10 Misleading Movie Trailers

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Here are 10 movie trailers that create expectations that don’t quite match up to reality.

5. Sweeney Todd

The trailer: Looks like a grieving father seeking revenge on the corrupt judge who wrongfully imprisoned for 15 years. Also, maybe Johnny Depp will sing for a little bit in some type of weird dream sequence.

The film: A grieving father seeks revenge on the government for ruining his life and taking his family. Also, Johnny Depp sings the entire time. Who knew? Well, I guess those of you who knew Sweeney Todd was a musical…

4. Bridge to Terabithia

The trailer: Looks like another children’s movie. Two kids who feel like outsiders find each other around the same time the find an imaginary world where they can truly be themselves. How adorable!

The film: While probably still for kids, it’s not the everything’s-going-to-be-alright story the trailer portrays. These kids’ lives are kind of depressing. They only get to this imaginary world once, and then (SPOILER ALERT!) one of them dies at the end.

I remember my mother writing an angry letter to Disney because my little brother was sad for days, literally, after seeing this.

3. The Tree of Life

The trailer: Looks like a coming of age film starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. The movie will follow the eldest son as he matures to be a conflicted man as a consequence of having a tough-loving father.

The film: A phenomenal film about a boy’s maturation, indeed. However, director and writer, Terrence Malick attempts to answer some philosophical questions in the process. About 50 percent of the movie features scenes of the formation of the universe, the birth of the planet and the dinosaur era. There is little story and less dialogue—not exactly what you get from the trailer.

2. Drive

The trailer: Looks like another high adrenaline, high speed, stunt-filled movie about cars and thieves.

The film:   Ryan Gosling  stars as a stuntman who moonlights as a get-away driver for criminals until one heist goes horribly wrong. Subsequently, he goes on a kickass, conscienceless killing spree to discover who killed his friend. Not a disappointing film in any way but the only real fast-paced driving scenes are in the beginning before everything goes haywire.

There is currently a lawsuit going on due to the misleading trailer. A moviegoer is suing the studio for a ticket refund. Just to be clear, we don’t think it’s that misleading.

1. Pan’s Labyrinth

The trailer: Looks like a cousin of the Narnia movies. With a child as the protagonist, it seems like the perfect movie to take a kid to see. Imaginary creatures and mythical destinies… seems adventurous!

The film: While the film is good, it’s also very dark—a fairytale world where a little girl is not a sheltered princess; she has to be her own hero. The kicker? It’s in Spanish. Surprise! Hope you like subtitles, kiddo.