Looking Back: Ethan's Top 8 Favorite Official Movie Posters of 2011
by Ethan Anderton
December 26, 2011
With under a week until the end of 2011, and with several retrospective videos behind us, it's time to take a closer look at the movies from this year and the work they yielded. Kicking off this week's venture back through the films of 2011, I've made a list of my choices for what I believe to be the best movie posters of the year. While they're most easily described as just another form of marketing for a studio trying to get an audience into a theater, there are some movie posters that are just as beautiful as works of art, and many of them should be considered as such. And so here's my choices for the 8 Best Movie Posters from 2011.
Just so we're clear, I've only decided to consider posters that were officially released by a studio for a film hitting theaters within the year 2011. Therefore you won't find any posters for films from 2012, even if those posters were released this year. They can be foreign posters, and may be a little bigger than your standard 27×40 movie poster size, but you won't find any unofficial posters here. Some of my favorite unofficial pieces from this year include Mondo's Captain America posters from Olly Moss & Tyler Stout and Matt Owen's simple but stellar poster for Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, but here's my real top list:
#8. The Muppets
Much like my pick for last year's Toy Story 3 poster in the #10 spot, I love this one because it's fun, bright, colorful and has plenty of familiar faces of all our favorite Muppet characters from decades past.
#7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
A fitting teaser poster for the conclusion of the franchise that started when Lord Voldemort attempted to kill The Boy Who Lived in Godric's Hollow, this one has the duality of good vs. evil, a prominent plot device and shows that Harry and Voldemort are going to finish this the way they started it. Together.
#6. Hobo with a Shotgun
Reminiscent of the exploitation film posters from years ago, this worn, vintage poster for Jason Eisener's outrageous, gory comedy is pretty damn great. Rutger Hauer looks dirty and menacing and the rest of the poster just promises absolute chaos which is exactly what the film delivers.
#5. The Ides of March
Another poster that uses duality for the focus, this one is perfect in displaying the thematic elements of the political storyline involving our two main characters played by George Clooney and Ryan Gosling. There are two sides to the coin in the campaign at the heart of the story, but do they come together just as this poster illustrates? Watch the film to find out.
#4. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The most daring thing a poster can do is not feature the faces of big name talent, let alone their names on the poster. This fantastic one sheet does both and instead calls attention to what really drives the film: the super-smart, genetically engineered ape Caesar who will lead a revolution like no one has ever seen.
#3. The Devil's Double
Very bright and shiny is the way to go sometimes, and this poster does just that. Taking the Uday Hussein double played by Dominic Cooper in this film and covering him and his surroundings in nothing but gold not only captures the eye, but is a great way to show that this guys is an egomaniacal power-grubbing, money-hungry tyrant who is going to cause some trouble.
#2. Midnight in Paris
It's a little bit too simple of an idea for a poster that you might see from someone just learning Photoshop, but once you know the story behind Woody Allen's charming yet fantastical comedy, it really is befitting of the tone and style that makes it one of the year's best films.
Subtlety is the king on this poster for a film that has garnered a lot of controversy for an NC-17 rating and graphic sexual content, and it works magnificently. The ruffled bed sheets and the title right in the middle of them hints at sexual provocation, and indicates that there's clearly a lot of drama behind the story as to how these sheets got so messed up, both metaphorically and literally.
Well those are my top choices for the best posters of 2011. Surely many of you have some different ideas and favorite posters, so feel free to sound off in the comments below. Thanks to our friends at IMPAwards for the inspiration and the images! As for finishing the year, stay tuned for a few more lists looking back at film in 2011 as the end of the year looms. Thoughts on the best posters of 2011? Did we miss any?