Flip over your calendar in just a few hours we kick off a new year of movie-going. The economy may be in shambles, you may be unemployed, but Hollywood’s making more money than ever and that means a 2010 packed to the limit with big blockbusters and explosive entertainment. The poorer you are, the more you need the kind of escapism only they can provide. Maybe it’ll be the quiet little indie movie no one has heard of that we all end up liking best, but standing here right now, on the precipice of a new decade, these are the movies you should be on the lookout for. Click the titles for detailed information on each film.
The Book of Eli
Why you should care: Post-apocalyptic Denzel Washington kicking unholy amounts of ass can't be a bad thing, can it?
Why you should care: Paul Bettany continues his quest to piss off the Pope by making a movie in which he's a fallen Angel out to shoot god's minions in the head. Who'd have thought Angels were so susceptible to shotgun blasts?
When in Rome
Why you should care: Kristen Bell is uncommonly cute and deserves a shot at being one of those highly paid, romantic leads… even if we'd rather see her in superhero spandex.
From Paris with Love
Why you should care: Isn't it about time John Travolta decided to shoot… everything?
Edge of Darkness
Why you should care: Last year it was Liam Neeson in Taken, this time it's Mel Gibson's turn to beat the hell out of the entire planet. What we know is that it's ok to kill as many people as you want, as long as you're doing it for your family.
Why you should care: Universal's pushing to make this seem like a classic, old school monster movie and after years of glittering vampires and sweaty man-boy werewolves, old school is the right antidote.
Why you should care: This could be the new Love Actually, with a star-studded cast unmatched by any other film being released this year. Taylor Lautner, Bradley Cooper , Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel , Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Emma Roberts, Taylor Swift, Topher Grace, Jamie Foxx, Patrick Dempsey, Queen Latifah, Shirley MacLaine, and George Lopez all in one movie.
Why you should care: Scorsese and DiCaprio are together again, this time for a twisted psychological thriller set in an insane asylum. What could possibly go wrong?
Why you should care: It's Kevin Smith's first blockbuster, studio picture and it's also his first attempt at directing something he had no hand in writing. Pairing Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis could be genius, but I'd feel better if they'd hired Kevin's pen along with his lens.
Alice in Wonderland
Why you should care: Tim Burton's take on Wonderland is as colorful and lush as it is potentially weird. This grown up, darker Alice could be a lot of fun. Or, since Johnny Depp's involved again, it could be all creepy like Willy Wonka.
Why you should care: Paul Greengrass many not direct another Bourne movie but he's teamed up with Matt Damon for this, which looks a lot like the same thing. Satiate your Bourne sequel fantasies here.
Hot Tub Time Machine
Why you should care: Sure John Cusack is in this movie and so is Rob Corddry and Chevy Chase and even, believe it or not, Crispin Glover. But I'm excited for Craig Robinson who at any given moment is always the funniest person in any scene. Plus there's a hot tub. And it's a time machine.
How to Train Your Dragon
Why you should care: It's the new animated movie from DreamWorks and the trailers hint that maybe, just maybe, it could be more Kung Fu Panda than Shrek the Third. Fingers crossed. Vikings riding dragons should be awesome.
Clash of the Titans
Why you should care: Sam Worthington flexes his muscles to cut the head off of every mythical beast imaginable. Granted this was more fun when it was stop-motion instead of CGI, but as long as Medusa gets stabbed we should be on board.
Why you should care: Director Matthew Vaughn made Stardust, quietly one of the best fantasy movies ever made. I say quietly because no one saw it. Kick-Ass is his twisted take on the superhero genre and looks to be every bit as incredible. This time, it might be nice if people showed up to watch it.
Why you should care: MacGruber! Making lifesaving inventions out of household materials. MacGruber! Getting in and out of ultra sticky situations. MacGruber! The guy's a friggin genius. MacGruber!!!
Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps
Why you should care: In the 80s Oliver Stone made greed good with Wall Street and now that it's all come tumbling down around us he's back to tell us why maybe greed isn't so good. Either that or he's having as much trouble paying his mortgage as the rest of us and saw an opportunity to get your money. In this economy, who could blame him?
