It’s been a great year for movies, and next year promises to be equally great, if not more so. To celebrate we’re taking a look at the seven best movie trailers of 2016. These are the ads to displayed artistry in their marketing, clever musical selections, editing, style, and ultimately and made us excited for the films they showcased. Here are our picks!
Alien: Covenant – Official Trailer (20th Century Fox)
While it doesn’t deliver the same electricity as the all-time great trailer for Prometheus, the trailer for Alien: Covenant goes for more of a horror atmosphere than an overt science-fiction one. In many ways, this is exactly what fans of the franchise were hoping to see: a group of working-class characters picked apart by an xenomorph. While there’s familiarity, Scott promises something different in this setting of “paradise,” and holds back from revealing just what David has been up to since we lost saw him and Shaw take off at the end of Prometheus. The best part of this trailer isn’t what it shows but what it hides.
A Cure for Wellness – Official Trailer (20th Century Fox)
The trailer for Gore Verbinski’s latest film is dreamy, mysterious, and just a bit familiar in its aesthetic to fans of the Bioshock video games, of which Verbinksi was formally attached to for a number of years. The trailer masks it plot specifics, giving off the vibe of a film that you want to know as little about as possible before going into it, so much so that I didn’t even watch the second trailer that was released a couple weeks ago. We’re excited to see Verbinski take a break from blockbusters to hopefully deliver a film just as strange and mesmerizing as this trailer.
Ghost in the Shell – Official Trailer (Paramount Pictures)
Ghost in the Shell looks like an anime come to life, delivering the kind of style, visual flair, and intrigue that we havent seen since The Wachowskis first took us into the world of The Matrix. Admittedly, I’m a sucker for the great use of a cover song in a trailer and KI Theory’s cover of “Enjoy the Silence” really hammers home the haunting cyber-punk tone of the film, but also touches on the film’s focus on “voiceless” machines, who make themselves heard. Rupert Sanders has previously proved he’s got a great eye for visuals, and hopefully with Ghost in the Shell the story lives up to the creepy, elegant cool of this trailer.
Jackie – Teaser Trailer (Fox Searchlight)
The teaser trailer for Jackie succeeds through displaying a confidence in what the film is. It’s artsy, restrained, and punctuated by a deep sadness. It’s the kind of trailer we rarely see for biopics, and promises that Jackie is anything but a paint by the numbers Oscar-bait affair. The tune from Camelot not only plays with the historical reference of the Kennedy’s being America’s royal family, but also sets a sweeping and elegant tone for the film, one that feels like a far cry from modern American politics.
Nocturnal Animals – Official Trailer #1 (Focus Features)
Nocturnal Animals is a difficult movie to market. If you’ve seen the movie and have also seen the TV spots then you’ll know just how far they are from showcasing what the movie actually is. Instead of trying to piece a narrative thread together, like the TV spots attempt, the trailer settles for a mood piece. Ultimately this focus on the frightening, and violent tone of the film, juxtaposed by images of exquisite beauty, does a far better job at getting to the heart of Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals. There are only flashes of meaning within the trailer, but selection of lines and images, make it one of the most intriguing trailers of the year.
10 Cloverfield Lane – Official Trailer #1 (Paramount Pictures)
The best trailers are sometimes the ones that are complete surprises and come out of nowhere, which is something that’s become increasingly more difficult for studios to do as trailer release dates are announced weeks and sometimes months in advance. A large part of the what makes the trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane so great was the sheer shock of it. But once we move past the shock, we’re left with an exceptionally well edited trailer that builds tension, and is set to music (“I think We’re Alone Now”) that becomes haunting in its tonal shift. More trailers for thrillers should take a cue from this one.
Logan – Official Trailer (20th Century Fox)
Talk about a perfect blending of visuals and music. This is such a perfectly made trailer that delivers such intrigue and excitement for a well-worn series, it’s a shame it won’t be the only trailer for the movie we get, because it’s all we need. This trailer delivers everything Wolverine fans have hoped for in a solo-installment, and it plays far more like a post-apocalyptic western than a superhero film. It’s haunting, and brutal, and full of hurt, which is exactly the kind of trailer that could set a new standard for more adult-minded comic book adaptations. It may also be the only trailer this year that no matter how many times it plays in front of a movie, it still feels fresh and exciting.
Featured Image: Paramount Pictures