I start this article every year with the same statement: the movie poster is a lost art.
It gets truer each year, and actually becomes more disgusting as time goes on, because now, with the rise of the streaming service, they don’t even bother putting out posters for some movies anymore. And the big mainstream stuff, it’s devolved into character posters and giant collages of all the actors’ faces on them. They’re only interested in selling the IP and the people in the movie rather than selling the movie. They’re either trading off a known property or images from great posters from years back, or they’re putting famous faces into the same collage they use for everything else. If you love a good movie poster as I do, you should be disgusted with the stuff they’re putting out.
A good movie poster should give you everything you need to know about a film in a single image. It should be both eye-catching and thematically relevant. Bonus points if you look at it and immediately want to see the movie more than you did before you saw it.
Offhand, can you immediately name more than five posters you saw this year and went, “Oh wow”? And here I’m trying to come up with 50. So that’s my struggle each year. But in listing as many as I do, you start to learn certain things. One, you’ll realize just how little the big studio films need to bother doing anything creative in their marketing. Two, you’ll learn that certain filmmakers are always the same ones putting care and consideration into their marketing, which always makes them stand out. And three, you’ll see, with me including so many different posters, just how few there really are that are truly fantastic. And four — this one’s more of a pipe dream — hopefully you’ll learn just how easy it is to put any kind of creativity in a poster, and if you end up being someone that is a part of this process at any point, maybe you’ll help change this disturbing trend we’re on.
But anyway, here are my favorite movie posters of 2018. (more…)