Looking Back: Ethan Picks the 15 Best Official Movie Posters of 2014
by Ethan Anderton
December 17, 2014
After counting down #15 to #6, these are the best of the best. Here are my final Top 5 movie posters of 2014:
#5. Kill the Messenger
It's nice when posters don't need a long-winded tagline or even the names of a star-studded cast to turn heads. And that's just one part of what makes this particular teaser poster for Michael Cuesta's political thriller Kill the Messenger so appealing. In addition, it sends a very powerful message about the story in the film about how the government ended up funding and escalating the crack cocaine drug trade. The poster is basically a political cartoon and speaks volumes about the war on drugs on top of promoting the film.
#4. Inherent Vice
Look at all that neon! The vibrant color scheme combined with the mess of people who make of Joaquin Phoenix's impressive afro makes this one groovy poster for PTA's adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice. The faux wear and tear that makes it looks like this poster is old and weathered is just icing on the cake of this psychedelic poster that seems to be just as wild and fun as Paul Thomas Anderson's movie itself. And just for a bonus, I've also included the awesome Last Supper banner for the movie.
#3. Blue Ruin
One of the most surprising and satisfying psychological thrillers of the year also has one of the most stunning posters. Macon Blair's exploding face accurately depicts the unleashing of rage and revenge that has been building up inside his mind leading up to the day when the man who killed his parents was released from prison. Plus, that blue color scheme contrasted with the dark red blood is stunning.
#2. The Interview
This is one of the best propaganda posters I've ever seen anyway, and it's the perfect representation of the government imagery that comes out of North Korea. But what makes this even more pleasing to the eye is the symmetry and the intricate details of the tanks with Korean writing, the flowers and the missiles. Most posters for studio comedies don't try very hard to deliver quality posters, but this is an absolute gem.
#1. Under the Skin
It doesn't get much better than this. Not only is Scarlett Johansson's perfect face at the center of this swirling beauty, but it's such a wonderful representation of this boggling, peculiar indie sci-fi thriller from filmmaker Jonathan Glazer. Much like The One I Love poster above (at #7), this poster means much more after you see the film, but the colors especially take it to another level entirely. Every poster for this movie was gorgeous, but this was undoubtedly my favorite. (Poster artwork by Akiko Stehrenberger.)
If you aren't completely satisfied with our picks for the best posters of this year, here are a few other lists:
› The staff at The Playlist picks the 20 Best Movies Posters of 2014
› Empire Magazine goes all out and picks the 50 Best Movie Posters of 2014
› Entertainment Weekly's Darren Franich weighs in with the 25 Best Movies Posters of 2014
› MUBI's Adrian Curry counts down his picks for the Best Movie Posters of 2014
Well, those are my top choices for the best posters of 2014. 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! We're just now kicking off our look back at the year that was 2014 on the big screen, and we'll have plenty more editorials counting down this year's movies and more coming soon. Thoughts on my Best Official Movie Posters of 2014? What are your favorite 2014 posters?
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Reader Feedback - 6 Comments
MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN gets my vote. I love that look of 1970s hand drawn "busy-ness".
DAVIDPD on Dec 17, 2014
how disappointing... pretty much everything...
JBrotsis on Dec 17, 2014
James Cobb on Dec 18, 2014
Just so we're aware, by no means am I saying the movies are terrible, just in my opinion, I felt there were better movie posters this year that should've made the list for top ten. Now maybe Ethan was picking those that were artistically put together or had a different feel to them, but when I recount "best posters" I look at it as "which posters would I buy to sport on my wall". So already it's a different kind of "best". Those I felt that should've made the cut: -Any one of the war painted faces of the apes in "Dawn" (or even Caesar on horseback with the bridge in the background) -Rocket on Groot's shoulder for "GOTG" -"American Sniper" poster of Bradley with the American flag -Pink hotel poster for "Grand Budapest" -Jake's face with sunglasses for "Nightcrawler" -Brad Pitt leaning on tank's canon for "Fury" -Stewart/McCoy faces blended within the X for "XMen" And too bad it's a 2015 movie, but the poster for "In The Heart of the Sea" with the ship and just the white whale's tail underneath is also a good one. No disrespect to you or Ethan, I just felt disappointed seeing this list. And most those posters were for indie or limited release films; movies I usually miss.
JBrotsis on Dec 26, 2014
That particular colorful Interstellar poster almost made the cut. It would probably be #16 on this list.
Ethan Anderton on Dec 17, 2014
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