Movie posters play a huge part in the entertainment industry, and in terms of blockbusters, we're used to being teased with content for a long time before a trailer is actually released. So a lot of the time, a movie poster is what starts the hype train rolling for a film. Particularly for films that aren't #blockbusters, many people would decide on going to see a movie in the theatre judging by it's poster (I know I've been guilty of this). Coming from a graphic design background, I hold a particular appreciation for looking at movie posters and because 2016 is coming to an end, I thought I'd like to showcase the best ones I've seen!
1. Don't Breathe
Release Date: August
Don't Breathe is the first film on our list, and this is an example of a film I decided to go and see based on the poster. The design wonderfully illustrates just how intense and nerve-wrecking the film is and in a world where face-portrait posters are often over done, this one is a gem.
Release Date: February
If there was a movie to win an award for excellent marketing this year, it would have to be the team behind Deadpool. They broke rules in an unconventional way and the pay-off was huge. Every funny poster they made was shared like crazy online and hyped the film up even more than I thought possible. It was hard to pick a favorite Deadpool poster, but I think the "smart ass" one pictured above steals the prize on that one.
3. Doctor Strange
Release Date: October
This was one of the last posters released for Doctor Strange and it was my favorite one by far. I've never seen a poster like it for a superhero movie and I'm impressed by how the designers aren't afraid to go outside the regular conventions for superhero posters. This poster perfectly illustrates what Doctor Strange brings to the table - a mysterious, magical hero who delves right into the supernatural world.
4. Eddie The Eagle
Release Date: January
I personally love this poster because this is such a feel-good film and you would instantly know that just by looking at this poster. You know that if you go to watch Eddie The Eagle, that you're going to see a heartwarming flick starring Taron Edgarton and Hugh Jackman, something which is perfectly communicated by the poster.
5. La La Land
Release Date: December
If you read the rest of my articles, then you might know that La La Land is the film that I've been most excited for all year. This might seem quite biased, but regardless of that, this poster is still absolutely beautiful. The purple hues and starry night look incredible, serving as the backdrop for Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone mid-dance.
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Release Date: October (USA)
Moonlight is one of the biggest dark horses of this years film competitions; The movie has already won 5 awards, including; Audience Choice Award at The Chicago International Film Festival and the Special Jury Award at the Gotham Awards. This two-hour long drama currently holds an exceptional 99% score on Metacritic and 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, so keep an eye out during the Oscar season for this one.
On the topic of the poster itself, I don't need to explain the design much further, because it's just beautiful. The incredibly minimalist blue and indigo tones accompany the title, Moonlight, which has a wonderful and subtle font in and of itself. The portrait used on the poster features the first-time actor, Shariff Earp, who makes his acting debut in Moonlight. There's no doubt in my mind that this actor is going to become a huge star after this film picks up more heat.
Release Date: November
When mysterious UFO's appear all over the world, governments from different nations enter a state of emergency trying to figure out what "they" want here on Earth. Denis Villeneuve's amazing sci-fi, Arrival, has become one of the most popular films this year and it's totally deserved!
The posters for the global-epic are totally in tune with what the plot of the film is. We see these mysterious UFO's around different places in the world and it's absolutely beautiful seeing the different locations being visited by "them". The minimalist use of type is also gorgeous on this poster, with questions being posed on the centre of each design, all with the same question — "Why are they here?". If you haven't seen Arrival yet, then you need to go to your theatre and watch it, because it gives life to sci-fi in a year where we haven't seen many strong contenders for one of films greatest genres.
Release Date: November
Over the years, Disney have created dozens of iconic posters, including the likes of Frozen, Tangled, as well as for classics such as Snow White and Cinderella. I think it's safe to say that Moana joins those ranks as this beautiful aqua-themed poster perfectly illustrates who the main characters are and the powers that the demi-god Maui (Dwayne Johnson) has. This poster was no fluke either. If you see the rest of the posters for this movie, you'll see that they're just as gorgous as this one! Check out another one below:
9. Kong: Skull Island
Release Date: March 2017
So far, this list hasn't been ranked in any particular order, but this poster that was released in mid-November might just be my favorite of the year. The symmetry of the soldiers heading towards King Kong in the centre is absolutely gorgeous, especially with the beautiful sunset colors that are used behind the Great Ape and in the title too. It's no surprise that this poster was going to be good, as the same team who worked on the marketing for Kong: Skull Island also created the fantastic Godzilla (2014) posters.
10. The Lego Batman Movie
Release Date: February 2017
This year, fans received a #Batman movie that didn't quite please everybody (myself included), but I feel that we've still been given a glimmer of hope in the form of The Lego Batman Movie, which is slated for release next February. I think the movie looks great and the trailer made me laugh quite a bit!
The poster you're seeing above is one of the best posters I've seen all year. It does an incredible job of including — what looks to be — all of the main characters in the movie without looking too busy. The hierarchy of importance for each figure is established wonderfully, and they all have the exact expression I'd imagine them to have, such as the Joker's creepy smile or Robin's hilarious naivety.
11. Cars 3
Release Date: June 2017
Cars 3 has become one of the most hotly-talked about films this year as we head towards the end of 2016. When the dark and gritty trailer dropped in November, people were quick to discuss how different the tone was to the previous two films. The feel of this dark trailer has been transferred to the stunning poster you see above, which perfectly utilizes the grim scene of Lightening McQueen crashing alongside the realistic, yet bland-looking crowd. I have to say, I've got a really good feeling about this film, but I could be judging a book by it's cover, or in this case; judging a film by it's poster.
Check out the teaser trailer for Cars 3 below:
For me, these 11 posters are the best I've seen all year and as you can see from this list, a good poster doesn't always have to be produced by a big studio. Disney can hire the best designers to do the best posters and that's always a given, whereas for more low budget films like Moonlight, we're still fortunate enough to see some beautiful pieces of design being created. If I had to choose, I would say that my favorite out of all these posters has to be the one created for La La Land, simply because of its' masterful use of colors. Let me know your favorite poster in the comments below!