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The Top 15 Movie Posters of 2011!

Dec. 28, 2011by:

Sometimes a movie poster can simply be another piece in a film's marketing campaign. It hangs in a theater and tries to convince someone to see a movie. But other times, a movie poster can transcend marketing and become a piece of art in its own right.

Not all of the movies these films below are promoting are good. But that doesn't mean that they can't have an impressive piece of art to accompany them. Some of the best/crappiest movies I rented as a kid were because they had something striking on the VHS box.

As the year winds down, take a look back with us at what we think are the 15 Best Posters of 2011! Make sure to vote for any that you think we missed in the Strike Backs below and always check into our very own PIMPIN' POSTER PALACE which houses over 15,000 high res movie posters...!

  • 15 Captain America Teaser Poster

    I would normally never include a poster for a big-budget superhero film on a list of the best of the year, mostly because they're usually not very good (*cough*X-MEN: FIRST CLASS*cough*). But this teaser poster for CAPTAIN AMERICA has such a simple and striking design, I had to include it. The Captain America character includes some iconic imagery and Marvel did right by including both the shield and the star on his chest as Cap strikes a hero pose. The "Avenge" tagline always struck me as a little clumsy but I can't hold that against the imagery.

    Captain America
  • 14 Winnie the Pooh Teaser Poster

    Like the movie itself - a return to hand-drawn animation in a world of CGI - the teaser poster for WINNIE THE POOH is a bit old fashioned. Most posters for animated films throw every character in the film in your face, but this poster is OK with letting a pool of honey take up majority of the space, hinting at the adventures Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, Owl and crew will find themselves on. A marvel of restraint in an otherwise hyperactive marketplace.

    Winnie the Pooh
  • 13 Super Character Poster

    I'm on the record as mostly hating James Gunn's SUPER. But this teaser one-sheet that highlighted Rainn Wilson, as the makeshift superhero The Crimson Bolt, and his tagline "Shut up, crime!" actually worked. As The Crimson Bolt is left to fashion himself a superhero costume in a rather crude fashion, this poster looks more like a scissor cut-out that fits the aesthetic of the film wonderfully. And any time a movie poster comes with its own paper creases, I'm automatically sold.

    Super
  • 12 The Woman Teaser Poster

    Here's another example of a poster you probably never saw hanging in your movie theater. THE WOMAN didn't have much of a theatrical release but this poster, which features a menacing glare from star Pollyanna McIntosh, would've been enough to pique a lot of interest. The story of a f*cked-up family who finds a feral woman living in the woods is a tough sell for a poster but this simple design perfectly gets the point across.

    The Woman
  • 11 Shame Teaser Poster

    Selling a movie tagged with an NC-17 rating isn't easy - especially when it's the sex-soaked drama SHAME. So how do you approach that? With a brilliantly composed shot that puts the sheet in one-sheet. This poster doesn't really do much to sell the film and is probably more for those who are already familiar with the film's premise (Michael Fassbender plays a sex addict) but that doesn't take away from the simple genius of this layout.

    Shame
  • 10 Moneyball Teaser Poster

    All alone, out in left field. That's an accurate way to describe Brad Pitt's character Billy Beane in MONEYBALL and that's cleverly displayed in this teaser poster. It combines some iconic sports photography with some serious metaphoring. It would've been easy to include a close-up shot of Brad Pitt's pretty, little head (seen in other MONEYBALL posters) but avoiding it made for a smart move for this teaser poster.

    Moneyball
  • 9 The Ides of March Theatrical Poster

    As I'm sure you can tell from this list, I'm not a huge fan of overly Photoshopped posters. In this day and age, it's hard to avoid on even the simplest posters, but using it as a crutch has led to some real crappy posters of the years. The IDES OF MARCH uses Photoshop to juxtapose the images of Ryan Gosling and George Clooney in a way though that isn't overbearing.

    Ides of March
  • 8 The Tree of Life Teaser Poster

    THE TREE OF LIFE, Terrence Malick's first film since 2005's THE NEW WORLD, had been shrouded in secrecy for so long, how do you promote the film, while still keeping secret? You don't. Instead of playing coy, Fox Searchlight loaded up with poster with 70 stills from the film as diverse as Brad Pitt on the phone to a dinosaur. The poster is reminiscent of Pearl Jam's "No Code" album cover and instead of shying away from Malick's trademark secrecy, gave up the goods and let the fans speculate on what it all means

    Tree of Life
  • 7 The Devil's Double Teaser Poster

    I'm not sure if DEVIL'S DOUBLE star Dominic Cooper actually painted himself in gold for this poster but I like to think that it's not just a clever Photoshop job. But even if it is, this poster says so much about this movie - the story of Uday Hussein, the psychotic brother of Saddam Hussein, and his body double he uses to prevent assassination attempts. It's a wonderful, if not overlooked, performance from Cooper, and this poster is a great companion piece to the film.

