The Best Movie Posters of 2021

Movie posters are a lost art when it comes to the craftsmanship involved to produce and sell a film to audiences. Lately, it’s been far too overlooked aspect of the process and the work available needs to be commended. The poster is often the first link a potential audience members sees of the film. It’s the first opportunity the film is presented to form an emotional connection with the viewer.

A movie poster can reveal so much about a film that doesn’t get picked up consciously. It’s a wonderful art form that is a window into what the producers and directors find invaluable to the film experience. Isolated away from the film, there’s times when the poster outshines the movie. It’s also one of the few graphic design platforms that elevates artist work to a higher level, giving them a rare exposure only film marketing can obtain.

So, before I start droning on too much about Saul Bass, John Alvin, or Bill Gold, let’s get into the best work of 2021. I will be breaking it down into tiers, but don’t let that dissuade you. I loved all these posters I’m going to present to you.

The Lowest Tier

For me personally, I switch off between preferring minamilism in movie posters or to be especially busy. For the lower tier film posters, they fall more on the minamilism side but have a strict character focused vision for their films.

Lamb, an isolated Icelandic horror film, shows a weird disconnect solely off the poster alone. While C’mon C’mon captures the spirit of Mike Mills vision with one poignant snapshot of Joaquin Phoenix and Woody Norman. Passing showing the duality theme in clear and present visual terms.

Admittedly, the Annette poster is a little overdone, but I love the color palette and decision to use the tent pole scene of the film as the backdrop.

Mid Tier

As for the middle tier film posters, there’s too much to like here. For one, Wes Anderson’s hand sketched poster for The French Dispatch couldn’t be more idiosyncratic Wes Anderson if he tried. All the glorious character details are true to the script and it tells a full story on one page. In terms of The Last Night in Soho, the poster is a callback to old Giallo artwork. It’s evocative and character driven with a beautiful blue and red color palette, beaming with style. It’s the best poster in the entire Edgar Wright filmography (although the Baby Driver posters are sexy).

Lastly, the character silhouettes of The Harder They Fall gun slingers is a perfect sell for the unrelenting stylish overtones of the film. The neon backdrop and use of negative space make this stick out. It’s a uniquely designed poster that works on so many levels.

The Top Tier

The best of the best, starting with the unbelievable posters of The Electrical Life of Louis Wan. Each posters is a masterwork onto itself and the one poster that makes me continually recount the experience despite not loving the actual film.

Aside from Louis Wan, the Spencer poster is a triumph. Fitting the entire shot of Kristen Stewart in the most important piece of wardrobe in the film. It’s brilliantly symbolic and tastefully understated. The context of this scene actually made me appreciate the poster more.

Lastly, Cannes Palme d’Or winner Titane with an influx of radiant blues and pinks and the underseen gem Hit the Road. The poster is masterfully done, evoking a sense of wonder much like the film itself produces. The art style works quite well too and unique. None of these posters are generic or deriving from anywhere else. It’s all distguishable work that stuck with me all year long.

The Best Poster of 2021

Without a moment of hesitation, The Green Knight poster is undoubtedly the best work of the year. It props up the Arthurian legend in such a way that doesn’t undermine the surrealism of the film. The red backdrop and choice of subjects perfectly let’s you into a piece of the legend, but enticing you for more. It’s provoking subconsciously but is a piece of art that stands on its own as well.

Thank you David Lowery for making such a memorable piece of artwork and a fantastic film in the meantime.

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