Top 10 Movie Posters of 2010

Saturday, June 4, 2011 at 9:31 am

Best Movie Posters – 2010

My list of the top 10 movie posters of 2010 pays tribute to superior achievements in the areas of marketing and graphic design. While a mediocre movie poster might not single-handedly drive a potential viewer away, a well-crafted version can get people talking and up the enthusiasm level for a film. But it’s harder than it might sound, as thousands of posters are released each year, and this practice has been going on for close to a century.

If you disagree with my choices for the top 10 movie posters of 2010, be sure to make your voice heard in the comments section. But don’t just respond with “that poster sucked.” If you’re going to argue, be prepared to offer up some selections of your own.

10. Dinner for Schmucks– I’m a major supporter of South Korean cinema, and the promotional art for this Steve Carell/Paul Rudd comedy reminds me of something from that country. The audience is clued in to the stars of the film, and their faces are allowed to tell you everything else you need to know: Carell plays a lovable moron, while Rudd is the likable straight man. Simple, yet effective.

I could’ve done without the addition of “From the director of Meet the Parents“, though. I mean, really, was that movie known for it’s masterful direction? I doubt Ben Stiller and Robert freakin’ DeNiro need some director to help them be amusing. But I digress.

9. From Paris with Love– While the film may have been a disappointment, the promotional artwork for this John Travolta action movie immediately sets the mood by combining a handgun with the famed structure of the Eiffel Tower. In another era, it would’ve seemed right at home as the poster for a 007 flick featuring Sean Connery.

8. True Grit – This movie poster is an impressive achievement, especially when you consider that it contains nothing but text. The era which the film takes place is immediately clear, and the bullet hole oozing blood teases us with the promise of Old West violence aplenty.

7. Animal Kingdom – While this Aussie crime film utilizes a speech by co-star Guy Pearce to illustrate the similarities between a family of murdering thieves and a pack of wild animals, the poster takes the comparison one step further.

6. Tangled– A guy, a girl, and lots and lots of hair. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the legend of Rapunzel, this well-designed movie poster gets across the idea that the film is filled with light-hearted, fairy-tale adventure and romance. The smirk on Rapunzel’s face is key in setting the mood.

5. I Love You Phillip Morris– Between the orange jumpsuits and barbed wire, it’s obvious that this non-traditional love story starring Jim Carrey is centered around prison life. The expressions of joy displayed by the lead actors also create an intriguing contrast with imagery most often associated with punishment and misery. This is the kind of poster that makes you want to know more, which means it’s accomplished its goal.

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I– Here’s another entry featuring nothing but a close-up of the lead actor. The image of Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter has become iconic for modern moviegoers, and so it immediately draws the eye. The look on his face, and the blackness which surrounds him, is also evocative of the increasingly dark nature of the franchise. Similar posters were released featuring other central characters, but this is the most effective.

3. Hatchet II – If you didn’t see the original Hatchet, this teaser poster would leave you in doubt as to the name of the franchise. However, you’d still be able to guess that it’s a horror film and lots of people are going to get hacked up with axes. If you’re a gorehound, that’s all that matters anyway.

2. The Human Centipede– What the fu*k is going on behind that glass? Between word-of-mouth and this tantalizing poster, it’s little wonder that The Human Centipededid well enough to warrant a sequel. I also salute the addition of the phrase “100% Medically Accurate.” While it’s complete rubbish, it does create a greater degree of mystery around the film (not to mention an atmosphere of self-promotion that would make a carnival barker blush).

1. Buried– Normally, I can do without posters cluttered with positive and oft-meaningless blurbs from critics (frequently including names you’ve never heard of in very small print). This work of art, however, takes those critical accolades and incorporates them into the landscape, effectively burying star Ryan Reynolds beneath a mountain of praise. It’s in perfect keeping with the theme of the film, and I defy you to view it without getting drawn in.

That completes my list of the top 10 movie posters of 2010. I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and be sure to check back with Only Good Movies in the future for additional articles on the best promotional artwork ever to be displayed in a theatre near you.

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