Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

The Best & Worst Movie Posters of 2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 5.43.33 pmAnother year has passed, and with that, 2014 has brought us some wonderful films. An added feature of the picture itself is the movie poster, arguably the film’s primary advertising tool, at least initially. As previously mentioned in an extensive piece on the dissection of the film poster, it is designed to pop, grab our attention and make us intrigued and keen to see the film.
It’s not as simple as it looks, however simplicity is often the key when it comes to a solid film poster.
There is an art to designing a good one, whilst there are those which act more as a deterrent than an enticement. Here are my favourite and least favourite film posters from 2014.


WHIP_INTL_1Sht_Lk2_LYRD1: Whiplash

This is a film that I have not yet seen. Sadly, the release of this critically adored release in Germany is rather late compared to the rest, but it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the promotional artwork that makes the film all the more tantalising. Simplistic, symbolic and visually bold, the “Whiplash” poster is slick and elegant in design.
It works more for me than it’s partner, the poster that is also simplistic in nature, but covered in critic reviews that say “this film is great”, “blah, blah blah”. It reminds me a lot of “The American”, a film that I also haven’t seen but one that has the same visually ‘pop’. I feel “Whiplash” is not only a better poster, but it will prove to be a better picture overall, not that the films deserve to be compared in the first place. 

Berlin2: Guardians Of The Galaxy

I never saw this one on the street or outside a cinema, however this “Star Wars” ripoff poster is genius!
A piece of genius fan art, it seems fitting as people have been commenting on Starlord’s resemblance to Han Solo and the all round vibe of “Star Wars” that “Guardians” possesses. It’s great to see this satirise the famed poster and make it it’s own in the process. Furthermore, with “Episode 7” on it’s way, what  better time would it be to make such a brilliant poster?!
With the film’s constant pop-culture references, it just works. Fun, cool, clever and true to the film’s nature, the poster is fantastic – a true deserver of my number 2 spot!

birdman-movie-poster-113: Birdman

This was the first poster I saw for “Birdman”, and as soon as I started to delve deeper into the already fascinating picture, I became hooked on everything about this film. From there, a slew of new artworks have been released, but it is this one that has stuck with me from all the way back in August when I first played eyes upon it.
The gritty black and white, the strange hovering Michael Keaton and the subtle inclusions of fellow cast members add so much to the poster. Furthermore, the Birdman character can be vaguely noticed in the background watching over both the city, but Keaton’s present day self. I’m so so so excited for this film, but sadly it’ll have to wait and be categorised under my 2015 list.

As-Above-So-Below-Poster4: As Above So Below

A shaky-cam horror disaster of a film (or so I’ve heard). Nevertheless, as lousy as this film may be, the promotional poster made me stop in my tracks as I walked past it for the first time. With the interesting red tone, the menacing skulls and the upside-down Eiffel Tower within the design, I was curious to find out more about the film.
After watching the trailer and reading reviews however, I wasn’t as interested. But having said that, I really enjoyed the poster and how it sucked me in, albeit momentarily. 

1511084_651023751602163_173127518_n5: Enemy

This is one that has had a lot of great posters promoting it. It’s this one that I’ve gone with however. It possesses all the key elements within the super suspenseful flick and unveils more and more as you look at it. With a solid tagline in “chaos is order yet undeciphered” standing for a lot of the confusing features of the story, this predominantly black poster has a lot going on within it’s super simple buildup.
I also like the symmetry of not only the artwork, but the text below. Not only does it satisfy my sometimes obsessive compulsive tendencies, but it symbolises the underlying theme of symmetry within the narrative which is very clever. 

