The 10 best movie trailers of 2022, ranked

Jenna Davis, Violet McGraw, and Allison Williams as M3gan, Cady, and Gemma in Universal Pictures' 'M3gan'
Photo via Universal Pictures

The movie trailers of 2022 posed some of the biggest questions moviedom has seen for years, like why is Mario’s butt so flat?

The Super Mario Bros. Movie was just one of the surprisingly good teasers released in 2022 when cinema started to find its feet again after the upheaval of the last two years. Don’t worry, the year wasn’t dominated by the mechanics of how Mario can jump across the mushrooms of the Mushroom Kingdom — there was a lot more going on.

2002’s trailers served up surprises, emotion, and the long-awaited return of some cinema icons. The trailers on this list demonstrated an excellent awareness of outstanding movie promotion. Even if they can’t anchor themselves on nostalgia, they play to their strengths and leave us wanting more without giving too much away.

From Barbie Land to the pressures of the concert hall, here are our best movie trailers of 2022.

10. Barbie

  • Trailer released: December 2022
  • Film released: July 21, 2023

It’s got to be good if it successfully pastiches a 50-year-old cult classic movie. Nobody expected Barbie the film, let alone a teaser that drew heavily on Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The anticipation around Barbie is palpable, and the teaser got it right. It reassured us that Barbie is an icon while leaving us none-the-wiser as to what it’s about. 

Is it an arch-postmodern satire? Is it a breakdown of consumerism? Does Mattel know? The multi-color montage at the end left us with even more specific questions. Just how can Ryan Gosling be Ken? And can Ncuti Gatwa’s workout costume beat his new threads as Doctor Who? It’s going to be a long wait to find out.

9. Deadpool 3 

  • Trailer released: September 2022
  • Film released: November 8, 2024

Alright, it’s not really a trailer, but then it really is. This Deadpool update is a classic bit of misdirection from Ryan Reynolds. A good trailer should promise without revealing anything, and that’s precisely what this latest installment of the Reynolds and Jackman-love-in/in-joke does. 

We have a lot of this teasing to go, with the movie not releasing until the end of 2024 to kick off the MCU’s Phase 6. Still, the confidence is high and this is a ray of light for Marvel, which has had an underpowered year by its standards. Disney is clearly aware that Deadpool can be a considerable asset rather than an awkward drag on their more straightforward MCU plans (She-Hulk excepted). If it can draw even greater links between the MCU and the Fox era, surely everybody wins, right? All it has to do is beat the climax of X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

8. Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny 

  • Trailer released: December 2022
  • Film released: June 30, 2023

This trailer didn’t have to be this good. While the beloved trilogy of the 80s fades into the museum of the past, the dust still hasn’t settled on the divisive The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, 14 years on. It looked like Indiana Jones was a footnote in Disney’s Lucasfilm plans. But this gorgeous teaser promises a proper sign-off for Harison Ford’s Dr. Henry Jones Jr.

It’s packed with nostalgia, packaged up and wisely imparted by John Rhys Davies’ returning Sallah. Yes, we’ve missed it all too. The trailer’s soaked in atmosphere, beautifully shot, and packed with what looks like callbacks to the whole saga (gun-fight switcheroos, boulders, some enigmatic time travel?). We can forgive the odd bit of trailer CGI, as Indy sent our hopes up with that John Williams brass line.

7. Marcel the Shell with Shoes on

  • Trailer released: April 2022
  • Film released: June 24, 2022

A24’s adorable shell made his feature film debut with this stellar trailer. Dean Fleischer-Camp’s mockumentary follows the director’s attempts to help the one-inch-tall shell he discovers in his Airbnb find his long-lost family. Expanded from a series of shorts Fleischer Camp developed with the voice of Marcel Jenny Slate, it’s great to see the format develop with budget and time. 

The anthropomorphic shell and his grandmother Connie couldn’t have hoped for a better trailer that treads, in tiny shoes, just the right side of whimsy and emotion. Best of all, it leaves you feeling that, although the trailer’s packed with brilliant lines and a fair bit of plot, there’s a lot left over for the feature.

