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Best 2009: Trailers Pt. 2

01.04.2010


Welcome back to the 100 Best Trailers of 2009. This is the 9th Annual List dating back to 2001 and my fifth year bringing it exclusively to JoBlo.com. If you visit the Trailers Page frequently, you should know my tastes quite well. So, none of these movies or rankings should come as too much of a surprise. Sometimes great trailers make great movies and other times they convince you to see awful movies.

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The 100 Best Trailers are listed in order from worst to first. Bear in mind that each year over 400 trailers are released and not every trailer can fit on this list. The selection of the 100 Best is not compiled by the site as a whole, nor is it based on reader feedback. This is not a survey, nor did anyone vote. Just one guy's opinion on things.

My selection of the 100 Best depends on a multitude of criteria. Paramount to making a great trailer, previews must excel in edit, music selection, character and story development, and originality. There are standard types of trailers that movie audiences are accustomed to seeing; this list intends to encourage filmmakers and marketing firms to break those molds. Each movie is only allowed one entry on the list. Trailers that were released last year (like some of the trailers for WATCHMEN or TERMINATOR: SALVATION) are not qualified for this list.

This list will consist of two parts 100-26 and 25-1. Previous Best of the Years Winners include: PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, FUNNY GAMES , 300, JARHEAD, GARDEN STATE, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, FEMME FATALE, and 40 DAYS, 40 NIGHTS. I have left the Strike Back section open for you to add your own thoughts and favorites. Keep in mind, this list is just my opinion. Just like assholes, we all have them.

25. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

24. INVENTION OF LYING

23. IRON MAN 2

22. AWAY WE GO

21. UNTIL THE LIGHT TAKES US

20. GREENBERG

19. INCEPTION

18. HOT TUB TIME MACHINE

17. AVATAR

16. DISTRICT 9

15. SHUTTER ISLAND

14. 2012

13. (500) DAYS OF SUMMER

12. MOON

11. ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL

Before I delve into my explanations of the Top 10 Trailers, realize this - almost all of the trailers on this list are excellent. Granted, some of the movies wound up not so hot. That's life. Here's my list of the 10 Best Trailers of 2009. Disagree? Feel free to throw snotballs at me in the Strike Back section.




# 10
AFTERSCHOOL

I bet this movie and this trailer went under your radar and it well deserves a second look. Like some of the other trailers, this one plays more like a short film that a piece of marketing. That's just fine by me because it's a gripping piece of work. AFTERSCHOOL is as thrilling as a trailer can get and has an incredible visual style. This is easily one of the best indie trailers of the year.



# 9
OBSERVE & REPORT

After a couple years of watching Seth Rogen develop into the most popular comedian in film, I was becoming a bit jaded with the guy. While I knew the guy had the best of intentions, I was starting to think he'd wind up as a one-trick pony. He'd ride the pothead gravy train all the way into oblivion. Then this little gem came along. I love the ultra-dark comedy that lay at the center of this trailer. Seth Rogen is not playing a good guy and he doesn't give a f*ck what you might think about it. The final sequence, with the use of ultra-obscure "The Man" by Patto, kicks incredible ass and epitomizes how great this movie really is.



# 8
ZOMBIELAND

Call a movie ZOMBIELAND and cast Woody Harrelson as your biggest star and you might have a problem getting butts in seats. Fortunately, a hysterical script and a trailer that is just as funny motivated zombie fans like myself to put down the controller and get in theaters. This trailer does a great job of explaining the story and the perspective of the movie without spoiling the major surprises. Fans of the trailer shouldn't worry that the movie will be ruined by watching this too many times. The surprise success of this movie is directly connected to this trailer and the great movie that it promoted.



# 7
INGLORIOUS BASTERDS

The first trailer for INGLORIOUS BASTERDS brought the bad-assness that is Brad Pitt with a throat scar. It's pretty amazing what a simple make-up effect can convey and this one is a doozy. The rest of this trailer delivers the goods only as a Tarantino movie can. And, although the movie was definitely different than the tone of this trailer, that was a much welcome surprise for the majority of movie fans. This is a great example of a trailer that encourages the audience to see a movie without ruining it in the process.



# 6
MUST READ AFTER MY DEATH

Consider this the creepiest trailer for a documentary ever (even creepier than the trailer for CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS). Like MYSTERY TEAM, this is probably a movie that flew under your radar and the trailer was not even a blip. The preview for MUST READ AFTER MY DEATH is an intense look at a fractured family that had its problems so deeply hidden that Don Draper was jealous. The craft that went into making this trailer is to be commended and this movie has the best trailer for a documentary this year.



# 5
THE HANGOVER

What else needs to be said about the top comedy of the year? Take a mixture of Vegas, a tiger, Mike Tyson, and a baby in sunglasses, and you wind up with one of the funniest previews of the year. Zach Galifankis is fantastic in this spot and Mike Tyson's air drumming is the very definition of epic. Did I mention Rob Riggle delivers the funniest line of the year in this trailer? I won't spoil it, so click away mofos.



# 4
MYSTERY TEAM

There's always a soft spot on my heart for indie trailers. Because it is difficult for independent films to get the word out its great to see work like this so high on the list. Even cooler is the fact that this trailer wasn't made by one of the big marketing houses. More than likely it was the director or the editor using his instinct to map together one hell of a spot (if I find out that a company like The Ant Farm made this, I'm ready to knock some heads). This trailer has a devious charm to it that reminds me of a sadistic NAPOLEON DYNAMITE. Early reviews have been strong; so, expect MYSTERY TEAM to deliver on the promise of this trailer.



