Top 10 Movie Trailers of 2012 Include PROMETHEUS, MAN OF STEEL, PACIFIC RIM, GREAT GATSBY and More

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Looking back on 2012, a ridiculous amount of highly anticipated films came out this year and with them came a comparable barrage of quality trailers. Since this year was heavy on the comic book-derived features, you can expect that to be appropriately reflected in this top ten list. Along with those juggernauts you’ve come to know and love over the last year, we’ve also included some trailers that got the blood pumping and the synapses firing in anticipation for 2013. Fair warning: there were so many fan-favorite movies this year that our top ten list is guaranteed to include AND exclude some of your favorites. Hit the jump to check out our top ten movie trailers of 2012.

Before we get into the countdown, let’s start with a list of honorable mentions. This list could have easily extended into the twenties, so unfortunately the following films were the first casualties, though they were very well-deserved:

  • The GreyLiam Neeson and broken bottle-knucles; say no more.
  • Looper – A complex time-travel plot presented in a concise couple of action-packed minutes.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man – An introductory look at a new spin on an old favorite gave us action, romance and a sense of character.
  • Skyfall – Arguably the best Bond movie of all time, this trailer set a new standard after fifty years of Bond.
  • Brave – Pixar may have missed the mark with the storytelling on this one, but the trailer did a good job of covering up that fact.

Now let’s get into the sure-to-be-contentious Top 10:

#10 – Moonrise Kingdom:

If you hate director Wes Anderson, you hate this choice. If you love him, then you know exactly why this trailer is on the top ten. Right out of the gate, Anderson hits you with a one-liner of dialogue that sets the pace for the whole trailer and, by extension, the film. Include shots of the phenomenal cast in quirky scenes and you’ve got one of the most memorable trailers of the year. Name another trailer with Bill Murray in his underwear carrying an ax and holding a jug of hooch and I’ll concede this spot.

#9 – Prometheus:

What the movie lacked in intelligence, cohesiveness, common sense and consistency, the trailer provided in spades. Prometheus was one of the most anticipated films of the year and the trailer served only to heighten that emotion with its increasing sense of panic, gorgeous other-worldly visuals and enough recognizable motifs that established a connection to the beloved Alien franchise to give fans a sense of confidence. Too bad the film didn’t pay off what the trailer promised.

#8 – Pacific Rim:

Although we only got a glimpse of what Guillermo del Toro’s next directorial effort is going to give us, it was a helluva show. Giant robots have been seen on screen in recent years and massive monsters have also taken the stage, but Pacific Rim lets them battle it out for the spotlight. You can’t get much better than robots vs monsters and you can’t ask for a better helmer than del Toro.

#7 – Man of Steel:

It is tough to reboot a hero as classic as Superman, especially when a previous attempt failed to ignite a franchise while other superheroes are currently enjoying the benefit of successful adaptations. Couple that with a director who has been slightly off target with his last few go ’rounds and Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel becomes even more impressive, at least as far as the trailer goes. Let’s hope the promise equals the payoff this time.

#6 – Star Trek Into Darkness:

What else needs to be said about this one? You’ve got an incredible creative team behind the sequel to Star Trek coupled with a phenomenal cast who seem born to play these roles, plus an additional mysterious villain played by a star-in-the-making in Benedict Cumberbatch, in a trailer that seems to give no hope to our heroes whatsoever. At least we’re now less than six months away on this one!

#5 – The Dark Knight Rises:

While Christopher Nolan’s concluding film of the Batman trilogy may arguably be the weakest of the three, the following trailer does a fantastic job in stringing together all three films while pumping up audiences for the finale. The score is fantastic and the introductions of the villains set your pulse to pounding when it first debuted. There’s no doubt that The Dark Knight Rises was one of the biggest films of the year and this trailer does well enough to stake its claim on our top ten list.

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  • Josh

    Pacific Rim? I thought that trailer made it look like a typical blockbuster film. Very dull.

    • paul tracy

      agreed. Pacific Rim didn’t make the list, just the bloated expectations of GTR made the list.

      ~ t

      • Dante

        Hahahahhahahhahahhahhahahahahahah u poor basterd.

