Mike’s Favorite Movie Posters of 2015 (50-31)

The movie poster is a lost art.

Look at 90% of the posters you see in theaters. They’re all the same. You’ve seen the templates before. Nothing is original. There are a few hundred new theatrical releases every year, and maybe you get 25 posters that are really doing something new or interesting. How often do you see a poster and go, “What is that movie?”

Not to mention, because there are so many posters come out (teaser poster, first poster, second poster, character poster) we’re never left with a singular image from a film. No one really sells a film anymore. Typically the only time you see a great poster for a film is when there is a singular voice behind it. Directors with strong visions tend to be the ones with the good posters.

I like to celebrate this dying art by appreciating when a film actually puts forth an effort into designing a memorable poster. I search through all the posters of the year and pick out the ones that I feel do the best job of selling their product (regardless of the quality of that product). I want a poster that is simple, memorable, tells you exactly what a movie is about in a single image, or just looks really cool.

Here are my favorite posters of 2015:

We begin, as we always do, with my one honorable mention. My unofficial #51 favorite movie poster of 2015 is The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.



I like the heat lines on the poster. That’s a nice touch. Plus, group of characters in a giant, empty, vaguely threatening location? Always a good choice for a poster.


50. True Story

Simple. Thumb print made of up of the word “lies.” You know what you’re getting here.


49. Lost River

I like it when a poster uses the Metropolis/Hell imagery, entering into the mouth of the beast. And then the image of the flooded street and the streetlights is nice too.


48. Jupiter Ascending

Crazy tall poster. Simple, looks nice. Also quite literally the title. Jupiter. Ascending. Get it?


47. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Same as what I said two posters ago — Metropolis imagery. Though here that’s our villain. And these IMAX posters are always better than the regular posters for the films.


46. Child 44

Stark white, lone figure walking up the train tracks. Simple and elegant.


45. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Sometimes humor is all you need. Plus, this is a very adult reference that kids will get but not fully get. This will get a chuckle out of everyone.


44. Cop Car

Everything you need in a poster. I like the road being ripped out too.


43. Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Not even a title (well… kind of). You know a poster is solid when they don’t have the title and you know what it is.


42. Road Hard

Great poster. This is the movie in a single image. And nice colors too. Though color blind people must have no idea what this poster is.


41. Crimson Peak

I really like this, and I can’t explain why. Maybe the cool/warm contrast.


40. The End of the Tour

Beautiful image. This goes higher on style points, but I just don’t love it as a poster enough to rank it any higher. This is everything you need to understand what the movie is about.


39. Chi-Raq

Simple, colorful (and yes, that is the American flag painted over with Iraqi colors). I like these kinds of posters over ones where it’s just characters on it.


38. The Big Short

This one jumped around a bit. I had this about 7 spots lower originally. But it’s a nice image. The housing market under water and all the money raining down. Plus it’s one of those old Melies tricks, in a way. Like when he used to put the fish tank in front of the camera to make the action look like it was happening underwater.


37. Kingsman: The Secret Service

What else would you expect from a British spy movie? Neat, ordered. Clothes and weapons. I’m also a big fan of symmetry.


36. The Editor

Throwback 70s B movie poster. I love it when a film does this. Have no idea what this movie is, but there’s always one schlock horror movie that uses this kind of a marketing campaign each year, and they always make me want to include them on this list.

This movie scores by not only having that poster, but by also having this one, this one, this one and this one.


35. Ex Machina

Simple and complex at the same time, much like the film itself. Simplicity wins, people.


34. In the Heart of the Sea

I’ve been debating between that poster or this one. I think the overhead wins out for me. It’s also a simple image that tells you exactly what the movie is about. Little boat, giant whale, title. Got it.


33. Beasts of No Nation

The white background makes this. Also — simple. I like simple.


32. San Andreas

Who doesn’t love a good disaster poster? Plus the extreme wide shot, showing how far down the fissure goes, and the burning city not being the focal point of the image — good stuff.


31. Kumiko the Treasure Hunter

I normally disapprove of having your character as the only image on the poster, but in this case, she is the movie. And the trees slowly bleeding up and taking over do give you a sense of what the movie is about. So I’ll allow it.

– – – – – – – – – – –

More posters tomorrow.


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