Mike’s Favorite Movie Trailers of the Decade (20-11)
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:
This trailer fills me with such emotion every time I see it. There’s really no way for me to explain it except to say — I love it. It’s a real shot right to the heart. And it’s one of my favorite trailers from this decade.
Absolutely incredible trailer, and it’s the thing that put this movie on my radar as something that was gonna be really good (which it is). It starts as this buddy comedy that seems fun, and then boom. All of a sudden you realize what it’s saying and where it’s going. But it also somehow maintains both tones at the same time. It’s incredible how it manages both.
18. The Florida Project
Another trailer that makes me feel insanely happy. It captures the simple innocence of childhood and hanging out for the summer with nothing to do and getting into all sorts of trouble. And then there’s that emotional element that you might not necessarily see coming but sneaks up on you. It’s beautiful.
It’s this trailer specifically that I love. There’s like four trailers for this movie, but this is the one for me. It captures McConaughey’s longing/feeling of being out of place on Earth and selling the emotional aspect of ‘I’m leaving for a greater good, but look at the cost’, all mixed with the rocket countdown, which all works together to create this incredibly moving little portrait of the story. Then things get epic as we get our space shots, and then the coup de grace of Michael Caine voiceover as he recites ‘Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night’. Which is just awesome. It’s a perfect trailer. It sells absolutely every aspect of this movie you’d want to sell and it does it really well.
16. Logan Lucky
One of the most fun trailers you’ll see. It pretty much speaks for itself. It’s the tone that sells it. And everything Daniel Craig is doing (plus, that ‘introducing’ credit he gets is the perfect touch for it). It just makes me want to see the movie. It’s got everything I’d want in a movie.
15. The Front Runner
Jason Reitman again. His trailers are always incredible. And this is his best one yet (in what might be his best film yet). The ‘Sinnerman’ drop is an incredible choice and kicks in right when it needs to. And beforehand it provides an nice rhythm for the footage. But mostly it sells the unraveling of one of the most promising political campaigns of the past 50 years and does a good job of providing a steady beat while also upping the tension as it goes on and the hooks get tighter around him, leading to that moment of exhale as he finally come out with it. It’s incredibly well done.
14. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
This one’s really all about the clips. It’s just a smattering of scenes from the film, and they’re all great, so the trailer’s great. It reaches another level once it gets to that ‘Walk Away, Renee’ needle drop. Especially right after the ‘fuckhead’ bit. It somehow captures the tone of Martin McDonagh perfectly.
13. The Disaster Artist
Like the poster, this is a perfect way to sell the film. It’s just the scene of him fucking up the take seventy times. Just seeing this moment and Franco playing Wiseau — you get it, and you’re in. It doesn’t have to get any more complicated than this.
12. Blue Valentine
This is so perfect. Just one scene with some clips of other moments playing over it. But the one scene captures everything about the spirit and energy of the film. That’s the film in a nutshell, that moment. It’s the story of a relationship, but the magic is captured in that one moment. I love this trailer so, so much. One of the best marketed films I’ve ever seen.
11. The Edge of Seventeen
The best red band comedy trailer of the past decade. It’s also four minutes long. Most films, when they give you that much, they ruin everything great about the film. And somehow, this doesn’t do that. It sells you the humor immediately with the ‘suicide note’ scene. And then as it sells you the plot, you also get more of how well-written it is. It’s not your typical high school movie. And even when it does ‘obvious’ moves, like the ‘Help!’ drop… it works. I don’t know why or how it works, but it does. And then, the ‘punchline’ moment where you could end the trailer, the Twins joke… it keeps going. And it keeps working. Even when it teeters into ‘telling you too much’ territory. It breaks so many rules of trailers and yet somehow still works despite that. I love this trailer. If ever I wanted to sell someone on this movie, I’d show them this trailer. You can’t always tell from just a trailer whether or not you’re gonna love a movie. But with this one, you can.
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