Check out our gallery of the 25 Best Movie Posters of 2015!
As with last year’s list, it’s best to get one thing straight right off the top: This is not a “Posters for the Most Loved Movies of the Year” article, nor is this the “Posters for the Highest-Grossing Movies of the Year” piece you may have read elsewhere. This one is about the BEST MOVIE POSTERS, period.
We cast aside prejudices and looked at hundreds upon hundreds of pieces from this year’s crop of both obscure indies and mammoth blockbusters. Yes, some of 2015’s most beloved/money-making flicks made the cut, and yes there are movies on here neither you nor we have ever heard of. All of them, however, are outstanding pieces of art.
Check out the blockbusters, the indies and the hand-drawn alternates we’ve chosen in the gallery below! What do you think were the best movie posters of 2015? Let us know in the comments below.
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The 25 Best Movie Posters of 2015
For a movie that was, essentially, slapped together by a new creative team at the last minute,
Ant-Man worked surprisingly well. The most outright humorous of the Marvel movies so far, it played up the inherent silliness of its lead character, as does this very clever, decidedly minimalist poster from BLT Communications.
A Turkish gorefest about five cops who are invited into a world of occult terror,
Baskin may have flown pretty under the radar here in the States, but that doesn't mean that Toronto's Justin Erickson didn't absolutely kill it with this nightmarish piece! He's also done amazing art this year for Stung and X-Men: Apocalypse.
If this ookie spookie Mondo variant poster reminds you of Hellboy creator Mike Mignola's work, that's no accident, as it's by "B.P.R.D." artist Guy Davis. Those who saw
Crimson Peak know that the ghosts don't exactly have a whole lotta screentime, but as in all Guillermo del Toro films, their design is impeccable.
Artist Akiko Stehrenberger does double duty on our list for the second year in a row. This one is a clever play on the old Saturday Evening Post/Norman Rockwell style with a subtle hint of a gun thrown in.
The End of the Tour
This piece by P+A has appeared on several other year-end poster lists such as this one, and with good reason. This is a perfect visualization of the conversations between journalist Dave Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) and late author David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) and how those ruminations get tangled up in their heads.
Joe Lynch's Salma Hayek shoot 'em up was savaged by critics and roundly ignored at the worldwide box office, but damn if that's not an amazing poster from firm OTMentertain. There's nothing subtle about it, just punk maximalism at its finest.
No film got under our skin the way this Austrian nightmare fuel did. While the standard U.S. poster featuring the twins played by Lukas and Elias Schwarz was quite creeptastic, this alternate from Mondo really gets to the heart of Susanne Wuest's mother character and the tragedy underlying the whole movie from start to finish.
The Hateful Eight
Everything about Quentin Tarantino's bloody western is a throwback, from its Agatha Christie-type plot to its gorgeous 70mm roadshow presentation right down to the authentic Ennio Morricone original score. This amazing piece of key art by BLT Communications is no exception, although its hand-painted look hides the fact that it's actually digital as f*ck.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
Design firm LA went all out with a fashion-centric campaign on the final installment of the
Hunger Games franchise. Their thoroughly psychedelic IMAX poster depicting Jennifer Lawrence's eye inside a bloody flower is high impact design at its finest.
Pixar's best movie in years was clearly a brilliant piece of marketing from Disney in terms of getting across the not-so-simple concept of separate emotions dwelling within the mind of a young girl. This French poster from firm Proof is our favorite, though, since it goes off-model with the characters in a really whimsical way that harkens back to the minimalist stylings of classic Disney animation designer Mary Blair.
Gravillis Inc. designed an utterly gorgeous one-sheet for what would turn out to be the penultimate film from legendary documentarian Albert Maysles. It depicts fashion maven Iris Apfel in black & white with the color around her drawing you into the design-conscious icon's world.
One of the most original and exciting horror films in a great long while also got one of the best hand-painted posters of the year via Akiko Stehrenberger, whose art for
The Editor and The One I Love graced last year's Best Posters list. Both the feeling of relentless paranoia and self-reflection present in It Follows are duly represented here.
