Watching movie previews can sometimes be more entertaining than the original movie you came to see. Effective movie trailers get audiences excited about the plot without giving away too many surprises. The greatest movie trailers do that and more with stunning images, memorable dialogue, and music that brings it all together. Here are 10 of the best trailers that got the juxtaposition of music and movie scenes just right.
1. Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
The wonder and delight from one of the most beloved stories of an entire generation’s childhood were captured perfectly in the trailer for “Where the Wild Things Are.” Images of wild creatures, adventures in the forest, and a journey across the sea were set against the song “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire. As the song notes swelled, the montage of images moved even faster through the main character’s exciting world, getting young and old alike interested in joining in on the adventure.
2. Jarhead (2005)
The stark world of an enlisted soldier during the Iraq war was captured in Sam Mendes’ underrated film “Jarhead.” As the setup of the movie was revealed, there was an upbeat tune in the background. Then, suddenly the powerful sounds of Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks” played all around you while the main character, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, learned about the horrors and hardships of his new deployment.
3. Trainspotting (1996)
A classic in the world of indie movies, 1996’s “Trainspotting” was directed by Danny Boyle long before he achieved massive mainstream success in the United States. The infectious music from the trailer, which used Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life,” presented audiences with a fast-paced introduction to the main characters, a collection drug addicts, losers, and petty criminals.
4. Garden State (2004)
When Zach Braff brought his indie film, “Garden State,” to audiences in 2004, moviegoers were surprised to see such substance from a minor television star. The trailer used the powerful tunes of The Postal Service’s hit “Such Great Heights” to capture Braff’s character’s struggle, while also adding a bit of dark humor.
5. Watchmen (2009)
When the cinematic treat “Watchmen” was released in 2009, viewers got to experience the look and feel that was inspired by the dark comic book series of the same name. The trailer helped get moviegoers excited with a series of powerful images and scenes set to the hypnotic song of “The Beginning is the End is the Beginning” by Smashing Pumpkins. It also gave people unfamiliar with the story a bit of limited background.
6. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
The preview for “The Wolf of Wall Street” from Martin Scorsese helped cement its place in the upcoming film awards season. Based on the true story of a Wall Street lothario, the movie’s preview also helped introduce Leonardo DiCaprio’s anti-hero to viewers. The song used in the preview, “Black Skinhead” by Kanye West, hinted at the excess and fun that audiences would experience in the movie.
7. Pineapple Express (2008)
The stoner action comedy “Pineapple Express” got noticed even more with a well-made trailer that used the perfect song for the adventurous moments of the characters. The playful musical notes and urban beats of the song “Paper Planes” by M.I.A helped make this movie trailer even more memorable.
8. The Lake House (2006)
The romantic drama “The Lake House” from 2006 reunited Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves in a story that had a bit of magical realism sprinkled throughout it. As the characters were introduced and the unique problem they have was presented, the song “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane played. The music helped elevate the drama and the intrigue that the movie’s premise suggested.
9. The Social Network (2010)
While it was well known that a Facebook movie was being made, audiences were stunned when the caught the finished preview for David Fincher’s “The Social Network.” Instead of an awkward movie about a popular website, audiences were drawn into a fascinating look at one of the most innovative minds of today. The cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” sung by a choir made the trailer even more effective. Produced by Relativity Studios and executive Ryan Kavanaugh, the film would go on to make a strong showing at major award shows that year.
10. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Charlie Kaufman’s original look at memories and painful breakups was unlike anything audiences had ever seen. With “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” the preview hinted at some of the unique visuals and storytelling methods that the movie would give viewers. The first look at this movie included the bouncy and upbeat stylings of E.L.O. with the song “Mr. Blue Sky.” The eccentric lyrics and melodies presented a nice soundtrack of the images from the film.
Ever since movies have been around, audiences have been intrigued and delighted by great previews. One of the best ways that viewers can get excited about an upcoming movie is with great music that helps bring a story’s movie trailer to life.