  • Sugreev2001

    Dark Knight’s Nokia trailer is probably the best trailer ever made.

    • Matthew

      Absolutely!!! And I don’t think the movie was the weakest of the trilogy at all.

    • axis

      agree!

  • Liam_H

    Most of this list is pretty dull.

  • hg

    terrible list man of steel should atleast be top 2 or 3

    mos trailer gets you emotionally connected and just gives you goosebumps it also features some classic orchestral music it killed star trek or avengers trailers

    but i understand star trek had inception noises and explosions or some rock music for avengers easy for dumb people to get excited

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  • John

    The Avengers’ trailer is your number one? Seriously? Stop riding the movie’s dick. It’s okay to like something with substance even if it’s not the movie all the kids on the internet want to see. The Place Beyond The Pines trailer from last week was a billion times better, not to mention the other trailers on your shitty list.

    • Chris

      Avengers trailer looked cool indeed, and the movie lived up to that promise. DK trailer looked predictable and uninspired and so was the movie. Prometheus actually looked promising but the movie was boring. Pines had a really good trailer, except for Gosling looking and sounding a bit stupid in it.

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  • Joseph

    Seriously? Why the hell did Avengers place number one?
    I agree with John, shit list.

  • faiz

    the five-minute TDK trilogy should have made the cut…as well as Cloud Atlas’ trailer…

  • Phil

    Hunger Games?

  • keptfresh

    A best trailers list should not include the overly obvious opinion of the articles’ author. If looked from a technicle standpoint as well as what purpose a trailer serves, this list would (should) be drastically different.
    Please consider that in the future.

    • AwesomeGuy

      Agreed.

      • Garfunkle

        Absolute truth.

  • Justin

    Dumb list.

    • Michael

      Thank you for those well thought out, inspiring words of wisdom.

  • FincherFan

    I absolutely cannot believe Cloud Atlas wasn’t on this list! That five minute trailer wasn’t only the best trailer of the year, but one of the best I’ve ever seen! A trailer has never brought out that much of an emotional response from me!

    • Anonymous

      Me too. I had goose bumps and was at the edge of tears by the trailer’s end. I immediately bought the book. ~~R

  • João Paulo (@JPaulo645)

    Avengers rules, great choice for the first place.

  • paul tracy

    you don’t watch a lot of “movies” do you?

    ~ t

  • Adrian

    Hunger Games? Decent movie, amazing trailer.
    Cloud Atlas?
    Stoker? That was a great trailer, goosebumps all around.
    Life of Pi? Very emotional trailer.
    Iron Man 3? Very impressive.
    Carrie? Just a teaser, though very thrilling.
    Beasts of the Southern Wild?
    The list goes on. I know you couldn’t fit everything, but some of your choices were very dull.

  • Keegan

    the writers of collider (not an insult writes, i love your site with my whole heart!) have an ungodly and unreasonable boner for the avengers. it was pretty good, i guess. and the trailer was nothing special. The ABSOLUTE BEST trailer was Cloud Atlas followed by The Dark Knight Rises trailer #3. Les Miserabes and Skyfall should be up higher for sure. The Master and Zero Dark Thirty should have made the list. The Great Gatsby and Moonrise Kingdom… eh. Star Trek, sure. Benedict Cumberbatch (i think that’s the spelling) has some awesome v.o.’s that spent chills down my spine. I’m not a huge fan of the franchise but i quite enjoyed the Iron Man 3 trailer.

  • Keegan

    the writers of collider (not an insult writes, i love your site with my whole heart!) have an ungodly and unreasonable boner for the avengers. it was pretty good, i guess. and the trailer was nothing special. The ABSOLUTE BEST trailer was Cloud Atlas followed by The Dark Knight Rises trailer #3. Les Miserabes and Skyfall should be up higher for sure. The Master and Zero Dark Thirty should have made the list. The Great Gatsby and Moonrise Kingdom… eh. Star Trek, sure. Benedict Cumberbatch (i think that\’s the spelling) has some awesome v.o.\’s that spent chills down my spine. I\’m not a huge fan of the franchise but i quite enjoyed the Iron Man 3 trailer.

