Introduction

So after the tornado of hype that took shape after the release of the most recent Interstellar trailer, a conversation was sparked amongst our staff.  Where did Interstellar‘s new preview rank amongst the greatest trailers of all time? And what was the singular greatest trailer of all time? Turns out, we all had our own ideas and we wanted to include you in the discussion.  The selections are listed below, in no particular order.  Feel free to submit your vote in the comment section.

David Shreve – Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty

Somewhere between the pre-production and release of Zero Dark Thirty, the gushing wound that was inflicted on the face of our country by the 9/11 attacks hardened into a badass scar.  And the third and final trailer for Zero Dark Thirty seemed, in just under two minutes, to encapsulate the entire ten year stretch from event to film.  The haunting choir-like cover of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters illustrating the familiar images of the manhunt that will define my generation lends to a viewing experience that’s almost better than the movie (which I loved). Like the film itself, the trailer is all craft, not story (we know the story); it is the presentation of a narrative line with which we will always be too familiar.  Without competition, the best movie trailer I have ever seen. I know certainty freaks you people out, but it’s 100 %.

Beth Reynolds – The Dark Knight

Joker

The first trailer for the second installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy was released merely weeks before the tragic death of Heath Ledger.  In the wake of this event, stories began to surface about how deep Ledger became involved in his character portrayal of The Joker, which further increased the buzz surrounding The Dark Knight.  But even before these things happened, this trailer was enough to give any superhero fan chills.  We don’t get a good look at The Joker’s face until almost halfway through, and then it’s off to the races.  I played this one on repeat for months, sometimes to just to hear that laugh.

J.S. Shreve – The Wolf of Wall Street

"I'm doin' 500, I'm outta control now"

“I’m doin’ 500, I’m outta control now”

The first trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street left me feeling like I had just spent an alcohol and drug riddled night with The Wolf himself. I was amped and ready to GO! The bulk of the trailer is a super-cut of debauchery set to the Kanye West track “Black Skinhead”.  If you’ve ever heard that song, then you already know that it incites a rampant feeling of all-consuming intensity. Mix Leo, Kanye and some depravity, and this trailer will have you wanting to pop some ‘ludes and head to the theater.

Sara Grasberg – Gone Girl

Gone Girl

The first teaser trailer that was released a few months ago for David Fincher’s upcoming flick Gone Girl, the highly anticipated film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name, quickly became one of my favorite trailers of all time. The use of Richard Butler’s cover of “She” seems to match (albeit in an ironic, cynical way) the increasingly mysterious and meticulously-arranged snippets of action we’re shown. The result is a haunting and enthralling minute-and-thirty-seconds that gives away just enough recognizable imagery for fans of the source material to pick up on,  while also establishing a suspenseful tone for those who haven’t necessarily read the book.

Jon Miller – Interstellar

Interstellar

I’m going for it.  I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a movie.  First, it’s a new Christopher Nolan movie, one of the finest working directors on an historical streak, following The Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception.  He could release a found-footage docudrama and people would still line the blocks.  Second, it stars Matthew McConaughey, who is on an equally impressive  streak from an acting standpoint: Killer Joe, Magic MikeMud, Dallas Buyers Club, and True Detective.  Third, it’s a got-damn SPACE ADVENTURE! Diego already told us how fleeting these movies are.  The trailer weaves all of these elements into a dramatic and beautiful two minutes with musical composition that sets a tone better than any trailer music since Johnny Cash in the True Grit trailer.

Travis Losh – Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim

When I first saw this trailer, I nearly soiled myself (like every other anime fanboy should have). Badass, giant robots fighting standing toe to toe with badass, giant monsters in live action! Sold.  Every single time. It had my inner G Gundam going insane.The deep voiceover, handled by the film’s protagonist Raleigh Beckett (Charlie Hunnam), backed by a thumping drum sequence by Ninja Tracks made it all that much more badass. And that all comes to a peak with a Jäger carrying a huge boat to smash on a Kaiju. Anime fanboys have never had a chance to feel more badass than they did on the release of this trailer. Suit up, boys! And yes, we are most certainly canceling that apocalypse, Idris.

Diego Crespo – Man of Steel

man_of_steel_07_1

You all know how much I love my superhero movies. After the conclusion of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, I wondered how DC movies would fare without such a talented director. I’ve never been a big fan of Zack Snyder so I wasn’t particularly looking forward to Man of Steel. Then the first trailer dropped. Then the second. These trailers felt like they were a love letter to the world’s greatest hero. Then this third trailer dropped and I by the 1:08 mark, I was on the verge of tears. Hans Zimmer’s score paired with lines that seemed tailor-made for trailers (turns out they were) gave me hope for another good Superman movie. I was betrayed, but this trailer will always give me hope for another great Superman movie.

Keith Rice – Godzilla (2014)

Godzilla

For me, the most effective trailers are those that heighten our anticipation and give a glimpse, however fleeting, of the film to come.  I was not really a fan of Godzilla, and wasn’t particularly excited at the announcement of this reboot.  I had seen several of the Toho classics, but they didn’t really appeal to me…and then I saw the full  trailer.  It is a preview as precisely crafted as the film itself, each moment tightly calculated to build toward a near pitch perfect release.  From the soundtrack’s continuous, reverberating pulse to the wide shots of the minuscule cars held in traffic to a child staring on at the wanton destruction of a power plant, we are immediately overwhelmed by the sense of scale.  Each moment builds to our first glimpse of the sheer immensity of Godzilla as he rises from the ocean and we see only a mere portion of creature in the flares shot by the soldiers who are so insignificant against this brutal face of nature itself.

Josh Rosenfield – The Social Network

The Social Network

Remember when the news broke that David Fincher was making a movie about the invention of Facebook? People thought it was absurd. “They’re making a movie about Facebook? What a joke.” The attachment of Fincher and Aaron Sorkin were enough for most people to give it the benefit of the doubt, but for many it was a perfect encapsulation of a self-obsessed culture which Facebook was already the poster child for. And then this trailer came out, with its beautiful a-capella cover of Radiohead’s “Creep,” snappy editing, and immediately iconic lines, and everyone changed their tune. This trailer was powerful enough to reverse the entire cultural conversation, and moving enough to still be talked about four years later.

Schyler Martin – Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians

When it comes to strong movie trailers, it’s tough to beat the recent trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy. The preview for this Marvel film introduces all of the main characters, teases plenty of action without giving any of the plot away and features badass music and quippy one-liners. It’s funny, weird, engaging and undeniably fun. Overall, it reflects the tone of the film itself, which is exactly what a trailer should do. Want proof that this is a great trailer? Check out the box office numbers for Guardians of the Galaxy, and then, if you haven’t seen it yet, go immediately and buy your ticket.

Martina Fetzer – Watchmen

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It’s been six years since a movie trailer made me say “Holy shit. Is this really happening?” The Smashing Pumpkins provide the perfect soundtrack for disturbing images ripped right from the pages of Alan Moore’s classic graphic novel. The music is interrupted for only two lines of dialogue: “God help us all” and “The world will look up and shout ‘save us,’ and I’ll whisper ‘no.'” It gave me chills, and I was sure this movie would be the one. Watchmen ended up being less a critique of the superhero genre and more a soulless excuse for Zack Snyder to use slow motion, but I’ll never forget that trailer