They Had Us From Frame 1: The Best Movie Trailers of 2010
When it's all said and done, there's really one major thing that draws you to a film. It's the element that doesn't just pique your interest, it leaves you practically salivating over the next few months to sit down and watch something you've convinced yourself will be better than you expect.
Sure, you can get little tidbits on who's cast in what film, or read reactions from those lucky enough to see in advance something you'll have to wait another season to catch (assuming you're fortunate enough to live in a place that shows limited release pictures). But in the end, it's the movie trailers that seal the deal.
Some can be misleading, promising a better product than what we actually get. Others disappoint, offering up a seemingly average sneak peak at a film that inevitably proves to be much more. And then there are the worst kind of trailers: the ones that give away the entire 90 minute movie in less than three.
Whatever the case, trailers influence just how interested we are in a coming attraction. I've listed the ten that stood out the most for me, the ones that showcased how carefully crafting a collage of select movie scenes can be an art form in itself.
- You don't have to worry about too many spoilers in this trailer: you barely stay in one spot for longer than a second. Reviews about the film haven't been too great, but the trailer has a nice, relaxed flow to it. This is one of those previews that seems to have the perfect combination of song choice ("I'll Try Anything Once," by The Strokes) and screen images working together in perfect harmony.
#9. Blue Valentine
- This was one of those that had good buzz coming out of the festival circuit. But when the trailer finally hit, the interest level pretty much went through the roof. There are a lot of films released every year that focus on relationships, and many of them are instantly forgettable. The preview above seems to suggest you've got two capable actors that will help make this one memorable.
#8. Animal Kingdom
- What we have here is a taut, tense dramatic thriller that doesn't take long at all to sink its claws in you. From the looks of it, the ensemble cast should be pretty terrific, especially Jacki Weaver. Air Supply's "All Out of Love" strangely complements the images we see on screen.
#7. The Town
- Even after Gone Baby Gone managed to exceed many spectators' expectations three years ago, many were skeptical of how Ben Affleck's directorial follow-up would fare. Not only did the trailer seem to answer the question of whether or not Affleck was a one-hit-wonder, The Town immediately became a must-see on several movie watchers' lists. Even in the limited time we have to see what kind of a story we're dealing with, it's obvious that there's quite an ensemble of performers working here, including Jeremy Renner in yet another scene-stealing performance, a barely recognizable Blake Lively and the late, great Pete Postlethwaite.
#6. Black Swan
- Want a good explanation as to why this trailer is so well done? Answer this: when is the last time, if ever, you were really amped up to see a ballerina movie? As if we even needed these reminders, the trailer made a few things very clear: Darren Aronofsky is a gifted director, Natalie Portman is an Oscar-caliber actress and Mila Kunis is really hot (and she can act, too!).
- Remember when you first heard that David Fincher was interested in making a movie about Facebook, and he wanted Justin Timberlake in it? Well, for all those who doubted the film's potential, this killed all those suspicions. Then again, in hindsight, when you've got Fincher, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and actor Jesse Eisenberg (who is the only person who could have played Mark Zuckerberg), why even sweat it? It's great how the trailer mirrors what happens in the film: it starts out simple enough, then steadily grows more and more chaotic.
#4. The Tree of Life
- A first glimpse at Terrence Malick's latest project had been anticipated for some time, and the sneak peak didn't disappoint. While the trailer premiered this year in front of screenings of Black Swan, this won't come out until later in 2011. Nevertheless, Children of Men cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki should already expect some recognition for his camera work. Some of these images are pretty gorgeous.
- When I hear people say they have/had no interest in seeing this, it's hard for me to understand. This was one of those trailers I personally watched at least 50 times, and that was for one day. It's gripping, original, spoiler-free, fast-paced and clearly trademarked by Christopher Nolan's distinctive visual style. All that being said, Zack Hemsey's track "Mind Heist" may be the factor that really put the trailer over the top.
#2. True Grit
- I never really doubted that the Coen Brothers could make a successful remake out of a John Wayne picture. I never doubted Jeff Bridges's abilities to take on the role and make it his own. But I didn't think that the first time I watched the trailer for the film, I would literally say "Wow" after I saw it. Could there be a more perfect song to use here than Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna Cut You Down?"
- Say what you will about Babel, or 21 Grams, or Amores Perros. Whatever your thoughts on any of those films from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, they all benefited from some nicely constructed trailers. However, this may be the best one yet. From Javier Bardem to the cinematography to the underrated music composition by Alexandre Desplat (from Lust, Caution), everything works perfectly here. The story itself may not be pretty, but the trailer sure is.
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