Movie Trailers.... yay or nay?

How do you feel about movie trailers

  • I'm for them. I want to have an idea of the genre, concept, characters, etc. going in.

    Votes: 2 16.7%
  • I'm against them. I want to see movies with a completely blank slate and be surprised by everything.

    Votes: 3 25.0%
  • I'm for being surprised, but trailers still don't ruin that for me.

    Votes: 4 33.3%
  • I WOULD prefer being surprised but I just can't wait. I have to see things. NOW.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I prefer seeing stuff early because it makes me look forward to it even more.

    Votes: 3 25.0%

  • Total voters


Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2005
Toronto, Ontario(by way of the Kepler Verge)
Ebert said:
Trailers. Have nothing to do with them. Gene Siskel hated them so much he would stand outside a theater until they were over. If he was already seated in the middle of a crowded theater, he would shout "fire!" or plug his ears and stare at the floor. Trailers love to spoil all the best gags in a comedy, hint at plot twists in a thriller, and make every film, however dire, look upbeat..

I think I've come to a crossroads about movie trailers. I think I might be done with them. For serious this time.

Quantum Of Solace tomorrow night. It's been attached to both the new Star Trek and Watchmen trailers at various screenings, and I'm tantalized by both of them. But at the same time, I really think it's finally time to put the whole idea of trailers to rest. What Ebert says up there is absolutely right....

I'm sick to death of those awkward moments in a comedy where nobody laughs at a very funny joke because everyone's seen it once, twice, six times already, and everybody's just got to grit their teeth and bear it for a few seconds and it sucks.

I'm sick of that feeling when a shot of something HUGE that the editors thought would be too quick in the trailer to catch registers, and even though it lasted less than half a second the significance will be stuck in my head until I see the movie and have one less emotional kick from it(the best recent example would probably be
the split-second shot of the Joker dropping Rachel out the window
in The Dark Knight,
so I went into it already emotionally ready for her to die. I know she end up dying THERE after all, but I had already long since gotten over the idea of her dying in the movie because of that shot. Not to mention the whole not-dead-Gordon dialouge fiasco which I thankfully somehow forgot about when I saw the movie, but I know some of you didn't.

I'm sick of knowing more about character's personalities that I should at the start of the film, or that the car their in will be seen flying off a cliff at some point, or that they're acting all chummy with that guy for the first big heist scene of the movie.... won't they be surprised when he turns out to be the film's main villain for the next 100 minutes. Too bad I won't be.


You get my point. I don't want to watch movies this way anymore. I just keep thinking back to this story Robert Zemeckis told about the first test screening of Back To The Future where the audience knew NOTHING about the film and when a seventeen-year-old George McFly sits down next to Marty and Marty just gapes at him for ten seconds, he describes how there was this magical sort of ripple that went through the audience as they all suddenly 'got' the movie and it gave them chills.

That's how I want all movies to be. It's obviously not going to be easy and I'll have to keep the mute button handy when I'm watching TV(oh well, I do that anyway), but .... no. That's how I want all movies to be. I owe it to them. What do you think?
As usual I wanted to make that poll a public-voter but forgot. D'oh. There should also probably be something like "The Pixar Option: I want to be shown the basic plot/genre/characters, but with absolutely no clips from the film itself".
Last edited:
I hate it when trailers make the movie to be in the wrong genre. This has happened to me for both SYRIANA and THE GOOD SHEPHERD, I went in want to see a high octane thrill ride and was severely disappointed.
I don't mind them on principle. I do like having a sense of whether or not I'll want to spend the increasingly expensive ticket price for a movie to actually see it in the theatre, but more often than not, they reveal way too much. I do like to mostly have that blank slate walking in.

Though logistically and economically not so viable, I like the idea of footage shot exclusively for a trailer that gives you that sense without using anything from the film.
I absolutely refuse to watch trailers of films I know I'm going to see. I never watch or read anything about a film of a director I love. Reading reviews, watching trailers, reading essays all ruin the movie experience. If you hated the movie all you did was waste lots of time reading about something you hated. If you love the flick read about it afterward. After you've had time to develop your own thoughts about it. Otherwise, you're just going to recycle some crappy internet film reviewer's shallow thoughts.

Now, I had absolutely no intention of ever watching a James Bond film. I saw the trailer for Quantum of Solace and I really want to watch it. So, it did it's job. But, once I saw it and decided I did want to see it I always closed my eyes and plugged my ears from then on.
You know what? I love them. Sometimes they come down too hard, but that's mostly only a problem for those of us who are film geeks.

Otherwise they are an essential way to get the gist of a movie that you would otherwise have never heard of. I absolutely see movies if the trailers compel me to.

