Trailers have become more important than ever now that they’re readily available online and this award seeks to reward the movies that do the best they can within the format. Bear in mind this is an award for the best trailer to a 2015 movie, so trailers for movies that come out next year will not be eligible. Also I’m limiting this to trailers for movies I’ve seen so I can make sure that the trailers don’t give too much away, are in keeping with the movie’s spirit, and aren’t misleading.
- Creed: A running theme through Creed is that the protagonist wants to make a name for himself without living in the shadow of his father and this trailer respects that by waiting a while before revealing that this movie is part of the Rocky franchise and even when that becomes apparent Sylvester Stallone never finds himself front and center in the trailer. But even beyond that this is an exciting and well cut piece of advertising that represents the movie well.
- Beasts of No Nation (Teaser): I always like teaser trailers that decide to focus in on a single scene from a movie and the is a pretty good example of that. The trailer plays an abridged version of a scene from the movie where the commandant orders the protagonist to deliver a summary execution of a man claimed to be among those who massacred the child’s village. The trailer cannily intercuts scenes from earlier in the film of that family as the child decides what to do. It’s a bit of a ripoff of last year’s American Sniper trailer but it’s still an effective trick.
- Goodnight Mommy: This is a trailer that gets bonus points for degree of difficulty. Goodnight Mommy is certainly a horror film of sorts but it doesn’t really have a monster and isn’t filled with jump scares, so the trailer needs to sell the movie on its tone and mystery and this trailer really does that while also avoiding the film’s twists and playing along with its misdirection. Also one of the more effective use of critics quotes I’ve seen in a while.
- Mad Max: Fury Road: This trailer had the somewhat unfair advantage of being for a movie that is filled with interesting imagery that probably could have been turned into a great trailer even in the most inept of hands, but this one does sort of go the extra mile in its ability to fill the trailer with short blink and you’ll miss it cuts of some of the film’s most memorable shots and also doesn’t shy away from the film’s political undercurrents.
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Teaser #2): There were a number of trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens but this is the one that really had people talking, in no small part because it finally revealed Han Solo and Chewbacca at the end. There is however more to its appeal than that. It does a great job of giving the audience just the right taste of what is to come without telling them much of anything about the plot or spoiling any secrets.