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.
The Top 15 Movie Posters of 2011!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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