Top 20 Posters – 2011

[Editor’s note: #1 might not be safe for work.]
Let the list making begin! As you might remember from my inaugural list, we here at Shooting the Script do not receive screeners or invites to advanced screenings. Therefore, our top 10 films of the year list doesn’t usually hit until March, once we’ve caught up with everything.

So, here are my favorite movie posters of the year instead. Once again, these are for films released in 2011 so The Dark Knight Rises will have to wait until next year. Quality of film matters not… just design. Here…we…go.

20. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

BOOBS! Honestly it’s not the most fetching design, but points for envelope pushing and origina…oh, who am I kidding…BOOBIES!!!

19. We Need To Talk About Kevin

It’s got a Bergman feel. Very evocative. Great text alignment. It can be interpreted different ways…like the film itself.

18. Hugo

It’s a classic film image that portends the movie’s love of cinema and looks like fun shenanigans for the kiddies.

17. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

It’s just a big WTF…It’s bright and weird and reminds me of something out of Princess Mononoke crossed with my worst fucking nightmare.

16. Captain America: The First Avenger

I like the solemn look. And yes it’s guilty of the dirt/shit flying around poster-trend but in this case it works…I mean it’s WWII, shit flies around a lot.

15. J. Edgar

It’s amazing what 3 little colors can do. If you have to put your star’s face front and center here’s a unique way to do it while hinting at cinematic themes.

14. Cold Weather

Feels kind of jazzy and retro without being pretentious. I feel like I know the tone of the movie from this image. Not flashy, but clever.

13. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The mosaic thing has of course been done, but this still works. Love the little hidden word clues and release date.

12. Carnage

Again if all you’re trying to sell is your stars, then at least do it interestingly. Here we get the many faces of. It let’s us know this movie is a mixed bag of emotions, and the colors are fresh.

11. In the Land of Blood and Honey

You have no stars and you’re in a foreign language, what to do? Create a startling image from blood splatter over a map. Now we know this movie is violent, romantic, and takes place wherever that map says… I’m no geography expert.

10. We Bought A Zoo

It’s just so damn cute it makes me sick. And it tells us a lot without Matt Damon’s face hogging all the attention. It’s obviously something about animals in a zoo, and them becoming apart of the family tree, right?

9. The Rum Diary

Lot’s of drinking, lot’s of snark, and Johnny Depp. I’m getting repetitive, but you don’t need to plaster Depp’s face everywhere to make this look interesting. Very smart poster.

8. Meek’s Cutoff

That’s just a badass image. Nice to see a woman taking charge. And the style reminds me of something from elementary school but I can’t quite remember what. Like when we learned about the Oregon Trail. Does anyone know what I’m talking about? I wish I could remember but at least this poster does.

7. The Devil’s Double

Probably the most eye-catching of the year. It certainly sticks out. Excess with purpose.

6. The Tree of Life

Some prefer the mosaic poster, but this is much more pleasing to my eye. It’s more beautiful and unique than 50 smaller pictures. And the imagery is just stunning.

5. Tyrannosaur

Just crazy good design. I love the third tree further in the distance and the way the bones cross both roots. Gorgeous.

4. Moneyball

Great text alignment. Great use of negative space. The tag is pretty awesome. And the whole thing ties in with the movie’s themes while still acknowledging this is a baseball movie.

3. Young Adult

I think you can find this book at the library. The price sticker, the tagline, the award sticker with the director’s name, the hidden penis…This poster is amazing.

2. Shame

So simple but so strong. All they did was translate the title card from the film and it works brilliantly. Great way to emphasize that the film is not about sex, but emptiness.

1. The Ides of March

Such a crazy cool image that serves multiple purposes. You get your floating star heads, but in an original way. The Time cover and question tell you the film is political. And the split tells us that Gosling is the man behind the man but he is conflicted about being like the man. Plus, it looks cool. Love it!

You might remember, I’m not a fan of worst lists…but I’ll throw one onto the pile. The floating head in my own silhouette crotch posters for X-Men: First Class were pretty awful.







Also, the weird trend of the year for me was that most of the movies on the list also released generic shitty posters after the awesome ones came out. Those would be Shame, Young Adult, Moneyball, The Rum Diary, We Bought a Zoo, Carnage, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Ides of March and J. Edgar w/o the color scheme.







And lastly…Yes Drive is not on here because none of the official posters quite captured the movie. Close but no. But like Inception last year it has inspired a ton of fan art. My favorite of which was this one.

What was your favorite?

Let me hear it.


9 responses to “Top 20 Posters – 2011

  1. I liked how you chose the one Tree of Life poster because that one was my favorite, more than the mosaic of images. Overall, great list but I don’t think The Ides of march poster was as bad-ass as people say. Nice job!

  2. I think even would have been a good entrant in this list.
    Totally liked that ‘Drive’ one in the end!

  3. I like that one. I just think the baby foot one is tops.

  4. Pingback: Top 10 Trailers – 2011 | Shooting the Script

  5. This is a nice list, but here’s a suggestion: USE BIGGER IMAGES.

    You’re talking about small details like the hidden penis in the “Young Adult” poster and the clever way of showing the release date in the one for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” but guess what, the image you’ve used in the article is so small I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    It’s not like I *can’t* look up the poster on Google but your points would have much more impact if the readers could just click on the image to open them in a new tab and be treated to a much larger source file.

    Just my 2 cents.

  6. I liked all ‘Drive’ posters. My favorite is the one where Gosling stands with his back to us, showing the golden scorpion pictured on his back, I am sure you know what poster I am talking about ) I have found some other truly original ‘Drive’ posters. If you’re really interested, they are under ‘Drive’ review in my blog.

    • Yeah, there are a lot of good ones, but I felt most were almost there. The Fan made ones come much closer to success.

      I think the Drive facebook page has a lot of them collected.

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