The original poster was a much simpler one with an upside down army helmet, but Oliver Stone cashed in on one of the most memorable war film moments and made that still the poster fairly quickly.
1987: Full Metal Jacket
War films were the kings of the late 1980s. Here the film used central prop and a catchy tagline to edge out the also-beautiful Empire of the Sun poster.
1988: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Having the film outline the title character was a simple choice, and to do it in a film reel was a clever way to showcase a central part of the film.
Like the actual poster, no words are needed to explain this one.
1989: My Left Foot
Other versions just had Daniel Day-Lewis, but no one remembers those.
1990: Home Alone
He was the richest child star ever at the time. All he had to do was trick bad guys and scream. We sure missed our calling.
1991: The Silence of the Lambs
The butterfly represents a key plot point, but it’s the naked women forming a skull that transforms this from a solid poster to a mind-blowing one.
1992: Reservoir Dogs
The first poster was a simple design of the Dogs walking together, but this one depicts one of the most intense scenes in Tarantino’s film history.
1993: Jurassic Park
Again, a dominant logo can transcend the film and becomes its own entity.
1994: Pulp Fiction
The poster plays on the film’s title and takes the form of a book. A great, and often missed, detail is that Mia Wallace is reading a book called Pulp Fiction.
1995: Show Girls
A terrible movie with a great poster. The sleekness is undeniable and enough to beat out modern classics like Toy Story and Apollo 13.
Using a needlework pattern for a murder film was a smart way to beat out Drew Barrymore on the poster of Scream and Woody Harrelson’s The People vs. Larry Flint.
1997: The Game
Life is a gam,e and the game is a puzzle. While the photo may seem flawless, it breaks away and makes viewers guess what exactly the game is.
1998: The Truman Show
A great way to mirror the film’s plot by showing his photo is a composition of every ‘scene’ in his life. Plus, this was before those annoying puzzles so it gets points for originality.
1999: American Beauty
There was a lot to choose from in 1999, but this close up is one of the most memorable scenes. It shows something sensual without revealing the true nature of the film.
2000: Almost Famous
Those glasses marked an unforgettable character in a film about rock ‘n’ roll journalism and surprisingly details precisely what the movie is about.
A great year for movie posters with several contenders, bu the title character of Amélie is too piercing to deny.
The poster is precisely what the film is about. We see an author struggling to adapt a book about flowers; and in a sense, he’s broken.
2003: Kill Bill: Vol. One
The entire marketing campaign focused on the yellow jumpsuit worn by the Bride and the Japanese setting of the climactic battle. This teaser does a great job at presenting the initial reaction of the movie.
They think they’re just going to taste some wine, but their entire life ends up off-kilter.
2005: Walk the Line
It’s a great graphic showcasing the Man in Black himself standing in front of a ring of fire.
2006: Little Miss Sunshine
Everything about this movie is adorable. The poster leans on a cute scene and manages to get every character in it without the use of photo editing.
2007: The U.S. vs. John Lennon
You don’t need the title character when you’ve got his iconic specs and a peace sign.
The over-stylization of the film makes for great art. There’s the “tonight we dine in hell” and the other “prepare for glory” posters, but this specific scene was taken right from the comics and pleased everyone.
2008: The Dark Knight
The entire marketing campaign focused on the Joker without revealing too much about the character.
2009: Where the Wild Things Are
The sandy imagery shows us that sometimes when we think that we’re all alone, we’re not. It also reminds us that there’s a wild thing in all of us.
2010: The Social Network
Who would have thought a movie about Facebook would inspire so many movies to plaster catchphrases all over every single poster? It’s a great poster on its own, but it’s also a significant one.
2011: The Tree of Life
No one was quite sure what the film was about, but this poignant image hinted at the bigger picture and left us all with a warm spot in our hearts.