Merrick Morton
December 22, 2011 at 10:21 PM EST

The recipe for making a movie trailer used to be so simple. You’d just edit together the 10 or 11 most exciting parts of the film — gunshots for an action movie, kisses for a romance, pratfalls for a comedy — and then let the voice-of-god narrator loudly assure the audience that the movie on display was sure to be the best movie… ever.

Like all advertising, though, movie trailers have evolved madly in the last few decades. Heck, movie trailers have become genuine pop culture events. (We live in an era that has previews for previews.) Some trailers tease us with an intriguing new story line; some reintroduce us to franchises we’d long since forgotten about. The very best function as a primal delivery system for pure cinematic bliss. So let’s follow Lisbeth Salander’s lead (see above), break out our laptops, and count down our favorite movie trailers of 2011, starting with…

25. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

You can pick out the precise moment when the Apes preboot stopped being a punchline and started being a must-see at 1:34 in this trailer, when Caesar/Serkis flashes the camera his best Spartacus grimace. Demerits for focusing so prominently on the final ape-attack sequence, but hey, if you’ve got it, flaunt it.

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