Yes, this box office disaster doesn't have too many fans, but this alternate design by Art Machine is killer. While Channing Tatum's pose is identical to most of the standard issue one sheets, look at Mila Kunis. Look at her. Instead of seeming vaguely bored she projects both sex appeal and a "don't mess with me" toughness, neither of which were present in the posters or really in the film for that matter. This piece represents the movie the Wachowskis really should have made given all their resources and brilliance.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Matthew Vaughn supposedly ditched opportunities to direct both
X-Men: Days of Future Past and Star Wars: The Force Awakens to helm this hard R-rated actioner that provided a refreshing take on the moribund spy genre. The result was a Vaughn movie through and through, as well as a surprise franchise-birthing hit, and this teaser poster (from, appropriately enough, a firm called BOND) instantly imparts the style and humor of the Kingsman world.
Love & Mercy
You can almost feel the good vibrations emanating from this studio poster for the Brian Wilson biopic. Rather than showcasing either Paul Dano or John Cusack's portrayal, the design by Kii Arens appears to depict the actual Beach Boy himself, a smart move on Arens' part to make it feel more authentic.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Almost a throwback 1940's serial look to this piece by the UK's Michal Lanczkowski helps remind us that not only is this a brilliantly made film but it's also a kick-ass B-movie cliffhanger in the best sense. From a movie that had some pretty stunning promotional artwork, this is the most breathtaking.
For reasons unknown, one of the highest-grossing animated movies of the year decided on a series of posters depicting those adorable yellow title characters in classic works of art. Design firm LA incorporated Minions into classic paintings by the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci, Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol, but this riff on Belgian surrealist René Magritte takes the cake… or is that the apple? Or is that the banana?
A generic and forgettable Owen Wilson action vehicle got a surprisingly bold and intricate poster from design firm Cold Open. Notice how the buildings form a machine gun? That's cool. Way cooler than the movie.
Queen of the Earth
Artist Anna Bak-Kvapil appeared on last year's list for Alex Ross Perry's
Listen Up Philip poster, and now she returns with Perry again this year with a colored pencil knockout. This is the exact kind of poster that studios loathe, one that "looks like art," and that's exactly why it works so indelibly.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
When it comes to comedy, sometimes it's better to aim low and hit the target than to aim high and miss. Just from the title you can tell exactly what tone Christopher Landon's zombie laugh riot is going for, and it does it well. BLT Communications' teaser poster creates a clever twist on a Boy Scout's trusty pocket knife. Be prepared indeed.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars film did a lot of things right, but poster art was not one of them. Saga artist of choice Drew Struzan was reduced to doing a Comic-Con giveaway, while the theatrical posters were either just the logo or the usual floating Photoshop heads. Enter Benedict Woodhead, who created this glorious piece of fan art that puts Disney's promotional department to shame. The 70's-style airbrush technique combined with a gorgeous transition from Rey in the desert to Kylo Ren is both unique and gives you a sweeping sense of the light-vs-dark story.
An undeniable mess of a sci-fi film gets one of the BEST alternate posters of the year, hands down. Mondo's Kevin Tong really leans into the retro futurism that played such a huge, delightful part in Brad Bird's otherwise clunky story, but for some reason the powers that be at Disney chose to withhold a lot of that imagery until it was too late to salvage in the public consciousness. Another fail for the Mystery Box, another win for Mondo.
Here's one of the few examples on this list of a studio poster done right. Not only does design firm P+A convey the wild card humor of Amy Schumer, it encapsulates Judd Apatow's clever twist on the rom-com formula of slobby guy and together girl hooking up. Here the sex roles are clearly reversed, and we love it.
Audiences unfortunately steered clear of one of the year's great immersive cinematic experiences in Robert Zemeckis's overlooked dramatization of Philippe Petit's 1974 high-wire walk between the World Trade Center towers. The daring of Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and the filmmakers themselves is evident on this IMAX one-sheet (design by Vox and Associates).
We Are Still Here
Ted Geoghegan made a splash in the horror world with this effective low-budget tribute to the films of Lucio Fulci, and like all the great genre flicks of the '80s it has a groovy hand-painted poster by Jesse Vital (design by Vodka Creative). Like kindred posters for
Fright Night or Return of the Living Dead Part II, this piece acknowledges the contained nature of the housebound story but promises big scares within.