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2011's best film posters

Impressing our tired eyes

2011's best film posters
06 December 2011

If you have even a passing interest in our site, you'll know that we have a rather large interest in the art of the film poster.

So, since it's that crazy end-of-year list time again, we thought it made absolute sense to share our 15 favourites of 2011 with you all.

You can find last year's list here.

Battle: Los Angeles

Marketing was definitely the strong point for this alien invasion flick, ever since its heart-racing trailer hit last year and got us all overexcited and dribbly. This teaser poster was also a heavy contributor with this stark and ambiguous image. Oh yeah and then the film arrived. No comment.

Conan The Barbarian

Proving yet again that the greatest posters don't always come from the greatest films, this offering promoted the poorly received remake of the Arnie classic Conan The Barbarian. So yes, the film only scraped a 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes but this poster delivered the goods massively, adding an old school vibe to a soulless 3D update.

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

The Guillermo Del Toro produced horror didn't set the world alight but, with his involvement, it still gave us a selection of classy posters. This nasty variation does what the film intends to do: scare the hell out of children. With the creeping hands and use of weapons as font, it does the job rather nicely. We haven't tested it on any kids though.


The year's coolest and arguably best film certainly deserved a marketing campaign that followed suit and the posters for Drive didn't disappoint. Probably the only 2011 movie to inspire this much fan-made artwork, the cult following is set to run. This simple yet effective poster brings in the noirish palette and the 80s-esque pink title treatment that we now know so well.

Hobo With A Shotgun

This knowing exploitation flick, which boasted a Snakes On A Plane style honesty with its title, deserved a poster that was as much of a 70s homage as the film itself. As you can see, it matched up perfectly to our expectations. There was no point going all minimalist with this one...

The Ides Of March

A deceptively simple idea managed to give this poster even more recognition than the film itself. The smart, yet under-performing, political thriller followed Ryan Gosling's idealistic aide as he questioned his beliefs while working for George Clooney's ambiguous senator. This striking image gave you an important theme of the film, while highlighting the film's two main stars. Job done and done.

In The Land Of Blood & Honey

Angelina Jolie's directorial debut was always going to need a boost. Plenty would love to see her fail but after this intriguing poster, we're anticipating something special. A map of Bosnia provides the backdrop while silhouettes of the two star-crossed lovers are shown with blood over the top. You certainly can't say she's going the easy route with this one...

The Mechanic

Okay so we didn't actually see this one but, as with most Jason Statham films, we're sure it will make a great late night TV discovery. Unlike the main, more generic poster, this one used a simple concept (lots of guns making a bigger gun) to inform us that, yes, there will be plenty of shooting involved.

The Rum Diary

Another simple idea that works rather well. Spelling the title out with rum bottles makes a lot of sense for a film called The Rum Diary and while this might have just been a teaser, it's also a bravely non-human poster, given the fact that it stars the biggest actor in the world. Best ignore the final poster though.


Selling a film about sex addiction was never going to be easy. While the French poster tells you a lot more (about French attitudes as well), this minimalist option keeps it simple and comes out on top. Rather than focusing on the sex itself, it smartly focuses on the aftermath and proves that when it comes to making a poster for a film about

Super 8

It might make us a bit dizzy, but we were big fans of this Super 8 teaser. In fact, we were big fans of most things in general when it came to JJ Abrams' Spielberg homage. This moody poster hinted that trouble might be arriving from the skies, while still giving not that much away. It was also one of the few great posters that heralded the arrival of a great film as well.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

After the classy first trailer, we expected only the best from this highly anticipated spy thriller and the character posters that emerged did the job rather nicely. This Gary Oldman one-sheet uses various pieces of code to make up his character. Included in red, is the film's release date. All in all, it's admirably subtle, like the film itself.

The Tree Of Life

The latest film from Terrence Malick was never going to go for the easy route. The collage of stills from the film manage to gently showcase the starry cast while also highlighting its many jaw-dropping scenes. Unlike many of the year's posters, it provides so much to admire that it requires multiple gawping sessions.

We Bought A Zoo

Cameron Crowe's latest may have settled on a depressingly generic final poster but this earlier option is impressively artistic for a big budget family film. Using a selection of animal footprints as leaves in a tree, also made from a footprint, it almost feels home-made. In a good way.

We Need To Talk About Kevin

The English offering was pretty poor (don't even get us started on that tagline) but around the world, everyone else fared much better. This American poster kept things deceptively soft and simple yet the eyes give it all away.