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The Best Movie Posters of 2013

Written by on December 26, 2013 

The Wolverine #05
The Wolverine
BLT Communications, LLC
One of the best teaser posters of the year, BLT Communications, LLC proves they know their audience, their subject’s iconography, and the aesthetic of its locale with this stunning inked portrait of The Wolverine. All we need is Hugh Jackman‘s silhouette and his character’s crossed adamantium claws to understand what’s in store while the Japanese ink wash helps explain which comic arc Fox is pilfering. I still hope the square stamp bottom left has the symbol for “wolverine” encased within, but either way you cannot deny this image wouldn’t pop out off a multiplex’s wall.

12 Years a Slave #04
12 Years a Slave
Ignition Print
For a firm I’ve seen languishing in the depths of Photoshop hell the past two years writing Posterized Propaganda, Ignition Print surprised me with their stark and subtle 12 Years a Slave advert. The translucent, period cloth shirt and the expression of fear on Chiwetel Ejiofor‘s face is all we need to see his obvious plantation surroundings, so the white background may force us to focus on the man himself enduring unconscionable atrocities. The fact that the “12” is placed dead center becomes the cherry on top of a meticulously-composed layout, spiraling our eyes out into his desperate run off the page.

Only God Forgives #03
Only God Forgives
Gravillis Inc.
Gravillis Inc.’s third and final selection is the conceptual wonder that is God Only Forgives‘ popular teaser sheet. I can do without the tagline hiding inside this neon dragon’s mouth as well as the blatantly superimposed names at top and bottom that do nothing to integrate with the authentically rendered light fixture, but even they can’t detract from how effective the glowing, twisted tubes are at conveying tone, topic, and feeling. Gravillie would have done well taking a page from BLT’s Wolverine, so I’ll imagine the date is all that complements the red, evil face. If only it were true, this might have been #1.

Ain't Them Bodies Saints #02
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
My runner up is P+A—a firm that’s excelled at indies since 2006’s Brick (and apparently Zach Snyder‘s personal designers)—for the tortured yet softly beautiful, magenta-hued Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. It’s a delicately cropped film still placing lead Rooney Mara‘s painful sorrow and unwavering love at its center beneath its similar to 12 Years a Slave font style. Dripping emotion from top to bottom as the page almost seems to absorb the blood spilled to put these lovers on their current course, it’s gorgeously symmetrical besides Mara and Casey Affleck‘s heads touching to show how they will never be kept apart.

Nymphomaniac #01
The Einstein Couple / Casper Sejersen
It doesn’t release stateside until 2014, but Nymphomaniac‘s brilliant campaign couldn’t be ignored. From the minimalistic parentheses replacing its “o” in a highly suggestive way on the teaser to the principal cast’s comically bold orgasms, Lars Von Trier‘s latest has must-see advertising. But it’s The Einstein Couple‘s newest close-up of Casper Sejersen‘s photography that truly captivates in a progression/hybrid of what came previous. Charlotte Gainsbourg tilts out of frame while hair flies in the other direction, giving her expression motion and intensity to turn what was humorous into a dramatic image of passion.

What is your favorite poster of the year?

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