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.



- 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.



- 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.



- 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.



- 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.



- 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.



- 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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Comments 8 comments

Megavitamin profile image

Megavitamin 5 years ago

As usual, I agree with you! I love trailers, and you have chosen some great ones on this list. The "True Grit" trailer is incredible.

Most of the time, if I hear about a movie that sparks my interest, I won't even watch the trailer. They can be riddled with spoilers or can build my expectations way too high. I didn't even watch the "Black Swan" trailer until just now--and I saw the movie last night!

Great topic, great list. Thanks for sharing!


izoooom profile image

izoooom 5 years ago from United Kingdom (for now)

Good hub to say goodbye to the past year


mandawg9 profile image

mandawg9 5 years ago Author

@Megavitamin: So I've already stated that you're my favorite commenter, right? Yeah, I agree: I try NOT to watch trailers for films I really wanna see, actually, just so I go in cold, but a lot of the time, it's pretty unavoidable.

@izoooom: Thanks very much!


Megavitamin profile image

Megavitamin 5 years ago

You keep writing about my favorite topics and I'll keep being your favorite commenter :0) Awards season is in sight!


KristenGrace profile image

KristenGrace 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

Wonderful choices for trailers... I just read your other hub regarding films of 2010, and I see you continue with many choices. Like I said before, Black Swan looks incredible. I actually never heard of The Tree of Life (hopefully I'm not the only one!! :( ) but thanks for opening my eyes here!


mandawg9 profile image

mandawg9 5 years ago Author

@KristenGrace: Thanks. I think you'll start hearing more about The Tree of Life in the coming months. It's supposedly making an appearance at Sundance.


JBunce 5 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

Good choices. I know too much about the tricks trailers use for most of them to really make me think "I just HAVE TO see this movie", but I have to admit that the "Inception" trailer was the first one in ages that made me think exactly that.


mandawg9 profile image

mandawg9 5 years ago Author

@JBunce: Yeah, Inception was kind of hard to fight off, haha.

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