The Top 10 Movie Trailers of 2014

Ah, movie trailers. We love them, we hate them, we don’t quite understand them. We complain that they tell us too much, or deride them for including all the good jokes/explosions/scares, but there’s no doubt that we rely on them to make our movie-going decisions — and that they’ve becoming something of an art of their own. So join us for a look back at the year in trailers, and at ten spots whose artistry and craft rose above mere hype.

Dear White People

The year’s smartest and funniest satire gets the sell-job it deserves, with a brilliant ad campaign that not only trafficked in provocative viral videos, but trailers that convey the movie’s intelligence and wit while only hinting at its depth. (So you’ve got something to hook in to, and something to discover). The official trailer is a damn fine one, but your correspondent prefers this first teaser, which taps into the picture’s gleeful eagerness to put cinematic sacred cows on blast: The Butler, The Help, Gremlins, and especially (and most entertainingly) Tyler Perry.