# 3
STAR TREK

When the rumors started I was a gigantic skeptic. When the initial teaser came out I was not intrigued. And then this trailer was let loose into the wild. All in the universe was good. Chocolate cookies tasted better. Diamond rings shimmered more. I even saw Jean Luc Picard high five Darth Vader. This trailer is easily one of the best genre trailers in years and sold the entire world that JJ Abrams was the right dude to breathe life back into STAR TREK. Wanna know the best part? Not only was this trailer good but the movie delivered even more. STAR TREK was one of the best movies of the year and this trailer lead me to believe nothing else.



# 2
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

After years of bad news, quiet whispers, and budget squabbles, WHERE THE WILD THINGS unleashed itself onto the world with this meteoric trailer. The Arcade Fire soundtrack works wonders by melding an atmospheric song with the arresting visual language of Spike Jonze. This trailer took me away to another world filled with childhood fantasy and cardboard architecture. Not only is the composition of the trailer pitch-perfect, it does so without ruining the story. I was able to go see the movie without too much clue as to what I was in for. This is a fantastic trailer and will stick out in my memory for years to come.



# 1
TRON: LEGACY

More of a short film than a trailer, TRON: LEGACY re-invisions one of the most revolutionary films of the 1980s with glorious results. The CGI is immaculately crafted, the minute details pop off of the screen, and the sound design reverberates in my brain. This trailer successfully combines cinematic storytelling with the competitive rush of physical competition. If this trailer is any indication of the final results from the upcoming full length film, expect that TRON: LEGACY will be the coolest movie of the year.


Okay kiddos, that's my list. Care to offer something else as the Best Trailer of 2009? Post away in the Strike Back section below!
Extra Tidbit: Look out for my 10 Trailers You May Have Missed... coming soon!
Source: JoBlo Trailers

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9:14PM on 01/04/2010
I hadn't heard of either of the Indie films in the top 10 until today but think the Afterschool trailer is much creepier and more effective than Must Read After My Death. Their spots should be swapped.
I hadn't heard of either of the Indie films in the top 10 until today but think the Afterschool trailer is much creepier and more effective than Must Read After My Death. Their spots should be swapped.
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8:11PM on 01/04/2010
What the Fuck?! Where the hell is the awesome Clash of the Titans trailer?! I didn't question it not being on the 100-26 list since I was sure it was on the top 10, but to not even have it on the list anywhere?! Is JoBlo smoking some kind of "no taste in media" crack?!!
What the Fuck?! Where the hell is the awesome Clash of the Titans trailer?! I didn't question it not being on the 100-26 list since I was sure it was on the top 10, but to not even have it on the list anywhere?! Is JoBlo smoking some kind of "no taste in media" crack?!!
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7:13PM on 01/04/2010
Tron is without a doubt the best trailer of the year. That preview was cooler and more badass than anything that hit the screen all year.
Tron is without a doubt the best trailer of the year. That preview was cooler and more badass than anything that hit the screen all year.
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6:53PM on 01/04/2010
great top 3 :D
great top 3 :D
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+1
5:59PM on 01/04/2010

MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS @ #4

Here, I'll do you at least one better in the Mystery Team slot...MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS for #4.
Here, I'll do you at least one better in the Mystery Team slot...MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS for #4.
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3:22PM on 01/04/2010

Mystery Team??

Pretty fair list except for Mystery Team. Am I missing something in regards to this flick or has the whole world suddenly gone (more) retarded?
Pretty fair list except for Mystery Team. Am I missing something in regards to this flick or has the whole world suddenly gone (more) retarded?
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5:57PM on 01/04/2010
Def the choice a "Ra'Tard" would make.
Def the choice a "Ra'Tard" would make.
6:17PM on 01/04/2010
If loving the trailer for Mystery Team makes me retarded, I say where's my disability check.
If loving the trailer for Mystery Team makes me retarded, I say where's my disability check.
+2
3:03PM on 01/04/2010

My Snowball:

I accept this list. However, A Serious Man isn't in the top 100 trailers of the year!?! I don't think you saw it, because in my opinion it's the best:

[link]
I accept this list. However, A Serious Man isn't in the top 100 trailers of the year!?! I don't think you saw it, because in my opinion it's the best:

[link]
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+2
2:41PM on 01/04/2010
Awesome list. Glad you put some small ones on there like Afterschool and Mystery Team. Personally, I would have switched out a few and put (500) Days of Summer teaser trailer, Up in the Air's teaser trailer, Moon, and Greenberg in the top 10 but it's still a solid list.
Awesome list. Glad you put some small ones on there like Afterschool and Mystery Team. Personally, I would have switched out a few and put (500) Days of Summer teaser trailer, Up in the Air's teaser trailer, Moon, and Greenberg in the top 10 but it's still a solid list.
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10:52AM on 01/04/2010
good call on Tron: Legacy, that was the only trailer that I downloaded so I could watch it on my big lcd tv.
good call on Tron: Legacy, that was the only trailer that I downloaded so I could watch it on my big lcd tv.
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10:51AM on 01/04/2010
Wow, I have to say...solid list. LOVE that Mystery Team is at number 4. But since you asked, I still think the original teaser for Up In The Air was my favorite for the year.
Wow, I have to say...solid list. LOVE that Mystery Team is at number 4. But since you asked, I still think the original teaser for Up In The Air was my favorite for the year.
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10:14AM on 01/04/2010

Well....

I personally would have put both Shutter Island and Inception way higher up because they both look fantastic.
I personally would have put both Shutter Island and Inception way higher up because they both look fantastic.
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10:21AM on 01/04/2010
Shutter Island is very good. I just think the trailer gives a bit too much away...
Shutter Island is very good. I just think the trailer gives a bit too much away...
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