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10 Trailers That Were Better Than the Movie

Plenty of people grumble about trailers not delivering the movie they promise, but only one man — New Zealander J. Congdon — got Paramount Pictures to refund the cost of his Jack Reacher ticket, because the movie didn’t include the badass cliff explosion that got him to spend money on a Tom Cruise movie in the first place. In fairness to Paramount, this kind of thing happens all the time; trailers are often cut months before the picture itself is finalized, leading to all sorts of shots, jokes, and scenes that don’t show up in the finished product. It’s all part of the tricky world of film advertising, where the goal is to lure you into the theater, and not necessarily to reflect the tone, story, or (certainly) quality of the film in question. Trailer cutting is kind of an art form unto itself, which is why we so often see trailers that get us all in a tizzy, only to wander out of the movie they’re selling in a befuddled and disappointed stupor. After the jump, we look back at ten movies that were far better in two-minute form.

Independence Day

People gazing towards the heavens in awe! Giant shadows moving over national landmarks! Huge fireballs engorging city streets! A big fucking UFO blowing up the White House! At 92 seconds, this teaser for the 1996 smash Independence Day seemed to have it all; what it didn’t have, aside from the brief and forgettable prologue, was a lot of “characters” engaging in “behavior” and saying “dialogue” to each other, which turned out to be something of a gigantic weak spot if you had to sit through the endless 145 minutes of the film itself.

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