50 Terrible Posters For Great Movies
X-Men: First Class (2011)
The Poster: Interesting in concept, terrible in delivery, as Professor X’s future (baldy) incarnation receives a visit from his younger, eyebrow-arching self.
Worst Detail: Macca’s floating head. No wonder he looks peeved.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
The Poster: Tim Curry busts out of too-tight attire while thrusting his crotch in our faces.
Worst Detail: Alright, so the poster sums up the anarchic, topsy-turvy spirit of the film, but it looks more like an ad for a smutty night in a seedy Soho club…
The Poster: A bleached white one-sheet for John Carpenter’s automobile horror, which turns the car’s grille into a gaping, befanged mouth.
Worst Detail: It looks more like a fish than a car.
The Blues Brothers (1980)
The Poster: John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd dangle above a rolling police car like a couple of really weird looking Peter Pans.
Worst Detail: Points for getting that awesome car chase sequence onto the poster, but this entirely fails to capture any of the whizz and drama of that scene.
Dances With Wolves (1990)
The Poster: Buffalos stampede in the background while Kevin Costner looks stern/menacing/bored.
Worst Detail: It doesn’t reflect the movie in any way shape or form. Except for those who found it dull, in which case it’s a perfect summation.
J. Edgar (2011)
The Poster: Attempts to capture the might of the man himself by shoving his sneering mug right up front.
Worst Detail: DiCaprio’s nose-twitching leer, which just looks silly.
The Poster: Carey Mulligan looks like a shy model who’s just landed her first gig wearing clothes for a Topshop campaign.
Worst Detail: So the film everybody’s been raving about actually just involves Carey Mulligan… standing? And being mopey? Yawn.
The French Connection (1971)
The Poster: Blurry, grainy, about as exciting as a smeared ad in the newspaper.
Worst Detail: That iconic stairwell scene is freeze-framed in all its glory, and looks all the sillier for it.
The Green Mile (1999)
The Poster: Disturbing for all the wrong reasons - it seems Tom Hanks wasn’t available for the Green Mile poster, so they shipped in his Madame Tussauds waxwork instead.
Worst Detail: Hank. After his success with the Toy Story films, he seems to have decided to look like wood in every ad from now on.
The Poster: It’s all about Hanks, who’s sporting a serial killer grin and pretty terrifying eyebrows.
Worst Detail: That tagline paired with Hanks’ cheeky, toothless smirk has us thinking really wrong things…
Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
The Poster: Does the Star Wars thang by assembling various shots/characters from the film in an underwhelming collage.
Worst Detail: Um, where’s Indy's iconic outfit?
Star Wars (1977)
The Poster: Atmospheric but lacking in any subtlety. And since when does a lightsabre do that?
Worst Detail: Leia looks like a try-hard model (what’s with the shoulders?), and Luke has a six-pack? Pull the other one.
Breakfast At Tiffanys (1961)
The Poster: A colourful one-sheet for the romcom, with lots and lots of blank white space.
Worst Detail: Ignoring Hepburn’s mortifyingly skinny frame (that waist!), what’s with the giant cigarette? And the weird addition of that smooch from the film’s climax?
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
The Poster: A Sleepless In Seattle -style poster that attempts to bathe Nicolas Cage and Elizabeth Shue in a Vegas glow, but just looks cheap.
Worst Detail: That odd white blush at the poster’s centre has chopped off the end of Cage and Shue’s noses…
Groundhog Day (1993)
The Poster: Bill Murray’s stuck in a clock. ‘Cos time’s gone all squiffy. Clever right? Er, no.
Worst Detail: The colouring’s all over the place, not least when it comes to MacDowell’s blinding red lips.
The Shining (1980)
The Poster: Bright yellow, with some funky typefacing for the film’s title, but…
Worst Detail: …we don’t remember there being a giant-eyed alien in The Shining …
THX 1138 (1971)
The Poster: A lazy compilation of shots from the film that fail to capture the fascinating detail in George Lucas’ debut.
Worst Detail: Look! It’s a robot! And he’s… just… sort of… sitting there. Snore.
