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The Year's Best and Worst Movie Posters
Long before viewers took seats in theaters or even watched previews for 2015's biggest films, we got a sneak peek thanks to the movies' posters. From Joy to Straight Outta Compton to Spectre, check out our ranking of the art, ahead.
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BEST: 25. Amy
One of the most iconically tragic pop stars of the new millennium, rendered here in a just askew image. The perfect tantalizing shot for this tantalizingly searching documentary.
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BEST: 24. Ant-Man
And the prize for "Best Use of Negative Space" goes to this unexpectedly low-key poster from Marvel Studios. How do you sell a superhero who sounds hilariously non-threatening? You turn the bug into a feature. (So to speak.)
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BEST: 23. The Martian
Beloved movie star. Simple concept. Good tagline. The easy victories are the hardest to come by.
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BEST: 22. Joy
Big star. Concept? Tagline? No need.
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BEST: 21. By the Sea
Big stars? Sure, but more importantly: How about those hats! As an act of marketing, it's a complete self-immolation, but it's one of the year's most dorm-worthy one-sheets.
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BEST: 20. Captain America: Civil War
Another adventurous poster from Marvel, albeit with more blunt-force power. Then again, when your two most financially successful superheroes are facing off in one movie, maybe blunt-force is the best force.
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BEST: 19. Point Break
Planes! A flying money mountain! When you're selling a remake nobody wanted, best to go as big and goofy as possible.
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BEST: 18. Mad Max: Fury Road
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BEST: 17. The Rock the Kasbah
As a movie, Rock the Kasbah is a snooze. But as an opportunity for the further sanctification of Bill Murray as the Saint of Memes, at least the movie produced this gloriously colorful poster.
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BEST: 16. Pitch Perfect 2
Nothing can hold back the exultant power of the Barden Bellas. (Not even some odd skin-smoothing photoshop.)
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BEST: 15. Steve Jobs
As subtle as the movie isn't.
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BEST: 14. Sicario
The unfurling nightmare of Denis Villeneuve's borderland drug thriller gets encapsulated perfectly in this epic rendition, with relative innocent Emily Blunt backgrounding images of a weaponized Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro.
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BEST: 13. Straight Outta Compton
It's the Avengers, except real and with better music.
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BEST: 12. Room
A captivating portrait of swooningly emotional, high-tension intimacy, this mother-son shot could be mistaken for a casual Instagram photo — except for the cubed corner of the sky, implying that even the outside world can feel like a prison.
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BEST: 11. The Hateful Eight
The fine art of the illustrated poster has mostly faded into history. Thank goodness for history buff Quentin Tarantino, whose newest Western gets a groovily subdued, blood-on-the-snowscape poster.
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BEST: 10. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Yes, this poster for March's Batquel is a shameless riff on an iconic poster for 2008's beloved The Dark Knight. Yes, it still looks pretty nifty.
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BEST: 9. The Night Before
Ugly Christmas Sweaters, a stained-glass-window aesthetic, and an embedded Christmas Carol reference in the tagline? Well done, boys. Well done.
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BEST: 8. Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation
Big star. Hanging off a plane. Are there planes in Joy? I don't think so.
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BEST: 7. Trainwreck
Witness the moment when Amy Schumer went global.
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BEST: 6. The Visit
Horror films often bring out the best in designers, encouraging clever and subtle imagery. That's especially true of this funny-weird quilt design. And how nice: They mentioned M. Night Shyamalan's name!
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BEST: 5. Bone Tomahawk
S. Craig Zahler's rollicking Western adventure is part throwback rescue odyssey, part horror freakout. But this poster is a pure wonder of retro '70s design, with the silhouetted face of kidnapped Samantha O'Dwyer etched in the red sun looking down on the men who could be her rescuers — or her fellow victims.
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BEST: 4. Furious Seven
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BEST: 3. Tangerine
The year's must-see indie gets the year's must-put-on-your-wall poster, with stars Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor etched in silhouette against the purple sunset of the SoCal skyline.
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BEST: 2. It Follows
That most American of rituals — a boy, a girl, the back seat — rendered with lovingly freaky paranoid tension.
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BEST: 1. The Mockingjay Posters
How we will miss you, Hunger Games advertising campaigns, and your darkly comic riffs on political propaganda and Orwellian advertising!
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WORST: 10. The Intern
Are they walking? Standing still? Is that a living room or an office? Is "smugcore" an adjective? It is now.
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WORST: 9. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Guy Ritchie's spy romp was a stealth delight buried in August. This poster helped do the burying: A colorlessly bland cast shot with the year's least helpful tagline.
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WORST: 8. Pan
Dear Academy Voters: I was in Carol this year. I've never heard of Pan. Love, Rooney Mara.
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WORST: 7. The Huntsman: Winter's War
Look, I'm obviously excited about Snow White and the Huntsman But Without Snow White. But this is no way to sell a confusing sequel-spinoff. People will think Thor lost his hammer!
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WORST: 6. Spectre
The problems with the latest James Bond movie started early, with this confusingly opaque one-sheet. The bullet hole crack kinda forms an octopus, see? Y'know, like the insignia for SPECTRE, that group from those 40-year-old Bond movies! You remember SPECTRE, right? Right????
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WORST: 5. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
Here's how you don't sell a horror movie: Promising that everything that used to be subtle about this franchise has gone completely out the window.
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WORST: 4. Daddy's Home
Whuh-oh, that one guy's all, like, wearing a collared shirt, but that other guy's all, like, on a motorcycle. Crazy!
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WORST: 3. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip
How long do Chipmunks live for? Not long, right? Thank heavens.
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WORST: 2. Entourage
TURTLE BRO WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR EYES BRO?
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WORST: 1. Fantastic Four
In the end, the collective might of the Fantastic Four couldn't defeat their worst nemeses: Photoshop.