Best. Trailers. Ever.

I often express my frustration with trailers. It’s not that the trailer itself sucks, it’s that sometimes after I see the advertised film I realize that the best parts were in the trailer. I feel let down.

I don’t blame the people who make trailers. Their job is to get people excited about the movie. And I’ll admit that in my career in film marketing I have on more than one occasion made a movie seem more awesome than it really is. (But in my defense, sometimes I didn’t have much to work with. Ah, independent film.)

So what, you may ask, do I think is a good trailer? Here are five examples in no particular order. (Keep in mind that my love for these trailers may not correlate with my love for the actual film.)

THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA

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This is a FANTASTIC trailer! In three minutes, you know everything you need to know. We are introduced to the main characters (and the important supporting ones) and we know the setup. I wish more films took this approach to marketing their films.

STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE

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This trailer was released Thanksgiving 1998. Anticipation was high for the first Star Wars film in 16 years and…well, at least the trailer is good. It invokes a sense of wonder like the original Star Wars film did: what you’re seeing in something new and exciting. We also didn’t know who or what Jar Jar Binks was. Ignorance was bliss.

CHARLIE’S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE

This is one of those trailers that is really cool because all the shots work so well for a trailer but don’t necessarily work in the finished product (because they seem to be made for a trailer). It’s loud and fun and has LOTS of edits. This trailer probably took three years off the editor’s life.

THE INCREDIBLES

This teaser was shown in front of Finding Nemo. It sets up the premise–superhero back in action–so simply. It’s funny and accurately sells the movie even though none of this footage ended up in the actual film.

COMEDIAN

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant!

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