Rappler’s top 10 best Hollywood movie posters of 2012

MANILA, Philippines - Everybody loves a good movie poster. More often than not, they represent how good a film is.

The best posters are simple yet striking, able to communicate just enough of the film’s plot to get you excited but not spill the beans too soon. Like a good advertisement, it is striking enough to hook you and make you interested in the product it represents.

Rappler compiles this year’s best Hollywood movie posters, concluding that a brilliant idea — simply depicted — can set the studs above the duds.

# 10 - Prometheus

Movie poster from the 'Prometheus' Facebook page

This beautiful, well-balanced poster practically uses only two colors — cold-lit blue and black — yet it highlights a variety of textures to add elements of interest such as the metallic sheen of the background and the powdery fog. The triangle of light leads our eyes to all the right places, from the mysterious giant head half covered in shadow to the small yet defiant figure of the human discoverer. We know right away that the film is a story about a search and an earth-shaking discovery. 

# 9 - Argo

Movie poster from the 'Argo' Facebook page

A chase, a film and, literally, the man behind everything. Again, the poster makes skillful use of two striking colors that, aside from providing contrast, cleanly divide the story into two: the mission and the man. The first things we see are Ben Affleck’s fearful eyes which lead down to the blood-red strip of film, allowing us to make the connection.

# 8 - Cloud Atlas

Movie poster from the 'Cloud Atlas' Facebook page

What’s wondrous about this poster is how it is able to encapsulate a larger-than-life (or lives) plot within a relatively tiny space without cluttering things up. All the numerous, seemingly disparate elements are harmoniously organized, guiding us from the sunburst and Tom Hank’s face through an S-shaped path that ends with Ben Wishaw playing the piano. 

# 7 - The Rise of the Guardians

Movie poster from the 'Rise of the Guardians' Facebook page

This watercolor poster version perfectly captures the whimsy of a movie about all our childhood fairytale heroes. The softness of the lines and the near-transparency of the colors are much more dream-like and pleasant to the eyes. The simple layout is effective. All eyes, including those depicted in the poster, automatically turn to Jack Frost, the leader and protagonist.

# 6 - The Impossible

Movie poster from the 'The Impossible' Facebook page

Hands and their gestures can tell so many stories. The two hands in this poster are no exception. Against an engulfing chaos and encroaching darkness, two hands reach out for one another. Simple, powerful, provocative.

# 5 - Looper

Movie poster from the 'Looper' Facebook page

The symmetry of this poster already tells the film’s story. The two men, Joseph Gordon-Levitt above and Bruce Willis below, form an hourglass, an image appropriate to a movie about time travel. The grainy texture of the images is wonderfully concentrated within the middle of the poster, against a stark white background with an ultra-simple font. The warm, brown colors are nicely subdued and bring to mind the similarly-hued posters of Western films which, coincidentally (or not coincidentally), are also about gun-wielding men on the run.

# 4 - Skyfall

Movie poster from the 'Skyfall' Facebook page

This has got to be one of the sexiest movie posters ever created. The predominantly black poster with metallic sheen is as sleek as Bond’s gun. Determined and ever dapper in his suit, Agent 007 steps out of a whirlpool, or a tunnel, or the eye of a gun. 

# 3 - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Movie poster from the 'The Hobbit' Facebook page

Aside from the unbelievably crisp sharpness of the tiniest details, this poster works because of its brilliant interpretation of one of the most important scenes in the movie and book: Bilbo stepping out of his house and all the security and comfort it represents. You don’t need the movie title to know the person depicted is a hobbit. What could be more telling than the circular door frame, his bare feet and clothing? Even more brilliant is the tilt in perspective telling us that Bilbo’s world is about to be turned upside-down. 

# 2 - The Amazing Spiderman

Movie poster from the 'The Amazing Spiderman' Facebook page

This poster wins on so many levels. I love how it has absolutely no text. It doesn’t need one. The man on the wall and his spider shadow are enough to tell us who he is and the hero he is about to become. But more than that, we know this is a story about a desperate man, cornered and alone, facing a creeping darkness. 

# 1 - The Dark Knight Rises

Movie poster from the 'The Dark Knight Rises' Facebook page

Director Christopher Nolan knew that the monumental final installment of his Batman trilogy deserved a monumental poster. This poster is monumental in more ways than one, making use of Gotham’s skyscrapers to form the symbol of its dark hero. But the buildings are falling apart, crumbling, endangering not only the city, but the symbol of Batman itself. What we get is a premonition of an apocalyptic event, when both the Dark Knight and his city must face their destruction. - Rappler.com

(What are YOUR favorite movie posters of 2012? Tell us! Email us with subject heading MOVIE POSTER 2012 to desk@rappler.com. Tell us why you think it should be on our list. Please include a .jpg file of the poster from social media, with the image source.)


Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.