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Why you should care: Sure it's a remake but you have to be interested to see what Jackie Earle Haley will do as Freddy. He was the best thing about Watchmen as the growling psychopath Rorschach and now they're giving him claws and sending him after teenagers.
Iron Man 2
Why you should care: If you saw the first one you know what's up. Robert Downey Jr. is back in the iron underwear and Jon Favreau is behind the camera. War Machine may look a little different but otherwise expect more of what worked before, except maybe even better.
Why you should care: This was a better idea back when it was called Nottingham, but any time Russell Crowe teams up with Ridley Scott to swing a sword it's a good idea to be there.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Why you should care: Jake Gyllenhaal gets topless and saves a beautiful woman from sand. Could be fun. It's a better alternative than another Indiana Jones or another one of those played out Mummy movie.
Sex and the City 2
Why you should care: Rumor has it that Carrie will do something shocking. I'm guessing it won't be letting her mustache grow out. The first movie was well done and if you're a fan you're already in line for the sequel. Have fun camping out in high-heels.
Why you should care: It's a translation of the popular 80s television show and while it's hard to imagine the A-Team without Mr. T, they've assembled an admirable replacement cast, bought a black van, and promise to blow a lot of things up. I love it when a plan comes together.
Get Me to the Gig
Why you should care: It liked it better when it was called Get Him to the Greek, but as long as they haven't changed the film's genius script along with the title, then Jonah Hill and Russell Brand's pseudo Forgetting Sarah Marshall spin-off promises to be the funniest, raunchiest movie of the year.
The Karate Kid
Why you should care: Maybe remaking it will rape your childhood and leave it for dead by the side of the road, but you owe it yourself to show up and find out. Besides, Jackie Chan seems like a natural Mr. Miyagi and Will Smith's kid has to have inherited at least some talent from him. Hopefully it's his talent for acting and not rapping.
Toy Story 3
Why you should care: The trailer alone was almost enough to make me tear up. Anything Pixar is a must see, but with Toy Story that's doubly so.
Why you should care: I'm a sucker for anything in which the protagonist wears a cool hat and, let's face it, almost everyone is a sucker for anything in which Megan Fox wears… something. Hopefully something skimpy.
Why you should care: Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, David Spade, Chris Rock, Norm MacDonald, Colin Quinn, Maya Rudolph, Tim Meadows, and Kevin James filling in for Chris Farley. It's a classic SNL reunion and who cares what it's about, I'm in.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Why you should care: You're either excited because you're a fan, or you're terrified because you're not. Mark this date on your calendar and make plans to either pop in fangs and cover yourself in glitter or stay far, far away from any movie theater.
Why you should care: For anyone who ever thought the Austin Powers should ditch Austin and simply focus on Dr. Evil, here's your answer in animated form. Steve Carell stars as the voice of the world's number 2 super-villain, a bald-headed oddball with a penchant for evil.
Why you should care: It's a real Predator movie, not one of those Alien team-up pretenders. Arnold's still running California but they've brought in an assortment of equally acceptable badasses to tangle with cinema's most well-known outerspace killer in the form of Danny Trejo and Laurence Fishburne.
Why you should care: Chris Nolan, that guy who did those Batman movies, is back and even though he's not bringing Bruce Wayne with him he's ready to blow your mind. No one's entirely sure what his new sci-fi movie is about, but Leo DiCaprio is involved and the trailers make it look like a slick, cerebral take on Dark City.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Why you should care: Nic Cage in weird hair is always a dicey proposition but the trailer's fun and Jay Baruchel is the perfect choice to play a befuddled apprentice forced to deal with computer generated oddities.
Why you should care: Angelina Jolie tries to recapture her spy movie mojo with the story of a CIA operative accused of defecting and being forced to go on the run. It's kind of like Burn Notice except with boobs and without Bruce Campbell. They really should have hired Bruce Campbell.
Dinner for Schmucks
Why you should care: Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and Zach Galifiankis team up for a movie with this plot synopsis - An extraordinarily stupid man possesses the ability to ruin the life of anyone who spends more than a few minutes in his company.
