The Worst and Best Movie Trailers of the 2010s


There are those who prefer not to see movie trailers and I totally get it since they’re basically sycophantic commercials and there is a sense of surprise they spoil, however little the percentage. I am not one of those people. Since I’ve gone to the movies, they felt like a fundamental part of my moviegoing experience: getting to see what’s happening in the dark rooms around mine and especially when I get to see them attached to an old 35mm presentation, they feel like a lovely time capsule of what the state of cinema was back then, the trends and whatnot.

I have no idea if any of the trailers I curate below will play as a time capsule for the 2010s hundreds of years from now but I do feel like this past decade was absolutely the time period where I recognized the capability of trailers to act as pop art pieces in and of themselves, catching up with how posters have done thing well enough back (I have no idea if it’s just trailers began fixing their act – we do have Citizen Kane‘s trailer as an all-timer but I don’t know if that was the trend). There was an undergrad friend of mine (D-M-, if you ever read this, here’s to you!) that was pretty excited about discussing how he would arrange material from a film into an effective trailer communicating its own beginning, middle, and end and it really opened my mind to those capabilities.

In any case, there is a lot of material to go through here – 20 movies each because I suck like that – so let’s dive into the best and the worst of the trailers of the 2010s.


20. Zootopia – Official US Sloth trailer

If I never see another gif of that insufferable sloth sequence, it will be too soon. Just because it’s meant to feel slow doesn’t mean I enjoy how slow it is. Was this really the only trailer every theater I had to go to between Late 2015 and Spring 2016 had to play?

19. The Boss Baby

Dreamworks Animation is such a hotbed of terrible trailers that I was between this, Sherman & Mr. Peabody, The Penguins of Madagascar, Trolls, and Home. I went with this because that “Cookies are for closers” is such a weird choice of ending joke lacking any awareness of this movie’s audience.

18. Cars 3 – Teaser

You’re gonna catch a lot of trailers here going by the grittier “end of the road” route and this was the weirdest one to encounter. It’s literally a movie about cartoon talking cars, why are we meant to invoke the sense of someone’s death?

17. Dark Waters

I could listen to Bill Camp and Mark Ruffalo talk about a hunderd un ninedy cooowws (?!?) ‘til the cows come home but what a really weird marketing campaign for a Todd Haynes movie. Feels more like a Michael Mann picture.

16. Despicable Me trailers

Such a confused hodge podge of trailers that end up giving no real identifiable or consistent character towards the movie itself, which basically explains all of Illumination Animation’s work for the entirety of their run.

15. The Lion King – Teaser

I literally felt my soul die watching it the opening scene of The Lion King be coldly reproduced with no emotion and even less lighting.

14. Unsane

I should have already been warned by this trailer that I was meeting up with my least favorite Soderbergh film and somehow I had convinced myself that definition and coloring this poor would possibly be good with Soderbergh behind the wheels. I’ve still been too broken by this to see High Flying Bird yet.

13. Sing – Trailer 1

Returning once again to Illumination, this one actually does a much better job of accurately representing the movie it was promoting than Despicable Me, except that the honest amount of autotuned pop and visual lack of texture and the pretty straightforward desire to appeal to young folks by assuming that American Idol and talking animals still have cache with them altogether felt like witnessing yourself approaching a car wreck that you die in, Final Destination-style.

12. Knives Out – Trailer 2

Not that the first trailer was all that promising but “I read a tweet about a New Yorker article about you” fully communicated to me that Rian Johnson’s sense of humor and my sense of humor have reached a parting of the ways. Far are we from The Brothers Bloom.

11. Harriet

Quoting my friend’s response (E-B-, here’s to you!) to this frustratingly generic looking biopic trailer for a biopic that was absolutely not “You’re gonna have to give her a moment, son. Harriet Tubman has to think about her whole life before she ends slavery.”

10. God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness

Yet another “dark and gritty” entry for this list, particularly the “this time it’s personal” treatment of arson and death and the feeling of “final showdown” build-up for literally the two comic relief characters from the first two. Or I mean… one of them, spoiling very early on which one is going to die…

9. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Trailer 1

Counting on way too much emotional currency on any of these characters for us to be brought in on “Chris Pratt must save the velociraptor”, except maybe in the manner that Blue is a significantly more appealing character than any humans in this franchise. Pratt and Howard have some of the most lukewarm chemistry around and that adds extra flopsweat to this trailer well before a very confused-looking Jeff Goldblum betrays the fact that he was asked to sit on a chair for a few minutes and bring nothing else.

