Top 10 Trailers of 2010

     December 28, 2010


Over the past year, we’ve brought you a lot of posters and a lot of trailers.  Yesterday, I gave you my picks for the top 10 posters of 2010.  Today, I have my picks for the top 10 trailers of the year.  While we’re a bunch of obsessives who track every phase of a movie’s production, your average moviegoer will only first become aware of a movie once they see the trailer.

Hit the jump to check out my picks for the ten best trailers of 2010.

Briefly, the only rule for the list regarding eligibility was that the trailer had to come out this year, even if the film it’s promoting isn’t released until 2011.  Also, no fan-made trailers (sorry, “Rerezzed”).  I’ve also included links to buy the music (when available) used in each trailer.

10. Hanna

This looks too weird (for a mainstream film) to pass-up.  Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett are both doing goofy accents, and while the comparisons to Hit-Girl are inevitable (as comparisons to all the anime that inspired Hit-Girl), this looks like it could be a nice change of pace from director Joe Wright (Atonement).

9. Battle: Los Angeles

What do you do when you have the audacity to make a blockbuster sci-fi action pic that isn’t based on previously existing material?  You cut a trailer like this one.

8. Jane Eyre

Selling a costume period drama isn’t easy, but this trailer makes Cary Fukunaga’s adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel come off as a gripping gothic tale.  Bonus points for using music from Suspiria.

  • “Suspiria” by Goblin

7. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

I don’t remember the last time a trailer scared me.  Oh wait.  Yes I do.  It was this one.

6. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

I thought it wasn’t possible for me to be more excited about Edgar Wright’s adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s brilliant comic series.  Then I saw this trailer.

5. Your Highness (Red-Band)

When you can’t stop quoting the trailer, that bodes well for the overall quality of the final product.

  • “Night of the Sorcerer (No Vox)” by Brand X
  • “Tavern Fighting Part 2 – (Your Highness)” by Steve Jablonsky
  • “Check It Out” by Riptide Music
  • The Warrior’s Code” by Dropkick Murphys
  • “Tony Robbin’s Book” by Audio Machine
  • “Sons of War (Choir)” by Two Steps From Hell

4. The Tree of Life

It feels like it’s taken an eternity to get Terrence Malick’s latest into theaters.  The trailer makes it look like it will be worth the wait.

  • Má Vlast Moldau” by Bedřich Smetana
  • “Funeral March” by Patrick Cassidy

3. True Grit (Teaser)

This was a close call between the teaser and the final trailer which skillfully uses Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”, but I preferred the haunting tones of The Peasall Sisters’ “Where No One Stands Alone”.

2. Black Swan

This trailer shows so many intense, striking shots and yet never feels like it’s spoiling the movie.  And even if you think you know what to expect from this film, having the protagonist rip a feather out of her back helpfully tells you, “No.  No you don’t.”

1. The Social Network

When folks are rushing to parody your trailer, you probably did something right.  Not only does it use a great cover of “Creep”, but it helped raise awareness of the movie beyond “The Facebook Movie” to “The Must-see Movie”.

  • Creep” covered by Scala and Kolcany Brothers


Monday: Top 10 Posters of 2010

Tuesday: Top 10 Trailers of 2010

Wednesday: Best Performances, Directing, and other Miscellany of 2010

Thursday: Worst 5 of 2010

Friday: Top 10 of 2010


  • Kevin

    I 100% agree with you when I first heard of The Social Network it wasn’t really a must see movie then I saw this trailer and I was blown away. It’s so good it gives me the chills

  • salezy


    • Bill Graham

      I have to agree that I am miffed by the omission of an INCEPTION trailer. Also, I loved THE SOCIAL NETWORK trailer. That cover of CREEP is amazing.

  • sense 11

    God Bless James Franco LMAO

  • Junierizzle

    I cant argue with your number 1. That trailer blew me away. I actually think the trailer is better than the movie. You know that feeling of awesomeness you got when you saw the traier? Yeah I didnt get the same feeling when I saw the movie. I still liked the movie a lot but I think its overrated. And no INCEPTION??

  • Excpired

    I’m sorry but where is the Kick-Ass trailer? The kick-ass trailer was far superior than the Scott Pilgrim one and I’d say better than the True Grit one.

    Black Swan trailer was definitely a good inclusion, it is one of the most twisted and frightening trailers I have ever seen. It takes normality and in two minutes completely turns it on its head and has you begging for mercy.

  • Nana

    You’ve gotta be kidding. This can’t be a top 10 list without the Inception trailer. How could you forget the BWWAAARM echoes of “Mind Heist”. The world folds in half for crying out loud! Smh. And why is Tree of Life there? I found the trailer quite boring

  • pisspoor

    I will b surprised if Your Highness is not at the very least a minor hit. The damn trailer just cracks me up! Black Swan & Social Network trailers are fantastic work, mini masterpieces. INCEPTION teaser is the bomb, a minimalist nightmare of images. The later full length trailers make INCEPTION look like a run-of-the-mill action movie.

  • eliiii
  • colin

    some nice choices here, but i must agree with others that the omission of Inception is questionable. When a trailer gets 800 million dollars worth of people to go see your movie, it was probably a good fu*kin trailer. And no, it wasn’t just the dark knight crowd.

  • bfagoa

    You forgot the trailer for THE FIGHTER. Yes it was traditional but it had me in tears by the end. No other trailer has done that. Except CHILDREN OF MEN.

  • Twilidiot

    It took hours to get through all these with all the buffering. I can only imagine how long it took you to put these together with the links to the songs as well. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    A few thoughts:

    Jane Eyre IS a gripping gothic tale. This production reminds me of the 2009 Wuthering Heights film starring a raw, dark and seductive Tom Hardy. That bodes well.

    I do like that Peasall Sisters song but there’s a second track of strings, drums, thunder claps, wind and that final haunting cock of a gun underlying the vocals that makes it work. Do you know what that is? It’s not Carter Burwell’s score.

    Please include an honorable mention for the “Red” Teaser Trailer. It’s hard to see when you know what’s coming what the effect is on someone who knows nothing at all seeing Helen “The Queen” Mirren unexpectedly pulling an uzi. If only the movie had been a third as exciting as this trailer:

    :-) Gretchen

  • Jake

    How can you snub INCEPTION? It’s pretty clear that it’s the #1 trailer of the year. Look how many copies trailers for other films that have been “Inceptioned”!

    INCEPTION, without a doubt, is the BEST trailer of 2010.

  • ismet tygbey

    a come on where are you İnception ? ha

  • Matt Goldberg

    For those wondering about the Inception trailer, it didn’t make the list because I thought it showed too much.

    • stylus59

      How bout teaser trailer? I swear there were no speaking parts on it.

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  • Damian

    Good list, Matt.
    For 2011, Limitless looks fantastic.
    Any time a trailer can make me want to
    read the book it’s based on before I see the movie,
    to me that’s a great trailer.

  • A.L.

    FOUL no inception trailer on this list. I watched that trailer every day for, like, a month. I downloaded the MP3 of Mind Heist the original song from the trailer. I agree with The Social Network and Black Swan, though.