Top 10 Trailers – 2011

Last week I shortlisted the year’s best posters, now it’s time for the trailers. For those who don’t know, creating trailers is literally my day job; so this is actually one of the more informed opinions on the internet (Kermit: Yayyyyyyy!). I’m a sucker for a good music cue, sharp editing, and anything that makes you want to see the damn picture. This list only covers movies released in 2011, so no The Dark Knight Rises here. This year, number one is so ridiculously obvious, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

10. War Horse

On here for one reason. I’d seen it a couple of times but then I saw it on the big screen where the full force of the score and sound effects could take hold of me. And even though all it’s trying to do is elicit some emotion out of me, you have to admire something the succeeds at what it sets out to do. In other words, in less than 3 minutes this thing had my eyes all watery. BE BRAVE! BE BRAVE! BE BRAVE! Damn you Spielberg!

9. Anonymous

This is a very unique way to make a costume drama stand out from the pack. Using Radiohead is a strange choice, but it pays off. The ink splatter graphics are fantastic and the copy is very clever.

8. Hesher

The text/copy cards are very funny in this trailer. They manage to set-up the story nicely while also establishing tone. Then the second half gets very strange with funky sound design. Love when JGL shakes his head.

7. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Nothing too fancy here. Just a very solid and classy trailer. Nice use of The Wolfman’s score. Some very precise bites, and a tremendous job of slowly building the tension.

6. The Tree of Life

The movie’s best asset is its imagery and this trailer is simply a showcase for some beautiful cinematography. Using the music from within the film is always a good idea. Also, the film has very few proper dialogue scenes, so the bites they find and utilize are actually quite impressive.

5. Martha Marcy May Marlene

This trailer sets-up the past/present cross cutting perfectly with the bites, the quotes, and the editing. Then the John Hawkes singing part takes it all to another level. Very creepy.

4. Contagion

This does some basic stuff really well. The virus graphics are cool, and the copy is solid. The sound/music ramps up properly and it is extremely unsettling. But really I love this trailer for the moment Damon loses his shit. It’s such a rare moment in a trailer because they let the moment play out for a long time. It’s refreshing and distinguishes itself because of it.

3. We Need to Talk About Kevin

Such a good music cue and bonus points for actually being used in the movie. Brilliant use of sounds from the film to cut between shots, also like the movie actually does. Love the quotes over actual white spaces from the movie. Very engrossing.

2. Shame

This is a twofer. Both of these trailers are pretty sweet. One uses the sound of Fassbender breathing over the whole thing, either from jogging or something else. Nice ambiguity. The second uses Mulligan heartbreakingly singing “New York, New York.” Both trailers do a wonderful job of pitching a hard sell.

1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

This teaser certainly stands out from anything else we saw this year. The music is as inspired as Fincher’s trailer for The Social Network last year. You don’t get the full force of the thing until you see it on the big screen. The sound design stands out on those big speakers as the effects grow gradually louder. Just really cool work.

Finally, I think The Muppets campaign deserves a special mention. No single clip stood out for me, but their many parodies and go for broke attitude are to be commended.

Think the Tattoo trailer is overrated? What was your favorite? What did I forget?


6 responses to “Top 10 Trailers – 2011

  1. You forgot Super 8, the James Horner music made it a great trailer.

  2. Super 8 is literally number 11. Good call.

  3. now that the “The Dark Knight Rises” trailer is out…

  4. It might show up on next year’s list. Only 2011 releases here.

  5. Pingback: Top 10 Older Films Discovered in 2011 | Shooting the Script

  6. Pingback: Top 10 Trailers – 2012 | Shooting the Script

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