool little film about an apocalyptic future where the world’s destruction is a little more subtle than we’re used to. This trailer is supremely well done in communicating the tone and visuals, and Placebo’s “Running Up that Hill” is one of the best tracks in a trailer this year.

7. Kick Ass


I wasn’t the biggest fan at first, but I ended up liking Kick-Ass the more I watched it, and I do have to recognize that this spot is well-cut and gives us a fresh take on the superhero genre. It also cuts out the violence and language that pervades the film in a way that doesn’t seem lame, and we get a good taste of the action and humor and inevitably want to see more.

6. Tron Legacy


The Daft Punk score was the best part of Tron Legacy, and featured here with the first real imagery from the movie, made this spot one of the best of the year. The setup for the 25 years later sequel seemed plausible as well, and you don’t have time to figure out that Garrett Hedlund and Jeff Bridges are poised to give some exceptionally wooden performances in the film itself.

5. Shutter Island


One of the few trailers on this list that isn’t music-centric in some way, the Shutter Island spot creates an effectively creepy environment and story in under three minutes. I remember seeing this for the first time, and wanting to watch the movie right then and there.

4.Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps


Say what you will about the film itself (I didn’t half mind it actually), but this is a well-made trailer. The Rolling Stone’s Sympathy for the Devil is a perfect backdrop for the return of Gordon Gekko, and the spot actually made it seem like despite being a sequel no one ever asked for because of the recent financial crisis, it could actually be culturally relevant.

3. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World


Despite targeting that should have drilled it’s way into any male under 25’s brain with ease, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Scott Pilgrim, the final product. I was, however, a big fan of Scott Pilgrim, the trailer. It was smart, snappy and visually unique, and is the best high energy pop culture preview I’ve seen in years.

2. Inception


Chris Nolan always delivers one hell of a trailer (not to mention the movie that follows), and this year was no exception. But this time around, he had to effectively explain the film’s creative, complicated process of “idea stealing” in a mere two and a half minutes. We watched the spot and still were confused as to what it was all about, but the cool imagery and that unforgettable track left our out heads spinning in a good way.

1. The Social Network


Yes, this list ends the way my top ten films of the year list did, with The Social Network. What can I say? For the tenth time, I’m a big proponent of the correct song choice for a trailer, and Scala’s haunting rendition of Radiohead’s Creep is absolutely spot-on here. The trailer also perfectly shows how a movie about something as theoretically boring as starting a website can actually be dramatic, exciting and intriguing.

  • Josh

    Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” trailer most definitely deserves to be on this list (to be fair, though, it is only two weeks old and the film wasn’t released in 2010)

  • Online9

    I never saw the trailer for Inception. I caught it on opening day in the UK. What I’m saying is that I really enjoyed the trailer, and like with Scott Pilgrim, it makes me want to watch them again. And it’s great to see the final line is Tom Hardy.

  • Mr Cinema

    I was hoping to see The Town on here. That trailer was outstanding.

  • Bandit

    Early entry for 2011 #1 Trailer: SUCKER PUNCH

  • jonathan

    Clash of the Titans should be on this list, likely somewhere near the top. It should also likely be up for some sort of best trailer/worst actual movie award.

    Sucker Punch has to be an early favorite for 2011.

  • Laura

    I got goosebumps for the Tron trailer, solely based on the musical stylings of Daft Punk.

    Inception was the first one that came to mind…the music is amazing, and I remember being in theaters with my mouth agape in confusion as to what I just saw.

  • MR

    It’s been a while since i dropped my own two dollars (two cents no longer works thanks to inflation :P) I agree with all these pics save for the social network. The reason is to me it makes it look like an over the top mellow dramatic biopic. And as much as I like creep, it just didn’t fit here. I would have gone the darker approach and used something like this.