The 25 Best Movie Posters of 2015

The 25 Best Movie Posters of 2015

Dec 31, 2015

It's really hard to pin down a set of criteria for what actually makes for a perfect movie poster. What works for one movie simply won't work for another. Some can get away with a ton of text or blatant Photoshop, while others need to keep things basic. 

So there are no rules when it came to putting together this Best Posters of 2015 list. These are simply the 25 posters of the year that left an impression so distinct we couldn't help but throw a spotlight on them.

 

25. XX

A lot of horror movies do the whole "poster made out of a skull" thing, but few have found such an evocative way of doing it as this poster for the forthcoming, all-female horror anthology XX.

 

24. Ant-Man

Most of the Ant-Man posters struggled to communicate his shrinking size (there was a terrible series of posters with him standing on people's shoulders), but this Russian one not only did that, but it managed to make the movie look fun and futuristic at the same time.

 

23. The Martian

The Martian is a very slick, modern science fiction movie that uses every bell and digital whistle it can, so it doesn't actually need a poster befitting a more contemplative sci-fi movie from the '70s, but at least this attempt at one stands out for looking like it should be the score's vinyl cover. Sadly it is not.

 

22. Cop Car

A couple of poster campaigns used the torn paper, negative space design this year, but this one may have been the best use. It looks like a kid tore it and pasted it in his yearbook, which is perfectly fitting for this movie about kids who steal a cop car.

 

21. The Editor

That's old school homage done right.

 

20. Krampus

Like The Editor above, this Comic-Con poster for Krampus wins big because it looks like a VHS cover from our childhood without being over the top. If you were browsing a Blockbuster in the early '90s, there is no way this movie wasn't going home with you.

 

19. I Am Big Bird

This is just a plain 'ole nice poster. It's warm and inviting, just like its subject matter.

 

18. Sicario

The floating head character mash-up is a studio staple, but few this year did it with such delicate balance as Sicario

 

17. Too Late

This is one of those posters that becomes better once you've actually seen the movie, which is tough since Too Late really only played a few festivals this year, but it does a great job of capturing its wandering spirit.

 

16. The Walk

That's just a highly effective poster. Even on a small computer screen or phone it's a bit dizzying to look at and manages to sell a movie's complex spectacle.

 

15. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

On its own, this poster isn't that great, but that's because we basically just assume all stunts in movies these days are CGI. But since Tom Cruise riding a real plane was such an established fact, this is one where you can say "Hey! That's really him!"

 

14. Anomalisa

Like Too Late above, this image stands out more once you know its context, but this really is the movie, or at least its main character, in a nutshell.

 

13. The World of Kanako

That serene look. That innocent school dress. That artisanal blood splatter. It's disturbing how well these three disparate things go together.

 

12. Spectre

This is an awesome poster because of its striking use of color, but really I just love it because I like to think of it as if James Bond had a '90s rap album.

 

11. The Lobster

Cop Car isolates its imagery for fun and mystery. The Lobster does it to command loss and loneliness. Killer poster.

 

10. Faults

I can't look at this poster for more than 5 seconds without blinking rapidly and rubbing my temples.

 

9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

Yaaaas Queen, Katniss.

 

8. Regression

Some posters just need to leave you with a bit of a question so you go seeking answers. In the case of Regression, I want to know what's going on in that barn in a bad, bad way.

7. The Wave

Sometimes all it takes is a single image and you understand everything.

 

6. Bone Tomahawk

This right here is how you do the character floating heads. This poster is so anxious, so ready for a fight it makes me want to look at my toes because I'm not worthy.

 

5. We Are Still Here

This is probably my favorite use of color on any poster of 2015. It's ethereal and haunting and inviting but also hellish-- just like the movie!

 

4. Lost River

It's like a Tunnel Of Love carnival ride on the river Styx.

 

3. Roar

I love the copy on this poster, but what really takes it to the next level is the fact that damned cat's eye is the most soul penetrating image on this list. 

 

2. The Frontier

The Frontier actually had a whole chain of striking posters, but this one takes the cake for being a total story snapshot. You can just look at this and know something is going down. A beautiful woman with a busted lip and conviction in her eyes. The setting sun a ticking clock off screen, and even though there's no actual motion conveyed in the picture, you can practically hear that engine revving. This is a perfect, perfect poster.

 

1. Unfriended

The only thing stopping that gorgeous poster for The Frontier taking the top spot is this ugly poster for Unfriended, which stopped me in my tracks the first time I saw it. I could do without that goofy tagline, but using a search engine's autocomplete to tell a horror story is inspired, halting and all too real. There's a strange hesitance to this poster, a reluctance to uncover more, that's particularly bold. Plus, it understands human curiosity in a way that's immediate and undeniable. It may be the most plain poster on this list, but it's easily the most evocative and engaging.

 

Categories: Features, Movie Posters
Tags: Best of 2015
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