Tag Archives: movie posters

Best Movie Posters of 2015

For all of the poorly photoshopped or just plain lazy movie poster we saw in 2015 (as we do every year), it was perhaps a particularly strong year in terms of poster design. (Even this year’s hot poster trend seemed a little more creative than some of the previous trends we’ve seen.) Now, as I do on a sorta-annual basis, I’m going to take a moment to look back at some of the poster designs I’ve spent the year admiring.

TFA  InsurgentLost River  HKW

When done well, nothing evokes excitement like a busy, bold movie poster. The marketing behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens certainly understood this and offered up a gorgeous update on the franchise’s iconic one-sheets of days gone by. This one gets everything right, including putting the film’s kick-ass female protagonist, Rey, front and center. Insurgent took a similarly bold approach with this striking exercise in symmetry, making for by far the strongest entry in the long, long line of posters released to promote the film. One the other end of things, the arthouse also got bold with their poster designs this year, and perhaps none more so that Ryan Gosling’s ill-fated directorial debut, Lost River. The warped carnival imagery in unforgettable and ominous, offering up a perfect colour palette to boot. It almost makes me want to watch the movie. Heaven Knows What also embraced in-your-face poster imagery, which makes sense for a scrappy film about heroin-addicted street youth. The deep, muddy pinks of Arielle Holmes’ sideways head clash beautifully with the bold title font, as though evoking a fever dream just within it poster.

Assassin  CarolFFMC  Keeping Room

Next we come to an unlikely (and probably unintentional) trend of 2015, which is earth-toned, stately posters for films about fascinating women. The Assassin’s watercolour-like aesthetic and Carol’s dizzying moment of recognition both create a woozy, gorgeously dreamy image of their respective films. Far From the Madding Crowd’s poster, meanwhile, is an almost overly simple still from the film. However, the image is captivating and the chemistry between Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts is palpable even within this still. I love this poster, partly because it is such an accurate representation of the film and partly because it’s just beautifully composed. Finally, The Keeping Room’s poster is moody and magnificent, offering little information about the film itself but enticing the viewer with Brit Marling’s rock-solid stance tinged with a hint of feminine allure.

TFA 2  No EscapeFaults  Queen of Earth

I’m a sucker for a great illustrated poster, but I’m also picky about what I like. Luckily, Star Wars: The Force Awakens came around with a pair of absolutely stunning illustrated alternatives for the film’s IMAX release. The other, Rey-centric one is also amazing, too, but something about the rich turquoise and the composition of this one tips it over the edge for me. And speaking of striking, the clever one-sheet for No Escape proves that an unremarkable film can be elevated by a great poster. (Or, in the case of this one, a series of enticing illustrated offerings.) From the use of perspective to the colours to its double meaning, this one is a real winner. I also give a lot of credit to Faults for going with an unconventional approach to a poster. This looks more like a frame out of a graphic novel, but it perfectly captures the off-kilter tone of the movie and begs for further consideration, which is one of the best things that art can achieve. And speaking of emotionally rich work, this poster for Queen of Earth is artsy and intriguing and just plain lovely.

Maggie  MartianScorch Trials  Spectre

With all of the lush and busy posters we’ve looked at, maybe you’re looking for a palette cleanser. In so, you’re in luck — minimalism was all the rage this year. All four of these movies were high concept, star-powered affairs, so it’s refreshing to see these stripped-down images crop up in their marketing. (Sadly, though, it is worth noting that none of these were the primary poster used to represent their respective films.) All four are arresting, simple images that perfectly represent their respective films, from the ominous glow of Maggie’s one-sheet to the isolation that The Martian instantly evokes. (Much better than being bombarded with Matt Damon’s giant face, no?) In terms of The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, this is the one thing I’ve ever seen that makes me sort of want to watch this series, so that has to count for something, right? And a special tip of the hat goes to marketing team behind Spectre, which, despite numerous attempts, never got it even close to as right as they did with this first teaser poster, which combines the dark tone of the film with the eerie octopus imagery of the titular Spectre organization in a way that somehow isn’t silly.

These are just a few of the posters that made an impact on me in 2015. Feel free to share any of your personal favourites in the comments.


Best Movie Posters of 2013

Most movie posters are mediocre, but this year saw some really great artwork. (And also its fair share of eyestraining dreck and truly awful Photoshop hatchet jobs.) Here’s a look at some of the best posters for 2013 movies, along with a bit of commentary about some noticeable trends in the artwork.

