Collecting movie posters is a passion of mine, which probably comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me. Sometimes how the studio advertises their movie to the public can be more fascinating than the film itself. The poster has no obligation to tell you what the film's about, just to grab your attention and make you care to find out. I generally have one rule as to what makes a good movie poster: the simpler the better. That was certainly true with my selections this year. I've found that the posters that have the most going on in them are the least effective. With too much to look at, you're not likely to remember anything. Remember, I'm just judging the posters, not the movie. My opinion of the film in no way influences my critique of the poster art. In some cases, I haven't even seen the movie. So here it is, the top 10 movie posters of 2006:
10. Inside Man- At first glance this poster looks ordinary, but it's actually not. The credits appearing sideways is something I don't ever remember seeing and it looks cool cutting through the film strip style of the cast across the white background. Simple, but effective.
9. The Last Kiss- When you have Rachel Bilson in your movie and decide not to put her on your poster, that takes guts. Instead they decided to focus on what the movie's about, cleverly cutting out half of Jacinda Barrett and showing a pensive Zach Braff to reflect the conflicted theme of the film. There's a lot of lettering but that's okay because the stark blue of the title really stands out against the black and white background. I'm curious if the film's as intelligent as it's poster suggests. We'll find out when I review it later this month.
8. Rocky Balboa- Yeah I know it's just basically a copy of the original, but so what? They could have been stupid and attempted to do some crazy things with this but didn't. It only makes sense to remind us of one of the most famous images in American cinema history and why we loved the original so much. It should be interesting to see how this movie does. The time feels right for another Rocky.
7. Miami Vice- I remember first seeing this poster in the theater months before the film came out. Lit up, it was an amazing sight. The blue tint reflects the coolness of the characters while also accentuating the star power of Farrell and Foxx. The movie sucks. The poster definitely does not.
6. Snakes on a Plane- Okay, so this one breaks the golden rule. There's actually a lot going on here, but you can't tell me it wasn't clever to make a poster of the airline safety instructions for a movie like this. It definitely gets your attention. The only downside is it's so well done it's tough to tell that it's actually a movie poster.
5. Thank You For Smoking- Simple and straight to the point, but still an eye catcher. Take an identifiable logo and satire it. They found an image that matches the film perfectly. The other poster for this, featuring a cigarette butt in a suit was also really clever.
4. Bobby- Subtle and classy. With a cast as loaded as this the possibilities for a horrible poster were endless. They took the high road and simply listed them, wisely knowing the big names should take a back seat to what the movie really stands for. This image is unforgettable.
3. The Proposition- You may not remember the movie, but you'll never forget this poster. There was another poster featuring co-star Guy Pearce that was essentially the same thing but I picked this one because Brosnan just looks more menacing.
2. The Last King of Scotland- Wow. Even if you don't know who this man is, you know he must be important. A towering menace of a poster. You can't look away even if you try.
1. V For Vendetta- This isn't just a movie poster, it's a work of art. I wish I could have included every poster from this film on the list since it had one of the most brilliant advertising campaigns in movie history. I'm convinced that the movie didn't do as well as expected because there's no way any film could match the expectations set by these awesome retro style posters. I picked the best one: bright red background, cool mask, bald Natalie Portman. It doesn't get any better than this.