The 5 best 2023 movie trailers so far

For decades, the only way to see movie trailers was to show up early at a screening for another film. When the internet came along, it meant that audiences no longer had to go to theaters to watch trailers, and now everyone can replay them as often as they like.

Regardless, trailers remain one of the most important aspects of film promotion because these video compilations often determine whether or not people will actually show up to see a film. A great trailer can drum up excitement for even a mediocre film. And even the best movies need at least a good trailer to help generate excitement.

With a few months still to go in 2023, we’ve rounded up the five best movie trailers of the year so far. These are the trailers that led to some of 2023’s biggest hits, as well as two killer trailers for upcoming films that have us excited to see what’s next.

Barbie (Honorable Mention)

The teaser trailer for Barbie is a brilliant sendup of 2001: A Space Odyssey while also offering just enough clips from the Barbie film to be both enigmatic and intriguing. This would have been the trailer of the year … if Warner Bros. hadn’t dropped it in December 2022 instead of releasing it within this calendar year. But it’s so well-made that it deserves special recognition on this list.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

The Super Mario Bros Movie – Official Plumbing Commercial (2023) Chris Pratt, Charlie Day

This particular trailer first aired on TV during the Super Bowl, and while everyone didn’t know it at the time, it’s also the opening of The Super Mario Bros. Movie itself. Yet it works just as well as a standalone in-universe video as the Mario brothers attempt to sell themselves in a low-budget TV ad for their plumbing business.

It also gets bonus points for the throw to an actual working website for the Mario Bros.’ services, and because it uses the theme song from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show animated series from 1989. Those are the kind of touches that fans appreciate.

Cocaine Bear

Cocaine Bear may be loosely inspired by a true story, but it also happens to have a rare title that perfectly describes the premise of the film. The trailer had to let moviegoers know what they were in for, and it provided a look at some of the insanity to come. This movie is a dark comedy, but the trailer also made sure to demonstrate that this coked-out bear was truly dangerous.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

James Gunn just loves his classic rock, doesn’t he? This trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to Rainbow’s Since You Been Goneand it’s extremely well-edited as it evokes a strong emotional response from the viewer.

Granted, it does seem to rely on the audience knowing who these characters are, and there’s only a minimal attempt to explain why Gamora is there after her death in Avengers: Infinity War and her doppelganger’s return in Avengers: Endgame. The really impressive trick of this trailer is the foreboding tone that makes it seem like the heroes are genuinely in danger.

Saw X

What would it take for you to sympathize with a serial killer? Saw X‘s trailer comes up with an answer to that question in this midquel story that is set between the first Saw and Saw 2. John Kramer (Tobin Bell), aka Jigsaw, does a little medical tourism in Mexico in the hope that his terminal cancer can still be treated.

But Kramer is taken by an elaborate con that is run by a very Elizabeth Holmes-like figure. Once Jigsaw learns that he’s been scammed by this gang of thieves, suddenly his torturous death traps are going to do some good for the world.

Killers of the Flower Moon

“Can you find the wolves in this picture?” Director Martin Scorsese has at least one more crime epic in him with Killers of the Flower Moonwhich is based on a very ugly chapter in U.S. history. A century ago, the Osage tribe in Oklahoma struck it rich in oil, only to be marked for death because of their wealth by powerful men who wanted the oil for themselves.

Scorsese’s shots in this trailer are beautiful and foreboding, and the final words seem to hang in the air long after its over. It’s far too soon to say how this film will compare to Scorsese’s previous work, but Killers of the Flower Moon‘s trailer already has us eager to see it for ourselves.

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