The Best - and Worst - Movie Trailers of the Week

The Best - and Worst - Movie Trailers of the Week

Aug 09, 2013

We’re still well over a month away from the start of the New York Film Festival, but it’s already shaping up to be a remarkable event, going three for three in the trailer department. Just last week The Secret Life of Walter Mitty cracked the top three and now we’ve got two more NYFF entries with superb promos solidifying even more of the lineup as must-see material.

The Best Stuff

1. Captain Phillips

The true story of Captain Richard Phillips is profound in and of itself, but based on Captain Phillips’ new trailer, the feature version could have the performances, tone and suspense to elevate it to unprecedented levels. The piece stitches together the basics of the situation in a highly comprehensible and effective fashion, but the standout in this latest promo is its ability to humanize the enemy.

2. Her

Many movie trailers have a tough time establishing one human character. This first trailer for Spike Jonze’s Her makes both Joaquin Phoenix’s Theodore and Scarlett Johansson’s digital Samantha completely palpable. In the end, you walk away with a firm understanding of who Theodore is and why he needs Samantha, but also why it’s unhealthy to have her, leaving you both totally charmed and eager to see how the scenario develops.

3. Ender’s Game

The latest trailer for Ender’s Game will undoubtedly appeal to both fans of the source material and newcomers alike. Not only is that recap of the Formic invasion an instant attention grabber, but it gives all the material that follows a tangible backbone. It’s also a pristinely edited string of clips and sound bites, each piece so well placed and well timed that it builds an incredible amount of momentum that literally explodes at the conclusion of Ender’s countdown.

The Worst Stuff

1. Muppets Most Wanted

The success of The Muppets will drive you towards the sequel, but the appeal of the first film doesn’t help this rather tacky teaser trailer for Muppets Most Wanted in the least. It lacks that thrill of seeing beloved characters return, it isn’t particularly funny, and the whole thing is just way too frenetic to offer up anything to latch onto.

2. Thor: The Dark World

With Thor: The Dark World, on the other hand, you do get chills seeing Thor, Loki, and company back in action, but beyond that it’s impossible to get a clear sense of the new narrative from this particular preview. Whatever he’s fighting, Thor needs Loki’s help this time around because, for some reason, they need to make that point more than once. But what are they fighting? Is it a battle on Asgard or Earth? Is Chris Hemsworth wearing a ton of eyeliner? Hopefully a second trailer will provide more answers for those unfamiliar with the film’s synopsis.


You know that extra-burst-of-energy feeling you get from Talking Heads, Blondie and the Police? Not only is the first trailer for CBGB devoid of that, but it’s also without heart, too. When you’re making a movie celebrating the greatest rock club ever, you’ve got to prove that it’s the greatest rock club ever and this promo doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of CBGB’s indelible mark on the industry.

What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?

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