It can be tough distinguishing between a trailer that’s legitimately exciting and well done versus one with inherent appeal to a segment of the movie-going public, regardless of the trailer’s quality. The trailer for Man of Steel was can’t-miss for the latter reason, though the one on this list (trailer #3) also met the parameters of the former. (No surprise there—Zack Snyder’s a master of the movie trailer.) Still, for whatever reason—and often for a combination of them—some trailers stand out. Here are twenty of the best from 2013.
15. Upstream Color
An engaging, intriguing trailer that gives nothing away. (Of course, after his debut time travel film, Primer, some might say you can watch an entire Shane Carruth film without it being a spoiler.)
14. Pacific Rim
The trailer most likely to have elicited a “Hells yeah!” from members of the audience. Much like the film itself, it never loses track of what makes the movie run, or in what order (giant robots, giant monsters, Idris Elba and Ron Perlman).
13. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Oh, Ron Burgundy. You had me at slo-motion bowling ball/body impacts and scorpion pincered-lips.
12. Only God Forgives
Most of the best trailers rely on effective music accompaniment. Here, the “ancient art of karaoke” is used to devastating effect for an otherwise polarizing film.
11. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The iterations that followed this initial trailer for the long-overdue film adaptation of James Thurber’s famous short story are a prime example of how the demographic targeting of studios can weaken a great trailer.