Some folks love trailers while others think they’re the devil’s work made to foil your plans of avoiding spoilers, but regardless which side of that particular fence you land on, few people would argue that trailers are an art unto themselves and deserve their own recognition.

It’s for that reason that we present the ten best trailers of the year.

They’re in alphabetical order, but in the spirit of trailers being too often filled with spoilers these days, let me just reveal right now that the best trailer of the year is the red-band one for Hobo With A Shotgun.

Black Swan

This trailer found everything that would make its target audience salivate without divulging too much about what they would inevitably be in for. The entrancing score accompanies the dark tone of each scene snippet wonderfully and really grasps the surreal, erotic and mysterious effect the film offers.

In terms of product representation this trailer may be the most accurate at depicting exactly what the audience can expect in a matter of minutes while hitting the correct spots to pique interest. -Adam Charles

The Expendables

Here’s the first of two trailers on this list that managed to be far more entertaining than the finished film. To be fair, that may be due to this trailer being an unofficial creation outside of the studio’s own marketing department. (A marketing department that’s hopefully taking notes…) Sylvester Stallone’s all star action romp isn’t a bad movie, but it ended up as far more of a cartoon than the bloody, hardcore action flick we were promised.

This trailer eschews the usual format to actually take time to speak directly to the viewer and even mention its direct competition on opening weekend (Eat Pray Love). It’s funny and ballsy and a little bit homophobic… and they even found the only black woman in Eat Pray Love to show onscreen when they reference Oprah. That’s chutzpah people. Even if it is from people with nothing to lose. -Rob Hunter

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

Every moment of this trailer points to the idea that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be unlike any Harry Potter film that came before it. The low orchestral score playing beneath the cross-cutting of the wide open country and a haggard looking Boy Who Lived signify that this film is much too important to be contained within any walls.  But the slow start is simple misdirection. As Voldemort casts Avada Kedavara, the tone and pace quickly change to a chorus of operatic voices and fleeting hints of a much larger conflict, almost as though David Yates is saying, “yes, this is eventually going to happen, but look at all the shit Harry has to get through first.”

What follows are visions of chaos and conflict the likes of which have never been seen before in the series: armies of wizards follow Voldemort into battle, our heroes flee from a massive wall of fire, a magical barrier around Hogwarts is eviscerated, buildings explode into flame and rubble. But the final shot is the ultimate tease. Harry and Voldemort stand – or kneel, rather – locked in a slow motion wizards duel as what once was Hogwarts lies in ruins around them.  We don’t know how it got to that point, but we know that it’ll be epic. -Jim Rohner

Hobo With A Shotgun

You can rarely go wrong with Rutger Hauer. From his most famous roles in Blade Runner and The Hitcher to his lesser known classics like Blind Fury and Flesh & Blood, Hauer brings a fair amount of Dutch class to every film he touches. His latest is a grindhouse-style feature, but before it shoots its bloody load the trailer lulls you in with a Hauer-esque monologue filled with doom and gloom… and then the squibs start spurting with some creatively choreographed mayhem. It doesn’t look polished, but it looks like a hell of a lot of fun. -Rob Hunter

I Am Love

Move over, Philip Glass. John Adams is now the go-to composer for automatic profundity in trailers. The I Am Love trailer literally gave me goosebumps the first time I saw it, and the stunning visuals work here in perfect union with Adams’s incredible music (which is, thankfully, all over the actual movie). The result is a gorgeous trailer that, by the time it hits its crescendo, feels like a movie all its own. -Landon Palmer

Find out the final five to make the list…(hint: M. Night Shyamalan is involved)


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