    The Devil's Double
  • 6 We Bought a Zoo Alternate Poster

    It's not often you see a movie that stars A-listers like Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson that has a poster which features neither of them. But somehow Cameron Crowe and design firm Arsonal convinced Fox to go with this piece of art for the film. While this looks like something Mondo might create for a revival screening, it's rare to see original art like this for a theatrical run. It's a great poster and hopefully one that heralds in a new era of poster art.

    We Bought a Zoo
  • 5 Insidious UK Poster

    INSIDIOUS had quite a few posters, many of which featured close-ups of the kid in the film. This UK poster though used only the outline of the young boy with a few added flourishes. It's not the only poster on this list that features silhouetted hands reaching out for a young child but it works particularly well for INSIDIOUS because it reminds you of a classic 70s horror poster instead of some modern design. As is often the case, less is more.

    Insidious
  • 4 We Need to Talk About Kevin Theatrical Poster

    Earlier posters for WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN highlighted either stars Tilda Swinton or Ezra Miller, who plays the teenage Kevin. This final poster for the film wisely combines the two characters and uses the younger version of Kevin, hinting at the horror to come. If you notice, Kevin is look directly at (or through) the camera while his mother stares off into the distance. That one washed-out image encapsulates so much of their relationship from the film.

    We Need to Talk About Kevin
  • 3 I Saw the Devil Theatrical Poster

    When you use a still from your film as your poster, it had better be some remarkable imagery. Well such is the case with the US release of the Korean film I SAW THE DEVIL. It's just enough to get you intrigued. Blood in the snow, a hatchet, a mystery man shrouded in darkness...and an excellent use of typography. It's a poster you can appreciate before you see the film and then even more so after you've seen it.

    I Saw the Devil
  • 2 Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives Teaser Poster

    UNCLE BOONMEE is, by all accounts, kind of a weird film. So to help sell the Thai film to American audiences, Strand Releasing didn't go to a poster design firm - they hired comic artist Chris Ware. Ware, best known for the graphic novel, "Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth," had never designed a poster before but ended up creating one of the most original pieces of theatrical art this year. What does it say about the movie? Not much, but sometimes, what can you really say?

    Uncle Boonmee
  • 1 Girl With the Dragon Tattoo NSFW Teaser Poster

    While filming DRAGON TATTOO, David Fincher said he had an idea for the film's teaser poster. It included a striking image of a topless Rooney Mara. No one ever thought he'd be able to convince Sony Pictures to release a poster for one of their biggest films of the year with a naked woman on it, but somehow the man did it. In theaters, you may have seen the censored version (to the right) that features the date covering up Mara's bits. But the uncensored one hit online and it's a testament to a director with a clear vision for his films and how to market them.

    Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
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10:55AM on 12/28/2011

Oops!

You put the description for Cpt. America under Winnie the Pooh.
You put the description for Cpt. America under Winnie the Pooh.
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10:59AM on 12/28/2011
Yikes.. MAYBE that "Captain America" Advanced poster in the top 15? I wouldn't put any of the others shown above anywhere near the top 15. "Paul" had a cool International One Sheet (Italian version)IMO- a top 5 poster for sure.
Yikes.. MAYBE that "Captain America" Advanced poster in the top 15? I wouldn't put any of the others shown above anywhere near the top 15. "Paul" had a cool International One Sheet (Italian version)IMO- a top 5 poster for sure.
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11:01AM on 12/28/2011
Captain America delivered some GREAT posters. Even better than the first teaser mentioned. [link]

[link]
Captain America delivered some GREAT posters. Even better than the first teaser mentioned. [link]

