Friday, December 23, 2011

Best Movie Posters of 2011


Tis the holiday season, which means it's the time of year when I get super excited about the idea of catching up on movie writing, only to realize that family time is precious and demanding (in a good way!) and that the best I can hope for is to kinda-sorta keep up with movie watching. So while I do hope to get some actual writings posted between now and 2012, I figure this is as good a time as any to make my annual recognition of my favorite movie posters.

What do I look for in a movie poster? In general, I like a striking image that stands out in the lineup at the multiplex while evoking the film's themes. The best movie posters ingrain themselves within our memories of the films themselves, so that to think of Jaws, for example, is to think of that image of the giant shark swimming upward toward the helpless swimmer. Of course, that means that sometimes how we feel about a movie poster is directly tied to how we feel about a film, and an image that might otherwise be pedestrian takes on greater meaning retroactively or a compelling image is made to feel trite because the movie turns out to be. The collection below represent some of my favorite films of the year, and some I didn't care for and a few I didn't even see.

So, tell me, what are your favorite posters of the year? And what did I get horribly wrong?











7 comments:

Hokahey said...

Really nice choices here. I would include Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Glad to see you include both posters for The Tree of Life.

Craig said...

With you on Tree of Life, but DiCaprio/J. Edgar makes me laugh every time I see it. Impossible to take seriously. I thought the most ingenious poster of the year was Bridesmaids, the perfect encapsulating image for what the movie was about, and made me laugh in a good way.

Dan O. said...

Great poster selection and my favorite Tree of Life poster was the one with the baby foot as well. Nice post!

Kurtis O said...

Good stuff, Jason. Glad to see someone else appreciated the design of Human Centipede beyond what's depicted. I whipped up a list for House Next Door, if you didn't catch it: http://www.slantmagazine.com/house/2011/12/poster-lab-the-best-movie-posters-of-2011-2/.

Happy Holidays to you, sir. Hope all is well.
--Kurt

Jason Bellamy said...

Fellas, thanks for the comments. Some replies ...

* Craig: I'm sticking with my praise of DiCaprio in J. Edgar, DiCaprio's makeup in J. Edgar and the poster, which I found drew my eyes each time. Yes, a perfect encapsulation ... which if you find the movie, performance and makeup unintentionally hilarious, will retroactively apply to the poster, too, I get that.

* Kurt: Happy holidays! Thanks for the note. From your list, the Devil's Double would be on my worst list (that poster kept me from seeing the movie, although I can't explain what I can't stand about it), and the ...Kevin poster seemed just to draw on Tilda without capturing the feeling of the movie for me (needed a dash of red for that), but the Dragon Tattoo and Young Adult posters just missed the cut, and I'm drawn to that Tyrannosaur poster, too. Good picks!

Craig said...

Haven't seen "J. Edgar" yet, so I don't think it's a retroactive assessment. (Unless I saw the trailer before the poster. Don't think so, but can't say for sure.) In any case, or more accurately my case, it's not a makeup thing. It's a DiCaprio thing. Purely visceral.

Grace | labor posters said...

The poster of Melancholia isn't good. I can't see any beautiful angle from it. Catching hell deserves a "Best Poster of the Year" award. It's excellent!