The Other Guys
Why you should care: Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg team up for a buddy cop movie directed by Anchorman's Adam McKay. Also involved somehow are Eva Mendes, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Anne Heche, Paris Hilton, and Craig Robinson.
Why you should care: It's an action fan's wet dream. Jet Li, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis, and Steve Austin all kicking ass in one, explosion filled movie. Who care what it's about, as long as they punch somebody.
Why you should care: Part two of Paul Bettany's bid to piss of the Pope has him playing a priest who disobeys church law to hunt vampires and save his niece. You'd think the church would be on board with vampire staking, aren't they demons?
Resident Evil: Afterlife
Why you should care: Milla Jovovich is back and, while it's not exactly the zombie gold standard, the Resident Evil movies usually deliver their own kind of guilty pleasure fun. It'll tide you over until someone wises up and gets Zombieland 2 done.
Why you should care: Danny McBride steps out of the shadows to take on a starring role as the good for nothing brother of a brave knight. Imagine Danny McBride in tights. Now imagine him in tights standing next to James Franco, Natalie Portman, and Zooey Deschanel.
Why you should care: If you see only one superhero satire this year, make it Kick-Ass. But if you see two, then consider the DreamWorks animated movie Megamind which utilizes the vocal talents of Tina Fey, Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Will Ferrell.
Why you should care: Robert Downey Jr. is forced to go on a road trip with Zach Galafianakis. Bonus points if Robert Downey Jr. dressed as Iron Man is forced to go on a road trip with Zach Galafianakis.
Why you should care: Unlike their 2009 effort The Princess and the Frog, Disney's Rapunzel will be made using computer generated animation. But it won't be 3D. The stills they've released make it seem almost as though, for the first time ever, they're using computers to create a hand-drawn look.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Why you should care: You can't see Part 2 unless you've seen Part 1.
Why you should care: Christina Aguilera and Kristen Bell engage in a strip off… or at least a burlesque off.
Why you should care: It's a remake of a much loved 1984 Patrick Swayze movie. This time it stars, among others, Chris Hemsworth who stole Star Trek this summer as George Kirk. He's shifting from fighting Romulans to Commies.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Why you should care: It's based on the best (and most different) book of the Narnia series and with a new production company behind it, the series may get the much needed refresh it seemed to need after the last movie.
Why you should care: Seth Rogen as a superhero? It's an idea so crazy it just might work. He's teamed up with Jay Chou as Kato and the film promises an equal mix of comedy and over the top superhero action.
Why you should care: The original changed the special effects landscape back in the 80s and the long awaited sequel, while it might not remake the industry, looks pretty amazing. Jeff Bridges is back as Flynn and a whole new cast of computer generated warriors will fight their way through the system with him.
Why you should care: Jonathan Swift's classic story is ripe for modern Hollywood adaptation and while Jack Black might seem like an odd choice to stomp around Liliput towering over its tiny citizens, he's the right choice if they're turning this into a comedy. Jack Black smash!
Why you shouldn't care: Steve-O shoving pre-school toys up his rectum doesn't get more appealing in 3D.
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Why you shouldn't care: It's the latest fantasy effort from Chris Columbus, the guy responsible for the most boring Harry Potter movies.
Season of the Witch
Why you shouldn't care: I can't be the only one getting a Wicker Man vibe from this thing.
Why you shouldn't care: It was better the first time, when it was a Goth rock opera called Repo Man! The Genetic Opera.
Death at a Funeral
Why you shouldn't care: It was better the first time, when Frank Oz directed a British production of this hilarious funeral catastrophe which nobody saw. Netflix it.
Shrek Forever After
Why you shouldn't care: Did you see Shrek the Third? The horror.
Knight & Day
Why you shouldn't care: The trailer looks like a lame Mr. & Mrs. Smith ripoff and while Tom Cruise seems dialed in, Cameron Diaz is more annoying than ever.
The Last Airbender
Why you shouldn't care: This is an M. Night Shyamalan movie. I think we've all learned our lesson.
Why you shouldn't care: Two was enough.
Why you shouldn't care: One Denzel Washington train thriller was enough.