Mike’s Favorite Movie Posters of the Decade (70-61)
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:
70. By the Sea (2015)
God, I love this image. It’s so simple I almost wonder how it hasn’t been done before. Male hat, female hat on a railing in what is clearly some warm, Mediterranean country at a nice villa. You get it. You get what the film is about right there.
69. Charlie Countryman (2013)
I like the watercolor aspect for one, but mostly I like that it gives you an idea of the plot without going too obvious with the imagery. Female eye, dude dangling from a lash like it’s a rope. You just instinctively understand — femme fatale, nice guy falling for the wrong girl. It’s great, and it’s not obvious either. And the color choices are nice too. I like when posters use interesting color choices that maybe wouldn’t seem like the go-to.
68. The Kings of Summer (2013)
Pure, unrestrained freedom and joy. That’s what this exudes, and with that image and the title ‘The Kings of Summer’, you get exactly what you’re getting with this movie instantaneously.
67. All the Money in the World (2017)
The ear wrapped in money. How much more perfect an image can you get? I go crazy for images like this, where it’s a singular image that explains the plot. This is about as perfect as that gets. And that tagline makes it so much better. I think I may have docked it a little bit just because you need to know that it’s about the Getty kidnapping to truly understand the imagery, but other than that, this is truly about as good as a poster can get.
66. 78/52 (2017)
Yes, it’s trading off an iconic image, but it’s a really unique angle on that iconic image, and the documentary is about that scene. So I’m totally fine with including it here. I like that it’s obscure enough that you both immediately understand what it’s about but also weren’t spoon fed the obvious stills from that scene.
65. Detroit (2017)
LOVE this poster. Everything turned on its side. Oh, it’s so powerful. You get it completely. I don’t even have to say anything. This is a poster that fully and totally speaks for itself.
64. Midsommar (2019)
Florence with the flower crown is one of the enduring horror images of the decade, and the look on her face and the tear pretty much tell you what you’re in for. As far as selling this film goes, that’s about as good as one can get. Because, we’ve pretty much all seen it… NOT the easiest sell without giving a bunch of shit away. Most of what you’d sell it on is weird Swedish architecture with the hint that something isn’t quite right or sinister going on underneath. But this is so much better. Who can forget this image?
63. Hearts Beat Loud (2019)
I like when posters use unique backgrounds that stand out from the norm. The one with the flowers earlier was one of those. This one has vinyl sleeves along the back, and it’s just wonderful. And also perfectly representative of the film — father and daughter making music with his record store being the backdrop of it all. It’s perfect, and perfectly simple. It exudes music and joy, and what more could you ask for?
62. Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2019)
I truly didn’t think they could ever come up with a good poster for this film. It’s impossible to explain, plot-wise, and tonally you can’t really sell it like other movies. But this… this is perfect. You get the title, everyone understands the iMessage thing, and the three dots tells you everything. You’re waiting to find out where the fuck she went and why she did what she did. And that is a perfect way to convey that. Honestly, part of me thinks if I made this list tomorrow, it could have went much higher than it did. I love this poster a lot.
61. Black Swan (2010)
It’s just (still) such a striking image. The black makeup around the eyes and the red eyes. Now, you just understand the image completely. But even if you saw it before you knew anything about the movie, you’d still kinda get what it is. You’d get the tone, you’d get the general idea of the plot and what Natalie’s character would likely be going through. It’s all there. It’s tricky when people put just the main character on the poster, front and center, without much else, but sometimes it can be done really well, and this is one of those times.
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