On The Waterfront (1954)
The Poster: A frankly bizarre arrangement of artist’s impressions, one of which seems to have been nicked from a low-grade comic book.
Worst Detail: Brando appears to have fallen asleep in some mustard (it’s plastered all over his forehead), and forgotten to remove the blusher…
The Full Monty (1997)
The Poster: Fun tagline. Some adoring critic quotes. And the film’s stars all lined up with 'The Full Monty' protecting their modesty.
Worst Detail: It’s photoshop awful, with blatant stand-ins having their heads replaced with those of the film’s stars. Eyesore.
Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
The Poster: A QR code. And some boastful little fest credits.
Worst Detail: Poor old Elizabeth Olsen’s face is almost entirely obliterated by that massive QR code. Is it a clever play on her character’s fractured identity? Or just shit? You decide.
The Player (1992)
The Poster: A psychedelic one-sheet that looks like The Player is really about a mind-reading alien who’s come to Hollywood with a dream.
Worst Detail: The ‘director’ at the poster's centre, who bears a striking resemblance to Frankenstein…
Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
The Poster: John Cusack rocks a cool pair of shades while Minnie Driver clings to him for dear life.
Worst Detail: More atrocious photoshopping, the worst offence being that finger-pointing hand, which is quite clearly not Cusack’s.
The Poster: Mesmerisingly bad. Why won't he stop staring at us?
Worst Detail: Poor old Peter O’Toole looks equal parts startled and stoned here, glassily staring out at the audience with watery-eyed terror. Awful.
Henry V (1989)
The Poster: The bloody historical epic is given a Monty Python make-over.
Worst Detail: The fire. The horse. Kenneth Branagh and a load of photoshopped supporters. It’s just a travesty.
Young Adult (2011)
The Poster: Charlize Theron grimaces at her audience, and looks all, well, blurry around the edges thanks to a little horrible photoshopping.
Worst Detail: It looks more like a pap shot than a poster. Which may be the point, but doesn’t stop it from being awful. The faux book cover poster was a thousand times better.
Field Of Dreams (1989)
The Poster: Kevin Costner strikes a pose. Or perhaps prepares to do a jig. While corn rows lend back-up. And there’s a moon (?) behind him…
Worst Detail: Seriously, what the hell is going on here?
The Poster : Don’t you just hate it when somebody rips the star of the film out of its poster?
Worst Detail: It looks more like a vandalised poster from the London underground than the real deal. Bold marketing choice, but it doesn’t work.
The Departed (2006)
The Poster: A busy poster rammed with information about a film called The De Part- Ed . Never heard of it.
Worst Detail: When you can't make out the title, or the stars, that's a pretty significant poster fail.
The Poster: A stern-looking Chris Hemsworth has his face overlaid with text explaining who Thor is. Also, he’s really red.
Worst Detail: Was Thor in the pre-credits bloodbath sequence of Blade ? This poster suggests he was.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Poster: Tim Robbins gets soaked by a downpour. And seems to enjoy it.
Worst Detail: Is this a prison movie, or a Michael Jackson video?
The Matrix (1999)
The Poster: Moody stares and shades all round as Keanu, Laurence, Carrie and - randomly - Joe do their best action poses.
Worst Detail : If we didn’t know this was one of the coolest films ever, this poster wouldn’t convince us. Photoshopped smoke? Bondage attire and shades? Weird drippy symbols? Wrong.
The Poster: An arty, avante-garde ad for Lars von Trier’s mindfuck of a movie…
Worst Detail: Dafoe and Gainsbourg… as a pair of scissors? We’ll never look at a pair of scissors the same way again.
A Serious Man (2009)
The Poster: Advertising a film about a man on a roof, apparently.
Worst Detail: It tells us absolutely nothing about the film, and isn’t even that interesting. We could go out and remake this poster with a camera and a roof in seconds. (We won’t.)
Hard Boiled (1992)
The Poster: Chow Yun-Fat brandishes a firearm AND A BABY in the one-sheet for the action classic.
