Mike’s Favorite Movie Posters of the Decade (30-21)
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:
30. Side Effects (2013)
A perfect poster that I feel will go horribly under the radar if anyone decides to talk about best posters of the decade. The prescription script at the bottom and Mara’s hard-to-read expression is absolutely perfect. But also, that’s the film — it’s about the things medication can do to people and a bit of a “what’s really going on’ scenario. It’s really an incredible image, even if it looks kinda simple on its surface.
29. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
How else do you sell this film except the iconic image of Freddie Mercury on a stage? I won’t dock them for that, since he’s just a person. It’s not like this is the Bat Signal or something. And the coloring of the sky is just really expressionistic and great to look at. It’s just a lovely poster.
28. Ford v Ferrari (2019)
Love this. Love the monochrome going all the way up. It’s not even pure white. It’s like an off-white, which just makes me think 70s, and then you have the two of them at the bottom and the car. That’s the film. Them two and the car. It’s simple, it’s classy, and it’s beautiful. I’m not one to go in for actually purchasing posters from recent films, but this is one I’d own and has jumped up exponentially for me these past few months just for how much I like looking at it.
27. Shame (2011)
The dirty sheets are a perfect metaphor for this film. You wonder how you can sell a movie about sex addiction, and this is it. It’s perfect and explains everything you need to know narratively and thematically about this film.
26. Battle of the Sexes (2017)
It’s the folds that make me go crazy for this one. But also, as a singular image, the tennis ball with the bomb fuse is a perfect way to describe what that event was in the sports world. I’m all about selling your movie on a singular image, and this is that to a tee. And the folds just remind me of a different era of filmmaking and posters, so I’m just doubly all in on it.
25. War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
It pops, right? You don’t even need the fucking title. You get it. Ape on a horse, so it’s Planet of the Apes, and “WAR”. War for the Planet of the Apes. You got it, you’re done. Sometimes it’s just that simple.
24. Gravity (2013)
Yes, it’s incredibly simple, but what is this movie if not an astronaut floating alone in space? It doesn’t need to get more complicated than that.
23. Mary, Queen of Scots (2018)
It’s a double poster, but still. I love these together. The blue vs. the red, complementary but also at odds, and the separation of the posters is the story of this film, since the two really only have one major scene together. These poster are so good they almost oversell the film.
22. Jackie (2016)
Oh, the red in this poster is just so eye-catching. Every time I walked past this image in a theater in the six months leading up to the film’s release, I couldn’t help but go over to it. It’s just such a stunning image, and you can just feel the patterns when you see it blown up to full size. A truly gorgeous poster.
21. BlacKkKlansman (2018)
How can you argue with this one? Black cop holding an afro pick in a Klan hood. You get it. That’s the film. Harder to sell this film any better than this image.
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