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We’ve arrived at the very end of 2010, which means it’s finally time to unveil our hotly-anticipated Hottest and Lamest lists, both of which tunnel through the year that was in search of the hottest and lamest as it pertains to the films, actors, actresses and trends that populated our world over the past twelve months.

This year we’ve changed things up by reducing our lists of 25 to two lists of 10, highlighting only the very best (and worst) as voted on by the movie/pop-culture freaks here at Cinematical and Moviefone. We’re kicking things off with our 10 Hottest of 2010, which you’ll find after the jump. Tune in tomorrow for our Lamest of 2010.

10. Comic Con

This past July, the geeks of the world once again descended upon San Diego for their annual Comic Con convention. Movie-related panels, parties, swag bags and screenings were the talk of the town, with the weekend’s biggest attraction coming when the all-star cast of ‘The Avengers’ (due out in May 2012) assembled on stage together for the very first time. Other films that took over Comic Con this year with an abundance of geek love include ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,’ ‘TRON: Legacy,‘ ‘Jackass 3D‘ and ‘Machete.’ – Erik Davis

9. Musicians Doing Movies

The most talked-about film scores of the year didn’t come from classic film composers, but the hippest and most influential sounds in pop/electronic music. ‘The Social Network’ was Trent Reznor’s first movie composition, and he’s already scored a Golden Globe nom, and is poised to get one at the Oscars too. Radiohead/Beck producer Nigel Godrich brought the 8-bit/indie rock mash-up to reality in ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.‘ Hell, even progressive metal band Mastodon were interesting enough to come out of ‘Jonah Hex’ unscathed. Lastly, Daft Punk’s score was the perfect fusion to the visual cotton candy of ‘TRON: Legacy.’ We’ve gotten some great albums in the past 12 months that just happen to also be soundtracks. – Eric Larnick

8. Liam Neeson

Every once in a while a certain actor seems to be everywhere. Michael Caine had multi-year run in this department, and a few years back you couldn’t throw a rock through a cinema without hitting an image of Jude Law. In 2010 we couldn’t escape from Mr. Liam Neeson, but considering how much fun the guy is to watch … we’re not sure we’d want to. Over the last 12 months we’ve seen the actor get pretty eclectic: ‘Chloe,’ ‘After.Life,’ ‘Clash of the Titans,’ ‘The A-Team,’ ‘The Next Three Days’ and ‘Voyage of the Dawn Treader.’ Fortunately Mr. Neeson is versatile enough to prevent himself from ever becoming “over-saturated,” which is good because he already has a dozen flicks lined up for the next two years. – Scott Weinberg

7. Blu-ray

Blu-ray had its best sales to-date in 2010 thanks to a number of factors (fall in player cost being the biggest motivator), but the format’s popularity isn’t what made it a hot topic this year. It was all about the Blu-ray collector’s sets. ‘Back to the Future’ and the ‘Alien Anthology’ both got staggering, six-disc updates for Blu-ray, the latter of which comprises some of the best quality the medium has to offer. But it also wasn’t allow about box sets for Blockbusters, older, smaller films got the royal Blu treatment as well. The Criterion Collection began pumping out high definition releases, culminating in America Lost and Found: The BBS Story, another six-disc package that set film lover’s hearts a flutter. – Peter Hall

6. Low-Budget Genre Movies

As usual, when studios cannot produce their own horror flicks, they head to the festivals to do some shopping. Warner Bros. threw a lot of support behind ‘Splice,’ Lionsgate was very high on ‘Buried,’ and Paramount is still happily milking their ‘Paranormal Activity‘ pick-up from last year. (The sequel was pretty solid!) Outfits like Magnolia and IFC are always on the lookout for stuff like ‘Monsters‘ and ‘The Human Centipede,’ which helps to balance out the studios’ obsession with soulless big-budget horror remakes. Overall 2010 was a fine year for the genre fans who don’t mind sifting through indies and imports to find the good stuff … and 2011 is looking to provide a lot more of the same. – SW

5. Great Films Based on True Stories

Apparently everyone still loves a “based on actual events” movie, even when a particular film is actually 2% loosely inspired by the truth and 98% pre-fabricated formula. But when they’re done right, these flicks can do a lot of great things: bring “current events” home in an entertaining or accessible fashion (like ‘The Social Network’), bring history to life in vibrant fashion (like ‘The King’s Speech‘), or bring shocking “human interest” stories to the masses in a slick and colorful style, as Danny Boyle did with ‘127 Hours.‘ So while sometimes that “based on actual events” is an out-and-out marketing ploy, there are still several filmmakers who take the truth seriously, even when making the alterations that any story needs. – SW

4. Documentaries

It’s been a weak — to say the least — year for feature films, which allowed us movie fans to pay extra attention to other cinematic formats, the strongest of which being documentaries. Among the best offerings were a captivating expose of street art in ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop,’ the consuming portrayal of a legendary TV personality in ‘Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work’ and the controversial “other Facebook movie,” ‘Catfish.’ So, thank you, diligent documentarians, for saving us from an entirely unremarkable year in film. – Alicia Roda

3. Young Female Talent

It’s been a great year for young, female actresses who’ve really had a chance to shine in roles both fun and intense. Thirteen-year-old Chloe Moretz stunned audiences as foul-mouthed assassin ‘Hit Girl’ in ‘Kick-Ass’ while Emma Stone charmed in one of 2010’s best comedies ‘Easy A.’ Even the search for the girl who’d fill the meatiest female role in decades, Lisbeth Salander in ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ produced awesome results — going to the more-than-capable Rooney Mara. Even demure Emma Watson took charge in the penultimate ‘Harry Potter’ film, facing Death Eaters and isolation with a toughness and brains rarely attributed to female characters on film. Speaking of toughness, ‘True Grit’s’ Hailee Steinfeld, just 14, held her own against Jeff Bridges and Josh Brolin in a gritty western and Jennifer Lawrence captured rightful praise for her award-worthy performance in ‘Winter’s Bone.’ Let’s hear it for the girls! – Gabrielle Dunn

2. James Franco

James Franco was arguably the busiest man in showbusiness this year. He had four movies released in theaters (among them ‘127 Hours,’ which featured an Oscar-worthy performance), a random (but kind of awesome) guest spot on ‘General Hospital’ and an endless number of head-scratching news stories, from getting accepted into Yale’s PhD program, to posing in drag on the cover of Candy magazine to co-hosting the Oscars, which he will do in February alongside Anne Hathaway. Numerous magazines tried to figure him out; but while nobody has been able to get a full grasp on who James Franco really is, we continue to be fascinated by his every move, no matter how far out of left field it may come from. Here is an actor who, at age 32, continues to defy the norms of and expectations from Hollywood, and for that, we are grateful. Confused, but grateful. – Andrew Scott

1. Animated Movies

We’re finally past that obnoxious wave of cynical cartoons filled with immediately-dated pop culture references, and are now getting features with entertaining stories. ‘Despicable Me‘ and ‘Megamind‘ featured funny voice talents, while ‘Tangled‘ marked a return to form for Disney. Even fluff like ‘Legend of the Guardians’ looked better than previous talking animal movies. And of course, there’s ‘Toy Story 3’ — it’s the biggest movie of the year for a reason. It capped off a perfect trilogy (and not even ‘The Godfather” could do that). 2009 surprised a lot of people with the high number of quality animated films and 2010 has overshadowed that; with 2011 featuring new installments of ‘Cars,’ ‘Happy Feet,’ ‘Kung Fu Panda’ and ‘Winnie the Pooh,’ we’re definitely in a new golden age. – EL