Hello, everyone, and welcome back to The Friendly Film Fan! 2021 was certainly a year, and with that passage of time came the passage of advertisements by all manner of studios attempting to get us to watch their movies, whether in theaters or on streaming services. Trailers are an art form all their own; a bad one can kill a good film’s box office before it even opens, and a good one can lend a financial/hype-wound hand to even the most dismal of features. We all remember watching trailers that excited us as we sat in the dark waiting for our feature presentation to begin, so without further delay, let’s go ahead and talk about the best ones we got to see in 2021. These are our picks for the Top 10 Movie Trailers of 2021!
10. The Matrix Resurrections – Official Trailer 1
The fourth installment in the live-action Matrix franchise was a big swing from the get-go, but Warner Bros really did put a good deal of marketing power into promoting it, hence its two very successful trailers. Whilst the latter may have largely sold the film as a new Wachowski action vehicle, Resurrections’ first trailer let us in on the event of it all. The grandiose visuals, the music selection, and some pretty sweet action teasing let us all know that the Matrix franchise was back in a big way; what a shame the film itself only about half lived up to it.
9. The Batman – The Bat and the Cat Trailer
Both iterations of the caped crusader’s advertised return to the silver screen deserve their own levels of acclaim, both providing new angles and grime through which to look at everyone’s favorite non-superpowered superhero as Robert Pattinson dons the cape and cowl to fight crime in the earliest days of The Batman. It’s the latter of the two, however, that works best, giving us more of an idea of the story, showing off some really cool new footage, and teasing Paul Dano’s Riddler as a genuinely antagonistic force. The trailer also gives us a lot more of Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman, her rapport with Bruce informing some of the sexier elements of both the film and the character. Whatever secrets the movie holds only the movie itself will tell, but I do wonder if Matt Reeves has something more ponderous up his sleeve than anyone expects, as he did with his two Planet of the Apes prequel films.
8. West Side Story | Official Teaser
Its second trailer may have been more thematically appropriate, what with us actually getting to hear some of the stars sing, being re-introduced to the characters, and that gorgeous orchestral version of “Tonight” blasting over beautiful imagery, but it’s the first trailer for Steven Spielberg’s take on West Side Story that generated a hype machine amongst film and theater fans like no other (at least it did for me). Our first glimpses of the new Jets, the new Sharks, the film’s protagonists, and the design of the whole shebang premiered during the 2021 Oscars ceremony, and right up to the moment of release, the idea of whether Steven Spielberg could pull this off hung on a knife’s edge. Thankfully, the film is indeed amazing, but if one paid attention to this trailer and all it promised in just under 2 minutes, there need not have been any doubt of that.
7. Spencer – Official Teaser Trailer
Many trailers released in 2021 sold their films purely on star performances paired with tragic horror vibes, but none fit that bill quite so well as Spencer. The teaser for Pablo Larraín’s Princes Diana semi-biopic is near-wordless, right up to the point where we first hear Kristen Stewart’s voice as Diana at its tail end. There’s really not much to say about this one; it’s just a great teaser for a great movie. See for yourself!
6. Dune | Official Main Trailer
While the initial trailer teaser released alongside Tenet in September of 2020 may still be the best trailer this film has, it actually released 3 more – one on September 9, 2020, and the other two earlier in 2021. The first of those is the winner here, as it gave us a better understanding of what the story was meant to be, teased stellar visuals with an epic sci-fi scope, and let us hear our first notes of Hans Zimmer’s pretty much guaranteed-to-win-the-Oscar original score. The final trailer released for Dune also has merit, but even it can’t quite cope with this behemoth of advertising released beforehand.
5. The Green Knight | Official Trailer
The initial teaser trailer for David Lowery’s Arthurian adaptation of the Arthurian legend was interesting but not especially engaging outside of promising us an A24 fantasy tale; it’s the second trailer for The Green Knight that truly teased the epic journey the film would take us on. Visions of giants, talking foxes, trippy visuals, Ralph Ineson in a lot of makeup as the titular character with that booming voice, and a whole lot of Dev Patel wearing a yellow scarf made us all look twice at what was coming, and the film delivered on almost every promise it made, eventually cementing itself as one of the very best of 2021. There aren’t many non-MCU films that could use “Lapse” as well as this one did.
4. House of Gucci | Official Trailer
You’d be forgiven for assuming that because House of Gucci was largely a disappointment in execution, that must have meant the marketing team didn’t quite get it right, but both trailers for Ridley Scott’s second 2021 film are amongst some of the best 2021 had to offer. While the latter certainly excited Scott fans with “Sweet Dreams” driving the whole thing forward, it’s the first trailer set to Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” that announced the film was coming in a big way. Lavish costuming, weird accents, Jard Leto looking…like that, and a stacked cast all ensured that no one looking forward to awards season would miss this one. And it worked so well, they basically just did the exact same thing again the next time.
3. The Hand of God | Official Teaser
Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand of God is a good movie, but if the entire film was nearly as stunning as its initial teaser trailer, it may well have been a masterpiece. The cinematography for the teaser alone is some of the most gorgeous one will ever see in a 2021 trailer, the music is appropriately epic yet melancholy, and it goes on for just long enough in its final clip to actually make a lasting impact. The film itself is still good, but it’s not nearly as in-tune with the best parts of itself as this trailer is.
2. Eternals | Final Trailer
Chloé Zhao taking on an MCU project seemed like a dream come true for Oscar lovers and MCU fans like myself, and from how well this trailer is cut together, one might have expected it to be the best MCU film ever made. The lighting, the epic visuals, the incredible score, and the whole edit made it feel like an epic destined to take over the cultural zeitgeist for generations; unfortunately, even though I still find it interesting and mostly good, the film falls way short of those expectations. Lucky for all of us, this trailer still exists as a vast improvement over the film’s first teaser, and even if the film is one of the MCU’s weaker entries, this trailer is one of its very strongest.
1. Last Night in Soho – Official Teaser Trailer
I’ve gone on record as not really being a huge fan of Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver follow-up, Last Night in Soho, but I was a huge fan of both trailers that were put out, and no trailer made more of an impression on me personally than this official teaser trailer. Sold purely on its design, and Anya Taylor-Joy’s deeply enticing singing voice, this one moves right along for nearly two and a half minutes without a single word but for the line Thomasin McKenzie speaks at the end to tease what might be going on. Stellar, almost Argento-esque visuals sold every shot, and by the time it was all over, everyone who knew who Edgar Wright, Thomasin McKenzie, or Anya Taylor-Joy was new that they had something to get ridiculously excited about.
And those are The Friendly Film Fan’s picks for the Top 10 Movie Trailers of 2021! What were some of your favorite trailers from the previous year? Did they advertise movies from 2022 or from 2021? Let us know in the comments section below, and thanks for reading!
- The Friendly Film Fan