Mike’s Favorite Movie Posters of the Decade (80-71)
I’ve said it for near ten years now — the movie poster is a lost art. So many of them nowadays are just so bland, and it feels like it’s getting harder and harder to get a poster that truly feels like something special; selling a film on a single, memorable image. Getting you to understand immediately what the film is about while also staying in your mind. It’s hard to remember posters. If I told you offhand to name ten truly memorable posters from this decade off the top of your head, you’d have trouble doing it. And even if you got to ten, chances are some of them are just because the film was so big and widespread that you remember it just because it was so out there.
Anyway, the point of this list was me looking back on my years of going over my favorite posters (and I started this list in 2011, so I’ve done nine years of it officially on the site) and revisiting all the posters from all the years and picking out the ones that I think have held up to me as the best examples of truly strong imagery.
So, with that said, here are my favorite posters from this past decade:
80. Ant-Man (2015)
Honestly, what more do you need? The title, and a really tiny dude in the center of nothing. That’s Ant-Man. Sometimes simplest is best.
79. Buried (2010)
Another example of perfect simplicity. “Buried,” and a dude in a coffin in a tiny portion of the frame and blackness everywhere else. You get it. Doesn’t have to be much harder than that.
78. Christine (2016)
I love this one for two reasons — that Mona Lisa expression on her face, where it could come off as perfectly pleasant, but you’re also not sure what’s going on underneath there. Which is perfectly underscored by those TVs of her face behind her, which you notice are just different enough from what she’s doing at the desk to make it all unsettling. And then the broadcast bars, which are reminiscent of those ‘we’re experiencing technical difficulties’ messages when they cut away from a program. Which clues you to the fact that just maybe there’s something not quite right going on inside her head. Which is perfect. It’s kind of an impossible story to sell, and they did an amazing job of making you intrigued by this poster.
77. Hanna (2011)
Saoirse Ronan is Hanna, so just make her the poster, since she’s the film. I like that she takes up the entirety of the frame. I mean, they cheat a little bit by having whatever that fabric is supposed to be on the left there, but you don’t really notice. It’s her you’re looking at anyway. And you get the sense of wilderness survival and complete control over situations there, so you pretty much understand what you’re in for. I also love the font title size. That just fits perfectly somehow on this poster. The use of a good font/title size is underrated when it comes to posters.
76. Mother! (2017)
When I first saw this poster, I was struck by how almost cheesy it looks. And the more I looked at it, the more I loved it. Because more than anything, what it’s doing is making you intrigued as to what the fuck this movie is gonna be. But also, on an almost literal level, it’s basically explaining the plot of the movie to you. She represents Mother Nature, and she’s quite literally giving herself to humans (though he also throws the biblical allegory on there with Bardem as God and the house as both Earth and nature at the same time), and they’re destroying it. I’m thinking reactions to this poster will be wildly mixed, but that’s also the film. So in a way it’s kinda perfect. I don’t know, I’ve just always liked this one.
75. The Seven-Five (2015)
There are a couple of documentary posters I’ve loved throughout this decade. This one though — this feels like a shot from a movie. It’s almost too good for a documentary. I don’t even know where they got it from or if they staged it for this, but oh man do I remember this image more than I remember a lot of narrative feature posters throughout this decade. Also, you get it. You know what I mean? New York, 70s, crime. So simple.
74. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
I flip-flop on posters that use iconic imagery, but with Star Wars, and this film specifically, you kinda had to. So the use of the Death Star is fine by me, since it is essential to the plot of the film. But the idea of a Death Star on a beach planet? THAT, I’ve never seen before. And even though I’m not someone who gets insanely excited when one of these movies comes out… this did kinda make me go, “Oh, SHIT.” Because it’s just such a really nice image, and you understand it immediately.
73. The Disaster Artist (2017)
I think you get why this perfectly sells what the film is and what you’d expect from it in a single image. They don’t even need to put the fucking title on there because you get it so immediately. So, moving along….
72. Nightcrawler (2014)
This looks like a paperback you’d see on a shelf at an airport bookstore or something. Right? That’s what this is. And I love that about it. Because that’s the exact kind of plot this is. That gritty paperback noir. It’s a B movie at heart, and this poster sells that absolutely perfectly. Also, consider the plot of this movie? NOT the easiest thing to sell on a poster, so they do the smart thing by selling the feel of the film. And they do that insanely well.
71. Honey Boy (2019)
One of the most evocative images of its year. I couldn’t get this out of my head. And it works even more when you know who the film is by/about. What I love about doing this poster thing is that it’s almost like an exercise in school. I’m giving examples to the class and going, “Now kids, what does this poster tell you about this movie?” But, you get this — the wires mean he’s doing some sort of film work, the pie in the face represents him being a clown/actor who looks like a fool for a living, and that Hawaiian shirt is distinctly Shia in Even Stevens. You just sort of get all of it from this image, and it also just really comes right at you and confronts the person looking at it, which I really like about it.
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