(You can click on any of the pictures to see a full-size image of the poster.)

Sometimes you can make a big impact with a single simple image. The posters for Blackfish and Man of Steel both depicted a familiar, almost iconic image in a new light that stopped me in my tracks with their elegant simplicity. Meanwhile, Blue Caprice and The Jeffrey Dahmer Files were coyer with their posters and required a bit of background knowledge on what the movie is about. But if you do know what they’re about, both images are absolutely chilling. All of these posters kept text to a minimum, letting the images speak for themselves.

Some of the year’s best posters forgo photography altogether and opted for more traditional mediums. The ABC’s of Death and Stoker both played with familiar childhood imagery to sell very dark films. The ABC’s of Death capitalized on its simple concept and the result is one of my absolute favourite posters of the year. Stoker meanwhile created fairytale-inspired imagery, which actually suits the film and its themes quite well. The Kings of Summer had a a number of lovely illustrated posters, but I think this one best evoked those warm fuzzy feelings of childhood. On the other hand, Fruitvale Station‘s beautiful watercolor poster hinted at some of the melancholy and foreboding tone of the film (though I could have done without the big quote at the top).

Instagram-inspired posters have been all the rage for the past couple of years, and sepia-toned posters were back once again in 2013. Not everyone did it well, but Dallas Buyers Club did a nice job of creating a striking image and getting their star in the frame without overwhelming us with Matthew McConaughey. Spring Breakers had a whole slew of great posters, and this one perfectly evokesd the hazy tone of the film. The Charlie Countryman poster was garish and colourful in a great way, while Coldwater offered some nice lens flare and totally caught my interest and made me wonder what the film is about.

Sometimes just a face is all it takes. These four faces say something different and all represent their respective films perfectly. The close-up on Sandra Bullock’s worried face set up the urgency of Gravity. The bandana over Dane DeHaan’s mouth was a nice nod to his silent character in Metallica: Through the Never while his hoodie, leather jacket, and piercing gaze let us know this Metallica concert film was going to be badass. Rooney Mara’s expression said a lot about her state of mind in Side Effects, and the prescription-style credits at the bottom and nearly imperceptible Jude Law in the background were telling touches, too. And while we may have only gotten a silhouetted profile of Bruce Dern on the Nebraska one-sheet, his fuzzy wisp of hair, half-open mouth, and glasses said it all.

Other posters took a busier approach, experimenting with geometric shapes, symmetry and repetition. Spring Breakers hit it out of the park again with this accurate representation of its characters’ road trip essentials. The Bling Ring (which drew comparisons to Spring Breakers in more way than one) also did a nice job of cleanly laying out the mindset of its characters by showing their possessions. You’re Next, on the other hand, presented us with a very clever floorplan of the horrors within the film, while Only God Forgives embraced its own over-the-top style and garishness and completely pulled off the usually hokey “neon” trend that’s been popping up in pop culture marketing lately.

Favourite Movie Posters of 2011

January – April 2011 in Film

After the flood of Oscar-approved movies at the end of the year, the first couple months of each year are notoriously slow for movies. But now that we’re a third of the way through 2011, there have been some pretty interesting releases. Yes, January and February were filled with the usual mainstream dreck, but also a couple of indies that got lost in the shuffle. And through March and April, we saw a mix of a few quality blockbusters and unique smaller films. As always, there have been box office flops and surprise hits. First, here’s a look at the 10 highest grossing films of the year so far (ranked by U.S. box office results):

  1. Rango – $120m
  2. Hop – $105.6m
  3. Rio – $102.8m
  4. Just Go With It – $102.8m
  5. The Green Hornet – $98.8m
  6. Gnomeo and Juliet – $98.8m
  7. Fast Five – $98.6m
  8. Battle: Los Angeles – $82.8m
  9. Limitless – $76.3m
  10. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never – $73m

Now, the big player there aside from cartoons is the new release Fast Five, which made almost as much in its first weekend as The Green Hornet did during its entire run. Meanwhile other more “cerebral” wide releases, such as The Adjustment Bureau and Source Code turned in solid but not spectacular box office results.

Here’s a look (in poster form!) at what seem like the most interesting offerings of 2011, so far. I’ve seen a couple of them, and the rest are all on my to-watch list.

Best Movie Posters of 2010

To compliment my Best Trailers of 2010 post, here are some of my favourite movie posters from the past year.

Other Fetching One-Sheets: