Friday, March 28, 2014

Top 20 Movie Posters: 20-11

Inspiration struck, and before I knew it I had complied a list of my favorite movie posters, and here it is. You may notice a lack of older and classic posters. I did this for two reasons: one, that most of them I knew were great posters before I could really appreciate them enough to think it for myself, so while I love, for example, the Back to the Future and Indiana Jones posters, I've always been biased for them. Secondly, works of art like that are in a whole level of their own, much higher than most of my picks. I picked them because somehow, one way or another they resonate with me, so just be forewarned that this is pretty subjective, and enjoy!

If the title is a link then I've reviewed the movie, but there are only four posters total in this list promoting movies I haven't seen. This post contains numbers 20 through 11, five numbered posters plus three honorable mentions per category. (If I numbered the honorable mentions they'd all be below #20 (rated lower, numbered higher.))

And now that I've done my best to thoroughly confuse you, let's begin!

Part 1: A Lasting Impression                                

 Honorable mentions:
The only intriguing thing left about Elysium (1 of 4 I haven't seen); a bold an memorable poster for a bold and memorable movie (review); a little on the silly side design-wise, but still memorable and fitting.

#20. Zombieland
This poster just screams "violent, R-rated zombie-comedy, and unashamed" and it left an impression. I did eventually see the movie (well, most of it -- it was cut for TV, and I saw most of that -- I closed my eyes a number of times as well) and only then stopped relating the movie to this fantastically blunt poster. (mostly)

#19. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
(This is 2 of 4 that I haven't seen.) But, in spite of the middling reviews, this one maintains my attention, with simplistic and surreal posters like this one. There are several more similar posters, but this one wins my vote.

#18. Little Miss Sunshine
Its very simple: I watched this movie because I just had to know who these people were, and why they were running to catch up with that yellow VW van. That is how a poster should work.

#17. The Devil Wears Prada
I first saw this firecracker before I knew who Meryl Streep or Anne Hathaways was, in a Blockbuster. Yes, it was a long time ago. And the fact that I still remember it so vividly should be a great hint as to the scale of the artistic impact it had on my developing artistic brain.

#16. The Hunger Games
I was so blissfully ignorant before this symbol caught my attention at the movie theater. They were giving them away for free (yes for free) and I almost took one, (even though for some silly reason I thought it was for a video game or something) because of the demanding, teasing, simple beauty of the gold and flames, and intriguing tagline. Ironically, I would now consider paying money for it -- a symbol worthy of a little obsession.

Part 2: Representing the Films.

Honorable mentions:
Just in case you try to take the title too literally, Felicity's expression will set you right (review); obvious, bold, short, and stylized -- just like the film (review); so many miles over the top, you'd never assume this to be anything close to a serious movie. And you'd be right.

#15. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
This is a fan's poster, because if you're a fan of The Hobbit, you know that when you think of The Hobbit, you think of Dwarves. Lots and lots of them. And you love them. And the way this poster shows off a smidgen of each of their personalities.

#14. Les Miserables
Okay, yeah, its a pretty nice, but not super interesting or exciting poster. Unless, that is, you notice that the image is a real-life copy of the iconic drawing used for the book cover and the Broadway poster. Then it all suddenly makes perfect sense. (3 of 4 that I haven't seen -- yet!)

#13. Wreck-it Ralph
Keeping things minimalist with Wreck-it Ralph, with a super-cool and simple pixelated head shot of the hero-villain, reminding everyone of its retro video game roots.

#12. Toy Story 3
This one's so obvious they didn't even need to put the title of the movie in there. The style is very similar to #15, but the toys did it first, so they get the originality credit.

#11. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The beautiful coloring and imagery assures fans that the film will be more stylish than The Hunger Games without sacrificing any of the grit, and the Mockingjay wings assure an attention to beloved details. But what clinches this poster's potency is the quote at the top -- "The sun persists in rising, so I make myself stand." -- powerfully representing our heroine's character and motivation.

Numbers 10 - 1 in tomorrow's post!


  1. Fun post, Sarah. I really like all of the Hunger Games posters and honestly I adore Warm Bodies, too! (Need to buy that one.) Also, 'Prada' is really great, too. I don't think I look at posters so much as a creative person as I do just loving the posters for favorite movies. Even if the poster is silly, if I love the film, usually I'll buy it's poster... just because. :)

    1. Thanks Rissi! Yes, I found it was pretty hard to separate my like for the posters, and my like of the movies they represented. And if a poster does it's job it reminds you of the movie, so it makes sense that if you love a movie you'll love its poster! :)

  2. I just followed the link to your review of Warm Bodies and, wow! Nice review! :) I saw the trailer a couple times a while ago and thought I'd like to see it, I still do but I doubt it will be anytime soon. Still, great review! :)


    1. Thanks so much, S! I think you would probably like it -- it really surprised me. I'd really like to see a second time now! :D

  3. Cool post idea! I probably need to try something like this.

    The classic ones like Star Wars and Indy are my favorites for sure, but like you said, it is difficult not to be biased towards them.

    Good picks so far! the 8-bit graphics look of Wreck-It Ralph's poster is very inventive and cool.


    1. Thanks James! You should, I'd like to see your picks.

      Yeah, it might not have been fair, but I found it easier to choose if I cut the classics out altogether. Maybe someday I'll do a revised list once I've decided how to compare them with modern posters.