8. Tangled – Trailer 1

In a list of trailers where a lot of good movies ended up looking really bad, this is the one that looked the worst with that Flynn-centric smolder setpiece.

7. John Carter – teaser

Peter Gabriel went and made Arcade Fire sound like a funeral dirge and then it was used to threaten the sleepiest space opera in existence. What evil!

6. Overcomer – Teaser Trailer

Feels like less a trailer and more a powerpoint pitch, given how much of this is slideshow level titles and clips from previous Kendrick brothers productions.

5. The Happytime Murders

I’ve never had a trailer disabuse me of my hopes for a movie quicker. There are a million directions that a Muppet Noir could have gone and they made very clear that they went with the post-Apatow bland comedy approach with this trailer warning me thankfully that while the movie wasn’t as bad as this trailer made me brace for, I wasn’t going to receive any time well-spent. 

4. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – Trailer 2

To begin with, that whole opening reads like a slashfic of Batman and Superman negging each other in public, interrupted by us receiving Jesse Eisenberg’s best impression of Tobias Funke in the least intimidating manner. And then follow that up with the fact that practically every dramatic beat of this movie is delivered in sloppy overspill throughout the entirety of the trailer and then the worst part is that you probably still wouldn’t have been able to summarize the plot in a single sentence based on this trailer. The absolute worst trailer a Zack Snyder film received, sadly for his second-best film.

3. Shaft

Imagine getting to bring together the can’t-miss pairing of Samuel L. Jackson and Richard Roundtree and deciding to focus on somebody else for your marketing. Imagine also deciding to use your trailer to already soapbox on woke culture before letting us get trapped in the movie theater to suffer that. 

2. Paddington

I swear part of why I was shocked at how pleasant and enjoyable this movie turned out to be is because of how mindless the US trailer for this movie looked as though it wanted to fit in with the likes of Alvin and the Chipmunks and Hop, particularly with that horrifying appeal to gross-out humor in the bathroom. The single trailer on this list that is least emblematic of the final product, retaining none of the warmth and heart of Paddington itself.

  1. Frozen – Teaser

Ground zero for the tyrannical reign of Olaf. Weird how overlong this feels for a glorified slapstick short.


20. Spies in Disguise – Trailer 1

OK, I will wholly admit that this is here because of how well it disguised its premise until the second half of the trailer. It’s not a great trailer, per se, but it is certainly one that amused me by blindsiding me with that plot twist.

19. Logan – Trailer 1


I’m pretty sure we still live at the point where discussing how this movie ends constitutes a spoiler, but nevertheless I can’t imagine how somebody goes into Logan not knowing how it’s going to land. And Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” ends up being the perfect song to accompany this long and weary walk down, delivering both the Western and the end of the line mood-setting that this movie wants to let us down with.

18. Richard Jewell

I don’t know who is responsible for Clint Eastwood’s movie trailers, but I expect they’re the same people as Richard Jewell takes the same approach as the trailers for American Sniper and The Mule (both of which were almost on this list) by taking one central scene of tension and letting a whole life full of missteps and frustrations spill out as though they are asphyxiating the mind of one very trapped figure. This one accomplishes that best of all by having as its motor Paul Walter Hauser’s repeated delivery of “there’s a bomb in Centennial Park, you have 30 minutes” cracking more and more under the pressure, building up anxiety underneath the rapid montage of fear.

17. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – “Chewie, We’re Home”

I am not made of stone. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailers are almost single-handedly responsible for making me turn around on my stubborn “independence for LucasFilm” stance and getting me into a seat in the theater the midnight it dropped, playing very easily with our nostalgic heartstrings. This one did it the best by drawing out every stressed note of John Williams’ yearning “Binary Sunset” anthem and ending on a clear-eyed shot of Han declaring “Chewie, we’re home…”. Nicely done.

16. Joker campaign

Does it absolutely appeal to the most facsimile of post-Scorsese pre-Giuliani New York City portrayals? Yes. Is it being remotely subtle about its cynical usage of two of the most beloved songs in pop culture with the words “smile” and “clowns” in them? Yes. Does it make Joker look like it has any surprises up its sleeve whether from Phoenix’s performance or any choice in Phillips’ aesthetic? Absolutely not. But there is a real confidence to it taking the alchemy of all these overly familiar things and bringing it together to something resembling gravitas up until the moment the Joker as a character announces himself. An easy trailer to laugh at while also admitting this looks way more watchable than the SNL parody I expected it to look like.

15. Prometheus – Final Trailer

Almost the best usage of post-Inception BWAAAHHHHMS to establish a dreadful cosmic gloominess within the world of Prometheus. The first trailer leaned way too hard on the Alien connection with its usage of titles, but here we get to have the surprise that the movie can hold up as terrifying horror beyond that or any of the expected horror trailer jump scares.

14. Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Imagine Dragons is certainly one of the most annoying pop artists we have to deal with, but if we must use them, may we use them to take the greatest hits of some of the finest collection of action cinema setpieces with one of the most recognizable music cues teasing out some extra propulsion. Plus I mean… Henry Cavill cocking his arms is just instant cinematic beauty.

13. Thor: Ragnarok – Teaser

The very last time I was ever excited for a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, based not only on Taika Waititi’s involvement, but also in how this trailer just functions as a delivery system for prog metal album cover imagery with the appropriate power of “Immigrant Song”. It made me think that for once the Marvel universe had an actual visual style, hiding how flat the movie itself turned out to be.

12. “Green with Envy”

Listen, it got me. It got me really good and there’s a real excitement towards the trailer halfway realizing it was interrupted with… A MUPPETS MOVIE! Would that my life is interrupted by a Muppets movie.

11. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Teaser

Return of the “Immigrant Song”! Prior to this teaser’s existence, I would have sworn there was no possible way to make sure material – visual and otherwise – so appealing, given how it reflects the complete rot of its characters souls and feels very close to a parody of its own brooding nature. And suddenly Trent Reznor came about to remind me how he was the king of make dark brooding atmosphere appealing and it gives this teaser rolling through the cold darkness, both real attitude and real momentum.

10. Inception – trailers 2 & 3

When I said Prometheus‘ trailer had the second best usage of post-Inception klaxons, I said that knowing full well Inception itself was going to show up. There is just a very clear reason that those klaxons became a mainstay at the turn of the decade with how propulsive and enervating they were in the middle of a trailer that had already taken control of the associative nature of its editing to feel more like a waking twisting nightmare than the actual feature it was advertising.

9. Suicide Squad – “Bohemian Rhapsody”

If I had to pick out the trailer that definitely establishes the late trend in popcorn marketing to try to turn themselves in makeshift music videos, it has to be the Suicide Squad trailer. I mean, it took one of the most overplayed songs in the history of pop culture and used it to give these characters more rebellious edge and the action more rhythm than the movie itself was able to accomplish… AND that’s with knowing that Warner Bros. tried to shanghai the trailer’s editors into re-arranging the movie (and ending up with the most grievous Frankensteinian product they had in a franchise full of those). It’s the shot of the Deadshot’s shells hitting the ground to the rhythm of May and Taylor’s breakdown. That’s the moment that truly told me how much fun this trailer was having with itself.

8. The Tree of Life

Remember when I called Inception‘s trailer editing associative? Obviously, Terrence Malick’s features have that editing style down pat (particularly during the last ten years) but there’s also this thing about his images that any given arrangement of them is going to feel profound and spiritually engaging, even in bite-sized form. This trailer only made me ready for the big boy version of the movie it was presenting.

7. Mad Max: Fury Road – Entire Campaign

I cannot pick just one. Both trailers for Mad Max: Fury Road did an excellent job of delivering high impact in 2 minutes and illustrating for us in as few dried-out colors as it could the sort of operatic circus maximus that it was going to be for its runtime.

6. Man of Steel – Trailer 3

For all that Man of Steel was disgraced as an uncharacteristically moody and resentful portrayal of Superman, we got to have this trailer – a piece of inspirational “you can be the best of yourself” weepiness with the right amount of building potential by using one of the few great Hans Zimmer scores. And it’s made out of literally the same material that sits in the movie, just knows exactly how to put them together so that when the titular superman finally takes flight in this trailer, we’re going “Woah!” instead of “Why?”

5. Atomic Blonde – Trailer 2

In a decade where we got to finally watch trailers use pop music rhythm to provide pop art pleasure (I trust I’ve illustrated many examples in this thread), Atomic Blonde accomplishes this most of all by adding bodies in motion and color to continue that momentum beyond the cut. Unfairly better than the movie, I’d claim, and the movie also happens to have some of the best editing of the 2010s.

4. Victoria – International trailer

We don’t think as much about the usage of titles in our trailers, which is a shame because the title cards in this movie (which I shamefully haven’t seen despite seeing pretty much every other long-take movie to exist this decade apparently) really do a great job of giving the images it’s pulling from the movie further shape and color. And there’s how the cutting, which obviously can’t maintain the central gimmick of the film, still helps keep a sense of dizzying displacement.

3. Us

Like Atomic Blonde, this trailer might be better than the movie? And I certainly loved Us a lot – it is possibly the best theatrical horror movie experiences I ever had – but this trailer is already more high-impact on its delivery of scares without diluting any of the feature’s terrifying effect in the slightest. Plus it’s just so much more satisfying to hear the detereoration of “I Got 5 on It” into the excellent Michael Abels’ music cue “Pas de Deux” in one compact presentation.

2. The Lighthouse

I absolutely cannot sum it up better than that one YouTube comment who basically looked at this opaque inky object of a marketing tool and said “this looks like the Spongebob episode where they try to bury the health inspector”.

  1. Knight of Cups

Yet another Terrence Malick trailer so that should show you how I feel about the cutting here, but in addition to that element (with so much more thrilling kinetics than the Tree of Life trailer, don’t you think?), we also get imagery that I’ve never seen before or since and only the tip of the iceberg for what Lubezki’s cinematography had in store for this film: the upside-down decadence that feels like a self-loathing version of luxury porn, the entirely surface-obsessed treatment of urbanism, the devotion to facing every source of lighting directly. It’s all so arresting to me, delivered rapidly, and defying a lack of human feeling – it’s malaise stuffed towards us til we have to go outside to take a breath.

And most of all, probably the thing that got it the number one seat: I had been living and working on the Las Vegas Strip for about a year some time ago and felt like after enough walks outside, I was more than familiar with it as a place. And then I rewatched this trailer – just ’cause! – while anticipating A Hidden Life and suddenly Lubezki and Malick went and told me “No! there is an entirely new angle to this street of lights that you have never seen!” Vegas looked entirely different to me, through this trailer’s images.

HONORABLE MENTION: Dark Waters – Yes, I get ironic pleasure from it too. Like I said, I can listen to “a hunderd n ninedy coooows?” ‘til the cows come home.

The Worst and Best Movie Titles of the 2010s


You thought I was dead, didn’t you? Acting!

Anyway, I still have plenty of 2010s wrap-up material that I want to put down before I move forward on this blog and how fortunate that certain unfortunate global circumstances have brought movies to a halt. I will try to make the most of things to catch up in spite of the rest of my life’s schedule.

Anyway, the words say it all and without further ado… The Best and Worst Movie Titles of the 2010s.



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All You Need Is Kill


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Edge of Tomorrow


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Live. Die. Repeat.

One movie for the price of three titles. One of these feels painfully Engrish-y (it’s actually the title I am least fond of but in last place given that the movie was never released under the title so it felt unfair), one of these is generically undescriptive, and one of these clomps a whole bunch. What a mess of a promotional campaign! If Warner Bros. really wanted to sell this movie, they should have used my proposed title: Groundhog D-Day.


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Spider-Man: Homecoming

This one is just out of pettiness. Implying that the MCU is the true home of anything wilds me out, especially for Spider-Man when we had a trilogy of dope movies (and a later masterpiece) made outside of the MCU. I’m also still mad their idea of Spider-Man is “second Iron Man”.


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Atlas Shrugged: Part One

Ha ha ha, this movie actually thinks it’ll get another pa… wait, we gave it a sequel?… we gave it two sequels? Clearly the least expectant instance of this awful post-Harry Potter trend of splitting single books into multiple movies. (I apologize, by the way, for how hard the “Part One” is to read in that awful typeface for the poster).


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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1

So we got “saga” in the title (which is the most ridiculous choice of word to establish Twilight as a series, like it’s Dragonball Z or Saga or something? It’s an outrageously cosmic-sounding term) and that already establishes a story being told in multiple parts and then we have to split the story even further (because again curse Harry Potter for doing this)?! Is this fractions?! I was told there’d be no math!


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Insidious: Chapter 2

Insidious is the last franchise that should be using “Chapter” in their titles. And given how they came to their senses by the very last installment, I assume they agree with me.


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Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

I get it. I get the pun, but it ain’t making me laugh because of how awkward it is fitted in. But I get it.


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John Carter

How do you go from a title as brilliantly evocative of the mysterious and exotic as A Princess of Mars to the blandly masculine name of John Carter? I get that he’s the main character, but even if it remained John Carter of Mars, it would still smack of trying to appeal as a “boys film”.


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Same issue as John Carter, an unfortunate painful demise for such an exciting title as The Invention of Hugo Cabret to… this bland poop.


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Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Is that “Fast & Furious Presents” really necessary? It makes the title look ridiculous with the double ampersand and it’s not like The Fast and the Furious aspect is the main draw (in fact, I appear to be the only Fast and the Furious fan who dug the movie, to be quite honest).


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Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Listen, I know the word that’s missing, you know the word that is missing, Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg and Paramount know the word that is missing. We can’t be silenced.


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Little Fockers

Haha ok. Recycle the exact same joke you’ve been dragging through this franchise for 10 years. Not to mention how abandoning the Meet the… format immediately suggests that this franchise knows it’s past its expiration date.


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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

It kind of hurts more that such a wonderful subtitle as There and Back Again got turned into the bland action movie title of Battle of the Five Armies, but at least that one doesn’t have attached a very made-up word as Smaug.


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Vampires Suck

Yeah, I get it. Haha, your movie sucks more.


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Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

In the words of James Bond when he had to deal with the ridiculous name of Goldfinger’s Bond Girl which this children’s movie is evidently too cowardly to quote fully as a character name: “I must be dreaming”.


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Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

There is just… a lot going on here. A lot.


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Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

“Call case number BD-0695 Batman v. Superman, please proceed with opening statements, counsel.” And the Dawn of Justice subtitle just makes it more convoluted.


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Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

I get it. Return to Oz was taken and that title now has too much cult commodity in it to be misused but… why does this have to sound so clunky?


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Star Trek Into Darkness

There is no need to take the “Trek” in Star Trek so literally. Sure, Star Trek Beyond gets into trouble with me for this, but Into Darkness did it first and did it worse. At least Beyond is a cool subtitle.


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Shaun the Sheep Movie

The usage of articles in this title makes my brain hurt. Is Shaun himself the Sheep Movie? Why are we stingy on a definite (or even indefinite) article to keep us from recognizing where the components end.


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Collateral Beauty

Listen, it’s very valiant of this movie to try to make up its in-film explanation but that is a very nonsense pairing of two words to sound profound.


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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Having Cri– and Gri– in so close a proximity for me to mix them up is the real crime, not to mention what a nonsense word Grindelwald is, not to mention the futility of maintaining Fantastic Beasts in the title of a movie where they have practically no relevance.


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You get it? His name is Stu and he drives an Uber.

  1. Let me tell you a story. Around the time that I was drafting my 2017 Year-End Wrap-Up, I was gonna rewatch several movies I love and hate and I bring up this movie’s copy at the local library. Except for some reason, scanning it at the self-checkout led to an error message saying to take the movie to the librarian desk for them to check-out. At which point, I dropped the movie and walked out because there is no way I will be put in a position for a librarian to read the title of the movie I’m checking out and laugh at me.
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The Bye Bye Man

Alright, we got all the awful stuff out of the way, now the real cream of the crop:



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The Birth of a Nation

I am definitely being a little bit generous to a very awful movie (to say nothing of the character of the filmmaker), but I do enjoy the ballsiness of appropriating the title of one of the foundational works of cinema as a whole and quietly taking it to task for its racism. If only the rest of the movie was up to the task.


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Inside Llewyn Davis

Llewyn Davis is – to start with – a lovely character name to look at and say. It feels like a more elegant counterpart to the name Llewelyn Moss from No Country for Old Men. And then there’s the usage of Inside – which has a double meaning! It establishes this as a deep character study (which it is) and also plays as the Coen brothers’ choice to be direct about the movie’s basis by naming it after Greenwich folk singer Dave Van Ronk’s album. Quietly literate as a title.


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Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

What a wonderfully descriptive title. It reminds me of the likes of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, like the title is trying to tell a full story on its own. And then there’s the entry of the mystical by the “Recall His Past Lives” element. If the Palme d’Or could be given for titles, this movie would deserve every one.


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Un Beau Soleil Intérieur

Kind of cheating here by specifying the movie’s original French title instead of its English language title Let the Sunshine In – which definitely translates literally but doesn’t roll off the tongue as well – but like… say it! Great title.


