We’ve all seen the floating heads that seem to have saturated every corner of the cinema, and many think that’s the end of movie poster art. And honestly, as a movie buff, it’s worrying. However, I’ve scoured my watchlist to find you movies from the past few years that prove that all hope is not lost. Here are 20 movies with great posters to refresh your timeline.

1.Spencer (2021)

The biopic of 2021 spencerfeaturing Kristen Stewart and led by Pablo Larrain, displays a tragically beautiful signature poster. The film, which follows the life of Princess Diana of Wales, perfectly captures the heartbreaking nature of her story while maintaining a simple yet complex symbolic image. The character’s bent, weeping pose, with her back to the viewer, wearing an ornate robe, tells us all we need to know about the impending story.

2. Athlete A (2020)

20 movie posters that are a beacon of hope in the era of blockbuster floating heads

Even though it’s a documentary, Athlete Ain my opinion, featured one of the best posters of 2020. Directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenkthe Netflix original follows the case of “Athlete A”, the American gymnast who first exposed the sex crimes of larry nassar (the former resident doctor of gymnastics). The carpet the character is standing on is depicted as a crisp American flag on the movie poster. It beautifully illustrates the documentary’s investigations into the crumbling and corrupt nature of America’s sporting institutions that failed to protect more than 140 victims of Nassar.

3. Mank (2020)

20 movie posters that are a beacon of hope in the era of blockbuster floating heads

malea black and white biographical film directed by David Finchersurrounding the infamous screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz is beginning what some might call “floating head syndrome,” but hear me out. It’s different. The illustrated, almost comic book quality of the characters is able to showcase all his talents while giving him an air of classic cinema.

4. Birds of Prey (2020)


It may come as a surprise that there’s a superhero/villain movie on the list, but Birds of prey, directed by Cathy Yan, Breaks away from the curse of Marvel/DC floating head posters and finds a creative alternative. This is, by far, one of the best posters to come out of both universes. The ‘birds’ around Harley Quinn’s head nod to the comic depiction of being hit on the head – very Tom and Jerrystyle. It tells the audience enough about their psychological position while also cleverly showcasing all of the other actors in the film.

5. Smart (2021)

20 movie posters that are a beacon of hope in the era of blockbuster floating heads

Although horror films terrify me and it’s not a genre that I often explore, clever the poster is enough to attract me. The simplicity of the poster in absolute black, the visceral red and Peaky Blinders star Annabelle Wallis‘—who plays the lead in the film—the expressive face makes for a brilliant poster. It uses elements from old horror films from the 80s and 90s while maintaining a clean, modern aesthetic.

6. The Last Duel (2021)


Directed by Ridley Scott, The last duel unfortunately participated in head-hopping crime for some of its posters – in an effort to show off their star-studded cast, of course – but this poster is by far the best. The simple visuals of the two swords that help form a woman’s figure perfectly embody the film’s narrative. No spoilers here, but this poster will make a lot of sense when you watch the movie. And that’s what a good poster is all about: telling you just enough, but not too much.

7. Tiger Tail (2020)

20 movie posters that are a beacon of hope in the era of blockbuster floating heads

tiger taildirected by Alan Yang, tells the story of a Taiwanese man and his adventure in America in search of opportunities. The film is powerful and worth watching. All of the posters released for the movie are absolutely stunning, but for me, the one above spoke the loudest. I always like to see artwork or a more obscure artistic version of a poster as opposed to a still from the movie.

8. Owner (2020)


Possessor, a horror/sci-fi film also makes the cut with this poster. Even if I have to admit that I haven’t seen the film yet, the poster makes me want to – and again, it’s surprising since I hate horrors. The bright yellow and distorted face are incredibly captivating.

9. The Green Knight (2021)


The green knightfeaturing Dev Patel, presented two posters for its promotional material. This one is my pick as the best. Although knowing that the character is played by Patel, as with spencer, the back turned to the viewer gives off an air of mystery. It makes you want to look deeper and find out who this man is. The striking red and gold – along with the character’s dark shadow displays an opulent yet gritty essence.

10. Baby Shiva (2020)

20 movie posters that are a beacon of hope in the era of blockbuster floating heads

Directed by Emma Seligman, Baby Shiva tells the story of the awkward encounter between a daughter and her dad during a Jewish funeral service: a shiva. The poster paints a fantastical, offbeat image, reminiscent of the 90s and early 2000s, and shows you exactly what you want from this comedy.

