Saturday, March 29, 2014

Top 20 Movie Posters: 10-1

Just in case you missed it, here is yesterday's post containing numbers 20 through 11, and my rambling explanation of how the list is organized.

Now on to my top ten!

Part 3: Respect the Artistry

Honorable mentions:
If fact many Shyamalan films have neat, artistic posters; a cute, warm collage of JGL's movie obsession; simple slick and stylish for the latest 007 flick. (review)

#10. Zero Dark Thirty
Now this is a bold move. White background and thick black lettering -- bold. No faces or pictures or even actor names of any kind -- bold. "Censoring" all the text to make it rather hard to even read -- very bold. And it worked. That's all. (4 of 4 I haven't seen)

#9. The Truman Show
It's enough for me that Jim Carrey's handsome mug is filling the whole poster with such an unfailingly optimistic expression, but it's made up of a collage of moments in the unknowing character's life -- a creative and memorable way of expressing the movie's theme and premise.

#8. Star Trek
What is it that you need in a poster to convince someone to go see the advertized film? In the case of Star Trek, all you need is those two words, in that font. That b-e-a-U-tiful abstract depiction of the Enterprise blasting into the unknown is just icing on the fanboy's (girl's) cake.

#7. True Grit
Bridges. Damon. Brolin. Coens. True Grit. Every bit of information you'd need to decide if you want to see this movie is right there. (And the answer is yes, by the way.) But just in case you're still lost and unsure, there's the bold western wanted poster style, and that there bullet hole with blood dripping down. Oh yes.

#6. The Dark Knight
Okay this one's pretty incredible. It has the innovative design and uncluttered minimalism of my #1 and #2 (the smoothness is a good contrast to other Dark Knight posters with cluttered, debris-filled backgrounds) and, the emotional weight of my #1 and #3. It lands at #6 simply because it's too twisted and unsettling for me to wholeheartedly love.

Part 4: Getting Personal

Honorable mentions:
I love this immaculate, beautiful image, but as a poster it needs less words; Shakespeare knew how to throw a party, Joss Whedon knew how to update into his signature style, and whoever made this poster knew what they were doing too (review); the teaser for the beginning of Bilbo's journey is inviting and expectant. (review)

#5. The Adventures of Tintin
Doesn't this poster just tickle and excite your adventurous side? Burning ships, crashing planes, a globetrotting trenchcoat wearer with unusual hair and an animal sidekick. The serious atmosphere and dramatic lighting, and the unabashed adventurous spirit it evokes (along with a certain name) promises less of the silly kiddie fare and more of the pure action/adventure fun of Indiana Jones. Oh, and by the way, Tintin delivers on his promises.

#4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Grab your towel, and don't panic. As a representation of one of the most odd-ball adventures through space out there, this poster doesn't quite convey the extreme extent of gleeful ridiculousness the film possesses. It focuses more on the visual splendor and spacey style -- which is gleeful and ridiculous in its own right -- and invites with bold, friendly letters, and assorted randomness hurling though blue starry space -- who wouldn't want to come along?

#3. The Hurt Locker
The New York Times says the movie is "ferociously suspenseful." I agree, and feel the same about this poster. The image strikes tension and dreadful excitement into you with the force of the explosion you sense is coming, but without being too obvious about it's intentions. You wonder what will happen; you feel the grit and honesty of the moment, and even though you can't see his face, if you know that's Jeremy Renner (now you do) you suddenly know the acting would just, well... blow you away. See what I did there?

#2. Super 8
It was a tough call between #3 and #2 for this spot, but this Super 8 poster lands it for one reason: rotate this poster 45 degrees counter-clockwise, and instead of ruining it, it's still a great poster. I prefer it turned this way though. Okay that's not all -- I also love the beautiful monotone landscape, the boiling clouds, the silhouettes, the little hint of sci-fy, and the fact that none of it is too overshadowed by showy text and/or lots of fine print. Minimal information; maximum intrigue.

#1. Moon
Gosh, what it there to say that doesn't point out the obvious? The psychedelic moon surrounding the lonely astronaut design is so minimal, yet incredibly unique and perfectly evokes the quiet, unsettled feel of the film; the lighting, color, balance of the text and the image... all flawless. And unassuming at first, but knowledge of the movie helps you realize the effort and thought that must have gone into assembling this piece -- just like the film it represents so perfectly. An easy pick for my #1.

Now feel free to tell me which ones I forgot -- I'm sure there are many. And maybe which ones you agree with me on?


  1. You have some more good picks here, although I have not seen Moon so I can't much about that. The Dark Knight one is a favorite of mine as well.

    One of my favorite underrated posters is the for Kara no Kyoukai: Overlooking View. That one is rather impressive.

    Fun list and idea!


    1. Oh, you should see Moon -- it's a fantastic, often overlooked film. That Dark Knight poster I think has reached the status of a modern classic.

      I looked up the one you mentioned, and I'm not sure if I found the right one, but what I found I thought looked pretty cool!


  2. I personally thought that alternate "The Dark Knight Rises" poster/DVD cover was one of the best (in fact, it's one of my personal favorites):

    And the poster for "Alien" is also quite good:

    1. Oh yeah, I thought that was a very nice and dramatic poster too. Definitely my second favorite of the Dark Knight trilogy.

      And of course, Alien. That's a classic. Great poster. Thanks for sharing Joe. :)