Billy's Film Reviews.

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

Best Posters of 2015

2Meticulousness, inventiveness and artistry: three factors one must consider and appreciate when observing some of the most marvellous movie posters of the year.
Some of the artworks to emerge from 2015 are prime examples of excellent imagery that sells a film. The craftsmanship of a motion picture artwork is imperative to the film’s success pre-release. Below are ten examples of excellent posters that capture the essence, themes and tonal aspects of their respective films, all the while remaining mysterious and enticing for an audience.

From the minimalist, to the gargantuan, serious to endearing and down the line to the outright absurd, here is the list of MY favourite posters of 2015. Enjoy!

#1 – Slow West

slow-west-poster.jpgPersonally, the aesthetic of this poster is highly pleasing.
It’s a callback to the classics of the western genre in both the glistening faces on the posing characters and the grainy touch to the image overall.
The beautiful blue sky contrasted with the bold yellow font in visually satisfying, whilst the basic, symmetrical layout of the poster furthers the simplistic approach employed by the designers. Boy faces girl whilst outlaw faces outlaw; the character positioning already hints at the foundation for a possible narrative.

The more you observe the classically-inspired poster with all it’s traditionalism and iconography, the more jumps out at you.
A film that is both plodding and rather uneventful, it could have been a little more fulfilling, however the poster certainly did it’s job in creating a deep urge to see it all unfold. Bravo!

#2 – The Lobster

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 1.54.20 pm
Simplicity is one of the loudest qualities in a film poster, and coming in second place is yet another example of how it can work exceptionally well. The Lobster, one of the year’s best films caught my attention back in May and was not relinquished until I had seen the film some months later.

Not giving anything away regarding the plot of the film, the obscure image of Colin Farrell appearing to be hugging a ghost-like figure sparks immense intrigue regarding what this perplexing film could possibly be about. Is it a drama? Comedy? Both?!
Well, yes.It turns out this is the perfect fit for the absurdist style of the film. Those in charge of designing the artwork (including the reverse shot of Rachael Weiss hugging back) deserve several pats on the back!

#3 – Pawn Sacrifice


Next is a clever and intriguing poster that uses placement, shapes, colour and alignment very well. The poster for Pawn Sacrifice, a film I am yet to see but presumably is about the strategy and psychology of elite chess with a biographical edge is a great introduction to not only the style and themes of the film, but the protagonist himself.

Exploring the mind of the man who appears to be seated, looking intensely at a chess board (or contemplating his existence on the toilet) applied with the semi-black and white colour pallet, Pawn Sacrifice looks as if it could make chess an interesting game on the big screen.
Throw the 70’s, Soviet Union, Cold War and internal psychosis on the board and you have the recipe for a thrilling biopic in anybody’s language!

#4 – Ant-Man


From releasing an ant-sized promotional trailer on Youtube to this, the marketing for Ant-Man certainly left a mark and got us all talking about the comic book film we were all convinced we’d never see.
With a property such as this, size does matter and those in the creative department who designed this wonderfully self-aware poster undoubtedly understand this.

No tag line, no small text at the bottom, nothing but a date, a title, a dot and the Marvel badge is given to us on this particular promotional poster – it’s all we could’ve asked for and more!
This is the most stripped-back poster in recent memory, yet it does so much for the film itself.
The movie poster equivalent of the Libyan flag, Ant-Man’s poster is, well, nothing – but that’s precisely the point and it definitely works!

#5 – Love & Mercy


How could one capture the essence of Brian Wilson better? An older looking poster that is full of vibrant colours and popping fonts, the artwork for Love & Mercy says so much about the film in the sense that it has two diametrically opposed themes that are connected by and to Wilson himself.

Although the vibrant, inviting colours pop and leap off the page, the somber blues allude to the darker side of the film’s story. In what is ultimately an emotional, hard-hitting and honest depiction of mental illness, Love & Mercy celebrates the genius of The Beach Boys all the while presenting the darker side of their boisterous sound.
To me, every aspect of the film is captured beautifully within the mystical artwork above.

#6 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens


This is everything Star Wars fans crave in a poster and so much more!
A smorgasbord of colour, fantasy and excitement, the poster for Episode VII has the artistic fluidity of the original trilogy blended with the darker, more symmetrical structure of the prequels.
Including every single colour on the spectrum, there is no shortage of visual stimulation within the poster.

Some have complained about the poster, claiming it’s too busy, however with an even spread and a tight layout, personally I think it’s a wonderfully engaging collage of images to study.
Spawning several internet fan theories amongst the diehard community; for example, the connection between Daisy Ridley’s Rey and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren due to their weapons aligning or even the lack of Luke Skywalker from all promotional material, this is an exciting, enticing piece complete with the J.J. Abrams lens flair and all!

#7 – Tangerine


Next is a beautiful poster.
The silhouetted setting blends the foreground figures and the background street against the vibrant, stunning sunset, offering a visually pleasing image for audiences. Little do we know however, that Tangerine is loud, crass and in your face like you’d never believe.

The intense transexual revenge satire fascinates, amuses and shocks, but what would truly be most shocking is the look on unsuspecting audiences member’s faces when they see what Sean Baker has in store for them…

#8 – The Visit


Not only do the bloody fingerprints grab your attention, the sweetly cross-stitched house and text offers the unsettling juxtaposition of innocence and foreboding.
When the titles The Sixth Sense, Paranormal Activity and Insidious combine on a poster, a sense of hope is established as all three allude to the first of something.

Whether it be the original Paranormal Activity or Insidious or even the original M. Night Shyamalan picture, it has injected The Visit with some much needed confidence.
So much so that Shyamalan is confident enough to put his name on the poster this time around!


#9 –

Legend was a film with mass appeal, primarily due to the double dose of Tom Hardy – the most in-favour actor on the planet as it would seem. Playing two infamous criminal siblings in Ronnie and Reggie Kray, the challenging role for Hardy was intriguing to many but ultimately proved to be a misfire for most.

This particular poster seems to think otherwise, claiming the film is a four-star, unmissable British classic, yet it would appear that the designers of the poster used up every four-star review they could find.
So as a way of tricking our unsuspecting eye and sticking it to the critics, they placed The Guardian’s two-star review smack back in the middle.
Sneaky, very sneaky indeed.

#10 – The Hateful 8


Lat but not least, the latest from Quentin Tarantino.
For nostalgic reasons alone, the poster for The Hateful 8 serves as a time portal to the cinematic eras of yesteryear. Illustration over photography, a flowing, mysterious setting with a bleak blue colour pallet, the contrasting blood in the snow, the brush-stroked touch and the hark back to the days of “Glorious Panavision”, this poster has a lot more within in than initially meets the eye.
This poster sells itself on the name of the director and artwork alone. It doesn’t need to mention the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russel, Tim Roth and Bruce Dern to grabs the interest of the public.
This is indicative of the might of Tarantino and his passion for all things cinema, making it a worthy addition to the best posters of 2015.


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This entry was posted on January 2, 2016 by in 2015, Opinion Pieces.
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