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Barbie, Oppenheimer, Saltburn and More



In a world…where moviegoing isn’t what it once was…a great trailer gets audiences motivated to check out a film on opening weekend. But the very best previews are so much more than that: They hold up as short-form works of art in their own right.

Keep in mind, marketing pros get just two and a half minutes to grab your attention and make their pitch. A clumsy trailer can also ruin the experience, misrepresenting the movie and setting ticket buyers up for disappointment. These days, fans devour trailers online, watching ads for anticipated new franchise entries by the millions within the first 24 hours they hit the internet. Eearlier this month, an impressive ad for the upcoming “Grand Theft Auto 6” game set new highs on YouTube.

The trailer for “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” led with a handful of jaw-dropping stunts, like the one where Tom Cruise races his motorcycle up to and eventually over the edge of a precipitous cliff (watch AV Squad’s trailer). And a pair of trailers for “Evil Dead Rise,” cut to a classic record player warbling “Que Sera Sera,” served up a nightmare-fuel montage of creepy sights from the spinoff (check out the green-band preview by MOCEAN, as well as Buddha Jones’ gorier red-band trailer).

Still, sequels, prequels and reboots have it relatively easy — their task is to convince fans that the movie will deliver on their preexisting excitement. By contrast, it’s infinitely harder to introduce audiences to an original film, which is why you won’t see AV Squad’s rad teaser for “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” on this list. The trick is distilling the selling points of an unfamiliar property (or, in the case of “Barbie,” a longstanding brand) into something concise enough to entice.

So, setting aside the finished product to consider each preview on its own merits, here are Variety’s picks for the year’s best trailers, according to chief film critic (and admitted trailer addict) Peter Debruge.


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