I love movie posters. There’s always something exciting attached to that first glimpse of a movie. But the quality of movie posters have declined over the years, hand painted posters fading away to poor photoshop renderings. There are still great, independently released posters that come from the artists at Mondo, but great studio poster releases are few and far between. Thankfully, there are still some marketing departments that put their best foot forward when it comes to offering the best first glimpse possible. So here are the best efforts from the studios this year.

 

7. Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics)

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With du Pont’s profile stylized like an ancient coin, the poster creates a portrait of regality in just the fashion du Pont imagined himself. But dark center and frayed edges hint at the emptiness and madness at the heart of the film.

 

6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (20th Century Fox)

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As if you needed an excuse to see this movie, Fox provided the tantalizing and terrifying image of an ape with a gun, riding a horse. In a summer filled with a lot of samey looking posters, this one is pretty revolutionary.

 

5. Dear White People (Duly Notes/Homegrown Pictures/Code Red Films)

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It’s simple, attention-grabbing, and funny. And for black people who’ve no doubt had numerous white people touch their hair over the years, it’s completely honest.

4. Blue Ruin (The Lab of Madness)

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Without veering into spoiler territory, the poster provides a haunting glimpse of a man coming undone by his bloody quest for revenge. The film’s second poster with its giant, cracked title and striking silhouettes captures the beautiful horror of the film.

 

3. Godzilla (Warner Bros.)

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The great thing about the initial Godzilla teaser posters was the choice to refrain from showing Godzilla in full, instead relying on the atmosphere that made the movie so stunning.

 

2. Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Fox Searchlight)

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Birdman certainly didn’t suffer from a lack of posters. While the standard studio release poster centered on the acting talent onboard, it was the 10 art deco style posters created for the film’s limited release that were the most visually arresting.

 

1. Inherent Vice (Warner Bros.)

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The stunning neon-lit poster for Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest is my favorite of this year. It perfectly captures the crazy, wild ride that stems from Doc’s mind and all the colorful characters he encounters along the way.  It’s far out in all the best ways.

 

Worst:

Left Behind (Freestyle Releasing)

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There’s only one poster that’s so bad this year it hurts. I mean look at those faces. Look at Cage trying to look quizzical before undoubtedly screaming something. I mean if I were in God’s position, I would have left them behind too.

 

So tell me folks, what did I miss? Were there any particularly great (or terrible) posters that caught your eyes this year?