Mike’s Favorite Movie Trailers of the Decade (70-61)
While I call movie posters a lost art, trailers are a different beast altogether. They’ve definitely evolved over the years, and in a way, they’re getting better the more time goes on. Trailers 40 years ago were so much different than they are now. The way people sell a film is different now. Posters are just about imagery, but trailers have to show you what you’re in store for without giving away everything. Though, there is some artistry to that as well, since I think we can all agree that a lot of times, you can understand what the entire plot of a movie is gonna be just from a trailer. But once in a while, you get something really nice, where it’s cut real well and it makes you excited for the film without giving too many secrets away.
I track my favorite trailers each year, so now I’m gonna look back over the past decade and see which ones have held up best for me.
Here are my favorite film trailers of the past decade:
70. The Wolf of Wall Street
Another awesome Scorsese trailer. The use of Kanye was a bit strange at the time, since Marty is known for music and Kanye is not usually his style. But for a movie that’s all about gaudy excess — it fits. Marty trailers are all about great editing, cutting in music well and giving you great trailer moments. They don’t even get in the surface of half the shit that’s in this movie, which is great. But they do sell you on extreme indulgence and insanity, which it shows really well. And the McConaughey chest thumping at the end is just a big cherry on top.
69. Don Jon
This is trailer editing. Watch how they build a rhythm with the first half of this one. But also — that’s the movie. He’s in this cycle and then is broken out of it by the events of the film. And then they bust out the Marky Mark, which is just a perfect needle drop. It’s a really great trailer.
68. Thor: Ragnarok
I’m usually not one to go in on a Marvel trailer (in fact, this may only be one of two on this entire list). But this one is great. Because Thor, as a sub-franchise within the universe, was really stale by this point. Dark World was the worst Marvel movie they’d made since the universe got going (Incredible Hulk is the other ‘worst’ one, but that came out second and before they had what they had, so it’s easy to give that one a pass). So hopes for a Thor movie weren’t all that high. And then this trailer came out and you realized… oh, they made it fun. They go all in on the Zeppelin, give you strides forward for the character (losing the hammer at all), and somehow, even though heavy shit is happening, you still understand what the tone is. And, even though there’s loads of funny shit in this movie, they don’t really give all that much away. The big punchline is him encountering Hulk in the arena. Which was so great at the time that it actually became stale by the time we saw the movie because it was so ubiquitous within the marketing. It’s a great teaser. You don’t even need the proper plot after seeing this one.
67. Good Boys
There are few things funnier than children cursing. The intro alone is great. But like most red band comedy trailers, it’s great. More so than the actual movie was for me. Again, overdone on the ‘Nobody Speak’ needle drop, but it’s fun watching the kids not know about porn or drugs and sex toys and all that. It’s a funny trailer. Makes you want to see the movie. It’s not the trailer’s fault the movie couldn’t fully live up to the trailer.
66. Amazing Grace
As simple and as beautiful as a trailer can get. Aretha did a gospel show live at a church and recorded a live album. Here’s the footage. So you just have her singing Amazing Grace for a minute. That’s it. What more do you need to sell this movie? If you don’t immediately want to see this movie from this trailer, then the movie is not for you and never was. Simple as that. You cannot sell this film any better than this trailer sells it.
65. Ocean’s 8
They’re basically playing off the original Ocean’s trailer/film, but they’re branching out on their own with it. The first half is all about getting you into that world again, but the rest is establishing how fun it’s gonna be with all the women this time. The ‘Boots Are Made for Walkin” Drop is incredible, and it just sets tone for a fun heist movie. What more could you need out of a trailer?
64. Little Women
This trailer is so goddamn good. It just fills you with life and excitement. There’s no better way to sell this movie and its themes — you get the sisterhood, you get the ‘woman’s worth’ part with the Letts frame story and Meryl parts, and you get the Greta Gerwig/Saoirse and Timothée stuff people would have expected from Lady Bird. I must have watched this trailer like two dozen times by now and I could keep watching it. It’s just amazing.
63. The Adjustment Bureau
THIS is a great trailer. Classical in every way. But this is a trailer that’s selling you on this film and this story and this cast. And it does it all quite wonderfully. Romance, pulled apart by fate… only fate is real. They’re actual people who plan it all. They build up the stakes and they make you want to see Damon and Blunt get together in the face of all this. It’s perfect. The ‘Sunshine’ score needle drop is something they used a lot in the first half of this decade (even in the actual film of Kick-Ass, most notably), but it’s a great piece of music. It’s like when people used that drop from Life of David Gale in everything last decade. It works. It immediately raises the stakes in stuff. But really — watch this trailer and tell me that doesn’t get you excited for the movie.
62. The Old Man and the Gun
How cool is this? Most of it is the innate coolness of Robert Redford. But it’s got that great moment at the beginning where he’s getting away from the cops, then flirting with her by explaining that he robs banks — it eases you into the actual plot of the movie in a really charming way. And then you get to that second half, where it goes from fun crime film to something so much more — the ‘Blues Run the Game’ choice is incredible, and you sort of understand that this is a bit of a swan song for Redford and that line of ‘I’m not talking about making a living, I’m talking about living’ adds an extra bit of gravitas to the whole thing in the best of ways. This is a perfect trailer.
It’s all about the song choices. That and the fact that you can just feel how personal a story this is for Jonah Hill. The Wu-Tang beat is great for the start, as you get into all those moments people recognize from being kids. And then it’s just scenes of what it’s like being that age. It’s charming as hell. You’re just hanging out with these people for a minute and it makes you want to hang out with them for longer. And then you have that great “Gyöngyhajú lány” drop, which is just wonderful. EVERYONE remembers that drop from this trailer. Also a nice subtle way of saying, “This isn’t just a recreation of my childhood. There’s more to it.” It feels like an adult making sense of it all rather than just trying to relive it. Which I think is what the choice of Wu-Tang to Kanye (since even though that is an Omega song, Kanye famously sampled it at the end of “New Slaves”) is somewhat about. I know that’s overthinking it, but it all just really works for me. It’s one of the more memorable trailers I’ve seen this decade, and for me, going to so many things in theaters, after a while most trailers become boring for me and I don’t want to see them for the dozenth time. But this is one I was able to keep rewatching because the song choices were so good.
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