The Top 10 Movie Posters Of 2012

posters compilation 600x344 The Top 10 Movie Posters Of 2012

In 2012 we saw some phenomenal films, with some very anticipated movies making their way to theatres. Part of building anticipation is through the extensive promotion studios do for films. The most tangible part of promotion are the movie posters that are released. These excellent works of art can be taken home and hung on your wall, unlike trailers or TV spots, giving them a special place in film-lovers’ hearts.

Thousands of posters are released every year, ranging from atrocious things that scorch the eyes to works of art that are worth of hanging in museums. Now that the year is complete, it’s time to ask, which of the year’s posters are the best?

In order to answer that question, I’ve sorted through the magnitude of posters released for the great films of the year and the not so great. It was extremely difficult to leave some quality posters off the list, but I’ve whittled it down to the best 10 of the year.

A few things to keep in mind before diving in: This list is exclusively for posters that were released in 2012, therefore, some one-sheets for movies that hit theaters in early 2012 aren’t eligible, despite being for a 2012 film. Also, this list is exclusively based on the quality of the poster, not of the film.

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10. The Amazing Spider-Man

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Likely drawing inspiration from the brilliant poster for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace where the young Anakin’s shadow forms the shape of Darth Vader, this poster for The Amazing Spider-Man is one of the better superhero posters we’ve seen.

The way Andrew Garfield is balanced in the corner shows that he already has his Spidey powers, and the shadow forms the leaner, sleeker logo that Marc Webb’s trilogy opted for. While no part of Garfield’s body actually forms the lower four legs, that imagery shows the 4 limbs becoming 8, and the upper half is perfectly formed by the way his arms and legs are positioned.

The poster also doesn’t feature the title. The choice to make “The Untold Story” the prominent text is bold, especially because everyone thought they already knew how the origin story of Spider-man is done, but that choice is definitely fitting for the film, as there is still much of the story still untold and questions unanswered.

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9. Prometheus

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The second film on this list also pays homage to the iconic posters from Star Wars, but this IMAX poster for Prometheus has a look similar to the posters for the original trilogy, rather than the prequel films. The result is a beautiful work of art, worthy of being remembered as one of the all time greats for the genre.

Prometheus is a movie that was shrouded in secrecy before its release, which makes the promotion all the more difficult. This poster shows one of the most revealing locations in the film, yet it’s done in such a subtle way that nothing is given away. The flashlight’s beam reveals the stone, but it also serves to take attention away from the ground below. Once the ground is noticed the question is raised as to what is on the ground, provoking thought and building anticipation further. Plus, the line at the top of the poster lends itself to the most intrigue of just about anything they could’ve put there.

The font for the text “Prometheus” is is the perfect choice to convey the sleekness associated with sci-fi and the simplicity associated with the start of humankind and thus written communication.

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 8. The Dark Knight Rises

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Bane. He was the villain feared by all children of the 90s, and of course, the only one to break the Bat. The Dark Knight Rises‘ poster of Bane walking away from a broken cowl was the first to inspire fear of the masked man when it was released in late 2011, but this poster, released a couple of weeks before the film hit theaters, shows the terrifying nature of this beast better than any.

The closeup on Tom Hardy’s face shows the intensity in his eyes and the terrifying look of his mask. Yet his face isn’t totally intimidating; there’s a softness around his eyes showing that he’s more than just a monster, he’s still a man. The simplicity of the black and white color scheme further draws attention to the poster and conveys the darkness of the film.

Don’t ignore the Bat symbol beneath Bane’s brow either. An excellent touch on a nearly perfect poster.

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7. The Raven

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John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe in The Raven brought an extremely innovative take to a classic literary character. The suspenseful tone of the film, and the story it tells, isn’t one that would usually be associated with a writer, and this poster for the film perfectly bridges that gap.

First, the ink. It’s the perfect color to make you wonder whether it’s normal ink or actually blood, and considering the promotion for the film made it seem as if Poe’s writing was leading to murders, the ink and blood are one in the same.

There are tons of raven references scattered throughout the poster too. The feather is the glaring one, as on the one hand, it’s the quill Poe writes with, but it’s also a raven feather. The ink blots form to make little ravens flying off the screen, and of course there’s the dead raven splattered on the top of the page. Though probably not something you want hanging in your nursery, this poster is another beautiful work of art.

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6. Chronicle

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The marketing campaign for Chronicle was brilliant, and this poster was the best of the bunch. Not only is the spacing on the poster pristine, but it does a good job at evoking the humorous side to the film, while still putting a great emphasis on the dark story.

