Top 10 Movie Posters

John picks some cinematic “one-sheets” that are really damn hard to beat. No, they’re not all by Drew Struzan. 

Please let us know your own choices below…

10. The Exorcist (1973)

I’ve never been a fan of posters that use a real image from the actual film to advertise the product. But The Exorcist used the now-iconic image of Father Merrin’s silhouette standing outside the house of the possessed, shrouded in fog and bathed in moonlight. A truly chilling image for an equally chilling film.

9. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

A film poster can provoke emotion as well as eyecatching visuals, which is beautifully depicted for Edward Scissorhands. Edward, staring with curiosity and sadness at a butterfly on the tip of his scissorhands, perfectly displays the character’s freakish handicap and the dilemma it brings.

8. Gremlins (1984)

A poster is very much like a trailer: it should present enough to hook the audience without spoiling the film’s overall plot. With Gremlins, a teenager holds a box with a mysterious creature lurking inside, helping lure people to the cinema in order to find out what these Gremlins are all about.

7. Back to the Future (1985)

Michael J. Fox and a Delorean is all you need to help get you excited about Back to the Future. Time-travel is hinted at in the poster but never made entirely clear, but it doesn’t need to be. The images speak for themselves. You’re left saying to yourself, “I wanna be that good-looking kid with the cool car.”

6. Batman (1989)

Sometimes less is more. A superhero like Batman doesn’t really need to go to great lengths in order to gain people’s attention, considering the character’s massive appeal and worldwide fanbase. All that needed to be presented was a gleaming, modernised version of the iconic Batsymbol and the word “Batman” to inform audiences that The Dark Knight was finally hitting the big screen in style.

5. The Living Daylights (1987)

Bond films have always had lavish posters over the years. They usually depicted the superspy surrounded by beautiful women, fast cars and colourful action. But Timothy Dalton’s debut went that extra step further by incorporating the famous gunbarrel logo along with various images, which portrayed the characters and action of the film, making it arguably the most visually entertaining Bond poster ever.

4. Fright Night (1985)

Horror posters should always have impact, and, in my opinion, be just as scary as the film they’re advertising. The cult classic Fright Night depicted a vampire’s face emerging from the clouds above a lonely suburban house at night. The image is full of mystery and intrigue, making those who see it become enticed into discovering what this film is all about.

3. The Thing (1982)

Once again, a poster that is simple but effective in catching your eye. John Carpenter’s classic creature feature is filled with stunning and grotesque imagery throughout, but there was certainly nothing grisly about the film’s poster. A figure in the snow with a strange, bright light emanating from where his face should be keeps the terror which awaits you as a shocking surprise, and just like the film itself, leaves a lasting impression.

2. Star Wars (1977)

They say you should never judge a book by its cover, and maybe the same could be said for posters. But in the case of Star Wars, the one-sheet captivated the imagination and displayed artwork that was out of this world. The poster was like the cover of a comic book, with new and exciting characters in serious action poses, telling you that this is one space adventure you shouldn’t miss.

1. Jaws (1975)

The summer blockbuster was created with Steven Spielberg’s monster hit, Jaws. And the film’s poster, even with the killer shark’s size heavily exaggerated as it preys upon a female swimmer above, clearly tells you what this film is about in the most simplest and dramatic of terms. A B-Movie design for an intelligent, well-crafted piece of cinema, which has graced many a bedroom wall and T-shirt over the years.

John Cowdell

I have been writing and producing short films for over ten years and are now branching out into film reviews.

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  1. Michael Young says:

    I love film posters. I’ll link a few of my favourites:

    “Frozen”(French Teaser)

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