Film highlights 2009–2010


James Cameron's Avatar (to be released 18th December)

From mainstream movies to arthouse indie flicks, Claire Sawers and Nicola Paul set the cameras rolling on the cities and handpick the films lighting up your screens this year

Goodbye summer shoes, hello autumn jumper. As the nights lengthen and the temperatures drop, you can almost smell that popcorn luring you in out of the cold to take up a comfy seat in a warm, dark cinema. As luck would have it, Edinburgh and Glasgow are very well off in their selection of cinemas, offering a lot more besides the big Hollywood blockbusters. (Although you can find those here too, and we’ll tell you where.)

Edinburgh’s cherished Cameo cinema in Tollcross is worth checking out for its selection of cherry-picked arthouse and indie flicks, and they also run special screenings of shorts, late night shows and Sunday afternoon double-bills. They tried to close this place down last year, and Edinburgh threw a big tantrum to make sure it didn’t happen, which is a testament to what the locals think of the place. Down the road a bit, the Filmhouse specialises in foreign films, and has traditionally been the hub of the Edinburgh International Film Festival when it comes to town in June. A highlight of the year for film fans, previous festivals have seen premieres of films including ET and Adam, which was shown at this year’s closing night gala. Outwith the festival, both the Cameo and Filmhouse regularly run mini-festivals, celebrating the work of a particular director or country, or just allowing fans to indulge in their love of gore/opera/sci-fi/animation etc.

Over on the left hand side of Scotland, Glasgow also has its own annual film festival, and the next one will be taking place next February. It’s generally a great place to discover local filmmaking talent, see premieres, and enjoy retrospectives of silver screen heroes – this year’s programme boasted a selection of lesser known, as well as more classic, Audrey Hepburn films, including a Valentine’s Day matinee screening of Funny Face which was a big crowd pleaser.

For year-round film buff heaven, Glasgow Film Theatre run regular quiz nights, film clubs and discussion groups, as well as themed festivals including Glasgay! or seasons dedicated to anything from Cuban cinema to environmental activism.

All the cinemas mentioned are great places just to hang out too – the Cameo bar Cameo bar serves up food and drink if you want to head there before the film starts, or is handily kitted out with wi-fi if you feel liking rubbing shoulders with cinephiles as you get a bit of study done. If on the other hand, you fancy some home cinema action, you can browse the excellent DVD selection on sale at the Filmhouse, and pick up a little something ‘to go’.

Read on for our round-up of this year’s film. Once you’ve picked the film you fancy, the only thing left to decide is will you go for sweet or salty popcorn? Always a crowd divider that one.

Shutter Island

The long awaited Scorsese thriller has an all-star cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley and Emily Mortimer, and follows a US marshall as he gets stranded in the infamous Alcatraz prison. 9 Oct.

Couple’s Retreat

Written by comedy pairing Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, this slapstick follows four couples as they holiday in paradise – and then realise that joint therapy is a compulsory part of the inclusive package. 16 Oct.

The Informant

Matt Damon stars in this true story of Mark Whitacre, who became the highest ranked executive to turn whistleblower in 1992 when he passed details of his company’s price-fixing scams over to the FBI. 20 Nov.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Teen heartthrob Robert Pattinson returns for the second instalment of the vampire series. Bella Swan is heartbroken when her vampire love leaves suddenly, and is drawn into the dark world of werewolves. 20 Nov.


A musical telling the story of world-famous film director Guido Contini as he deals with a mid-life crisis and too many women in his life. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Sophia Loren. 25 Nov.

Where the Wild Things Are

An Imax adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s book, the adventure follows young Max, who, when sent to his room by his mother, uses a vivid imagination to transport himself to the land of the Wild Things. 11 Dec.


A band of humans find themselves battling with aliens, helped along by Sigourney Weaver. Rumoured to be the new Alien. 18 Dec.

Sherlock Holmes

A change in direction for Guy Ritchie’s latest offering. Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law play Holmes and Watson as they attempt to thwart a plot which threatens the entire country. 26 Dec.

The Road

A frightening look at the world as it might be post-apocalypse, following a man and his son as they attempt to survive in a burned-out America. Starring Charlize Theron and Viggo Mortensen. 8 Jan 2010.

Men Who Stare at Goats

George Clooney and Ewan McGregor team up in this tale of a reporter in Iraq who uncovers a secret unit of the US Army using paranormal powers in their missions. 22 Jan 2010.

The Lovely Bones

Based on Alice Sebold’s heartrending best-seller; murdered teenager Susie Salmon narrates from heaven as she watches her loved ones carry on life without her and attempt to find her body. 29 Jan 2010.

I Love You Philip Morris

Jim Carrey plays a flamboyant gay man who ends up in prison after using crime to pay for his lavish lifestyle. There he falls for the eponymous Philip Morris, spending the rest of his time indulging in outlandish capers to be with his soulmate. 12 Feb 2010.

The Wolfman

Nobleman Benicio del Toro returns to his family estate after his brother vanishes to reunite with his estranged father, only to be bitten and cursed by a werewolf. 12 Feb 2010.

Alice in Wonderland

Tim Burton has set his sights on the strangest story of them all. Helena Bonham Carter as Red Queen and Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, Michael Sheen as the White Rabbit, Alan Rickman as Caterpillar, Stephen Fry as Cheshire Cat and Matt Lucas as Tweedles -dum and -dee. 5 Mar 2010.

The Expendables

An old-school style action movie with guns, fighting and explosions aplenty. Action veterans Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dolph Lundgren battle it out to see who has the biggest pecs. 23 Apr 2010.

Iron Man 2

The Marvel Comics superhero returns to fight a new gang of villains. Robert Downey Jr won rave reviews for his portrayal of Tony Stark in the original, so this should be worth a look. 7 May 2010.

Sex and the City 2

The script is still a closely-guarded secret, and rumours have been flying about cameos from everyone from Jordan to Victoria Beckham. Be prepared for long queues when this is finally released. Out 28 May 2010.

Toy Story 3

Eleven years on, the saga of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and co continues when the toys are dumped in a daycare centre after their owner Andy goes off to college. 23 Jul 2010.

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