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The Best Movie Posters of 2014

Written by on December 29, 2014 

Nightcrawler #05
BLT Communications, LLC

I could have easily replaced this selection with 2014’s other moire-patterned close-up (P+A‘s Bad Words), but I couldn’t shake the high-style contrast and colors of Jake Gyllenhaal‘s face basking in the glow of a seedy cityscape housing the same violence and greed that’s rattling inside his mind. The font is sleek, the limitations of the printing process depicted to an extreme a lo-fi gimmick stripping away celebrity sheen, and the calm severity of Jake’s expression turning any joy from being at the movies into pure anxiety. You feel as though you must wash your eyes the second you’re able to pull them away.

Big Significant Things #04
Big Significant Things
Corey Holms

A film easily lost on the festival circuit, whether it ultimately proves a success or not cannot discount the gorgeous poster created to assist in selling it to distributors and audiences alike. I obviously love negative space and this design has so much you almost have to conversely label it the positive content. The whole is an expanse of sky with text barely large enough to read, beckoning us into its infinite possibilities while the title arrives at bottom as though an afterthought. A creative use of text flawlessly integrating it into the scene, the scaffolding tranforms it into a landmark to remember as we soar by towards the heavens.

Wild #03

I thought this one’s appeal would lessen as the year progressed, but it has stubbornly remained. A stunning tease putting its rough yet elegant handwritten font front and center, our eyes travel from it’s hard-edges to the open air of wilderness surrounding it before ever setting our sights on Reese Witherspoon slowly ambling to the foreground. The shallow focus pops the title out from blurry foliage as the sharpness beyond provides detail for miles into the distance. We don’t know where this woman has come from our where she’s going; all we know for sure is that the outdoors has consumed her. She’s but a traveler caught within its breadth.

Under the Skin #02
Under the Skin
Kellerhouse, Inc.

Kellerhouse, Inc. doesn’t do too many campaigns a year and yet 2014 puts them at the top with a pair memorable pieces. The first possesses the capacity to turn heads towards its pitch-blackness and brightly lit daubs of paint shining as beacons in the night. The eerily translucent overlay of Scarlett Johansson‘s monotone face draws you deeper into its abyss until you’re connecting faux constellations and/or attempting to decipher her blank stare. And while it may be subtle, the way in which the title sinks into the thick white border beneath her might be the most succinct visual summary of a film all year.

Gone Girl #01
Gone Girl
Kellerhouse, Inc.

But at the end of the day nothing beats the poster leaving its name silently spoken in your head at the culmination of a catchy song lyric. A bold maneuver, the risk proves a calculated one considering the book on which it’s based was so widely read and the anticipation of its cinematic version so high. The use of a Fox News scroll at bottom gets to the heart of the story’s central conceit while also providing the surefire clue of what property it’s selling through the words “Amazing Amy”. The amount of information conveyed in what’s otherwise a sparse image is astounding and absolutely unparalleled this year.

What is your favorite poster of the year?

See our year-end features and more of the best of 2014.

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