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The Best & Worst Movie Posters of 2010

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Dec 25, 2010 | 6:44am EST

Movie posters rarely jump out you and, frankly, they need not: All that’s really required is the big-name cast or, in lieu of major stars, the indie-festival acclaim the film has amassed; the pun-y or double-entendre tagline; and the release date. But a few studios always dare to be ambitious with their movies’ posters, and that’s when they catch our eye -- for better or worse. Read on for 2010’s biggest hits and misses in the poster game.

THE BEST

I'm Still HereI’m Still Here

Joaquin Phoenix’s post-pseudo-hip-hop-exile face stands out so much, why not simply make it the poster for I’m Still Here -- with the title fittingly fading away? That’s exactly what was done, and the juxtaposition of minimalism (only Phoenix’s face and the title) with maximalism (the sheer hirsute craziness of said face) is quite striking and effective.

FrozenFrozen

Not too many people saw this indie horror flick, but its poster -- featuring a man dangling from a ski lift in what appears to be a pitch-black Arctic wasteland (in which “No one knows you’re up there”) -- more than arouses our curiosity. And the hair on the back of our necks.

Hot Tub Time MachineHot Tub Time Machine

And the highly coveted Funniest Movie Poster of the Year award goes to: Hot Tub Time Machine. The creative team behind HTTM’s ad campaign went above and beyond the call of duty with this one, producing a poster that is every bit as inane as the movie’s title and plot -- all while wryly summing it up. It’s genuinely chuckle-worthy, and you can’t say that about many, if any, movie posters.

Black SwanBlack Swan

Natalie Portman’s picture is truly worth a thousand words: creepy, stark, stunning, troubling and aesthetically impressive are just a few (and also serve to ultimately describe Darren Aronofsky’s masterpiece). The poster also manages to elicit a “WTF is this movie about?!” reaction from many people, which is a chief objective.

The Social NetworkThe Social Network

It’s already almost as instantly recognizable as the Facebook logo itself -- and that, like all advertising, is the ultimate achievement when it comes to movie posters. Jesse Eisenberg doesn’t even especially conjure up Mark Zuckerberg’s face, but who cares? There’s so much complexity built into that “profile” pic, so much interest piqued with that tagline.

THE WORST

Furry VenganceFurry Vengeance

We can’t lie: This selection may have been affected by how horrendous the movie itself was. But even if Furry Vengeance had turned out to be less than monumentally awful, a front-and-center Brendan Fraser would not be less than irritating. At least he’s on the verge of being mauled by a bear.

Charlie St. CloudCharlie St. Cloud

This tacky, unabashed celebration and flat-out posterization of Zac Efron’s prettiness is only surprising in that teenage-girl beholders are forced to visualize him shirtless. What a missed opportunity!

The Tooth FairyThe Tooth Fairy

The pun is cheesy, probably even for The Tooth Fairy’s target audience, and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s trademark eyebrow raise is as tired as his kiddie-movie phase.

FasterFaster

The Rock’s got a gun! And he’s … in the throes of ‘roid rage? We can only hope that telephone-pole-sized right arm of his is Photoshopped. And that those clouds overhead aren’t rain clouds. They’d be sorry!

Sex and the City 2Sex and the City 2

Speaking of Photoshop, just go ahead and take a look at Kim Cattrall’s face … if you can find it. At least she turned in one of several dazzling performances in one of the year’s very best movies.

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