[link]
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-12
11:30AM on 12/28/2011
where exactly is m:i 4?
where exactly is m:i 4?
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12:06PM on 12/28/2011
Honestly, TGWTGT wouldn't crack my top 20. The Tree of Life or the Devil's Double are my personal favorite posters.
Honestly, TGWTGT wouldn't crack my top 20. The Tree of Life or the Devil's Double are my personal favorite posters.
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12:30PM on 12/28/2011
TGWTDT had to be at or near the top just because of the sheer audacity of creating a poster for a studio movie with a well-known actress topless and uncovered. That's ballsy and original.
TGWTDT had to be at or near the top just because of the sheer audacity of creating a poster for a studio movie with a well-known actress topless and uncovered. That's ballsy and original.
12:25PM on 12/28/2011
What about Young Adult? [link]
Granted, I'm a fan of Charlize but that poster is genius. And I'm well aware that not every great poster is going to make the cut but it's far better than many of the posters on this list. Anyway, it's a great list for the most part.
What about Young Adult? [link]
Granted, I'm a fan of Charlize but that poster is genius. And I'm well aware that not every great poster is going to make the cut but it's far better than many of the posters on this list. Anyway, it's a great list for the most part.
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+0
1:02PM on 12/28/2011

No 1?

I don't think the TGWTDT poster belongs in the top 15, not to mention the number one spot. Leaving aside the fact that it's not very innovative or eye-catching (even the uncensored version), it's that it depicts Craig's character as the care-taker and the empowered one in the relationship between these two that deserves some serious backlash. This is in clear contrast to what we read in the books and see (from what I read in Joblo's own review) in the movie itself. Can't see a reason for this
I don't think the TGWTDT poster belongs in the top 15, not to mention the number one spot. Leaving aside the fact that it's not very innovative or eye-catching (even the uncensored version), it's that it depicts Craig's character as the care-taker and the empowered one in the relationship between these two that deserves some serious backlash. This is in clear contrast to what we read in the books and see (from what I read in Joblo's own review) in the movie itself. Can't see a reason for this other than money (so Bond is protecting this girl?) and it gives this sentence a very different meaning: "a testament to a director with a clear vision for his films and how to market them."
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1:05PM on 12/28/2011
Uday Hussein is not the psychotic brother of Saddam Hussein, he's his son.
Uday Hussein is not the psychotic brother of Saddam Hussein, he's his son.
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3:11PM on 12/28/2011
Does it have to be posters that came out in 2011 AND the movies as well? Cuz I thought think The Dark Knight Rises poster is a lot more boss than the CA teaser poster...
Does it have to be posters that came out in 2011 AND the movies as well? Cuz I thought think The Dark Knight Rises poster is a lot more boss than the CA teaser poster...
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7:27PM on 12/28/2011
Theseee aren't very good choices..
Theseee aren't very good choices..
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9:34PM on 12/28/2011
"It's not the only poster on this list that features silhouetted hands reaching out for a young child--"

Ah...actually, yes it is. Could you have intended to put THIS in there somewhere?

[link]
"It's not the only poster on this list that features silhouetted hands reaching out for a young child--"

Ah...actually, yes it is. Could you have intended to put THIS in there somewhere?

[link]
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-7
10:07PM on 12/28/2011
In my opinion your opinion of the top fifteen posters was pretty bad.
In my opinion your opinion of the top fifteen posters was pretty bad.
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11:53PM on 12/28/2011

Chris Ware

Chris Ware also designed the incredible poster for "The Savages" in 2007.
Chris Ware also designed the incredible poster for "The Savages" in 2007.
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+1
1:30AM on 12/29/2011
The only poster here that really makes you stop and do a double-take is The Ides of March. That said, I also like Capt. America (stoic) and Super (kitschy), and I respect what they did for The Devil's Double and I Saw The Devil, even though they don't thrill me personally. All the rest are just meh. I'm a little let down your criteria for best poster is which one shows the boobies. I mean, it's understandable why you like it. I'm just let down.
The only poster here that really makes you stop and do a double-take is The Ides of March. That said, I also like Capt. America (stoic) and Super (kitschy), and I respect what they did for The Devil's Double and I Saw The Devil, even though they don't thrill me personally. All the rest are just meh. I'm a little let down your criteria for best poster is which one shows the boobies. I mean, it's understandable why you like it. I'm just let down.
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7:13AM on 12/29/2011
If Cap Am didnt have stupid "Avenge" tagline on the chest it would have easily been top 5.... Moneyball should be higher
If Cap Am didnt have stupid "Avenge" tagline on the chest it would have easily been top 5.... Moneyball should be higher
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