Celebrating Great Films

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Charlie's Top Ten Trailers

I watched the UK trailer for Biutiful again the other day, and I've decided that I like it very much. I love a trailer that doesn't need to tell me the whole plot, and this one is really compelling with its unsettling snapshots, beguiling music and grittily poetic voiceover.

For me, the single most important feature of a great trailer is that after watching it, I don't know what's going to happen in the film - but I desperately want to find out.

Here are some more trailers that really got my juices flowing...

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

First, possibly my favourite film of all time. I was ridiculously excited by this trailer when I saw it in the cinema. I couldn't wait to find out what was happening in that train station with people disappearing everywhere. And I'd never heard Mr Blue Sky before - what a song.


In a way I think it's a shame that this film is cursed always to be compared to the graphic novel. As an independent endeavour, it's a film of remarkable scope and vision - and the trailer boldly announces it as such, to the apocalyptic strains of Smashing Pumpkins.

Garden State

Who needs dialogue? This teaser does an extremely good job without any at all. The imagery is very creative; I remember particularly liking the wallpaper pattern shirt. And, once again, a great song - although the full trailer used an even greater song (albeit arguably to less effect), Such Great Heights by The Postal Service.

Kill Bill

Tarantino gives good trailer. For a start, he knows how to choose a tune. The scene that made me want to watch this movie was the one where Uma Thurman's character raises her sword and the army of armed men encircling her all step back in fear.


Probably one of the first films I ever wanted to see based on the ads and trailer alone. Iggy, tits and that painfully cool Choose Life monologue that was plastered on every University student's wall for years afterwards.

The Social Network

Based on the posters, the title and the subject matter this film looked like a dud. But two things excited me about it. First, David Fincher in the director's chair. Second, this trailer.


Pixar need a mention for their generally brilliant teaser trailers, sometimes a year in advance of the film itself, showing the characters up to some amusing mischief that makes you crave to see more. I was so psyched about WALL·E that I consumed every clip, preview and behind-the-scenes sneak peek that Disney cared to release.


Folding cities. Exploding groceries. Gravity going sideways. I needed to watch this film to find out what the hell was going on.

The Invention of Lying

Truth is, I can't think of a tenth favourite trailer. So, for now at least, here's an honorable mention to all those high concept trailers that make you laugh and promise so much - but then the film itself fails to deliver. Coming full circle, this trailer features Mr Blue Sky again.

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