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14 Amazing Movies Fans Almost Didn't See Because The Trailer Was Flaming Hot Garbage

Updated October 6, 2017 2.9k votes 489 voters 30.2k views14 items

List RulesVote up the worst trailers for the greatest movies.

Trailers have become cinematic pieces in and of themselves. All too often, gullible moviegoers are fooled by a beautifully edited trailer, and then they're lured into a garbage movie like an insect into a Venus flytrap. But then there are the rarer occurrence when studios inexplicably make terrible trailers for great movies. How do you take pieces of something awesome and slap them together in such away that it looks decidedly un-awesome?

When a trailer fails, it's usually because it doesn't capture the tone of the film, or misrepresents it. Movies with misleading trailers are the worst because the studio is really just shooting themselves in the foot. Think of something like The Cabin in the Woods, or In Bruges. Why sabotage an already fringe-y movie through dumb promotion?

So, to help these studios get their clips together, here are some of the worst trailers for good movies ever made. Hopefully they'll take notes.

  • Video: YouTube

    Why The Trailer Is Trash: Han's blaster doesn't blast. It kind of feels like that's all that's needed to be said. But beyond that, the trailer is choppy, and the audio editing sounds terrible even by 1977 standards.

    Why The Movie Is Terrific: Star Wars is obviously one of the most beloved movie franchises of all time. A New Hope enchanted an entire generation of sci-fi fans, captivating audiences with the wonder of an intergalactic adventure. And a big, hairy dog/man/bear thing.

    • Actors: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, James Earl Jones, Alec Guinness
    • Released: 1977
    • Directed by: George Lucas
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  • Video: YouTube

    Why The Trailer Is Trash: Alfred Hitchcock was ahead of his time, so the cheesy voiceover and exposition used in this very '50s trailer undermine the tension of the film. In Rear Window, an injured former reporter is stuck at his window watching his neighbors, until he comes to the conclusion that one has committed a murder. The trailer does a marvelous job of making it look like Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. It's topped off with star James Stewart turning to the camera and telling the audience they're going to be captivated by the neighbors, too. Thanks for the direction, Jimmy!

    Why The Movie Is Terrific: Rear Window is considered by many to be the greatest thriller of all time. The movie makes the viewer complicit in Stewart's voyeurism in a specific, and enthralling, way. The audience is trapped, sharing the wheelchair-bound man's point of view, trying to solve the murder mystery right alongside him. The suspense of the film builds from beginning to end with no reprieve until the climax. It's that tension that makes it so great.

    • Actors: Grace Kelly, James Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock, Gig Young, Raymond Burr
    • Released: 1954
    • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
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  • Video: YouTube

    Why The Trailer Is Trash: The minute people saw the city folding over on itself, they said, "Oh, it's an Inception knock off," and promptly decided not to see the movie. That alone probably destroyed this movie's box office performance. Benedict Cumberbatch's American accent may have factored in, too, but the studio should have just left the folding city out of the trailer entirely.

    Why The Movie Is Terrific: Part of what makes Doctor Strange a standout amongst Marvel movies is the inherent uniqueness of the character and his origins. The visual, psychedelic mind-f*ck elements of this movie make it fresh, but it still has all the hallmarks of a great MCU film: excellent casting, wonderful humor, and eye-popping action.

    • Actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg
    • Released: 2016
    • Directed by: Scott Derrickson
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  • Video: YouTube

    Why The Trailer Is Trash: This dinner table scene depicting everyone's personified emotions makes Inside Out seem less focused than it is – it's really only about Riley's emotions. This trailer is almost hectic, but that's not the tone of the film at all.

    Why The Movie Is Terrific: First of all, it's a Pixar movie – they're virtually incapable of making a bad film. Secondly, it stars Amy Poehler. Lastly, this movie is almost brazen in its ability to give you all the feels. It literally shows you what emotions to feel, and then makes you feel them.

    • Actors: Amy Poehler, Diane Lane, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Lewis Black
    • Released: 2015
    • Directed by: Pete Docter
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