Top 10 Anticipated Movies of 2010

My annual Movie Rankings column is about ready to go, but I've got to catch two of this week's Blu-ray releases before I'll feel like I have a good handle on the year. In the meantime, after an exhaustive search, I've put together a list of my top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2010. All around it seems like we're in for a pretty average year at the box office and certainly not one that is up to the standard of 2009, which was for me a very strong year for film. Yet as always there are some highlights.

10. The Book of Eli (January 15)
I'm purposely trying not to know much about this before I see it. What I do know is Denzel has never done a straight action/fighting movie like this before and I'm excited to see it. And it doesn't get any better than Gary Oldman in the role of the villain.

9. Shutter Island (February 19)
I was a lot more excited about this Scorsese pic when it was supposed to come out last November. The newly cut second trailer is making it seem like it's going to be closer to a horror movie than I want it to be. Still, pedigree is a big thing and "Shutter" has that along with an insanely intriguing story line.

8. Stone (May)
As you will be able to tell from my list, my movie choices are often actor-driven. Edward Norton plus a potential career saving turn for Robert DeNiro is enough to get me in the theater, even if I'm not really sure what this is all about.

7. Alice in Wonderland (March 5)
2009 was the year of the visually stunning film ("Avatar," "The Road," "Fantastic Mr. Fox") and "Alice" looks to follow that up this year. Tim Burton tends to polarize audiences: you love him or you hate him. I guess I'm one of the few who can pick and choose depending on the project. This one looks fascinating.

6. Green Zone (March 12)
Matt Damon is my favorite actor right now and a guy who delivers time and time again. Seriously, the last poor movie he took a starring turn in was "Brothers Grimm" and even that you could see why he took the role. Pair him with "Bourne" director Paul Greengrass and I'm there.

5. Inception (July 16)
Of all the movies on the list, this is the one that I know the least about. The trailer doesn't really tell me much of anything. But it looks amazing and director Chris Nolan has proven to be a trustworthy name many times over even before his success with the "Batman" reboot.

4. Robin Hood (May 14)
What can I say, I love the Robin Hood story and pretty much every film version. I love the Errol Flynn film, the one with Costner is a guilty pleasure, and the Disney cartoon is my favorite Disney movie of all time. So the story line alone is enough to get me interested. Adding in Ridley Scott and his best buddy Russell Crowe is just overkill.

3. Iron Man 2 (May 7)
The first "Iron Man" was slightly surprising in its awesomeness and that surprise factor has me a little worried about the sequel. It's really easy to fill a sequel with a ton of big names (Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell) and get lazy on the storyline (see: "Ocean's 12"). Still, if Damon is my favorite actor at the moment, Downey is right up there and the first "Iron Man" was incredible.

2. Toy Story 3 (June 18)
Pixar made its glorious debut 15 years ago with the first "Toy Story." I'm a huge Pixar fan and I have a deep attachment to the "Toy Story" movies.

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (November 19)
Ya, I'm a nerd, what about it? The Harry Potter books are phenomenal and the movies are tremendously fun for me. I have enjoyed the Harry Potter world so much that, as much as I look forward to its on-screen conclusion, I will be sad to see it come to an end.

No Will Smith movie this year,