1. 300 (2006)
The trailer for 300 is like a kick in the balls.
Composed of almost nothing but violence. It has an amazing opera choir rocking throughout. the use of slow motion is prevalent everywhere as is the unmistakable sex appeal. Combined it plays out like a hardcore mini music video, this is a trailer Zach Synder film I will remind you, and one that sets the tone better than any for the movie it promotes. Visually stunning. Hyper violent. Epic scale. Gravatious performances. And as entertaining as the hell Leonidas and his Spartans will be dining in towards the end of the movie.
Because of the way the film was shot, using a combination of heavy filters and CGI to create an ancient bronzed, stylized look, every scene in the 300 trailer is just breathtakingly beautiful. Go back and watch it again, then start pausing at random times throughout the trailer. Every shot you pause on is worthy of being framed and hung on the wall. The composition, colors, and angles of every shot are stunning. In a typical trailer you may get 2 or 3 memorable shots that the editor wants to really sell the audience on. The trailer for 300 is made up of nothing but scenes like those. Just incredibly gorgeous.
While your eyes are bombarded with a cinematic art gallery the trailer tells you everything you need to know about the Spartans in case you slept through history class. They were the most bad ass warriors in the ancient world. Done. And if you don’t believe it just watch them fight and flex for the next 90 seconds and it’ll make you a believer.
You also know your trailer has become more than just a trailer when it transcends into pop culture. In the middle of the trailer the pace slows down a little as Leonidas is threatened by a messenger of the Persian Army in his own home with slavery and death. Leonidas of course refuses to bow down, thus ensuring the destruction of his people. The messenger can’t understand why. Has he gone mad? No. Not madness, because…. THIS IS SPARTA!
At least 10 million movie tickets were sold right then and there. A lot of people saw this movie. But not every one. However everybody knows what THIS IS SPARTA means because of this trailer.
Then the trailer kicks it into overdrive. The electric instruments go nuts as you watch these red caped dealers of death just bash and stab and kill mercilessly. Lightning shoots out from the sky, explosions and fireballs engulf the screen. It’s pure insanity and testosterone dialed up past the max setting.
There’s a reason I used to personally watch this trailer before running off to the gym back in the day. 😉
For the unrelenting assault on your senses, for being an accurate representation of the movie, for looking stunning, and for those Spartan abs, 300 is without a doubt the best movie trailer ever made. It hits on every level imaginable and is a truly amazing example of what a movie trailer can be. If movies themselves can be art, than so can the trailer for 300.
What did you think about the list? Disagree with #1? Or did your favorite trailer miss the cut? Leave a comment below and make your argument for the best movie movie trailer of all time.
FUN FACT: Body count: 585.