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The 15 Best Movie Trailers of 2021

Movie trailers are an art form unto themselves. And we’re nothing if not connoisseurs of art at its finest.
Rewind Best Movie Trailers
By  · Published on December 17th, 2021

10. Dear Evan Hansen

It is hard to imagine a time before we were all forced to contend with Ben Platt’s uncanny appearance in the Dear Evan Hansen movie. On stage, late 20-somethings can easily pass for high schoolers with ease thanks to theatrical phenomena like a more forgiving suspension of disbelief and “being really far away from the audience.”

But here, in close-up, it was immediately clear that Platt, who originated the role on-stage, was less a troubled teen and more of a sunken-eyed ghoul; a waxy, awkward embodiment of the “how do you do fellow kids?” meme. Leave it to the power of makeup to make a 27-year-old-actor look like a 35-year-old with withdrawal symptoms.

9. Needle in a Timestack

A good joke is all about a good setup. And when the trailer for this movie dropped, the joke was thus: attempt, as best you can, to guess what the name of this time-travel romance is going to be. Just guess. You won’t get it right. But guess. A Needle in a Timestack feels like the name of a fake movie in one of the trailers that precede Tropic Thunder. This is a unique case where a title card elevates the trailer into a truly sublime space.

8. Venom: Let there Be Carnage

The first Venom is an outlier in the current Marvel cinematic roster. It is campy and chaotic, and it has assumed a kind of cult status as the bizarre, black tendril-sporting offshoot of a comic book movie empire that tends to play it safe. It was, in other words, important that the sequel hit that weird, inexplicably wholesome sweet spot once again.

And by gum, when the trailer for Venom: Let there Be Carnage dropped it was abundantly clear that things were just going to be just as goopy and goofy the second go-round. With wafts of a romantic comedy by way of sci-fi horror, and scored to “One is the Loneliest Number,” we reunite with Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and his alien symbiote (also Hardy) and catch glimpses of Woody Harrelson’s Raggedy Ann-looking serial killer. And to think, we got all hyped before we even knew that Venom gets to go clubbing.

7. Spencer

However you may feel about director Pablo Larraín, you can’t deny that the man has a talent for making very beautiful films. Though, assuredly, that credit falls more strongly in the lap of French cinematographer Claire Mathon, whose past credits include the likes of Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Atlantics, and Stranger By the Lake. Sure enough, Spencer’s trailer fills the frame with glamor, pained expressions, and overcast British pastorals — precisely the elements you’d expect of a Princess Diana biopic elevated by Mathon’s lens to entice even the non-monarchists amongst us to look closer.

6. Titane

Julia Ducournau’s follow-up to the cannibalistic Raw is best seen knowing as little as possible. Not necessarily because there are twists and turns, but because its vehicular madness, tonal gear shifts, and guttural carnage are best experienced in context. The trailer for Titane, fittingly, offers evocative glimpses into the demolition derby to come: the stern face of international treasure Vincent Lindon; enveloping headgear; menacing stalkers; and fluids, be they oil or other.

The trailer smartly underlines one of the best, and most memorable qualities of Titane: dance. Every dance scene in this film should be stamped on a gold plate and shot into space, not only for our protection but to show other forms of life what French body horror directors are capable of. No plot, just vibes; that’s the ticket.

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Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).