The-Grand-Budapest-Hotel-2014-Movie-Poster6: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Ah, symmetry. The perfect segue! Wes Anderson’s latest poster is stunning in it’s appearance. Not only is the vibrant pink of the bold building a striking enough teaser, but the decision to leave the cast members out of this particular poster adds another treat to discover as you look upon this beautiful piece of art.
Looking to be the miniature model used within the film, mystery, fascination and excitement are generated by this wonderful poster that packs a lot of substance and brightness into a neat little package. I’m also happy to say that it’s one of the year’s best films!

movies-gone-girl-teaser-poster7: Gone Girl

This was an achievement above all else. How does one make a poster for a film such as “Gone Girl?” The best part about this film leading up to it’s release is the marketing behind it all.
With Fincher’s contribution,”Gone Girl” was marketed to perfection with a mysteriously different looking trailer and some brutally simple and unrevealing posters. This poster in particular didn’t even have the film’s title on it, but it still managed to sell the film and do it perfectly. Not only is this a marvellous film, the promotional marketing behind it make it that much better!

x-men-days-future-past-teaser-poster-professor-x8: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Simple in it’s design but intriguing to study. The crossover effect adds spark and freshness to the poster and the storyline at hand. We get an understanding about how exciting and jam-packed this film is going to be, and through the minimalistic nature of this series of posters, excitement was generated at a high level. I think the one that works the best is the Stewart/McAvoy pairing, more so than the Fassbender/McKellen one which still has some flair all the same. The blue, the hair, the transitions and the overall slickness win me over! Sure, the lips don’t match up and the eye lines are a bit off, but that just shows what ageing will do to you.

dumb-and-dumber-to-poster-jim-carrey-378x6009: Dumb and Dumber To

What better way to advertise a stupid sequel than ripping off a current film poster. Playing the satirical card very hard, “Dumb and Dumber To’s” poster takes the design and structure of “Lucy” and uses the source material to it’s advantage. Dealing with a film that is virtually the polar opposite of “Lucy”, “Dumb and Dumber To” benefits in more ways than one with this poster.
Contrast, intrigue, appreciation and laughter should ensue after viewing this very clever example of marketing genius! 

cool-movie-posters-1010: Devil’s Mile

A 3.2 film on iMDB that makes it on to a “Best” list?! Who would have thought! 2014’s action crime horror disaster “Devil’s Mile” actually got my interest briefly, making me do my research on the film. Much to my surprise, it appears to be a load of garbage.
Nevertheless, the poster is very striking and has a solid mustard yellow dominating the piece. The upside down mountain illusion plays with you and adds a lot of intrigue to the ultimately disappointing picture. This is an example of a poster doing it’s job – selling the unsellable! Well done to whoever designed this!


Exodus-2014-Movie-Poster1: Exodus: Gods and Kings

I remember seeing this atrocity of a poster for the first time earlier this year. I was so shocked at ow badly they played with black and white with splashes of gold as well as the overall positioning and scaling of everything. Nothing from this poster made me excited for Ridley Scott’s latest picture and I begin to cringe very time I look at it.
There is nothing going for it – even Bale and Edgerton look awkward and as if they don’t want to be there. There have been other posters to have been released since, and it’s good to say they’ve improved upon the first. Then again, how could it get any worse?

dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes_international-poster2: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

One of the year’s best pictures was given one of the most embarrassing posters of the year. This is a mixing pot of all the separate DOTPOTA posters that worked on their own. The prominent blue poster that sees Caesar on horseback is fine, the unnerving headshot of Caesar is fine, as well as Jason Clarke’s headshot. It’s when they’re so badly photoshopped together that an awful result comes out of it. The crisp cut of Clarke’s face compared to the faded Caesar’s, the top corner positioning of their faces and the overall feel of the poster makes it appear to be a below-average film. The most annoying thing about this is that I believe there are some people who would have seen this and thrown away the opportunity to see a solid, engrossing film that is anything but justified by this particular poster. I for one know that this was the primary promotional poster in Germany – sorry guys…

Hercules-Movie-2014-Poster3: Hercules

An awful example of a poorly executed “less is more” piece. The white/grey background with lightning and the two major opponents with a title in between. This “Hercules” poster doesn’t work as it feels unfinished and boring. Sometimes (with American Sniper for example), a blank background with almost nothing else but the subject works very well and has a lot of effect.
This has bit more within it, it’s just again, there’s a “poorly photoshopped” essence about it which makes me laugh more than jump in excitement. 

