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 411mania » Movies » Columns

Editor's Note 01.08.14: The Best and Worst Movie Posters of 2013
Posted by Chad Webb on 01.08.2014


Anyone who has met me knows that I love everything about the movie experience. The trailers are a part of that, as well as the posters hanging around a city or inside a theater. Strolling through the crowded lobby getting a peek at a future film you have been waiting for is an irreplaceable feeling. Furthermore, I love hanging posters in frames around my house. The thing is, some of my favorite movies have some of the worst posters, and vice versa. Every year, I like to salute the highs and lows of movie artwork. Keep in mind, the rating of the film itself means nothing. Also, I elected to eliminate Mondo posters and fan stuff from the running. If I included them, they would occupy almost every spot on the "Best" list.

This year was extremely difficult to narrow down my choices for "Best Posters." I could have put a lot more on, which is refreshing considering the amount of atrocious designs out there. 2013 saw the following trends: Pointless character banners (Turbo), tiny main characters looking at an epic background (Oblivion), characters looking down on a vaguely apocalyptic event (World War Z). If I made an honorable mention list for posters, it would definitely include The Conjuring, Computer Chess, Man of Steel, Enemy, Berberian Sound Studio, Nebraska, and probably the Machete Kills one with Sofia Vergara. Don't get me started on the dishonorable mentions that just barely missed the cut. Anyway, on we go...


10. THIS IS THE END - I wanted to make sure I included a comedic poster in this list and without a doubt the best of the lot is This is The End. You don't see any of the apocalyptic plot aspects here, but we spend more time watching these guys argue and fight than anything else, right? This could have been clumsily assembled and badly photoshopped, but it's hilarious and fitting.

9. NYMPHOMANIAC - Perhaps this is the only poster from Lars Von Trier's upcoming lengthy effort you have seen. I highly urge you to check the rest of them out by clicking here. This campaign has been outstanding so far. I was amped to see the film no matter what, but I love that the posters provoke so much discussion. This particular one speaks for itself.

8. SPRING BREAKERS - I didn't like this movie. I've gotten into plenty of debates with people about it, but the posters were definitely eye-catching in the manner the studio wanted them to be. I'm not sure the young audience they were speaking to really dug the flick, but be that as it may, this image is taken from the best scene in the movie. It is a beautiful shot.

7. REWIND THIS! - If you haven't heard of Josh Johnson's wonderful documentary, you should seriously seek it out even if you were born after the VHS era. It is informative, funny, and engrossing. This poster perfectly illustrates the content, not to mention the hand-drawn VHS box covers they praise within the feature. I love cool, creative posters like this and combined with the loud title, everyone should notice it if they walked by.

6. BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR - There is nothing overly special about this poster, but I dug the fact that the distinctive hairstyle was highlighted with only the red lips of Lea Seydoux's character displayed. This is a simple design, but one that is instantly noticeable and easy to admire.

5. THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE - Thankfully this franchise is being marketed with an intelligent, positive strategy. The posters that populated movie houses were ok I guess, but this one is fabulous. As you can see it has a lot going on, but the design is fascinating and impossible not to gaze at and study. Here's hoping they keep this hip attitude and inventiveness going for Mockingjay.

4. YOU'RE NEXT - Until I researched for this list, I did not even know this poster existed, but once I saw it I knew it would be high on the Top 10. I enjoyed this horror offering a great deal and this poster is genius. How can you not stop and analyze this? The map outline is terrific and certainly indicates the fact that this film embraces multiple genres and is not just pure horror (unlike the main poster).

3. GODZILLA - If the movie is half as good as the marketing campaign has been thus far, Godzilla will be given new life for sure. The crumbling buildings manufactured in such a way that that form the look of the icon is a super picture to get people hyped up about this reboot. Fans need faith that this new stab at the monster makes sense. So far they are doing a nice job of getting us revved up.

2. ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW - The film itself was incredibly divisive, but this is definitely one of the greatest teaser posters ever. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, that is the bloody hand of Mickey Mouse. Obviously you don't get a sense of what the storyline involves, but I guarantee this unforgettable image raises questions and peaks your curiosity to the point where you have to know more.

