From 'A Star Is Born' to 'Venom': The best and worst movie trailers of 2018

·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
(Photo: Everett Collection)
(Photo: Everett Collection)

You’d think that the best and worst trailers of 2018 would correspond with the best and worst films. And in several cases, they do! But sometimes a trailer can obscure what’s unique about a film (like Mission: Impossible), or make a middling sequel (like Creed II) seem truly great. The year’s best one, for A Star Is Born, had audiences literally humming the trailer. And a few of these trailers tease films that won’t be released until 2019. Read our picks for the best and worst previews of the year, and leave your additions in the comments.

BEST: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (Nov. 12)

For nearly a minute, this is the trailer for a somber, future-set detective film. Then a photo-realistic Pikachu shows up, wearing a Sherlock Holmes hat and cracking jokes in the voice of Deadpool. And it only gets weirder from there. The year’s most unexpected trailer had our full attention, particularly when we spotted classic characters like Jigglypuff and Charizard populating its noir-comic world.

WORST: Venom (Apr. 23)

As baffling as the film itself, Sony’s first trailer for Venom featured a quick shot of the actual monster, preceded by two-and-a-half minutes of Tom Hardy talking to himself, shooting long rubbery hands from random parts of his torso, and listening to Jenny Slate mispronounce “symbiote.”

BEST: A Star Is Born (June 6)

If trailers were a genre, this one would be an instant classic: a thrilling, two-minute encapsulation of Bradley Cooper’s sprawling musical drama. The fact that we all spent four months humming those 20-second clips of “Shallow” and “Maybe It’s Time” says everything.

BEST: Creed II (June 20)

Like the Creed trailer before it, the Creed II trailer hit all the right nostalgia buttons for original Rocky fans while making the story of an underdog boxer seem fresh for a new generation. This one was loaded with references to Rocky IV, including a well-timed character reveal that had theatrical audiences gasping.

WORST: Mission: Impossible — Fallout (Feb. 4)

It wasn’t just one of the best action movies of the year; it was one of the best movies of the year, period. So why did the trailer for Mission: Impossible: Fallout make it look so grim and generic? Maybe it was impossible to capture the scope of Cruise’s astonishing stunts and Christopher McQuarrie’s first-rate filmmaking in so many quick cuts.

BEST: Suspiria (Aug. 23)

Luca Guadagnino’s highbrow horror film polarized viewers, but the pull of its first trailer — a collection of disturbing, hallucinatory images intercut with dance footage and Tilda Swinton glares — was hard to resist.

WORST: The Nun YouTube pre-roll teaser (Aug. 14)

The stupidest of 2018’s worst trailers was this six-second jump scare aimed at unsuspecting YouTube users. Unnecessarily loud and genuinely shocking, the pop-up appearance of the horror film’s title character was a cheap trick — but it worked, generating an extra news cycle of publicity when YouTube banned the ad.

BEST: Widows (Aug. 15)

We think it’s criminally insane that more people didn’t see this top-notch drama about four Chicago women pulling off their late husbands’ last heist, particularly since this trailer featured Viola Davis and Michelle Rodriguez at their fiercest. (Also: an exploding car. People love exploding cars!)

WORST: Life Itself (July 10)

Was there a worse line all of cinema this year than Olivia Wilde’s earnestly delivered “I may not be equipped to be loved this much?” Wilde and the rest of the all-star cast did their best, but the gimmicky drama Life Itself rang just as emotionally false as the trailer suggested it would.

BEST: Toy Story 4 (Nov. 12)

It starts out as a musical homage to the Toy Story characters audiences have loved since 1995. Then something truly bonkers happens. The introduction of Toy Story 4‘s new spork character seemed at first like a joke, but it’s actually just Pixar shaking up the formula — which is one of the things we admire most about Disney’s 3D animation studio.

WORST: Captain Marvel (Sept. 18)

We have high hopes for Marvel’s first female-led superhero film, so naturally we wanted the debut trailer to knock our socks off. What we got instead was a mildly confusing mash-up of ’90s imagery and metallic super-suits, which had fans talking more about the digitally de-aged Nick Fury than the groundbreaking title character. Fortunately, the second trailer was much more illuminating.

BEST: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (March 20)

Truly the feel-good movie of the year, Morgan Neville’s Fred Rogers documentary was warming PBS-nurtured hearts from the moment this trailer debuted.

WORST: The Happytime Murders — red-band trailer (May 18)

Did we need to see a Muppet ejaculate? Ever? The answer is no. (But if you insist, watch the clip above.)

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