I love a good movie poster because they’re so hard to come by. Studios usually play it safe and keep artistry out of it, which is surprising because you don’t want your film to be just another advertisement on a multiplex wall. We don’t need another poster that uses a blue-orange color scheme, puts in floating heads, kicks up tons of sparks and debris, and superimposes text over a protagonist’s face.
A poster is supposed to be eye-catching and unique, and these are the top ten posters from 2014 that caught my eye. The parameters for this list were A) The film had to be released in the U.S. in 2014; and B) They couldn’t be from a boutique company like Mondo or an individual artist. Hit the jump for my Top 10 Posters of 2014.
10. The Maze Runner
Sometimes, it’s best to put the film in the background and go entirely for design. The movie has no stars, so it’s not like there’s any reason to slap names on the poster. But this one even keeps the title miniscule in favor of emphasizing the “maze” and “runner”, and combining them to create a mesmerizing image where the monochromatic colors make the character part of the maze and the maze a part of the character.
9. The Grand Budapest Hotel
Putting “in a film by Wes Anderson” on this poster is unnecessary. Do you look at this poster and think, “Hmmm. I wonder what that Michael Bay is up to now…” The poster may be packed with the names of the film’s terrific cast, but it emphasizes that Anderson and his singular aesthetic are the true stars of the picture. And while the movie may not be a blockbuster in the traditional sense, the opulent hotel shows that this will be the director’s biggest film yet.
8. The Guest
The Guest feels like a throwback, and this poster follows suit. Other posters for the movie attempted to make it look sexy because Dan Stevens is certainly an attractive gentleman. But this U.K. poster conveyed a more accurate idea of the picture by pushing the sinister nature of Stevens’ mysterious character. The colors and the logo font also show that viewers are in for a movie that will feel like it’s from the 1980s rather than the present day.
There were many horror films in 2014, but Nymphomaniac had the most horrific poster by providing a half-naked photo of Stellan Skarsgaard having an orgasm. It let you know that Lars Von Trier‘s latest film wasn’t only a provocative piece about sex, but also that the marketing department didn’t care if they scarred you for life.
Part of this poster feels like it’s playing on Steve Carell‘s makeup job, but I’m more struck by how it plays into the movie’s theme regarding old wealth and class struggle in America. John du Pont (Carell) is part of an American dynasty and his profile looks like it could be on currency, except here we see that it’s been torn away. It represents the prestige du Pont tries to buy with his Foxcatcher team, and the tear also hints at the violence and torn psyches of both du Pont and wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum).