It’s this time of year again, when everyone and their mother is ranking things. Rest assured, we are also keeping with this tradition and are excited to present this countdown of what, in this movie fan’s opinion, are the best trailers released this year. Out of the hundreds which studios have dropped for movies from this and next year, we have chosen ones that aren’t just good because of the footage/film in question, but those that are iconic by way of how they’ve been put together.
15. Captive State – Teaser Trailer 1 (Buddha Jones)
In the grand scheme of things, this may be put together like a run-of-the-mill teaser and there are heavy Purge vibes in there. But this debut look at Rupert Wyatt’s upcoming original sci-fi drama (first of two paired trailers) really becomes greater than the sum of its parts thanks to this combination of stark footage from the film and an incredible music choice in Max Richter’s rework of Vivaldi’s Winter 3 – creating a haunting effect that hits you more in the heart rather than appealing viscerally.
14. Operation Finale – Trailer 1 (JAX)
Initially released during June’s onslaught of new looks which included Bumblebee and First Man, this first tease of Chris Weitz’s underrated Holocaust thriller (which would later go to Netflix in international territories including the UK) may seem lower-key at first. But the minimalism is to the point – driven mostly by sound effects and a pared-down piano score, this look manages to ratchet up the tension and chills while mostly showcasting the sprawling ensemble cast, with Simon Russell Beale’s voiceover setting up just enough of the premise and stakes.
13. Avengers: Infinity War – ‘Millions’ Trailer 2 (MOCEAN)
In retrospect, it’s quite a feat that MOCEAN and Disney have achieved by managing to pare down the sprawling scale and story strands of the Russo Brothers’ Marvel crossover event into two and a half minutes – all the while featuring almost all-fresh footage not seen in previous trailers and teasing satisfying fan moments without giving anything away except the basic premise. Mark Petrie (Audiomachine)’s incorporation of the Alan Silvestri theme into his track ‘Redshift‘ which backs the trailer is the cherry on the top; while the epic conclusion to the first decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is yet to come this May, this trailer manages to convey the feeling that Infinity War is truly the end.
12. Suspiria – ‘Vision’ Trailer 2 (MOCEAN)
In this film fan’s mind, the best trailers manage to be cut from the same cloth as the film they are promoting. And this expanded look at Luca Guadagnino’s reimagining of Suspiria is the best example of that this year – with Thom Yorke’s score taking center stage while just enough of both story and the gnarly visuals is shown. What MOCEAN achieve with both this and the Infinity War pieces is the feeling of having seen a lot, with the simultaneous reassurance that this is only the tip of the iceberg.
11. If Beale Street Could Talk – ‘James Baldwin Birthday’ Teaser Trailer (Motive)
There is a fourth-wall breaking element to this first look at Barry Jenkins’ gorgeous follow-up to Moonlight in the use of voiceover from Beale Street author James Baldwin. Yet, the team at Motive manage to make it blend effortlessly into this piece (a similar exercise in minimalism like Operation Finale), which puts the gorgeous Wong Kar-Wai-esque imagery at the forefront and showcases the brilliant central cast as well as some incredibly arresting visual moments.
10. Widows – ‘Pull This Off’ Teaser Trailer (Wild Card)
There is an iconic quality which this electrifying debut look at Steve McQueen’s latest shares with many trailers on this list, thanks to an inspired music choice in Junior Boys’ remix of Billie Holliday’s ‘Yesterday’. The team at Wild Card do the wise thing and instead of having lots of voiceover to set out the premise (although Viola Davis does remind you), they just let the footage tell the story.
9. Avengers: Endgame – ‘Capstone’ Trailer 1 (MOCEAN)
While what they’ve achieved on Infinity War is one feat, what the MOCEAN team have done here with what’s arguably the most anticipated trailer drop of 2018 is on another level entirely. It’s a miracle that this debut look at the epic culmination of the first 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe managed to live up to all the hype while supposedly only showing scenes from the opening 30 minutes. Props must go to the editors for managing to create a first look that is engrossing, hits you hard emotionally and really gets through the message that this. is. it.
8. Madeline’s Madeline – Trailer 1 (Winston Hacking)
Many film critics have been hyping this trailer drop up, and for good reason. While Joesphine Decker’s Sundance hit remained under-the-radar for many outside the Film Twitter bubble and doesn’t hit UK shores until next March (making it hard to judge how it feels relative to the film itself), this independently-produced trailer is a remarkable piece of art in its own right – putting a brilliant papier-mâché twist on conventional trailer editing technoques.
7. Vice – Trailer 1 (Ignition)
That Killers song (‘The Man‘) has been stuck in this film fan’s head since this first look at Adam McKay’s latest dropped in October. The track powers the incredible editorial from the team at Ignition, who manage to top off this idiosyncratic piece with similarly inspired graphic and text work – and turn what could have otherwise been your conventional real-life biopic trailer into one of the most replayable debut trailers of the year.
6. First Man – ‘Greatest Adventure’ Trailer 3 (Inside Job [Universal In-House])
That JFK speech in a trailer for an Apollo 11 Moon landing movie may seem like an obvous approach, but the in-house team at Universal pull it off with aplomb. The capper to the U.S. trailer campaign for Damien Chazelle’s (who cut an initial version of this piece at the end of shooting) under-appreciated latest work perfectly nails the final film’s balance between what the director describes in interviews as ‘the moon and the kitchen’ and, like many similarly great trailers, lets the footage and visuals – boy, is some of that footage stunning – tell the story.
5. Deadpool 2 – ‘Meet Cable’ Teaser Trailer 2 (MOCEAN)
Only Deadpool can get away with essentially hijacking his own trailer – the MOCEAN team literally blow up the teaser rulebook in this brilliant look at what was at the time known as just the Untitled Deadpool Sequel by not only literally not having a title (in the U.S./Canada anyway) but also interweaving film footage with original viral content in this way. Deadpool himself teasing a key action set piece and the premise by literally acting it out with toys is a brilliant move – the self-referential element of the character and films allows such hijinks (including an unfinished VFX gag) to take place in a trailer.
4. A Star Is Born – ‘Not Alone’ Trailer 1 (GrandSon)
The trailer that got the world obsessed with what is sure to be this year’s Best Original Song winner at the Oscars deserves a spot on this list. This first look at Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut does more than that though – it doesn’t feel the need to explain the story in a conventional way, it just lets the footage (particularly the focus on specific moments like that Shallow performance) tell it all, as well as introduce Cooper’s and Lady Gaga’s characters and their blossoming relationship.
3. Suspiria – ‘Luca’ Teaser Trailer (MOCEAN)
The horrifying visuals and Thom Yorke’s haunting dance piece from Suspiria, ‘Volk‘, is front and center in this chilling, dialogue-free teaser. The great thing about both this and the full trailer – featured earlier on this list – is how they feel very much of a piece with each other, which is very rare for a trailer campaign like this. These elements combine for what is truly a spellbinding first look that kept those catching it earlier this summer, ahem, hooked.
2. Mission: Impossible – Fallout – ‘Choice’ Trailer 1 (Ant Farm)
With this first look at what ultimately became the best blockbuster of the year, which debuted during this year’s Super Bowl, the team at Ant Farm delivered an electrifying marriage of footage, editing style and source music (Imagine Dragons’ ‘Friction’) that, for once, feels fresh in a trailer like this. And they accomplish all this while delivering the action set piece goods (and character returns) that will be what draws the crowds in, without giving much away of what the story ultimately is.
1. Godzilla: King of the Monsters – ‘Life’ Trailer 1 (Trailer Park)
The actual footage from Mike Dougherty’s Godzilla sequel may be gorgeous in itself, but it’s the slow, measured pace and approach that this trailer – which premiered at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con – takes after that explosive opening, focusing on the majesty of the so-called ‘titans’ including everyone’s favourite titular one, that makes it really special. With ‘trailerized’ song covers being all the rage today, having that treatment applied to a classic such as Debussy’s ‘Clair de Lune‘ in such an effective way is hopefully the start of a new trend that, for once, would be welcome. Everyone has been losing their minds over this piece, and for good reason.
Best Music: Us (Inside Job [Universal In-House]) – rework of ‘I Got 5 on It’ by Luniz
Best Super Bowl TV Spot: Solo: A Star Wars Story (Disney In-House)
Best Viral: The First Purge ‘Announcement’ (LA – Lindeman & Associates)
What are your favourite teasers and trailers of 2018? Do you agree with our ranking or not? Let us know in the comments and on our social media!