The clouds are subtly awesome, not giving away too much about the film, but still hinting at the powers Dane DeHaan’s character, Andrew, has. On first look I thought this poster may have been a bit of a spoiler, giving away that Andrew does indeed go bad, but upon watching the film the transformation is never hidden, so more props to the poster.

Lastly, the best part of this poster isn’t completely apparent at first, but after studying it you may notice a slight bit of cloud in front of Andrew. That’s right, not only does this show his power over the elements, which is cool, but he’s flying, which is absolutely awesome.

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5. Django Unchained

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The poster doesn’t even say the movie’s name. Anywhere. This could be the poster for Tarantino’s Weakest Link movie, but it doesn’t matter, because long before anyone knew that this was a story about a slave searching for his wife, they knew this was the new film by Quentin Tarantino, and that’s why they were excited.

The play on the “unchained” part of the title is brilliant, and the silhouettes of Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx, with three guns between the pair, are awesome.

The colors of the poster are excellent too, with the red sky perfectly drawing attention to the poster and to the darker silhouettes in front of it. And then there’s the border, which has an old texture to it, making it an excellent choice for a western like Django UnchainedThis is a classic example of the power of minimalism. A little really does go a long way when it comes to film art.


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4. Man On A Ledge

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Let me step back for a minute. Okay, much better. Wow. The fish-eye lens and the incredible angle the poster for Man On A Ledge is shot from combine to almost induce vertigo through a computer screen. In real life it’s all the more stunning.

The line beneath the title, “The Ultimate Deception Needs The Ultimate Distraction” definitely draws the interest of anyone who sees it, and what is shown below the ledge proves that it is indeed the ultimate distraction.

The poster almost creates more tension than the film itself. The bend of the image makes your head spin and the crowds below show the magnitude of the distraction. If I was to see this poster without knowing a thing about the film, I’d be sold on it being the most epic film of the year, easily.

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3. The Cabin In The Woods

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As great as the film’s main Rubik’s Cube poster was, this secondary poster is on a completely different level.

A huge challenge with a movie like The Cabin In The Woods is finding a way to create an interesting poster without providing any spoilers. Really anything other than kids going to a cabin in the woods starts to spoil things, so it’s delicate ground they were treading on. This poster excellently invokes interest without giving a bit of blatant information about the film.

That doesn’t mean that there isn’t any information though. A quick glance shows it’s obviously directly inspired by M.C. Esher’s Relativity. Important in Esher’s work was the challenges behind perspective, namely that of depicting a 3-dimensional world in a 2-dimensional medium. Basically, his work shows that things aren’t always what they seem. See how fitting it is for this film? The tagline at the top of the poster also is slightly revealing of the depth of the poster. Beautiful to look at and brilliant once you think about it.

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2. The Hobbit

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Yes, that writing is in Elvish, and no, I have no idea if that actually says The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journeybut regardless of what it says, this is clearly one of the greatest posters of the year.

If you didn’t notice this hanging outside your theater, that’s because it wasn’t. This sketched poster featuring Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins is one of four exclusive IMAX posters given out at midnight showings of the film. It was hard to pick which one was the best, especially considering the one of Gandalf is currently hanging on my wall, but the prize has to go to the film’s main character and his trusty Sting.

Another plus to this poster is the awesome map of Middle Earth that blends into Bilbo’s clothes. The sheer determination and confidence on Freeman’s face shows a very different Bilbo than the film’s beginning, and that was an excellent choice by the poster’s designer. An absolutely brilliant work of art, I only wish the IMAX posters given out were full-sized theatrical posters.

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1. The Wolverine

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There really is little I can put in words that would do this poster justice. They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, but twenty thousand couldn’t capture how perfect this poster for The Wolverine is.

The film takes place in Japan, and it deals with Wolverine’s adamantium claws clashing with samurai steel, so it’s safe to assume that a fair amount of the film will be focused on traditional Japan as opposed to the more modern history of the country. The poster uses the ink strokes and calligraphy associated with that time excellently.

Plus, it’s just as badass as a poster can be. It’s pretty easy when working with a character like Wolverine, or really any Hugh Jackman character, to make it look intimidating, but the few black lines that make up his outline and shadow create a picture that ought to be enough to terrify any villain  I mean look at the length of those claws!

This is another phenomenal example of a little going a long way. There’s no color on the poster other than the date (and the QR code) and there is barely even any black to make up Wolverine. The textured background provides great depth to the poster, completing one of the greatest pieces of film art in a long, long time.

This is the kind of poster you get blown up and cover a wall with, even if you aren’t obsessed with Wolverine.

Well that’s our list of the best movie posters of the year. What do you think? Any posters that don’t belong on the list? Are there any you would’ve liked to see? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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