The 13 Best Movie Posters of 2012

Published 1 year ago by , Updated December 23rd, 2012 at 9:39 am, This is a list post.

The 13 Best Movie Posters of 2013 - The Wolverine, Argo, Django Unchained 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.

The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man Movie Poster 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.

Ted

Ted Movie Poster 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.

Django Unchained

Django Unchained Movie Poster 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 Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises Movie Poster In 2011, a fantastic poster for The Dark Knight Rises made our "Best Of" list, so it's not surprising to see another poster for the movie make it onto our list in 2012. 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.

Life of Pi

Life of Pi Movie Poster 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.

Paranorman

Paranorman Movie Poster 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.

The Man with the Iron Fists

The Man with the Iron Fists Movie 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.

Casa de mi Padre

Casa de mi Padre Movie Poster 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.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Movie Poster 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.

Argo

Argo Movie Poster 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.

The Wolverine

The Wolverine Movie Poster 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.

Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom Movie Poster 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.

Beauty is Embarrassing

Beauty is Embarrassing Movie Poster 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.

The 13 Best Movie Posters of 2012

The 13 Best Movie Posters of 2013 - Paranorman, Ted, The Amazing Spider-man 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.
TAGS: argo, casa de mi padre, django unchained, life of pi, paranorman, ted, the amazing spider-man, the dark knight rises, the hobbit, the man with the iron fists, the wolverine

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  1. I was expecting the poster of Bane where he is walking away from the broken Batman mask. That one is my favorite, but nonetheless all great posters :)

    • That was a terrific poster!!

    • that was my favorite as well

    • Wasn’t that from 2011 though?
      I’m not sure, but maybe that’s why it’s not here.

  2. There isn’t a single poster on there that I would want to hang on my wall.

    • +1

  3. I saw the “The Wolverine” poster for the first time a couple nights ago and just walked over and stared at it for a couple minutes with a big goofy smile on my face.

  4. All these posters look great, the Paranorman one is my favorite.

  5. Where is the Avengers?Their poster is amazing and I have it on my wall……I really hope to see IM3 on the list because it looks ASTONISHING

  6. The term movie poster has been diluted in the Internet age
    when many posters are only made for online viewing it seems.
    This great rundown of the past year proves the art is not dead.

    The Amazing Spider-Man was a favorite of mine along with
    Paranorman and Casa de mi Padre just for the retro feel.

    I actually have not seen some of these and thanks for that too, Paul.
    The Japanese The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is one and
    probably should be used universally and not just Japan.

    One characteristic of all these is they retain the quality
    of persuasively announcing an event that must be seen.

    • @Robert – Totally agree with you. The digital age has really watered down what defines a movie poster. Maybe next year I do a list of just posters hung in theaters? Not sure I would accomplish that though lol.

      Paul

      • My impression from your selection, Paul, that the level
        of work put into them meant these actually were likely for
        use in theaters as posters as opposed to online consumption.
        By picking the best you may have hit the theater list this time.

    • Love The Hobbit poster!! Does anyone know if there’s an English version available?

  7. I really loved the new Wolverine motion poster aswell.

  8. I really loved the gunbarrel poster for “Skyfall”

    • Yeah, because we’ve NEVER seen THAT before on in a Bond movie. :P

  9. Favorite posters are the tom hardy lawless poster and bane walking away from the mask….oh and abe lincoln vph

  10. The Amazing Spiderman poster looks like male genetalia

  11. The Japanese poster for the Avengers was amazing and conveyed the message of seemingly outwardly ordinary people being extraordinary heroes.
    I love the attention to detail on The Wolverine poster, especially the red watermarked stamp.

    • @Sakib – eek! The Japanese Avengers poster made our worst of list. heh

      Agree about Wolverine though. Extremely well done.

      Paul

  12. Most of these were horrible.

    • Why do you say they were horrible?

  13. “TED” is the best, nobody in a million years imagine a little Teddy bear urinating in a Men`s restroom …LOL

  14. I really like “The Lone Ranger” poster. Although the movie is not coming out until 2013, the poster is still from 2012.

    • @David – Yeah, that is a good one. I could easily swap it out with Life of Pi and be happy. Is what it is now though.

      Paul

  15. Meh, Ted was the only one that wasn’t all that great. Otherwise, entertaining list! Some of the posters were really awesome!

  16. I’ve been waiting for this list!
    Aside from the Life Of Pie poster (which looks kinda cheap IMO), they’re all pretty good.

    My favorite of the year would have to be the two Wolverine posters though. They’re so good… and the Ted poster still makes me laugh every time I see it!

    • @The Avenger – Thanks. The more I look at Life of Pi the less I like it. If I did it over I’d probably remove it.

      Agree about the two Wolvie posters. The 2nd one came out after I had finished this article though :/

      Paul

  17. Whenever the topic of Movie Posters comes up my first thoughts are Drew Struzen. I recieved a book of his art and posters a couple of years ago and I love it. So many great posters for movies I grew up with…
    That’s why my favorite on this list is The Hobbit because it reminds me of the posters I grew up loving and that wallpapered my walls for years…

  18. Although it is technically an older film, it WAS released this year… my favourite poster of the year was for Cabin in the Woods. I loved the “deconstructed” cabin in the poster, which matched the film so well.

  19. I was puzzled at first why the Dark Knight Rises poster with the broken Batman mask didn’t make it here, but then I remembered they had that for 2011. Also, I never saw that Bane poster here before. Looks really cool! Anyways, good picks. Im just surprised the final Avengers poster didn’t make it here though (the one with all the heros in New York) I thought that one was pretty cool.

  20. i want that bane rise and the wolverine poster!! awesome job on those. they look like real street art and no over photoshoped crap feasts…although i cant stand that life of pi poster. looks pretty cheesy for a movie with amazing visuals

  21. hi, i like ice age continental. the concept was great. and i think it represent the joy and adventure of the film. what do you think ?

  22. Superb article mate but how do get your rss feed? Please sending us an e-mail with instructions?

  23. “Not all foreign movie posters are bad”?????????????
    The Japanese, French, Spanish, Mexican, Brazilian, Italian, Cuban (and the list goes on)posters use to be works of art.
    Remember that posters are a mainly made in those countries by artists, not by Photoshoppers.
    Please research and come back to me.

  24. What is your favorite movie poster?
    Select your favorite movie poster by visiting my blog at http://ronwatson.wordpress.com/.

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