Worst Detail: It looks like a gag poster; like some clever internet kid has photoshopped in the baby to create an entirely different movie.
No Country For Old Men (2007)
The Poster: Somebody in jeans and a cowboy shirt is holding a rifle. Though you’ll have to look hard to even figure that much out.
Worst Detail: It goes for mysterious and reticent, but just comes off dull.
The Poster: A flower, with some blurry, barely visible images of actors superimposed onto the petals.
Worst Detail: We know PT Anderson likes to do things differently, but if you're going to leave your biggest star off the poster, it might be an idea to at least let us make out the images of the actors you've decided to go with. Nice idea, poorly executed.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
The Poster: Tobey Maguire and his alter-ego go face-to-face, with a pretty shot of a city as the backdrop.
Worst Detail: Talk about spoon-feeding your audience. Yeah, yeah, we get that he has a dual identity, isn’t it tough? Blah.
The Fighter (2010)
The Poster: A barely-recognisable Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg chill out, demonstrably NOT fighting, despite this film being called The Fighter.
Worst Detail: Low-key the film may be, but if you’re advertising a film called The Fighter, you sort of want a little action, right?
Star Trek IV: Voyage Home (1986)
The Poster: Kirk and Spock touchdown in San Francisco - you can tell it’s San Fran because there’s a tram, a Golden Gate bridge and members of The Village People.
Worst Detail: It looks like Spock and Kirk have made friends with some leprechauns. And they’re not happy about it.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
The Poster: A bright-coloured ad for Danny Boyle’s surging feel-good modern classic.
Worst Detail: The visual riff on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire feels forced, and the poster generally just gives away too much about the film.
The Kings Speech (2010)
The Poster: For such a grandiose and gorgeous film, it beggars belief that they bothered to throw something this horrible together when a still from the film would’ve sufficed.
Worst Detail: Almost impossible to pick just one, though Helena Bonham Carter’s scare-hair is pretty horrific.
Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (2012)
The Poster: Clearly inspired by the film’s awesome sandstorm scene, but still a rushed-looking mash job.
Worst Detail: Sigh. More photoshop woes. And why is Tom Cruise pretending to be a hoodie?
The Descendents (2011)
The Poster: Wistful and sunny, as George Clooney enjoys a day at the beach.
Worst Detail: Somebody forgot to tell Clooney to look at the camera…
Garden State (2004)
The Poster: Zach Braff, Natalie Portman and Peter Sarsgaard don bin bags and scream out their rage.
Worst Detail: Alright, it’s a scene from the film, but… what? If you’ve not seen the film, it’ll put you right off.
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
The Poster: Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal enjoy a chat. While standing in a miniature version of New York.
Worst Detail: Terrible photoshopping, especially on Meg Ryan. It makes it look like this is really a monster movie in which innocent New Yorkers are crushed by giant, hopeless romantics.
Bad Lieutenant (2009)
The Poster: Nic Cage grimaces while Eva Mendes flirts. And there’s a weird bit at the bottom that seems to involve Michael Douglas.
Worst Detail: Not only is that gun obscenely huge, but Eva Mendes’ dress is obscenely revealing.
Avengers Assemble (2012)
The Poster: The Avengers, uh, assemble amid the rubble of New York City, where clearly something huge has gone down.
Worst Detail: Terrible photoshopping makes Captain America look huge. And what’s with Black Widow’s hair?
The Poster: Line up, line up! Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci lurk in shadow over the mean streets.
Worst Detail: We understand De Niro was a bigger star than Liotta, but we think his domination of this iconic poster is more than a little unfair.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
The Poster: Mark Strong’s image is recreated by hundreds and thousands of little digits.
Worst Detail: Alright, the thinking behind it is clever enough, but the execution stinks. Where’s the sense of mystery and intrigue that the film so perfectly captured?
The Poster: Tom Hardy looks beaten the heck up, while Joel Edgerton attempts to get him help. All very dramatic.
Worst Detail: Talk about spoilers. The movie spends most of its run-time questioning whether Edgerton will return to the ring… The poster reveals that he does. Humph.