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How to make an effective trailer, by the makers of 'The Debt'

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There’s something delightfully refreshing about the new trailer for The Debt, director John Madden’s thriller about three Israeli Mossad agents tasked with capturing a Nazi war criminal, starring Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington and Tom Wilkinson. In the clip, the three young operatives infiltrate some Soviet-bloc country and capture the alleged Nazi, but something goes wrong. Decades later, the three agents are still grappling with some secret, some debt perhaps, that needs to be repaid.

But that’s not the delightfully refreshing part. The refreshing part is that the trailer doesn’t give away the entire movie. Romantic comedies are notorious for this, but even some thrillers have an annoying tendency to cram the entire film, twists and all, in to a 150-second trailer, spoiling any appetite to watch the actual film. I’m hooked by The Debt‘s coming attraction — which is supposed to be the point.

Do you think The Debt‘s trailer was exceptional for what it did not give away about the film? Can you think of the most egregious example of a trailer spoiling a movie?

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