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25. The Hunger Games
It's just a teaser profile shot of Jennifer Lawrence as the film's heroine Katniss Everdeen — one of a series of profile shots of the main characters in this wildly anticipated adaptation of Suzanne Collins' best-seller. But consider us very well teased indeed.
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24. Scream 4
Even after all this time, there is still some visual wit to be found in the ghost face mask of the Scream franchise.
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23. Midnight in Paris
While not spoiling the fun surprises tucked inside what is now Woody Allen's highest-grossing film ever, this poster still wittily teases at what's in store in Allen's love letter to Paris of today — and yesterday.
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22. The Muppets
Forget all those parody posters and trailers. This one sheet stuffed with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, Rowlf, Dr. Teeth, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, Scooter, Janice, Zoot, Statler and Waldorf, and new addition Walter is all the enticement we needed to see this film.
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This abstract, almost cubist, one sheet for Steven Soderbergh's upcoming high-action thriller is far more intriguing than some Photoshopped collage of its devastatingly handsome cast. Instead, we're treated to a stark image that's half sexual, half threat. It feels like the poster to a cult 1970s French thriller, and I mean that as a compliment.
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20. The Rum Diary
It's a risky prospect, not putting Johnny Depp on your poster, but here's what I really want to know about this eye-catching image: Did they drink all that rum before shooting the empty bottles?
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Part of a series of posters that also featured Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, and Lawrence Fishburne, this one of Gwyneth Paltrow mid-seizure is by far the most terrifying.
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18. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
By the time the final Harry Potter film apparated into theaters, Warner Bros. had released over two dozen separate one sheets for it. With so many different characters to feature, it was a most welcome surprise to see that Minerva McGonagall (the incomparable Maggie Smith) got her own action-star treatment.
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17. My Week With Marilyn
I have no idea what those critics blurbs are saying, because I'm so beguiled by how much Michelle Williams seems to embody Marilyn Monroe in one simple, nail-nibbling pose.
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16. The Devil's Double
Subtle, this ain't. But neither was Uday Hussein, the subject of this quasi biopic — and, besides, Dominic Cooper looks surprisingly good in gold.
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15. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
In this understated teaser — overlaying the old Planet of the Apes logo onto a killer shot of its main chimp-hero Caesar — we had our first indication that the pre-boot of the 43-year-old franchise was going to be far better than it had any right to be.
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You'll note how few photographic stills from the actual films made it onto this list, but this poster is the exception that proves the rule. This shot of Joseph Gordon-Levitt shaving his head while Seth Rogen looks on in dismay, coupled with a killer tagline, encapsulates the movie's tone and story without ever having to use the word ''cancer.''
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13. Our Idiot Brother
Even with the Crocs, how could you not love Paul Rudd's doofus mug?
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12. The Iron Lady
This biopic of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher could have just featured a shot of Meryl Streep's uncanny transformation into the iconic leader. Instead, by melding her head with the outline of Parliament, we get an iconic one sheet that communicates a woman at odds with, and inextricably linked to, the government she's tasked with leading.
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11. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
A man made up of endless lines of unintelligible code is all one needs to know about this labyrinthine thriller, but look closer, and you'll see some tantalizing clues buried in all those numbers: ''Mole,'' ''Karla,'' ''Witchcraft,'' ''Circus.'' No wonder Gary Oldman needs those massive, owlish glasses.
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10. The Dark Knight Rises
''Wait, Batman could die?!'' And with that, Christopher Nolan's concluding chapter of his Batman trilogy has us utterly hooked.
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9. Human Centipede II
I can abhor everything about The Human Centipede movies — even the South Park parody gave me the heebie-jeebies — but I have to respect a poster that somehow manages to make this sequel's central concept into an image that is equally arresting, funny, and utterly disgusting.
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8. Dream House
Of course, there's stringing naked adults together to resemble an actual centipede, and then there's the more subtle ploy: Having two young girls with stringy hair become literally part of the wallpaper. The film itself wasn't much more than a blip, but this image haunted me for days. [Shudders]
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7. We Bought a Zoo
The premise — a widower and single father (Matt Damon), uh, buys a zoo — sounds like it came straight out of beloved children's book, and this poster captures that bright and playful vibe perfectly.
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6. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The teaser poster caught some serious heat for posing distaff heroine Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) in the nude, with Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) holding her as if for protection. Well, okay, if that's what you see here, so be it. I'd say it is a damn effective way to make clear that this film (like the book it's based on) isn't going to pull any punches in its examination of female exploitation. The final one sheet, by contrast, goes for a far more abstract — and elegant — image, placing Blomkvist deep inside Lisbeth's head. Or is that the other way around?
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Like the movie itself, this poster walks a tricky tightrope with ease. There are those gawd-awful, unapologetically pink bridesmaids dresses, and Maya Rudolph is even in a frickin' wedding dress. And yet their tough girl poses and ''we don't take no s---'' expressions make abundantly clear this is not your average female-driven romantic comedy.
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Gorgeous, lush, mysterious, evocative — this teaser of Pixar's first female-driven story is already far more captivating than long stretches of the studio's unfortunate 2011 misfire Cars 2. I already can't wait.
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3. The Ides of March
Making sharp use of EW's sister publication Time, this single, arresting image gets across so much: that George Clooney's character is running for president, that Ryan Gosling's character is somehow intimately involved, and that their identities (political and perhaps personal) are linked together, unnervingly so.
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Initially, I thought this was the silliest poster I'd seen in some time. Is that Mistral as the main font? In hot pink? What is this, an '80s rom-com starring Molly Ringwald? And sure, Ryan Gosling looks all rough and buff, but, um, he also doesn't look very much like Ryan Gosling. But this is the rare case when seeing the film itself — and understanding the mythic pop cool director Nicolas Winding Refn infused into every shot — turned me completely around on its poster. There are times Gosling doesn't look like Gosling in the film (brilliantly so), and by showing up in the film itself, as if by transubstantiation, Mistral was made cool again. My guess: This will be hanging in every budding film nut's dorm room by this time next year, if it isn't already. (But I'll really be impressed by Mr. Refn's fontage chutzpah if his next film embraces Comic Sans.)
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1. The Tree of Life
The first poster is dominated by a simple, poignant image of a single, intimate moment: A newborn baby's foot, cradled by one of its parent's hands, bathed in an almost celestial light. The second poster is filled with 70 smaller images that stretch from the personal — a woman kissing her husband, a boy flexing in the bathtub — to the cosmic. Each image somehow relates to one near it, either directly or obliquely, and, wait, is that a dinosaur near writer-director Terrence Malick's name? Anyone who really takes in these two posters — beautiful works of art in their own right — should be fully prepared for what the movie has in store for them, and you couldn't ask for anything more from a one sheet than that.