Here are 10 trailers I think deserve special attention as the best of 2014. And I mean 2014. Trailers for films released this year count for next year’s list. Star Wars will have its moment then.
I will once again note that creating trailers is my actual day job. Make of that what you will.
10. Under the Skin
Both the red band teaser and the official trailer make great use of the film’s hypnotic original score. They’re bold and weird. Great attention grabbers for an unconventional film.
This went from a movie I had never heard of just 3 months before release to an instant must see in 90 seconds. That’s the power of a tight, perfectly cut trailer.
8. The Grand Budapest Hotel
Having a great film helps. This trailer expertly packs in more great lines and inspired bits into its trailer than most films have in their entire running time.
7. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
It’s a film meant to feel like one long take so why not show that off. I love when a trailer let’s a moment play out and breathe a little and this one bookends with extended scenes. The middle is cut well too.
6. Gone Girl
The “She” trailer was good, but I’m more impressed with this one. It’s an almost constant barrage of dialogue with barely a moment to digest any of it. It all builds to a crescendo with the subtle score. It’s lots of information without giving away a thing, which isn’t easy to do.
5. Palo Alto
I think the copy is pretty great. Coupled with the great Devonte Hynes music, I think the trailer captures a bit of the haze of youth that the film evokes.
It takes massive balls to take a music cue famously associated with one of the all-time great films and use it for your blockbuster trailer. It also takes skill to pull it off. Another great example of letting a scene take over for a long stretch.
3. The Boxtrolls
Both these teasers are fantastic. I like that it’s made of material that was created specifically for them. This used to be done more often. The first one is cute, slyly progressive, and tells a complete story. I like how much the other one takes pride in the filmmaking. It makes the whole thing that much more special.
Ladies and gentlemen, Hans Zimmer (with a McConaughey assist).
1. Inherent Vice
Playful and funny with a lot of soul. The music is sublime and they handle the tonal switches beautifully. Why didn’t all of you go see this movie?