Artists and movie studios took a lot of risks with their movie poster selection in 2017. With more than 340 feature-length films hitting the cineplex this year, the poster had to bring as much attention as possible. Here are my selections of this year’s best posters:
Now you see me …
Black, white and eyes all over was the theme for the social horror hit “Get Out” and “Obit.,” the New York Times documentary.
… Now you don’t
Stars are usually the selling point for movies, but the posters for “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” and “The Phantom Thread” have top-line actors Denzel Washington and Daniel Day Lewis, respectively, with their backs to the viewer. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks are just ants on a flight of stars, but their names are bold for “The Post.”
The posters for “Logan,” “Kong: Skull Island,” “The Little Hours” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” bring back the 1970s with collage-style art and lettering.
What are we looking at?
The poster for “Baby Driver” looks simple, but once you notice that the gunsmoke/tire tracks that light up the poster are sound waves, you may be taken aback. And what’s with the folded paper background used in “Battle of the Sexes”?
For art history nerds
The posters for “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” and “Columbus” made this former art history just giddy. Any Photoshop guru can tell how the repeated pattern on the “Sacred Deer” poster was made and would probably be as obsessed with the poster as I am. For “Columbus,” the lack of buildings that are characteristic of a modern architecture Mecca that is Columbus, Indiana, may have some art historians puzzled, but it’s a bold move to focus on the main character.
High fashion and horror
Posters for the “Saw” franchise usually sway toward chopped-off body parts and various hardware. For the series’ cinematic return with “Jigsaw,” there was a more human, fashionable approach that would normally be used for a high-polished drama. There are several polarizing character posters with the actors modeling a pig’s head, and a blood drive campaign that was just as dark.
We are trash
The central characters of “Good Time” and “The Florida Project” are not the kind that would attract attention or demand you spend $10 and two hours to watch their loves unfold. They’re unapologetic, loud, and living their best lives.
“The Beguiled” takes a risk with bold, pink script. Character posters usually are forgettable, but Ryan Gosling’s solo shot for “Blade Runner 2049” is stunning. Like the film itself, “Wonder Woman” is not mentioned in its teaser poster. “The Shape of Water” makes you wonder how a woman in red falls for a sea creature. “Whose Streets?” asks a question before the movie even starts. And the mocking “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is just plain funny.