  • Keegan

    the writers of collider (not an insult writes, i love your site with my whole heart!) have an ungodly and unreasonable boner for the avengers. it was pretty good, i guess. and the trailer was nothing special. The ABSOLUTE BEST trailer was Cloud Atlas followed by The Dark Knight Rises trailer #3. Les Miserabes and Skyfall should be up higher for sure. The Master and Zero Dark Thirty should have made the list. The Great Gatsby and Moonrise Kingdom… eh. Star Trek, sure. Benedict Cumberbatch (i think that\\\’s the spelling) has some awesome v.o.\\\’s that spent chills down my spine. I\\\’m not a huge fan of the franchise but i quite enjoyed the Iron Man 3 trailer.

  • Keegan

    sorry guys! i don’t why that reposted so many times!

  • Bb

    I’m tired of everyone saying brave missed the mark. It was a great am genuinely uplifting movie. Red some of the possitive rotten tomatoes reviews on the all time classic monsters inc. “fails to show the complexity of toy story”…!!!??? What…. I love toy story but its toys coming to life and the root and themes are certainly not thin but every movie gets compared to the last and the last is immortalized. Brave was wonderful, stop acting like it was as lousy as cars 1 or 2….

    Prometheus was indeed overrated. A second view was painfully boring.

  • Lance

    Prometheus was a very good movie. Did it live up to the trailer in every way? Probably not, but if the characters had just kept their helmets on I’m pretty sure nobody would have been able to complain about much of anything.

  • Garfunkle

    Amazing Spider-man international trailer was by far one of the best TRAILERS this year. The Star Trailer was also amazing.
    The quality of a trailer should not be confused with your like or dislike of the film’s subject, or how you felt about the final film.

    For example – Life of Pi had a terrible trailer, but the film was well received.
    Prometheus had an incredible trailer, but the film didn’t deliver.
    This list is a ranking of the authors favorite films, not trailers.

  • Garfunkle

    Amazing Spider-man international trailer was by far one of the best TRAILERS this year. The Star Trailer was also amazing.
    The quality of a trailer should not be confused with your like or dislike of the film\’s subject, or how you felt about the final film.

    For example – Life of Pi had a terrible trailer, but the film was well received.
    Prometheus had an incredible trailer, but the film didn\’t deliver.
    This list is a ranking of the authors favorite films, not trailers.

  • Sean

    Weird and random list. I loved Avengers, but I didn’t love any of the trailers.

  • matt

    Cloud Atlas was my best trailer, I got goosebumps from that thing, Life of PI was very emotional, dark knight would follow and the man of steel would be after that.

  • axis

    cloud atlas [5min trailer]
    the dark knight rises [nokia trailer]
    the master [1rst trailer - epic music]
    man of steel [1rst trailer]
    zero dark thirty [2nd trailer]
    life of pi [2nd trailer]
    star trek [2nd trailer]
    the avengers [2nd trailer]
    flight [1rst trailer]
    prometheus [3min international launch trailer]

    end of story

    • fitzchiv

      not sure i agree with the avengers being on your list, but you pretty much nailed the rest! although i’d have to squeeze in the skyfall trailer there somewhere!

  • Get Em

    Idiots this is a list of trailers avengers easily deserves it bc of the expectation and the deliverance. Regardless if its one of the biggest movies to get bandwagoned ever the trailer was what brought ppl in not just the name sake of the characters.

    • keptfresh

      Completely disagree. Majority of The Avengers popularity was based on the fact that four franchise were released within 4 years leading up to its release: Ironman, Hulk, Thor, Captain America.
      The trailer was arguably the smallest component of this movies’ success.

      I’d argue a clip of each character from each movie could be shown with the last shot being the Avengers title card and release date as a trailer and would not drastically hinder the movies popularity.

      Also….punctuation.

  • fitzchiv

    not sure i agree with the avengers being on your list, but you pretty much nailed the rest! although i\’d have to squeeze in the skyfall trailer there somewhere!

  • fairshare

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinions

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