Studios rarely release one single movie poster any more, preferring to offer several variations in a bid to hook different viewers. The following are undoubtedly the best of the year and although some of these films aren’t released in 2011, I’ve judged it on posters released over the last 12 months.
Without further ado . . .
The Devil’s Double
I love gooooooold. BYO Gold Member accent. But seriously, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more striking and artistically ballsy poster than this in 2011.
It’s a shame this poster wasn’t used more widely, because the standard action variant was a lot less interesting. This was clever, creative, and just darn cool.
MelancholiaI may have thought the movie was over-hyped and overlong. yet there’s no denying the impact of this single image, single moment shot of Kirsten Dunst. Plain. Beautiful.
The RavenEdgar Allen Poe (John Cusack) is investigating a serial killer in next year’s period thriller The Raven. I’m a sucker for splashes of paint on anything and the Anonymous poster tried to pull off a similar look to less effect. I love the mix of blood and ink splatters on this, illustrating the Gothic nature of this very promising film.
Griff The InvisibleMost of the variations on the Griff poster were lovely, but this one in particular is my favourite. It embodies the quirky, indie nature of this colourful yet unconventional superhero tale.
Don’t Be Afraid Of The DarkArguably one of the most underrated films of the year boasts one of the most atmospheric posters of the year. Perfectly captures the creepy and creative nature of the film.
The Ides Of MarchThe beauty of The Ides Of March poster is it manages to depict its two biggest draw cards – Ryan Gosling and George Clooney – while at the same time demonstrating the plot and themes of the flick all in one go. Posters for political dramas are as a rule bland (emphasis on the bla). The team behind this broke the mould and providing something both eye-catching and poignant.
Scream 4It may have flopped at the box office harder than Alsion Brie’s body did on pavement, but I dug this subtlety inventive poster that shun headshots of the main cast and instead highlighted the iconic villain and his weapon of choice. The more I look at it, the cleverer I think it is.
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes One of the best blockbusters of the year sported one of the most boring poster so the year, that is, until I came across the revolution line for Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. I wished these had been used more widely because they’re cool and punk rock. It’s Banksy, with monkeys!
We Bought A ZooThe minimalist poster for Cameron Crowe’s family boxing day fair is just splendid and, frankly, it’s nice to see a major Hollywood picture use a star-free, pitch-free poster. Of course there are the Christmas and Matt Damon/Scarlett Johansson versions for the multiplexes. This, in all its muted and homesy glory, is the best. Less really can be more.
The Cabin In The WoodsThe series of posters released last year which riff of the conventions of the horror genre are still wickedly brilliant. In light of the full length trailer, however, this is a visually interesting shout out to the unconventional twist the flick will take to the `cabin in the woods’ format. Teamed with the apt tagline, it builds anticipation and tells you to expect the unexpected.
Midnight In Paris
One of my favourite films of the year, Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris was all about escaping your current reality and drowning in the nostalgia of whatever you thought the `golden age’ was. Integrating Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night into the Parisian skyline not only hints at the joyful escapism you’re going to experience in the movie, it signifies Owen Wilson’s character’s struggle perfectly. It’s also pretty.
BridesmaidsThe Bridesmaids poster was full of ‘tude, just like the film. A chick flick, but not as you know it. The attitude-packed poster really kicked home that point and although it wasn’t particularly arty or wall-display worthy like some of the others on this list, it captures your attention. Most importantly, it makes you want to see it.
The Human Cenitpede 2The film is a controversy-seeking piece of shit. Still…I can’t help this is a touch clever.
Ghost Rider: Spirit Of VengeanceFlame. Freakin’. On! The team behind Crank are taking charge of the new Ghost Rider film and to accompany the explosive footage (which already surpasses the original) came this very metal poster. Fire, chains, and Johnny Blaze blazin’ as Ghost Rider. What’s not to love? These two purely illustrated variants are also worth a mention (below):
Now unfortunately these weren’t the official posters released by the studio so I couldn’t include them in the list BUT I wanted to give a special shout out to Mondo’s series of six Captain America posters which are fucking fantastic. I was lucky enough to snag the first one when I attended the world premiere of Captain America at Comic Con in July. It’s funny, Chris Evans jumped out of the audience and sang with an All American-Girl chorus group at the screening but I was still more excited about getting the limited edition print. Meh.
Also, the ever-talented Alex Pardee whipped up this lil’ tribute to Attack The Block. Love, love, love.
For other borderline OCD movie lovers such as myself, my other lists coming in the following week/s include the best movie soundtracks of 2011, the worst films of 2011 and, of course, the best movies of 2011. The last is always posted on the second or last day of December so I have as much time as possible to see as many of the year’s flicks as I can.
Side note: to view my best and worst movie posters of all time lists, click here and here. Best posters of 2010, here.