Not sure if you know this but while there are thousands of movie posters out there, there are only about a dozen different kinds. Below, I’ve listed my favorites. Before we jump in though, I’d thought I’d note a couple of Honorable Mentions.


The Hand Painted Movie Poster.

In all honesty, these types of posters are my favorite but they’re as extinct as marriages that last a lifetime these days so I’m excluding them from contention. However, I had to give them props!

The Beautiful Young Stars in a Row Movie Poster.

These too have become somewhat extinct but we were inundated with them in the 90’s with the string of Scream rip-offs that were flooding into theaters. We were so bombarded with them that, to tell you the truth, they became annoying. Though, in recent years, they make me feel a bit nostalgic!

Okay… on to the TOP 5:

5. The Character Movie Poster.

These are pretty common with franchise films. The reason I love them is they give you a chance to be introduced to new characters, and what they’ll look like, without having too much of the movie ruined for you ahead of time.

4. The Propaganda Movie Poster.

These posters are great in that they typically mean a new Sci-Fi film is headed our way. Being that they are faux propaganda posters, it means that there will be some sort of fictional government or government agency imposing some law on the land. I dig that kind of stuff.

3. The Minimalist Movie Poster.

I dig the hell out of these. In a lot of ways, they’re a throw back to the hand painted posters of old. They really do nothing more than let you know a new movie is coming out without telling you anything about it. They’re often more enjoyable after the movie has been seen but do a great job of peaking interest beforehand.

2. The Something From Outer Space is Going to Destroy Earth Movie Poster.

It’s not exactly Top Secret information that Sci-Fi films are my favorite and there’s nothing that gets my nether region tingling more than a film coming out about some Extra-Terrestrial race, looming over Earth, hell-bent on our utter destruction!

1. The Shadowy Anti-Hero Movie Poster.

These things are so common they’re a penny a dozen. And while they probably irritate most film fans to death, I’m a sucker for them.

I even like this incarnation of them… the reluctant anti-hero that hates violence but is just too damn good with a gun.

So, what do you think? Did I leave any out?


  1. Great fucking list, sir.

  2. yeah, good posters. *contemplatively closes eyes while holding automatic weapon*

  3. Which is why I’m surprised you don’t take part in my Saturday odd one out poster challenge :P. Yes, that is me heckling you.

    I’ve always been a big fan of the floating heads over an object poster style (you see it a lot in the early harry potter – LOTR posters). Those and the hand painted ones you feature above. I like them because they’re appealing, without trying to be “cool” or “mysterious.” Like so many of the posters you get today where a character is mostly concealed, the background vague, and everything is so dark and edgy (yawn).

  4. I’m with you Kai, the old hand painted ones are best. Interesting timing I have a best posters of the year post coming soon as a precursor to my top ten movies of the year.

  5. Can’t beat those hand painted 80s ones!

  6. […] – It would have been so easy to do a “Beautiful Young Stars in a Row Movie Poster” but this one offers a little bit more. Each character gets their own story within the movie, […]

  7. I’m all about minimalist posters, but that Unforgiven poster is one of the all-time greats. Awesome list, dude.

  8. Great List! Gives me an idea of what posters to put up in my room now!

  9. Indeed – great list! I love movie posters too. The simplistic ones – jurassic park, batman – always seemed striking back in the nineties. Now these are generally saved for the tin box set.

    Im sure there are loads more – and then you have those big-ass landscape ones!

    Advertising can be so artistic!

  10. I dunno…I have nothing against the hand-painted posters, but were it not for Star Wars and Raiders, would we really feel the same way about them? Any iteration I can think of since (Potter) has just been a direct rip-off of that style – yes, I still like it, but it’s too blatant to truly appreciate.

    The “Beautiful Stars in a Row” and your #1 are probably my least favorites on this whole list, for the reason you call out for each of them – they’re common. Everyone does them. They’re boring as hell and unimaginative. Might as well thrown in that other “great” 90s staple, the “star’s face(s) tinted blue on a black background.” That one only happened with every third poster from that era…

    My favorites are probably, in case you can’t tell, the most original ones. Of the ones you listed above, I’d go with the ones for Sideways and Catfish. Also, to hop into the wayback machine, just about anything Saul Bass did. Graphical posters are the tits.

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