1. X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST - I'm hardly the first writer/site to place these two in their "Best Posters of 2013" list, but the reason you see them everywhere is because they are brilliant. These are straightforward and enthralling. You have two generations of X-Men on both posters. This is yet another that you'll want to stand and stare at. If a poster can accomplish that, it has done something right. Between these posters and the phenomenal trailer, this is becoming one of my most anticipated films of the years.


10. DON JON - In the defense of the people who were put in charge of marketing this movie, it would be difficult to think of a proper way to make a poster for a romcom about a guy who thinks internet porn is how real people have sex. But showing us the stars sporting weird grins doesn't tell us anything. This is just lame advertising. The other poster of Don Jon's computer turned the opposite direction is bad too.

9. THE HOST - It is baffling how lazy and uninspired some posters are. Artists attempt to employ the same old tricks that never worked in the first place. Here we have Saoirse Ronan and Jake Abel with their legs fading into a giant eyeball. Meanwhile, everyone has a super melodramatic gaze about them, which will instantly result in hordes of people pre-ordering tickets. Sure. People got paid to do half-assed work like this.

8. AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY - Not every teaser poster is successful. Perhaps one of the reasons buzz for this adaptation never built the momentum the studio wanted is because they're too busy flaunting the all-star cast to remember that people need more than that to care. But hey look! We have a…house…with its…roof coming off. Huh? Hot damn, I just know this is the flick for me. Actors AND a house?! I'm there.

7. THOR: THE DARK WORLD - Ok, I realize Marvel is making money hand over fist right now, so any snafus in the marketing department are not going to damage their grosses heavily, but even fans have to concede that in 2013 they hit audiences with some of the most blatantly lifeless and neglectful posters of the year. Check out the ones with Chris Hemsworth and you'll notice they do the same thing, use one pose, hit the copy and paste button, and put it on a different poster. Did they really think fans wouldn't see this? Maybe they didn't care.

6. DELIVERY MAN - Can the pose of one actor sum up why no one gave a shit about the movie itself? Yes, I believe it can. How do they expect viewers to care, when it is increasingly evident that the person who designed this poster didn't care? The Internship poster (also with Vaughn) was equally as dull.

5. THE HEAT - You might recall that this poster received a lot of backlash because it is clear that whoever designed it went out of their way to make Melissa McCarthy unrecognizable. It deserved every bit of the criticism it got. They eventually put out a different one that was better looking, but it was too late. This moronic concoction had already made the rounds.

4. A MADEA CHRISTMAS - Every year Tyler Perry makes it on to this list in one way or another. I ignore the movies themselves, but the posters are impossible to ignore. This is just creepy on so many levels. Do Perry and company have no brainpower running…ever? How can one man consistently give us horrid films that have even worse marketing campaigns?

3. THE BIG WEDDING - Crappily handled photoshopping is always a trend I bitch about in this column. This was finished in like 30 seconds. Surely nobody gave it a second thought. Let's have Susan Sarandon and Robert De Niro sport poses where they are laughing in the most exaggerated fashion. And let's make sure the cast looks robotic. That will lure moviegoers.

2. PEEPLES - Craig Robinson made it onto my Top 10 Best list as well. I have nothing against Robinson. He is a funny guy. This has nothing to do with his looks either. This is just such at total turn off. The studio should find the dude who came up with this idea and lock him or her in a room where they are surrounded by this image for eternity. The agenda seemed to be to force the star to make a hideous facial expression and then zoom in on it as closely as possible. Just…no.

1. GRUDGE MATCH - I am a huge Sylvester Stallone fan, but this is honestly frightening to look at. The image of Sly and De Niro's heads pasted onto computer-generated bodies is enough to give anyone nightmares. And I saw this poster regularly at my local cineplexes. I can think of no worse example of a person literally failing at their job to design movie posters. Why why why would anyone torture us with this? Ugh. Make it stop!

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