6. Cocaine Bear

  • Trailer released: November 2022
  • Film released: February 24, 2023

A trailer that keeps on giving. You’ve got to love the proclamation that it’s ‘inspired by true events.’ The true story from the mid-1980s is that a bear consumed 40 lbs of cocaine that fell from a plane over Georgia and, understandably, died. Director Elizabeth Banks and writer Jimmy Warden couldn’t resist reimagining the bear going on a wild and murderous rampage instead. This peak cinema concept brings the buzz of high-flying classics like Snakes on a Plane

It ticks the boxes for creature-feature set-pieces and delivers the gore and jokes worthy of its Red Band trailer. 

Apex predator, high on cocaine. Out of its mind. Featuring a starry cast and one of Ray Liotta’s final performances, it earns bonus points for the amusing use of Melle Mel’s 1983 classic White Lines (Don’t Do It). If only the bear had listened to that first.

5. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

  • Trailer released: October 2022
  • Film released: November 22, 2022

Marvel might have had a challenging year on the big screen, but they got it right with this exquisite trailer. The second Black Panther movie had to contend with the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman as well as the accolades and critical and commercial success that greeted the 2021 original. Just as the film does, the trailer dwells on the emotional farewell to Boseman’s T’Challa and wisely draws on Angela Basset’s extraordinary performance as a grieving mother and queen.

Almost secondary is the mystery of which character will assume the mantle of the Panther. But when the sleek superhero lands silently at the end, it ties together the weight and the promise of an MCU epic ready to expand.

4. NOPE

  • Trailer released: February 2022
  • Film released: July 22, 2022

Jordan Peele’s third film was always going to be highly anticipated. Naturally, he served up a challenging trailer where the mystery expertly branches from one of the film’s early scenes, with stunning sound design boosting the chills of a rapid succession of horrifying and eerily beautiful scenes. 

“What’s a bad miracle?! asks Daniel Kaluuya’s OJ, as a weird mix of western and horror squeezes the tension. It’s not bad when a trailer embraces the genre mash of its movie. Nah, nah, nope. An almost perfect trailer. 

3. Babylon

  • Trailer released: November 2022
  • Film released: December 23, 2023

If there are two rules of Hollywood, it’s that Tinseltown loves a film about itself and that you can’t go wrong using a David Bowie song in your trailer. 

Intriguingly, it’s the second promo in this top 10 to feature the trademark Margot Robbie wink. Robbie plays Nellie LaRoy, a raucous and aspiring starlet, and just one of the characters we follow through an epic rise and fall. Damien Chazelle’s latest film is a love song to Hollywood in the 1920s, as silent movies gave way to talkies. The trailer is a sumptuous feast of color and glamor, with a perceptible threat of change running through it. 

2. M3GAN

  • Trailer released: October 2022
  • Film released: December 7, 2022

If there’s someone you won’t trust when they tell you it’s ‘nice to have a friend,’ it’s James Wan and Blumhouse. AI meets Chucky in the disarming form of an android and perfect toy that roboticist Gemma (Alison Williams) hopes can help and support her niece where she can’t. 

Although it seems clear what will happen as soon as the doll opens her eyes and meets recently orphaned Cady, the trailer still serves creeps and surprises. It’s astonishing no one’s ramped up the killer robot, fairytale, and modern horror mash-up like this trailer effortlessly does. And voicing M3GAN, Jenna Davis’ chilling lines stay with you long after the promo. 

1. Tár

  • Trailer released: September 2022
  • Film released: October 7, 2022

The intensity of live concerts and the pressure of top-level music make for nail-biting cinema. We know that from the nerve-wracking experience of Whiplash. This trailer doesn’t hold back as it unleashes the whole orchestra and, at the front, Cate Blanchett’s tour-de-force performance as a world-famous composer. 

The immaculate sound design and judicious snippets leave us no doubt that Blanchett’s character study is at the heart of a stunning psychological drama. It’s tense, visceral, and unbeatable this year.