The Best Movie Trailers of 2017

Best Movie Trailers of 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, it’s time to look back at some of the best movie marketing of the year. Yes, trailers are literally just commercials for products, but the very best trailers can be an art form unto themselves. When studios and editors buck the trends and set out to create something that truly stands out from the pack, it can make for something worth celebrating. So let’s talk about the Best Movie Trailers of 2017.

Movie trailers can often fall into cliched territory. Anyone who frequently goes to the movies knows how trailers play out: in the past, there was an overabundance of a dramatic announcer setting up the story; now, we get an abundance of text on screen; big, loud booming soundtracks; and slowed-down pop songs, frequently performed by a choir of creepy children. More often than not, the results are boring.

Yet every now and then, a movie trailer will rise above the rest and sell its respective film in fresh, exciting ways. The trailers that make up this list of the Best Movie Trailers of 2017 deserve attention because they attempt to do something different with a familiar format. Rather than take an easy route and stick to what everyone has grown accustomed to, the following trailers released in 2017 strive for to do something new, and that’s why they’re worth praising.

11. Deadpool 2 

Let’s just get this out of the way: I don’t like Deadpool. I know almost everyone thinks this R-rated, pop-culture-infused comic book movie was the bee’s knees, but it just wasn’t for me. I appreciate the fact that it made R-rated superhero movies viable and helped give us the far superior Logan, but I found almost nothing in the original Deadpool worth celebrating, save the wonderfully droll performance of Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead.

With that in mind, it’s safe to say I’m not the main audience for Deadpool 2, or Untitled Deadpool Sequel, or whatever the hell it’s going to be called. Yet this teaser works incredibly well, and does a great job selling the irreverent humor associated with the series. Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool occupies the bulk of the teaser, parodying the incredibly relaxing Joy of Painting series, which featured the mellow-as-hell Bob Ross painting happy little trees. A few quick, humorous shots from the sequel show up more than half-way through, but the intent of this trailer is clear: the filmmakers don’t need to show you actual footage to sell Deadpool 2. They just have to put Deadpool and that off-color humor front and center, and audiences are going to line up.

10. The Disaster Artist

A movie about the making of The Room sounds like almost as bad an idea as The Room itself, yet James Franco’s hilarious The Disaster Artist makes it all work. The first teaser for the film is likely to be a complete mystery to anyone who has never seen Tommy Wiseau’s painfully inept drama. But fans of the befuddling mess that Wiseau created will instantly get a kick out of the moment on display here – the creation of one of The Room’s most famous scenes.

Rather than give us a traditional trailer with multiple scenes from the film, The Disaster Artist instead gives us one scene with multiple takes, as time and time again, Franco’s Wiseau fails to adequately remember, and then deliver, his line.

It makes for a funny teaser, but it also represents the film’s overarching story – that Wiseau refused to give up, even when it was clear he was terrible at his job. He stuck with it, over and over again, to realize his (very stupid) dream.

9. Thor: Ragnarok 

For some time, the Thor films were the worst individual entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first Thor is an utter bore, and Thor: The Dark World has a few cool ideas, but is rendered almost unwatchable by incoherent editing and storytelling.

So what a complete surprise it was to see the teaser trailer for Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok. For one thing, Waititi’s take on the material looked nothing like the previous Thor films. Instead, the filmmaker looked to be channelling the art of Jack Kirby. But better than the look of the film was the tone: Waititi, who co-directed What We Do In the Shadows, had turned Thor into a comedy.

With all this going for it, the Thor: Ragnarok teaser is a treat, complete with a great use of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” and Cate Blanchett’s gothed-out villain looking fabulous. It all ends with Thor referring to the Hulk as a “friend from work” – one of the funniest movie lines of the year.

8. It Comes At Night 

Some people took issue with the marketing for A24’s It Comes At Night, which sold the film as a possibly supernatural horror story. There’s nothing supernatural going on in the film, but there is plenty of horror – most of it the existential kind.

The moody, dread-drenched It Comes At Night teaser trailer opens with a close-up of the Pieter Bruegel the Elder painting The Triumph of Death – a depiction of the Black Death sweeping the land and turning everything as far as the eye can see into a hellscape. It sets up the trailer’s mood perfectly, which moves from the painting down a foreboding hallway, and slowly begins revealing spooky, cryptic imagery.

Director Trey Edward Shults’ film is set after the fallout from an unnamed plague, and the specter of death is ever-present – just as it is in this teaser. You can practically sense the death and decay radiating off this footage. To say that the marketing was deceptive seems to miss the overall tone of the film itself, which is filled with the same sense of inescapable dread seen in this trailer.

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