night-at-the-museum-3-poster-ben-stiller4: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

Oh yeah, “The Night Guard” is going to make me excited for this movie. This poster offers absolutely nothing to the public about the story apart from the subtitle. If that were removed, it could be mistaken for any of the past “Night at the Museum” films.
The angled shot is off, the effects are poor and the bloomin’ thing in general is just pointless! This offers nothing at all and I will make it my personal duty to not see this film as a result!
I might though, just out of respect, seeing as it’s Robin Williams’ last film.

ride-along-movie-poster-kevin-hart-ice-cube5: Ride Along

If you look close enough, you’ll see that Ice Cube and Kevin Hart aren’t even looking into each other’s eyes. Furthermore, the actors are standing under the opposite name!
An overly basic and featureless poster, “Ride Along” appears to be a poor, poor excuse for a comedy that aims to show off Hart’s vulnerability and Cube’s trademark eyebrows. Grey, grey, grey with a yellow title just doesn’t work. Laziness, it’s everywhere!!!

hr_The_Hobbit-_The_Battle_of_the_Five_Armies_106: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

If there was one thing I loved about “The Lord of the Rings” films, it was the posters. They all had a similar structure and looked very elegant. “The Hobbit” trilogy has tried it’s hardest to be like LOTR, and the final posters for the first two instalments have adhered to the previous structure.
This one however, from the final instalment is quite horrid. Some bad lighting and awkward angles see Bilbo centred with sting pointed at the audience. It has all of a sudden become cheap and unappealing. Thankfully there are others, but again, this doesn’t add much into the mix…

19141496561e14ab3b41ea38d31af3280009b2277: Get Hard

Kevin Hart makes yet another appearance on the list with the forthcoming “Get Hard”. A comedy with Will Ferrell is somewhat interesting, but from this poster, I have no interest whatsoever in going along to see it.
Kevin Hart looks like Kevin Hart, once again, and the overall look of the poster comes off as generic and unoriginal. I’m sure this will inevitably be an average comedy that makes apt more money than it deserves…

Sharknado-2-The-Second-One-poster8: Sharknado 2

It speaks for itself. Identical to the original with a few more sharks and a botchy colour correction job. I couldn’t put this higher on the list because it’s so blatantly self aware and satirical, but then again I couldn’t leave it out simply because it is awful to look at. 

a-million-ways-to-die-in-the-west-official-poster-banner-promo-xxlg-06maio2014-019: A Million Ways to Die in the West

Stupid, CGI, rude and unfunny. This poster doesn’t leave much up to imagination. It’s kind of appealing, but ultimately, it doesn’t have the same flair it could have had if redesigned. I didn’t like this poster very much, perhaps it was because the film itself was utter garbage…

Tammy-2014-Movie-Poster10: Tammy

UGH. I’m not even going to talk about this one. Just look at it and try your hardest to find something that works. I bet you can’t! Stupid, lazy, boring, poor, bad, and substance-less! Just like the movie itself.


2 comments on “The Best & Worst Movie Posters of 2014

  1. B
    December 14, 2014

    I can’t help but disagree with some of your choices, I think you need to put a little more research into your selection. For instance the Guardians poster is fan made, wasn’t commercially used, and is a complete “ripoff” is given one of your best posters of the year because of Starlord’s ‘Han Solo Vibe’ in the film. Where are you getting these movie posters from, google images?

    • wmsteele
      December 14, 2014

      I am very aware of this being fan made. It doesnt matter to me. The ‘Best’ of the year can mean the best that ive seen both at the cinema, online etc.
      please dont say I need to do research, I have documented a lot of these throughout the year.
      Thanks for giving it a look either way

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This entry was posted on December 13, 2014 by in Opinion Pieces and tagged , .
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