2011 was a year of ups and downs at the movies. The top 10 highest grossing films were mainly sequels with two superhero films and one franchise reboot sprinkled in for good measure. That means that zero original stories cracked the top ten (Bridesmaids came the closest).

Say what you will about the films of 2011, but you can't deny that it was a great year for movie trailers. Even movies that were total turd clumps managed to cut together into awesome previews. So, let's tip our hat to the unsung heroes of the film industry... craft services the editors and audio designers who grab our attention between Coca-Cola ads and disappointing blockbusters.

Battle: Los Angeles

The movie lacked the heart and emotion it desperately tried to put front row and center, but the trailer sold the crushing heartbreak of aliens ruining Hollywood. I mean, that's where Price Is Right is filmed. Those monsters.

The film could have taken a few notes from its own trailer and dialed down the jingoism and ham-fisted character struggles to focus on the real issue at hand -- perfectly good beaches getting all jacked up.


Here's another example of an ultimately sh*tty movie with an excellent trailer. In fact, I'm angry at this trailer. It was put together so well that I actually got excited to see Hanna. Then I saw Hanna and found it to be completely lame. While in theory it's an awesome movie, in execution it's completely mishandled. What this trailer does not indicate is that the film's villains are pretty much cartoon versions of Eurotrash henchmen. All that's missing are three of them trying to squeeze through a doorway at the same time.

Final Destination 5

Haters were rolling their eyes when news of a fifth Final Destination was announced. "Derp. How can there be anutha when it's called final. Derp-a-derp." But those eyes quickly stopped rolling in their heads when they saw footage of a girl's eye being melted. That coupled with the tremendous-looking bridge collapse sequence had everyone talking. Though it wasn't enough to get audiences to theaters, we still have to applaud the image of David Koechner coated in hot tar. That was for Snakes on a Plane, jerk!


The initial teaser for Limitless was a brilliant piece of marketing. Modeled after pharmaceutical ads, it showed Bradley Cooper enjoying the benefits of a richer existence thanks to a miracle drug that opened up the full potential of his brain. The best part of the viral ad was that it never spelled out exactly what it was promoting. For awhile I thought it was just an ad for Bradley Cooper.

"So that's how he manages to be so charming and eloquent all of the time! He's been juicing!"

Paranormal Activity 3

Very little was known about the plot and production of Paranormal Activity 3 when this teaser came along. In fact, many suspected it to be a fan-made imposter based off the low-fi quality of the footage. But no one could deny the chills produced by the Bloody Mary sequence that closes the preview. The teaser turned out to be real and a perfect way to sell the scariest film of the year.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The first trailer for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy establishes the film's mood and tension early on and keeps turning that screw for all it's worth. It introduces its excellent cast and the general premise, but more than that, a sense of mistrust is introduced from the get-go and by the end, there's a promise of violence, and the hint of a puppet-master pulling these men's strings behind the scenes.

Super 8

JJ Abrams latest mystery box came into sight with this teaser. Up until this point, nobody was really sure what he was working on. But suddenly, we had this kick-ass clip of train cars raining down around us and some sort of beast fighting its way through solid steel. The only thing that held the film back in the eyes of (idiot) audiences was the fact that it paid too well of an homage to Steven Spielberg.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

"Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!! We come from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs flow...."

'Nuff said.

Keep calm and read on....

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