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Everybody Wants Some!!

Something about the choice in punctuation – not one exclamation mark, not three, specifically two – just amuses me. It feels well-humored amongst the exuberance that the title expresses.


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Cowboys & Aliens

I have literally no shame. It says what it is on the tin.


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Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

I’m a real weirdo who loves to read – not just specifically to hear but to read – Southern colloquialism, it grants a rustic character to the literature for me. And particularly this titles’ choice of words – reading like a morbid canonization – feels nostalgic and evocative of something I really can’t parse out.


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Hot Tub Time Machine

Same “what’s on the tin” principle as Cowboys & Aliens, but it’s such an exciting and absurd high concept jumble of phrases with a nice rhythm to it. The least-deserved title for a movie on this list, how dare it?


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Brawl in Cell Block 99

S. Craig Zahler writes on-point Pantera song titles: Exhibit A.


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Dragged Across Concrete

S. Craig Zahler writes on-point Pantera song titles: Exhibit B.


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Bone Tomahawk

S. Craig Zahler writes on-point Pantera song titles: Exhibit C. It is wild that this guy doesn’t write more songs than his lame garage metal from back then and his excellent credit songs.


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“I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians”

I mean… Sure, it’s cheating because the title is literally just a historical statement but I even adore the usage of quotation marks in such an infamously callous declaration, as though the speaker is trying to absolve himself of such a terrible thing to say.


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Easy A

Now this is the sort of pun I can actually get behind. Everything from the worst titles list wishes it could touch this self-assured genius. (I am pretty annoyed that the source I had to use had that “easy girl” underneath, though).


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The Kids Are All Right

I’m just that much of a Who fan, what can I say?


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What We Do in the Shadows

Ha ha ha, it’s phrasing, y’all. And given Clement and Waititi’s talent for it, I’m very much looking forward to whatever year We’re Wolves comes out so I can say that has the year’s best title too.


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Support the Girls

Unassumingly warm, gets right to the heart of what this movie is about, and feels like a quietly imperative command of the audience in turn. It’s an easy command to obey with such a likable cast of characters.


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Crazy, Stupid, Love.

It’s the punctuation that kills me most (something which frustratingly so much of the promotional material does not retain) and the way that it’s presented in the film itself only adds more stress to it – each word is a beat dropped in anguish before the period at the end of “love” just closes the matter altogether.


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Zero Dark Thirty

I mean, even if you understand the exact literal meaning – thirty minutes after midnight – there’s still a sense of secrecy from such a descriptive time of dark night. It doesn’t need to be cryptic to maintain a sense of withholding from us.


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Beasts of the Southern Wild

Just the perfect mix of the rustic and the mythic to get me diving head first into whatever this title is describing.


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The Dead Don’t Die

I have to admit that for a moment I was worried this was an instance of cheating before learning that the Sturgill Simpson song that appears throughout the movie was written specifically for it. But even if it was named after previously existent material, that rhythmic stomping alliteration matched with the contradictory phrase composition is just too good for me to resist.


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Only God Forgives

Vengeful and cosmic, angry and violent without being a direct threat, and I’m personally tickled at how it feels an inversion of the infamous anthem for fools “Only God Can Judge Me”. Granted only God can forgive the movie it’s attached to, but still…


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Only Lovers Left Alive

What can I say? Jim Jarmusch knows great titles. Losing a definite article in this makes it feel so much more empty and incomplete while the description feels eternal and unending. I don’t know that you could tell it’s a vampire movie from the title but I do know that you can tell it’s tragic and romantic at once.


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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

A fine establishment of the what and the where before all the other complicated (if not, to be quite honest, complex) elements of the film come into play. It is frankly very clear that the writer of this film came from a theatrical background simply based on this title and I think that’s a wonderfully novel air to give.


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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

I actually haven’t seen this movie yet, but the title always gets me a good chuckle. It’s not like you need to work to get it, but just imagining how somebody under such stress would work to apply the military alphabet to such an exclamation gets me quite heartily amused.

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    It Follows

Frustrating enough given that it’s my favorite movie title of the 2010s (and possibly one of my favorite titles ever), I’m not certain how to really explain why. It just appeals to something primal about me, the ambiguity and the alarm mixing together to deliver something so immediate and present. The perfect title to give to a horror film, home of the unseen and the stalking.