11. Nomadic Land (2020)

20 movie posters that are a beacon of hope in the era of blockbuster floating heads

Oscar winner nomadlanddirected by Chloe Zhao, also makes the cut with this poster. It may not be to everyone’s taste due to what seems to be its ‘banality’, but I believe this factor is its greatest strength. Sometimes these floating head posters make me feel a little claustrophobic, there’s no wiggle room, it’s just cramming everything together. However, it does the opposite. It’s open and you can almost feel the breeze blowing over its clothesline.

12. Run (2020)


Another Horror, featuring our Horror Queen Sarah Paulson, Course has a great poster. Although the film promotes another as the main star, this first poster is much better. I’m just a sucker for movie posters that draw inspiration from cinema’s past, it seems.

13. French release (2021)


French release, directed by Azazel Jacobs, also falls into this category. Similar to Course, it gives off old cinematic vibes – I seem to be a fan of that style. Its composition places us at the front of the car, almost as if we were the driver looking out the back. The term ‘French Exit’ is used to describe the act of leaving a place or engagement without warning. The image of mother and son in the car, as well as this term, is a great nod to the plot.

14. Promising Young Lady (2020)


Oscar winner Promising young woman, directed by Emerald Fennell, also presented the public with a superb poster. Evoking the fantastic “chick-flicks” posters of the early 2000s – perhaps deliberately delivered ironically –Promising young woman presents a bright but dark aura.

15. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

20 movie posters that are a beacon of hope in the era of blockbuster floating heads

Despite a huge star-studded cast, including Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, The Chicago 7 Trial chooses not to cast them on the poster in the infamous floating-head triangle; instead we have this. Although it looks like a simple blueprint, it tells us a lot. The looming courthouse towers over the viewer and underscores the importance of the impending trial.

16. Da 5 Bloods (2020)

20 movie posters that are a beacon of hope in the era of blockbuster floating heads

Da 5 Bloodsa Spike Lee joint, also deserves a shout out for its amazing poster. Perhaps my favorite of the bunch, he really brings dazzling artistry back to the movie poster craft. In fact, it’s one of many stunning depictions released to promote the film, with each poster even more artistic than the last. It tells the story of five black American veterans who return to Vietnam years later to retrieve the remains of their squad leader as well as a secret stash of gold. Most “war” movie posters are usually overtly “heroic” and propagandistic in nature – this one, on the other hand, is not. It imitates tragic pain, loss and darkness.

17. The Social Dilemma (2020)

20 movie posters that are a beacon of hope in the era of blockbuster floating heads

Another Netflix documentary, youhe social dilemma, makes the cut but what can i say? It’s a good poster. A little plain or on the nose perhaps, but I still think it deserves praise. Sometimes the simpler and more obvious the better.

18. The Mauritanian (2021)

20 movie posters that are a beacon of hope in the era of blockbuster floating heads

Mauritanian was a captivating, sensational and truly heartbreaking film and the poster does it justice. Directed by Kevin Macdonaldthe true story follows a Mauritanian man (Mohamedou Ould Slahi) who was detained without evidence for the crimes of 9/11. It reveals the horrors and torture he faced at the hands of the US government and welcomes some of the biggest stars like Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch. However, although rare for Hollywood, the poster chooses to highlight Tahar Rahim (a French actor of Algerian origin) and him alone. Rather than capitalizing on images of ultra-famous actors, the poster reminds you of what’s important:Salahi’s story.

19. Eternals (2021)

20 movie posters that are a beacon of hope in the era of blockbuster floating heads

Wow, you must have thought there was no way a Marvel movie would make the cut. I mean, they’re largely to blame for the horrible floating heads, but Eternals constituted a refreshing break for the franchise. While the film has its terrible, blockbuster, floating-head renditions of its posters, this one was a surprising departure from Marvel’s usual marketing antics.

20. Tick, tick… Boom!

20 movie posters that are a beacon of hope in the era of blockbuster floating heads

Lin Manuel Mirandahis directorial debut with Tick, tick… Boom! also made the list. It follows the playwright and composer’s autobiographical musical Jonathan Larson. With three additional posters released after its initial launch, this edition exceeded the original for me. No, it’s not an image of the poster on a wall – it’s the actual poster, and that’s why I love it. It gives you the essence of Broadway posters with theater magazine Playbillis iconic black and yellow.

20 movie posters that are a beacon of hope in the era of blockbuster floating heads



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