The Best Movie Trailers of 2017

7. Black Panther 

Every year, I think the Marvel Cinematic Universe has run its course, and then they put out a trailer that draws me back in. Case in point: this killer trailer for Black Panther, featuring “Legend Has It” by Run The Jewels. This trailer pops – almost every frame is overflowing with energy and excitement the way few cookie-cutter superhero trailers are. If we’re going to be saddled with constant superhero flicks until the end of time, it would be nice if more of them emulated this approach to their marketing.

Creed director Ryan Coogler has assembled a truly remarkable cast, who are almost all on display here – Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright and more. Even better: Coogler’s Black Panther doesn’t really look like any other MCU film before it. This is exactly the type of energy and marketing that the MCU needs. Even though Black Panther has already released a full trailer since the release of this teaser, I’d argue the film doesn’t need any more marketing. This teaser was enough to sell the hell out of this movie. 

6. The Florida Project 

Crying during movies is commonplace, but crying during a trailer? Who knew such a thing was possible! Yet here we are, with the whimsical, tear-jerking trailer for Sean Baker’s magnificent The Florida Project.

Opening with a laugh-out-loud moment involving two of the film’s young stars having a quickly melting ice cream cone while motel manager Willem Dafoe looks on in disbelief, The Florida Project trailer quickly blasts off into a quick, funny, emotional trip through the film, which is set in a crumbling motel somewhere near Disney World.

Florida Project is light on plot and big on character moments, and this trailer best conveys that while also presenting some of cinematographer Alexis Zabe’s breathtaking visuals. It ends with two kids running off towards a rainbow – an image of carefree youth chasing a never-attainable dream. It hits you right in the “feels,” if I can be so bold as to use that particular colloquialism.

5. The Last Jedi

“This isn’t going to go the way you think,” says Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker in the full trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. With that line, both Luke and director Rian Johnson attempted to warn fans to prepare themselves – The Last Jedi wasn’t going to play by the rules.

What’s remarkable about this trailer is how little it reveals while seemingly revealing a lot. Almost the entire trailer consists of footage that takes up the first hour of the film, and while there are a few bits and pieces here from the climax, there’s almost no real reveal of plot or storyline. The closest thing we get is a huge moment at the end where it looks like Daisy Ridley’s Rey is turning to Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren for help. While something like this sort of happens in the film, it doesn’t play out at all like it does in the trailer. Here, Johnson is teasing an actual story beat without giving a single thing away. It’s rather brilliant.

There’s a wealth of stunning visual imagery here, from ships cruising across red sand to Rey swinging a lightsaber on the rocky cliffs of the island planet where Luke is hiding. Best of all: this trailer gave us the best moment in Star Wars history: a scene where Chewbacca roars, the camera pans out, and a Porg sitting on the Millennium Falcon dashboard roars as well. It’s charming as hell, and also serves a purpose – a lot of the early marketing for Last Jedi seemed to hint that the film would be dark and depressing, possibly even recalling the downer ending of The Empire Strikes Back.

But The Last Jedi is actually the funniest Star Wars film in the franchise, loaded with tons of humor, and by giving us this quick, silly, charming shot of a roaring Porg, Johnson and company are telling the audiences that it’s okay to have some fun with the franchise. You may have been expecting something dark, but as Luke says, this isn’t going to go the way you think.

4. Annihilation 

The first teaser trailer for Alex Garland’s Annihilation is a thing of beauty – loaded with haunting, unforgettable images and deliberately vague moments that leave the viewer wondering just what the hell is going on here. This is the perfect way to market your weird sci-fi movie.

There have been rumblings that behind the scenes, Garland, who also directed the cerebral sci-fi flick Ex Machina, has clashed with producers who worry that Annihilation might be too smart for your average movie-goer. Garland is adapting the first in a trilogy of novels by Jeff VanderMeer, and VanderMeer’s source material books aren’t easy to classify. On the surface, they’re science fiction, but there’s a lot more going on beneath that surface, and it’s not the kind of material that might pull in a big audience. The full length Annihilation trailer that followed the teaser all but confirms the rumors of producer clashes: it sells the movie as a big, action-packed monster movie – almost like an unofficial sequel to Predator. That is not what the book is like, and I’m almost positive that’s not what the film will be like either.

For confirmation of this, look no further than this teaser, which was cut before word of the behind-the-scenes clashes came to the surface. This teaser, with its foreboding tones and blissful what-the-fuckery, is clearly more representative of the film Garland is going for, and seems much more true to VanderMeer’s book.

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