The Best Movie and TV Posters of 2011
By Bert Ehrmann
December 2, 2011
I've been picking what I think are the best movie posters of the year each year since 2006. And while I've always been able to find many interesting movie posters, it wasn't until recently that posters for TV series started catching my attention. Last year I recognized TV posters overall, but this year I've decided to add specific posters for TV series into the mix.
Click on any of the posters for a larger view.
The best poster of the year is actually a series of posters for the movie Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
On the surface, the posters for this film are deceptively simple. They feature a shot of one of the characters from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy on a colored background. But, when you examine the poster more closely another level of detail is revealed. The entire poster, both figure and background, is revealed to actually be made up of series of seemingly random numbers and letters which builds the image. And when you examine the poster even more closely yet, things like actor's names, release dates and taglines begins to emerge from the jumble of words and letters.
Since the film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy follows the exploits of a spy agency in Great Britain, which you'd assume hides information in codes made up of seemingly random numbers and letters, the design of the posters perfectly compliments the overall theme of the film.
The rest: I really like how unsettling the posters are for the astronauts trapped on the moon movie Apollo 18. One poster shows the footprint of an astronaut on the moon next to something…else while another has an astronaut screamingly in agony. In all honesty, I'd say that a big reason I went to see this movie was because of how intrigued I was by the posters. And the tagline for Apollo 18 is one of the best in recent memory, "There's a reason we've never gone back to the moon."
Just as unsettling as the posters for Apollo 18 are is the poster campaign for the TV series American Horror Story. One of the posters shows a unconscious woman being threatened by a man dressed head to toe in leather emerging from the ceiling while another features all of the characters of the series, both living and dead, posing as if in some grotesque family portrait.
The poster set for American Horror in the UK are creepy as well. That three poster series starts with one poster that shows wallpaper, split and bleeding which is followed by another with part of the wallpaper missing and the words "you're going to die in there" written in blood and finally the last shows a hole in the wall with the family of American Horror looking out from behind the wall.
I really like the images and copy in the posters used for the movie Fright Night. The character posters all hint at the vampire of the movie that's hiding in a neighborhood, "His neighbor is a killer" and "She's dying to meet the new neighbor." But I really like the main poster for Fright Night, featuring the teen lead character standing in the street of his neighborhood holding an axe with copy "You can't run from evil when it lives next door" beneath.
The teaser poster campaign for the TV series Terra Nova was brilliant, certainly more brilliant than the series it was promoting. The posters look like warning signs that might be posted around the Terra Nova colony set on an Earth 85 million years ago that was teeming with dinosaurs. One shows a dinosaur chasing a person with the copy, "A slasher can run 45 mph. Can you?" And another, "Do not feed, dinosaurs may bite."
I found the poster for Ides of March to be very interesting since it featured such a simple idea exacted in such a clever way. The poster has the character Ryan Gosling plays holding up a partially folded magazine that has a photo of the character George Clooney plays on the cover. But how Gosling is holding the magazine makes it look like his and Clooney's faces are in fact one face. The image is both intriguing and creepy, which I think works for that film.
Honorable mentions go to the posters for Captain America: The First Avenger and the campaign for the A Game of Thrones TV series