We run a lot of trailers on Collider. I know because I scrolled through 365 days of them, and on average we run at least one a day. Trailers are valuable. The marketplace is incredibly crowded and people need guides. There are films people can’t wait to see, and trailers can satisfy the itch. Trailers can also satisfy curiosity (important reminder: we still haven’t seen a single thing from The Fantastic Four). There are times where I’m worried that fans see a trailer as a goal rather than a means to an end, and mistake marketing for a movie. Trailers are part of the journey, not the destination.
I’ve collected what I feel are the ten best trailers of the year. Some have the benefit of still being a mystery, but I’ve tried to keep my appraisal based on the effectiveness of the trailer rather than how well it lines up with the finished feature when it comes to quality or accuracy (i.e. if lines or moments in the trailer appear in the final cut). Hit the jump for the Top 10 trailers of 2014.
10. White God
I am a “dog person”, so I don’t think an uprising of dogs would be the worst thing ever, especially if they rise up against people who mistreat them. What surprises me about White God is that it doesn’t look campy, and has real critical praise behind it. This movie wasn’t on my radar until I saw the trailer, and now I can’t wait to see this foreign indie.
9. Avengers: Age of Ultron
If you want to prepare people for a completely different take for a highly-anticipated sequel, this is the way to do it. Other trailers try to comfort audiences by providing more of what people liked from the original. This trailer went out of its way to show that not only are the stakes bigger, but the tone is much darker. There are no strings to hold it down.
8. Inside Out
This is what we needed to get us excited about a Pixar movie again. While I’m usually averse to a trailer that’s more like a clip, this one showed us a piece of a movie rather than cobbling together stuff that might ultimately be misleading. The trailer for Inside Out was upfront about the character relationships and how this story will function, and now we have an ever better an idea of the fascinating concept.
7. Knight of Cups
Hey, it’s a new Terrence Malick film, and it looks like a Terrence Malick film on drugs. There are the Malick staples: whispered narration, beautiful images, quiet moments. And then there are aspects we’ve never seen from him before like wide-angle close-ups, rapid editing, and bright neon colors. After the misfire of To the Wonder, this trailer feels like a breath of fresh air from the singular director.
6. Guardians of the Galaxy
At the time, we thought Guardians of the Galaxy was Marvel’s biggest risk because it wasn’t a traditional superhero movie, and the first trailer still jumped in with both feet by showing what was essentially the same trailer they played at Comic-Con for die-hard fans. The trailer efficiently introduced all five characters (even if it’s not exactly how the film played out), and rocked out to Blue Swede‘s “Hooked on a Feeling”. This teaser had to be a home run, and Marvel knocked it out of the park.