They teased us, tempted us, taunted us, and just occasionally gave out more information than a few people might have liked. But there were some magnificent trailers this year, so we’ve rounded up some of the best for you to relive. And yes, we’re including some for movies that have yet to come out…
Paul Feig’s latest collaboration with Melissa McCarthy proved to be an able spy caper without relying on spoofing for all of its laughs. The trailer was a quick, breezy introduction to Susan Cooper (McCarthy) and her world, and managed to demonstrate the eventual film’s blend of laughs and stunts.
In The Heart Of The Sea
Water. Lots and lots of water. Which seems appropriate for Ron Howard’s latest, which charts the (loosely) based-on-truth sinking of the whaling ship, Essex. With Chris Hemsworth, Tom Holland, Brendan Gleeson and Ben Whishaw in the cast, this was more of a traditional trailer than some of the others on the list, but still gives a good impression of the film to come.
Giving a feel for the mood and tone of Danny Boyle’s latest, Steve Jobs relies on some of Aaron Sorkin’s killer dialogue moments – “musicians play their instruments. I play the orchestra” representing just one – for a clear look at what you can expect from the movie. It doesn’t have big action beats or huge reveals to sell it, just great performances, a crackling, wordy script and a director at the top of his game.
Fans of Andy Weir’s book were on alert to see how much of his wry novel was captured by Drew Goddard and Ridley Scott’s adaptation. And we could pretty much breathe a sigh of relief when the first trailer rolled around and the dramatic space exploration and critical danger moments were balanced with the humour that made people love astronaut Mark Watney. We’d offer praise too for the viral videos that went with the film’s release, especially this one with a psychologist talking to the crew, squeezing in the Aquaman joke Goddard couldn’t fit in.
Birdman director Alejandro G. Iñárritu is back with this chilly tale of near-death and revenge. When you’ve been subjecting actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter and Domhnall Gleeson to freezing temperatures, harsh terrain and angry crew members, you’d better have a trailer that shows what all that work went into. And The Revenant kicked things off with a beautiful, near dialogue-free teaser that gives a great idea of the natural light used to shoot the movie and the amazing landscapes featured in the movie.
No-one was quite sure how Ryan Coogler’s attempt to make a Rocky spin-off film would work out, but with awards talk around it after its opening in the US, he’s certainly succeeded. This main trailer also succeeds, giving us all we’d want – Michael B. Jordan looking like he could stop a train with one punch and plenty of Sly Stallone.
The Hateful Eight
Quentin Tarantino gives good dialogue, and in The Hateful Eight, he’s also got some of the most beautiful snowy vistas this side of The Revenant. The trailer offers all of that, plus his fantastic cast doing their thing, all anchored by the living legend that is Samuel L. Jackson.
Coens. Comedy. Casting. Put them together and what do you have? The ingredients for a potentially classic screwball comedy. We may not yet know what the film itself is like, but the trailer presents the basics – the likes of Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Channing Tatum (dancing!), Tilda Swinton and Scarlett Johansson in a 1950s Hollywood satire. You come away from the promo knowing exactly what to expect.
Captain America: Civil War
The Marvel Cinematic Universe erupting in Civil War is a big concept to get across, though that’s made somewhat easier by the grounding most people will have thanks to the previous films. But this initial trailer is full of the broad beats of the story – the disagreement over superhero regulation between Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers and Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, with the various Avengers and some new arrivals taking side. It’s still early days for some effects, but directors Joe and Anthony Russo had plenty of action to share.
Star Trek Beyond
A late entry to the list, but a fun one, as Justin Lin takes over the director’s chair for the new Star Trek and strands his crew with an even bigger challenge than usual. Some weren’t sure about the use of the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage, but it’s a smart throwback to the first film and is a propulsive accompaniment to what could be a lot of fun on screen.
Sheer terror and religious hatred are the order of the day for this one, which makes full use of its period setting and some powerful acting work. Robert Eggers’ tale of witchcraft, possession and a family torn apart is shown to full effect, while leaving plenty of the drama itself for audiences to see when the film arrives next year.
Humour and violence are very much the order of the day, and Deadpool’s entire campaign has come out swinging on that front. The main trailer was full of what we can expect when Ryan Reynolds’ version of Wade Wilson gets his chance at redemption: meta laughs, gross-out gags and all the improvised swearing you could hope for.
Mad Max: Fury Road
What a day. What a lovely day! George Miller’s return to the apocalyptic wasteland he made famous benefitted from the movie itself boasting some astonishing real-life vistas and those kinetic practical stunts. After blowing our collective brains with a sneak peek last year at Comic-Con, the trailers leading up to the film helped to fuel anticipation. And we were not disappointed.
The trailer for the other big DC film universe release had a tougher job than Batman V Superman – introducing a batch of characters that are (aside from a few) much lesser known than the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel. But this is a stylish, crafty first look at the Joker, Harley Quinn, Deadshot and the rest, promising the darker angle and wittier atmosphere.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
“Chewie… We’re home.” Admit it, that got you right where your nerd heart sits. Yes, Star Wars had a lot going for it in terms of awareness, but the trailers for The Force Awakens managed to lean on nostalgia and introduce a whole new range of characters that seem destined to become just as popular. And while J.J. Abrams and Disney decreed that the teasers shouldn’t give too much away, there was still plenty of fun to be had with shots of the Millennium Falcon and more doing their thing.