The Best Movie Trailers of 2014

The Best Movie Trailers of 2014

Jan 02, 2015

Welcome back to Best Movie Trailers of the Week, a column where we handpick the best new movie trailers that have arrived online over the past week – or in this case, the best movie trailers of 2014.

10. Kingsman: The Secret Service

(WARNING: This trailer is NSFW!)

What happens at the 100-second mark of this red-band trailer for Kingsman: The Secret Service shouldn’t work, but the action is such an outrageous blast, who would bother to second guess any of it? This promo takes risks, goes big and winds up selling the film as a wildly original spy thriller because of it. (WARNING: This trailer is NSFW!)



9. Big Hero 6

After that first teaser trailer, just about anything involving Baymax would have put a massive smile on my face, but I certainly didn’t expect Big Hero 6 to get this clever and laugh-out-loud funny. The tape gag is easily one of the most charming things I’ve seen in a trailer all year and then I absolutely lost my mind when “drunk” Baymax face-plants on the stairs. Best of all, these jokes don’t get old. They play just as well in the full feature and then even after seeing the film, you can still come back to this trailer for a heartwarming giggle.




8. Nightcrawler

It’s pretty clear that something isn’t quite right about Lou Bloom the moment you meet him in this Nightcrawler trailer, but at the same time who can’t identify with the determination to succeed in a world that isn’t just going to hand you opportunities? This brief montage of Lou’s rise to the top achieves an expertly balanced sensation of knowing something’s off, but not being able to turn away either. The pacing is spot-on, the song choice is genius and this trailer also rocks an especially explosive build.



7. The Babadook

There are loads of horror trailers out there that try to catch your attention by reciting some eerie rhyme or warped fairy tale, but it works especially well here because The Babadook is so visual and deeply connected to the main characters. The book itself is insanely creative and you can practically feel it seeping into Amelia and Sam’s lives, but this international trailer for The Babadook doesn’t stop there. It wraps up with this quick-cutting assortment of disturbing visuals and terrifying sounds that is so potent, Mister Babadook will mess with your mind as well.



6. Mad Max: Fury Road

This first trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road keeps plot details and character development to the bare minimum, but it doesn’t matter. Just look at this thing -- have you ever seen anything like it? Whether you’re a longtime fan of the Mad Max movies or not, this piece has an incredibly mesmerizing quality to it that you just can’t get enough of. Sure, Mad Max is on many moviegoers’ radars because it’s part of the franchise, but I’d like to bet it moved up quite a few notches on many most anticipated lists after this first look dropped.



5. American Sniper

More isn’t always better when it comes to a movie trailer and this American Sniper promo proves it. Minus a few brief flashbacks, it consists of just one moment with very little dialogue but an incredible amount of tension. Bradley Cooper barely moves an inch throughout the entire piece, but you still get a clear understanding of who he is, you can feel the pressure that comes with being a sniper and you walk away desperate to find out whether or not he decides to pull the trigger.



4. Guardians of the Galaxy

I was looking forward to getting a taste of what was said to be a very different kind of Marvel movie, but I certainly didn’t expect it to feel so right so quickly. The first Guardians of the Galaxy trailer does deliver the obligatory action montage, but only after earning it using lengthier scenes to set the tone and deliver the necessary character details. When “Hooked on a Feeling” comes on full blast, you’re propelled into this string of vibrant visuals with so much momentum, it becomes this exhilarating ride that you never want to end.



3. Avengers: Age of Ultron

I expected a decent thrill out of seeing Iron Man, Captain American, Thor and the rest of the gang back together in the first promo for Avengers: Age of Ultron, but the film’s first teaser trailer blew away all expectations by highlighting the beloved heroes within the context of one heck of a sinister threat. Taking such an on-the-nose approach to the whole "no strings" concept was a bit of a risk, but clearly one well worth taking because it gives the piece a uniquely haunting quality and sends you on your way with this wonderfully warped rendition of the song stuck in your head.



2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

You really don’t get a better teaser trailer for a highly antiquated sequel than this. Our very first look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes with a mere 11 shots, but all of them give you something to get excited about. The folks behind the piece were likely well aware that fans would be eagerly awaiting every single image and, sure enough, the cuts to black continuously up the anticipation until you get this jolt of euphoria when the Millennium Falcon zips in to the tune of the iconic Star Wars theme. The piece opens by asking, “There has been an awakening. Have you felt it,” and by the end, the answer is a resounding yes.



1. Selma

I was aware of Ava DuVernay’s Selma back in early November, but when this first official trailer hit it immediately became my most anticipated film of the last two months of the year. The promo catches your attention the moment it begins with one riveting shot after the next, all coming at you perfectly in sync with that infectious, rousing beat. The skillful structuring continues by sparking the need to know exactly what Tom Wilkinson’s President Lyndon B. Johnson so desperately needs to know himself: what is Martin Luther King about to do? The piece offers a comprehensive answer to that question, but without ever losing the impeccable tension that builds and builds until the trailer absolutely explodes when Common and John Legend’s “Glory” kicks in.

It certainly must help that Selma is an expertly shot film that’s packed to the brim with astounding performances, but the editor(s) behind this piece deserves some serious credit for pinpointing a perfect assortment of visuals, dialogue and music cues to get you rooting for Dr. King and his cause even before seeing the feature film.



What are your favorite movie trailers of 2014?




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Which one of these people is in the movie Justice League?

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Gal Gadot