Just like there were some really Bad Movie Posters in 2012, there were just as many, if not more, great ones.
Usually, but not always, a great film will have at least one great movie poster to promote it – one that is worthy enough to frame and hang on the wall.
Sorting through the hundreds and hundreds of movie posters released this year is no small feat but we’ve managed to whittle them down to our favorite 13, ranked in order from good to best.
Unlike the poster for A Good Day to Die Hard, this poster for The Amazing Spider-Man manages to tell the viewer exactly what the film is about, without using the title of the film anywhere on it.
The artist used shadows and lighting to nicely create the illusion of four limbs becoming eight to form the iconic Spider-Man symbol. Good work all around here.
What’s not to like about this poster for Ted?
Clean lines, crisp text, and great use of color are all combined to let the viewer know what the movie is going to be about – a teddy bear coming to life and interacting in the real world.
How can someone not be interested in seeing a film where the cuddly CGI main character is using the lower urinal while holding his beer and standing next to a live actor?
Judging by the film’s $500+ million worldwide box office returns, it seems that a lot of people were interested.
Not all foreign movie posters are bad, as this Spanish poster for Django Unchained proves. Unlike most foreign posters for American movies, the artist of this poster decided to go with a more subtle approach – and it works very well.
In just one simple image, the viewer can see the film’s namesake (Jamie Foxx), a second lead character (Christoph Waltz) and because of the deliberate placement of his image within the reddish-orange circle, the film’s antagonist (Leonardo DiCarpio).
We especially like the way the poster uses muted and subdued color tones and filters to give off a “dirty” and “gritty” vibe usually associated with a western film.
The theme behind the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy was two-fold: a villain rising up to take a city and a hero rising up to stop him.
Viewers can see from this poster that Bane, while intimidating, won’t be the only bad guy the hero will have to vanquish, as hordes of armed villains will also “rise up” to wreak havoc and chaos on Gotham.
Uncomplicated images can sometimes be the easiest way to convey a message to a viewer – this poster proves that.
Another great foreign movie poster for an American film has made its way onto our “Best Of” list this year – this time for the beautiful and moving film, Life of Pi.
Director Ang Lee has a great eye for color schemes and it would appear that the artist who created this poster followed Lee’s lead.
Even though the words aren’t in English, the story told here with just a few images is completely understood.
Pi and his tiger Richard Parker are lost at sea where they are confronted by a whale. Even though both man and animal are “in the same boat,” there is an ever-present danger, as the tiger is always watching Pi.
Some of the best movie posters are the ones that are hand-drawn artwork, and this poster for Paranorman by artist Glen Brogan is no exception.
Brogan is drawn to cartoons (no pun intended), saying on his Website, Albino Raven: “[Cartoons] can be funny, serious, happy, gross, angry, sexy, disturbing, or anything else. They are a way to tell a story, to make you laugh and to make you think, and I believe they take more of that deep down inner something to create.”
We think he’s managed to superbly capture all the things he described about cartoons in this poster.
RZA may have stumbled slightly in his directorial debut, The Man with the Iron Fists, but the posters for the film are all strong examples of how quality hand-drawn pictures can help promote a movie. And artist Joshua Andrew Belanger did a superb job doing just that.
We’d love to see more studios use this style of art to promote their films in the future.
The Will Ferrell niche comedy film Casa de mi Padre was met with mixed success, bringing in $8 million worldwide (of which, $2 million came from Mexico), but the posters for the film were all very well done – this one by artist Carlos Fernandez being the best.
Because the film was a spoof inspired by the overly-dramatic Mexican telenovelas, director Andrew Steele decided to film the American comedy entirely in Spanish.
Fernandez managed to capture the essence of this film quite well and even if you never watch the movie, you could hang this on your wall and still appreciate everything about it.
Foreign movie posters have proven to be top-notch this year (unlike previous years), and this Japanese one-sheet for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey manages to snag our number five spot.
We are very excited to see Peter Jackson’s prequel adaptation to J. R. R. Tolkien’s beloved story this Christmas and this poster explains why.
Every character we want to see come to life (again) is represented here in this gorgeously produced poster – Gandalf the Grey, Galadriel, Gollum, the trolls, all the dwarves and, of course, the young hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.
We like this poster for Argo – the Ben Affleck thriller based on the true accounts of American Embassy workers escaping Iran in the late ’70s – for several reasons.
The shredded image conveys to the viewer that someone was trying to hide something – but now someone else is putting together the pieces in an effort to hunt them down (mirroring a subtle plot point in the film).
Choosing to place the colors of the Iranian flag over the subject’s eyes gives the image a haunting, yet intriguing feel – enticing us to look at it over and over.
Most fans of comic book-inspired films know that The Wolverine will be set in Japan, which explains why the first official poster promoting the film was inspired by Japanese ink paintings and calligraphy.
Going with this artistic style was a smart decision by Twentieth Century Fox, as the dark, broad brush strokes pop against the pure white background – turning this image from a promotional item into a true work of art.
Any fan of Wolverine will tell you that while he is constantly battling to keep his rage in check, there is also a softer, more emotional side to him. That sort of yin and yang is represented well here with the stark black on white contrast.
This brilliant poster for Wes Anderson’s quirky film Moonrise Kingdom is almost as a perfect at the film itself.
The poster looks like it could be the cover art on a book with the main characters – Sam Shukusky (Jared Gilman) and Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) – blending seamlessly into the fake woodland background.
There isn’t a lot we can criticize about this poster, with the one exception – we’d like the eloquent cursive text to be a little bolder and easier to read.
Wayne White is a creative and subversive artist who has lent his unique brand of art to shows like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, The Weird Al Show and Beakman’s World. He is also the subject of the indie movie Beauty is Embarrassing.
One of White’s whimsical creations can be seen on this poster for the movie – a papier-mâché head of former US President Lyndon B. Johnson – which White wears proudly.
The best part about this poster is how White’s real-life artwork blends wonderfully with the background.
This poster is different without being too “hipster,” which is why we made it number one on our “Best Of” list.
That’s it for our list of the Best Movie Posters of 2012, but there are plenty more that could have made the list.
Do you agree with our list or are there some you would add or remove?
Tell us which ones you liked the best this year.
Be sure to check out our list of the 13 Worst Movie Posters of 2012 as well.
Follow me on Twitter – @MoviePaul.