Top 5: High Expectations Movie Trailers That Hit That Sweet Spot

The release of the outstanding Blade Runner 2049 trailer (above) reminded me of how much… I love trailers! And that some films have the obligation to release one that’s out of the ordinary, especially in this digital age where the better it is, the more it gets shared. But as much as a teaser/trailer contributes to the expectations of a film, it has its own set of expectations as well. That’s often the case for sequels, reboots and movies based on a book or a well-known story. The characters, the quotes, the music, the tempo and the overall vibe all need to be in perfect harmony for it to hit a home run.

Here’s my (very subjective) top 5 of those highly anticipated trailers, that did not disappoint, and that we can watch and watch again dozens of times as they truly are spectacular short films.

5- Logan (2015)

“You still have time”

You’ll notice many of the films I chose are rather recent. I feel the art of the teaser is getting better with time, especially since we left the shameful “show everything in the trailer” age. Here, we set the stage for this rare dramatic and violent X-Men episode presenting Logan and Professor Xavier as we’ve never seen them before: old and vulnerable. Add to that a perfectly fitting Johnny Cash song and you get a heartfelt short film that makes you believe there’s no way you won’t love the longer version just as much.

4- The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

“There’s a storm coming Mr Wayne”

Christopher Nolan is synonym of success, and therefore high expectations. Inception and The Dark Knight might have easily fitted into my list. Hans Zimmer’s now famous “WHAM” and Heath Ledger’s death added to their epic and mysterious aspects. But it’s the 3rd installment of the Batman trilogy that gave me the biggest goosebumps. The main reason is the crescendo audio mix composed of the stressful music, the boy’s national anthem and prisoners’ vocals, all leading up to a clear cut when the stadium implodes.

3- Inglorious Basterds (2009)

“We’re gonna be doin’ one thing and one thing only… killin’ Nazis.”

How can you not love Brad Pitt’s speech and accent in this (one of many) unforgettable scene from Inglorious Basterds! Quentin Tarantino is yet again another director who rhymes with success, and as the text reads, to see war through his eyes must be something worth watching!

2- Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

“Chewy, we’re home”

Need I explain the hype? Even Harrison Ford said it was “probably the best Star Wars yet”. Time will tell where it ranks in the franchise, but the trailer clearly is right at the top! A quick comparison with The Phantom Menace shows what 15 years can do to the trailer world.

1- Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

“Oh, what a day! What a lovely day!”

George Miller’s 34 years later reboot is all blood and fire! He embarks you on the ride of your life. So much of this “what you see is what you get” type of teaser is just perfect. The tone, the music, and even the text is awesome! This has to be my ultimate favorite trailer. And oh, what a movie! What a lovely movie!

BONUS – No Country for Old Men

“What’s the most you ever lost at a cointoss”

Although it wasn’t necessarily a very anticipated film, a Coen brothers’ movie is sure to leave you with a strong impression! And so did this trailer! The mood and suspense portrayed is spot on. And Javier Bardem’s performance is one for the ages.

Honorable mentions

Tron – Daft Punk’s soundtrack alone gives it an epic character.
Skyfall – James Bond will always generate high expectations. Skyfall’s trailer and movie did not disappoint.
Watchmen – Even though a lot of people didn’t know who the Watchmen were at the time
300 – “Madness? This. Is. Sparta!”


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