'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' and 'Dark Knight Rises' also caught our attention with a single image.
By Kara Warner
Although it doesn't always feel like the end of the movie season until the Golden Globes and Oscars come around in January and February, 2011 is coming to a close, so the MTV Movies team is reflecting on the cinematic year that was. We've already shared our 20 favorite trailers of the year, and now it's time for a look through the most artistic and silently titillating medium for movie marketing: posters.
10. "Ides of March"
How do you make a political drama look interesting? Before "The Ides of March" poster was unveiled, the answer to that question was likely "You can't. Political movies aren't sexy." Well, now they are, thanks to this stunner featuring the crafty and timely use of split-screen Photoshop action with handsome leading men Ryan Gosling and George Clooney.
9. "The Muppets"
When it comes to marketing a movie, we all know that the folks over at Disney are more than adept at engaging their target audiences. The recent "Muppets" ad campaigns were no exception, particularly the way in which the ads spoke to the older generations who grew up with Jim Henson's famous fuzzy friends. This clever, perfectly polished shot of Fozzie Bear, Kermit, Miss Piggy and Animal was a perfect appetizer.
There is not much more to say about Nicolas Refn's violent, arty, critical darling that hasn't already been said. Much like its trailer, the poster is cold and calculated and a fitting showcase for breakout, badass star Ryan Gosling.
Knowing what we do about "Shame," it's fitting that the most splendidly simple poster on this list represents the sauciest film of the year. Who would have thought that traditional white block lettering of the film's title over a mess of rumpled, wrinkled sheets could make you feel a little dirty just by looking at it.
6. "Midnight in Paris"
Just look at Owen Wilson, all relaxed and breezy taking a stroll along the river Seine in Woody Allen's romanticized vision of Paris. Not to mention the wonderful use of Van Gogh's famous "Starry Night" painted over half the scenery in the background. The poster captures the whimsical, caught-in-the-moment spirit of the film beautifully.
It is not often that a poster is enough to have us in line for tickets opening day, but this did just that. The pretty ladies in ridiculous dresses sporting their tough-girl expressions is a killer combo. This was an overwhelming case of love at first sight, and we're so happy the film went on to make a ton of money at the box office.
4. "The Dark Knight Rises"
Ever since he brought new life to the Batman franchise with 2005's "Batman Begins," Christopher Nolan's films have made headlines with brilliant marketing campaigns — most notably the "Why So Serious?" run for "The Dark Knight." Although we've barely scratched the surface of the promotional plans for "The Dark Knight Rises," this teaser poster certainly does the trick: interest and intrigue without a single actor or character featured. It also inspired some amazing fan art.
The tagline for this poster just about sums up everything we needed to know about the film: "It takes a pair to beat the odds." The fact that we later learned star Joseph Gordon-Levitt actually shaved his head for this scene only adds to this inspired and poignant "50/50" shot. That and Seth Rogen's appropriately appalled expression.
2. "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
To say that David Fincher's English version of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" is highly anticipated is a gross understatement, much like saying this poster is simply provocative. There's so much going on in the subtext — if you can get past the cool sensuality of it all, that alluring tension between stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, who seem to be daring us to come see them on opening day.
1. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2"
As "Harry Potter" fans well know, the movies get progressively dark and more intense, just as J.K. Rowling's books did, so it makes sense that Warner Bros. chose to steady the course with their promotional campaign. We could have highlighted several posters from "Deathly Hallows, Part 2," particularly the individual character posters, but this menacing shot of Voldemort and his "army" gave us a thrill and a chill at the same time. And anything that features Helena Bonham Carter's brilliantly crazy Bellatrix Lestrange is win/win.
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