In an age where movie trailers have become so predictable that there are even Youtube videos parodying the structure of them, let the following 11 previews remind you that the art of the movie trailer is very much alive. Indie studios like A24 and Fox Searchlight have remained committed to selling their films through atmosphere, not plot, while major studios like Warner Bros. took a big risk by selling one of their biggest titles as high art, and that’s just the start.
11. “The Meyerowitz Stories”
Noah Baumbach movies don’t always result in trailers that knock you off your feet, but this teaser for the wonderful “The Meyerowitz Stories” is so perfect in selling the lovable family dysfunction at the film’s center that it might just be the best Baumbach trailer to date. Netflix gets bonus points for playing off Adam Sandler’s musical persona.
10. “The Shape of Water”
Mystery, romance, and menace made the first trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” a true stunner. Fox Searchlight introduced the film’s basic plot but really managed to sell the film’s heightened emotional state. Try not to get chills when “La Javanaise” begins to play.
9. “Blade Runner 2049”
Your trailer would probably be great too if every shot was a Roger Deakins jaw-dropper. Warner Bros. wisely put Deakins’ work front and center in the first “Blade Runner 2049” trailer, proving to everyone that this was going to be the high art of blockbuster filmmaking.
8. “Baby Driver”
Sparks fly when you bring Edgar Wright’s ferocious editing style to a movie trailer. The “Baby Driver” official trailer forces you to buckle up and enjoy the thrill ride because every cut is so precise and so instrumental to building momentum. This trailer moves like no other one this year.
7. “Ingrid Goes West”
The “Ingrid Goes West” trailer pulsates with so much ego-obsessed mania that it basically puts a target on the back of every social media-obsessed teenager who can’t live without a screen in front of their face. A lot of people clearly never saw this one, because the movie would’ve been a way bigger hit if they did.
The first trailer for Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!” proves just how well a great score and some piercing editing can sell your movie. The discordant strings and sharp cuts ratchet up the tension and give nothing away except the vibe that something very, very disturbing is in store.
5. “The Disaster Artist”
Sometimes all you need is one scene to sell your movie, and “The Disaster Artist” teaser trailer proves that and then some. The clip runs just under the one-and-a-half minute mark and features one scene where Tommy Wiseau just can’t remember his line over and over and over again. It’s a microcosm for what makes “The Room” such a monumentally great bad movie.
4. “Isle of Dogs”
A peek into the mind of Wes Anderson is always going to be delightful for cinephiles, but the “Isle of Dogs” trailer is so wonderful on so many levels that even regular moviegoers have to be intrigued by this one. By the time The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band’s “I Won’t Hurt You” starts to play, Anderson has you in the palm of his hand.
3. “It Comes At Night”
The teaser trailer for Trey Edward Shults’ “It Comes At Night” is a masterclass in explosive tension. The entire clip is a pressure cooker as the camera slowly makes its way towards a mysterious red door. Scenes from the movie break in as the editing gets faster and the score unbearable loud. What’s behind the red door? There’s no way you won’t want to find out.
The “It” teaser trailer was pretty much one of the year’s best horror movies, which meant it was a warning sign to fans that the feature would pretty much be a nightmare. The clip devotes most of its attention to two of the film’s great set pieces (the opening and the projector) while teasing some of its most chilling images. Cover your eyes indeed.
The first trailer for Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is one of the year’s great escalating nightmares. Set to cast member Raffey Cassidy’s emotionless cover of Elle Goulding’s “Burn,” the trailer manages to bottle up the surreal chill of Lanthimos’ two-hour feature and unleash it in one minute and 18 seconds.