In the words of one of my film history professors, "If a movie is not worth seeing ten times, it is not worth seeing once." If knowing bits and pieces of a film kill the magic, if it can't capture you to the point where you stop thinking about trailers or whatever, then that movie just isn't as good as it should be.
Last edited:
I like them. Personally the trailers that tell you nothing about a movie make me not want to see it. Now don't get me wrong I'm not expecting plot-twists ruined how ever I think you need a trailer to tell you basically what the hell the film is about so you know if you want to watch it. Unless the title of the film is something like "Spider-man" which you already know how else can you know what it is.

"Silence of the lambs" based on title with no trailers or anything to go by you would be expecting some sheep in there. How ever knowing what its about a little about the characters involved makes you want to see it.

Maybe I'm explaining myself wrong here
The only film I can think of in recent memory that was ruined by trailers in recent was Borat, since I realized that all the shock humor that was hilarious in the trailers, wasn't any more hilarious in the movie.

But that's the film's fault, and the PR people for the film's fault. You can't throw out the baby with the bathwater... But this usually happens with mediocre comedies, not great films... A great director gets together the right people to cut a trailer together.
In the words of one of my film history professors, "If a movie is not worth seeing ten times, it is not worth seeing once." If knowing bits and pieces of a film kill the magic, if it can't capture you to the point where you stop thinking about trailers or whatever, then that movie just isn't as good as it should be.

It doesn't necessarily kill the magic, but I think it still diminishes the first viewing experience more than it should.

The first Spider-Man, for example, is still one of my absolute favourite movies and I've seen it a dozen+ times. Seeing the scene where he watches the tiny hairs grow out of his thumb and climbs the wall for the first time, in theatres, is still one of the cooler moments in my life. I followed that film obsessively for months before it came out and watched as many clips as I could find and it still went way beyond my anticipation when it hit.

But.... I'm imagining it now, seeing that movie knowing only that it was "the big new Spider-Man movie" and not having seen any actual clips, and I think if that had been the case, when he started climbing that wall my 12-year-old brain would've actually exploded.

No amount of spoilers can ruin a truly great film. I knew an unfortunately large amount about Se7en going into it and it still became a top-20er for me. But I disagree that they don't diminish things enough for it be a huge problem.

Plus, like you said, there's the simple matter of ruining the best jokes in comedies. One of Tropic Thunder's best lines -
"What do YOU mean 'you people'?"
had bombarded me at least five times before I saw the movie.
Unno, i generally like trailers. If I'm really excited about a movie and don't want to have it spoiled, I generally avoid trailers by changing channels or muting.

Though, without trailers, I would have skipped Tropic Thunder, and the upcoming Trek reboot.
I approve of trailers, I probably wouldn't be interested in the majority of the movies I've seen with out them.
It goes without saying that in the current state of things any of us would miss out on a lot of great movies without watching trailers, because they're 90% of the way you find out about new movies at all.

What I'm saying is that the entire system should be different. These days you basically have three types of trailer - teasers, trailers, and big trailers. The teaser usually gives you a sense of the movie and what's in it without showing much or any actual clips. I approve of these. The trailer is basically all the plot points of the first third of the film told using clips from the entire film. The big trailer is the same thing, plus hints at later plot twists and glimpses of one or two 'OMG!' moments. The Dark Knight is a perfect example of this model.

I don't see the point of the third one at ALL. Is there anyone who saw the second trailer, didn't want to see the movie, but was then convinced by the revelation that that character you had no interest in is going to get blown up!!! or also be a mutant!!! at some point in the movie?

That's my first request here, drop the entire idea of seeing the big trailer, and hopefully someday the regular trailer too. You can already tell if you want to see it, but none of it gets ruined.
I like the original material being used for trailers, such as the twin towers shot with Spider-Man and the casting auditions with Zack & Mimi.
How about trailers like what Kevin Smith did for Zack & Miri? Make a teaser with footage that is not in the movie, but gives you the rundown of what it's going to be about.

Smith did that for the reasons stated about spoilers, showing too much, etc.
This is why I should've added "The Pixar Option". If it were up to me, ALL trailers would be exactly like that.

If it were up to you, I'd be watching a LOT less movies in a year.
You know, when it comes to trailers for things liks Star Trek and Watchmen, I don't think it would matter like at all

You've read Watchmen, you already know what to expect far more than any trailer might tell you. And the same thing goes for Star Trek

but I entirely agree when it comes to comedies, they ruin the movies, they bring out the best bits of the movie in a desperate attempt to gather viewers because let's face it, Comedies don't exactly do gangbusters in the box office any more.
I'll agree with Comedies. Comedy Trailers have gotten to the point of ridiculousness, and they should really try to figure out something new (the Zack and Miri/Pixar/Disney method works to a degree, but its still frustrating in terms of wanting to know what to expect in a movie). If I see a trailer for a comedy and want to see it, I do try not to see more trailers for it, like all the TV-Spots and whatnot...

In general though, for bigger movies... Even Action/Superhero movies... I'd say it doesn't matter. For straight-drama's in particular, they can do great things with trailers.

Comedy Trailers are definitely problematic.

Latest posts