Sometimes at the movies, as in life and crappy relationships, there is no mystery. Just one look at the poster for the Ashton Kutcher/ Natalie Portman rom-com "No Strings Attached" tells us everything we need to know about that late-January release.
Other 2011 films, however, are still shrink-wrapped in secrecy and stamped with a big fat "Huh?" The brains behind these movies have managed an impressive task in our blog post-a-minute times: keeping the public guessing. Check out five of this year's most enigmatic projects.
"Apollo 18," March 4
Though this sci-fi found-footage flick will hit theaters just months from now, it wasn't even on the public radar until last fall. We know the gist of the plot from the tagline ("There's a reason we never went back to the moon") and from established conspiracy theory lore: The fabled moon mission was not canceled but in fact was launched and encountered alien life on that big grey rock.
And that's about all we know. A viral site and social networking accounts haven't added any pieces to the puzzle. Who's starring, how the plot unfolds, what the tone will be — all these details remain unknown. And that's exactly how the Weinstein Company wants it.
"Super 8," June 10
The plot of this J.J. Abrams-directed, Steven Spielberg-produced sci-fi film remains under lock and key. The story has vaguely been described as set in the 1970s and following "everyday people whose personal relationships are tested when they are thrown up against extraordinarily fantastic — and possibly otherworldly — events."
Helpful! A teaser trailer showcased a fiery train crash in the wake of the closing of Area 51, the purported locus of government-backed alien experimentation. Post-crash, some kind of ultra-strong creature tries to bust out of a cargo hold. These visual crumbs are all we have to go on for now.
"Paranormal Activity 3," October 21
Last October, we knew barely anything about the follow-up to out-of-nowhere horror hit "Paranormal Activity." The sequel went on to gross $40 million in its opening weekend. Expect Paramount to follow that same marketing formula for the third go-'round. Franchise creator Oren Peli and "PA 2" director Tod Williams have danced around story lines in interviews with MTV News, but don't expect any hard answers until screenings begin just days before the film opens to the public.
"Breaking Dawn - Part 1," November 18
What, you say, everyone on your block knows how the "Twilight" saga ends? Well, sure, we know the plot. But do we know where "Part 1" will end and "Part 2" pick up? Do we know which characters some of the fresh franchise faces will be playing? Do we know how director Bill Condon will handle the famously bloody birth scene, and if it will even be in the first film? And heck, is there still a chance the movie could be released in 3-D? Questions, questions.
"Project X," November 23
Producer Todd Phillips has hired largely unknown, college-age actors for a comedy he described to us as a "fresh approach to a really f---ed up incident." He's also denied the film is a typical, studio-driven "party movie." He hasn't gone much further, though, in public discussions of "Project X."
Late last year, star Miles Teller dished us a bit of info when he spoke to MTV News about his role. "I play a kid who graduated from the high school the year before, kind of like the cool guy, cool dude on campus and brings a level of excitement and energy and other party favors to the party," he said. Is Teller the guy who contributes to the "f---ed up incident," in much the same way Zach Galifianakis catalyzed "The Hangover" with some secretly delivered roofies? Is it messed up to say we hope so?
Which of these mostly under-wraps movies are you most looking forward to? Tell us in the comments!