Midweek Movie Mouth-Off: the lost art of the movie poster

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If you follow TheMovies on Twitter and Facebook (and if you don’t… why not? All the cool kids are doing it), you’ll know that we have our Movie Poster of the Day, where we hunt down the interesting posters for movies old and new. This is a bit of a struggle sometimes, as honestly, the art of the movie poster is a dying one.

One of the links we recently posted on #TheMoviesExtras was to an article on The Guardian about why movie poster these days are terrible, and that got me thinking, when was the last time you were hooked by a movie poster alone? Gone are the days where a movie’s poster had to strike a balance between being eye-catching and informative, to perfectly encapsulate it while not underselling it, to make you want more. These days, you’re bombarded with ads and information from all sides, so movie posters have become just that, another ad. As The Guardian succinctly put it, they’re boring and formulaic, designed by committee based on target market research and contractual obligations.

When you think about the iconic artworks we’ve had in the past, it’s all too obvious how far we’ve slid into this territory of generic laziness. If I say, think about the poster for Jaws, or Silence of the Lambs, or Pulp Fiction, chances are you know exactly what I’m talking about. If I say think of the poster for Brooklyn, Bridge of Spies or The Big Short (all nominees for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards by the way), you’ll probably draw a blank. That’s because their posters are completely bland and forgettable.

So what are your thoughts on today’s movie posters? Are you bemoaning the fact that there are no cool posters to frame for your walls anymore? Or do you think that in the grand scheme of things, movie posters just don’t matter anymore?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: February 3, 2016

Tracy Benson

All about movies, board games, cider, sci-fi, fantasy and geek culture.

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