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Directed by Zach Snyder
Probably a bit lower on the list than many might put it, this trailer, while superbly edited and beautifully shot, loses just a bit of steam with Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), who comes off very weak and interrupts the great flow of the trailer. Still, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman? It’s got giddy all over it and the potential is limitless. Finger crossed.
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
Sometimes a film comes along that is so quirky and unusual, the title alone does the job, but this trailer, starring Colin Farrell about a man who lives in a world where people turn into animals if they can’t find a partner, is so absurd it’s like a sugar shock to the brain and nearly forces you to keep watching. It’s a brilliant little clip that feels almost complete as it is.
Directed by Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
This Austrian (German language) trailer is a decidedly creepy bit of teasing that is best watched with all the lights on and a puppy in your lap. While you’ll be checking the locks on all your doors when it’s over, this is a triumph of mystery, suspense, shock, and fear. But don’t blame us if you never sleep again. Ever.
Directed by Tetsuya Nakashima
Gripping, emotional, and super-stylish, there are several trailers for this Japanese suspense film, but this English language titled version with a beautiful, haunting cover of The Animals “House of the Rising Sun” is an inspired cacophony of images and music that compels a second (and third) viewing.
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson
Another film trailer that perhaps gives away too much, it is still a troubling, deeply emotional experience given its two-minute run time. With Bri Larson quietly serenading her son as she gives him simple directions to escape the tiny world they live in, this one pulls at the heartstrings and makes you want to know more.
Directed by Alex Garland
Supremely satisfying, this trailer is the very definition of “tease” by revealing just enough but not too much. Its captivating visuals and startling premise were one thing, but the claustrophobic atmosphere and steady, rhythmic pounding of the score punctuated the eerie sense of dread that permeates throughout. With a Kubrick feel and a Spielberg approach, this trailer mesmerizes (mostly about Oscar Isaac’s trippy beard).
Directed by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
With the Coen Brothers on the job, you can be sure we’re in for something special. Add George Clooney into the mix and the recipe for zany, smart comedy is just about complete. This oddball story about a mega-movie star in 1950s Hollywood who gets kidnapped is an ensemble film that looks too poke some fun at a few well-deserved targets, but the trailer is a very funny clip of fast-cuts and familiar faces that is just so darned appealing, it’s impossible not to smile the whole way through. Let’s hope Clooney has a stash of Dapper Dan.
Directed by Radu Jude
Whether you intend to watch this black & white Romanian film is beside the point. The trailer is so unapologetically charming it feels a little bit like magic. While an old man sings a folksong over the entire clip, splashes of English words dot the screen like old-timey silent film dialogue cards that somehow tell everything and nothing at the same time. This little gem is a masterwork at grabbing attention and you will surely have the tune stuck in your head when it’s over, though you’ll probably be wondering out loud, “What the heck just happened?” Win.
Directed by Robert Eggers
Taking the “witch” lore in a strikingly realistic direction, this trailer is especially moody and affecting with its slow camera movements and Puritan setting. The dark forest is the place where nightmares come true and this clip captures that with astonishingly powerful effect. If you have camping plans, you may want to skip this for later. Booga booga.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Powerfully emotive and tonally sublime, this two-minute twenty-second trailer is pure, heart-stopping suspense. Emily Blunt plays an FBI agent thrust into the complex and horrifying world of drug trafficking along the U.S. – Mexico border and is witness to some atrocities that wholly change her. Shockingly real and in-your-face, this oft-told story has a new face and boy (girl?) does it pack a punch.
Directed by Paul Feig
Say what you will about the finished product, this gut-busting trailer is one of the funniest two minutes of the year. Melissa McCarthy is a CIA analyst that volunteers for field duty when the identities of other agents are compromised, though all of that doesn’t matter because the sight gags and McCarthy’s raw comedic talent are so effective, we just want to see more. Plus, Jason Statham.
Directed by David Ayer
As DC Comics makes a grab for the Marvel method of movie making, their universe expands with this epic trailer about some of the not-so-good “heroes” of comic book lore. This moody clip introduces us to the main characters (and a glimpse of Batman) along with the much-anticipated iteration of Joker by Jared Leto, who is more than a bit creepy, he’s downright pathologically certifiable. There’s a lot of promise in this lengthy teaser and while a lot is riding on Batman v Superman (see above), this one might be the better choice and give DC a chance at getting their stories done right. Please don’t hurt us, Joker.
Directed by Ryan Coogler
The next chapter in the Rocky film series goes in a whole new direction, bringing us the story of Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), though this film is really all about Balboa and his turn at completing the circle and taking on the role of his mentor Mickey (Burgess Meredith). The trailer is an unbelievably rousing piece of film that not only hooks us into the story, but has us up out of our chairs raising our fists to the skies. Adrian! Pow!
Directed by J. J. Abrams
The most anticipated film in (probably) all of cinematic history, the next chapter in the Star Wars saga made a tremendous impact on fans with this second official trailer. While the first was a great teaser, this second one set anticipation levels to Warp factor 10 (okay, wrong franchise but same director). With a Luke Skywalker narration and a positively spine-tingling appearance by Han Solo and Chewbacca, this trailer made breathing a chore as we sat spellbound in a pool of mush, half out of our heads excited to see the movie and half soul-crushingly depressed we still had a month to go. Say it with me, “Chewie, we’re home.”
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
While the juggernaut that is Star Wars will most likely be the box office king for some (all?) time, in terms of trailers, there is none that can compare to this masterpiece of teasery (that’s a word, right?). Unlike anything you’ve seen before, the cinematography, the music, the camera, the action, the actors, the bear, and the atmosphere are like some weird mad-scientist dark voodoo spell that seeks out and fondles the pleasure receptors in our brains forcing us to sit with our mouth agape drooling like an infant as we mumble over and over, “More, please.” Just take my money, Iñárritu.
What are some trailers that you really liked? Let us know in the comments below.