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Updated by John Huh on Nov 08, 2018
Headline for Awesome Movie Trailers for Movies That Sucked
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Awesome Movie Trailers for Movies That Sucked

The words buyer beware have never rang truer than these blockbuster Hollywood movies that teased with promises of an epic, but fell flat on their face in the movie theater. Great movies with great writing and acting that inspire and convey the message while staying enjoyable and entertaining are truly rare in today’s day and age.

Social media has truly transformed the way we enjoy, share and hype movie trailers so it’s no wonder that there were so many movies I could have chose from. But these top ten movie trailers are easily the best part of the movies listed below.

Get ready to have your bubble burst with some awesome movie trailers that were better than the movie.




I’m going to go ahead and tell you now that Prometheus was not all bad, and that the universe that Ridley Scott created looked absolutely incredible. It’s paced and shot beautifully the right amount suspense and tense moments which gave me the impression of quality and level of production value that teased of greatness but fell utterly short.

This trailer is simply awesome with the terse off-key notes that give the viewer a sense of dread and impending doom, on scenes that look as beautiful as they are horrible.

And then I watched this movie and then watched it again, and again, and still couldn’t come to grasp with all the burning questions I had. Why was this movie such a jumbled mess of a plot?

Why are the characters acting and behaving as though this was some sort of B film instead of this tremendous looking production? It took some digging but after reading about the script and Damon Lindelof’s changes to it, I eventually forgave the film for the many flaws and just learned to enjoy it.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not aware of these flaws, as they can completely derail your experience and immersion in the universe so carefully crafted by Ridley Scott. The laundry list of open-ended questions and inconsistent characters presents a puzzle that wants you to think it’s intelligent. Sadly though once you start putting these puzzle pieces together, you are either so lost you run out of bread crumbs or just give up all together.

Why do the geologist and biologist get lost? Especially since the “tracker pups’ belonged to the geologist in the first place? Why is Weyland pretending to be dead? Why is David the worst android at hiding his disdain for humans?

Why does the biologist want to touch a live alien when just a few minutes earlier he ran from a 25,000 year old corpse? These questions are all just a snapshot of the mile long list that the many fans of Ridley Scott and the Alien movie series have.

My main gripe? In a world of humans where space travel is something that appears routine, the “scientists” remove their helmets just a few minutes from landing on a completely foreign planet.

These guys that were trained to go on a two year long space mission with trillions of dollars backing them, and Ridley Scott wants you to believe that removal of the helmets was a believable progression of the plot. Sorry, but that one completely shatters my suspension of disbelief.


Battle Los Angeles

Battle Los Angeles

The trailer for this movie certainly looked the part with high level special effects and a promising story line. A world under alien attack that has the humans losing the battle and the war, Battle Los Angeles should be renamed Battle War Cliches.

Explosive action in this trailer punctuated by shocking responses and looks of abject terror, makes you think this will be an epic war movie with humans fighting for their very existence.

Instead you walk into a Roland Emmerich movie complete with the requisite ‘going through the motions’ cliches and mind numbing dialogue. Plodding direction, senseless pacing and incredulous delivery at key moments in this movie make it one of the best special effect driven comedies I have ever seen.

In the end this million dollar blockbuster is driven by special effects fury, shoving inconsistent plot points down our throats with ham-fisted idiocy. Action scenes used so much shaky cam I nearly had a seizure in the theatre, Battle Los Angeles runs out of steam well before it concludes in tedious, automatic, cookie cutter fashion.


Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch

I can remember watching this trailer and being incredibly bored out of my mind almost immediately with the generic voice over and tragic filter, and it looked stale and uninteresting. I recall turning away for a second until the war scene broke out after the 1:08 mark or so and instantly being memorized by Zack Snyder’s creative style. Much like 300, Sucker Punch definitely has a way of holding your attention with the graphically diverse look.

This trailer had me looking forward to the movie with some anticipation, even if it felt a bit perverse or adolescent on the surface. And even though I walked into the theater looking forward to the action scenes, I completely checked out of this movie mentally after the first fight.

Zack Snyder may be one heck of a action director but he should leave the writing to those better suited to write a screenplay. The script drags the audience through worlds within worlds, connecting action scenes with little thought to the slot for the rules between each world.

A murky and unclear plot revolving around items that the protagonist must procure to escape her “prison of reality”, Snyder desperately wants you to believe it all makes sense.

Clumsy, loud and in your face, Sucker Punch is entertaining on a pure visceral level, all fluff with no substance. The true definition of a bait and switch, pretending to be a film about female empowerment and carry some sort of social message, all the while inundating your senses with adolescent fervor and hollow execution.

I felt slimy after watching this movie, thanks Zack Snyder.


Spider Man 3

Spider Man 3

I’m a huge Spider Man fan and he’s easily one of my favorite superheroes of all time. His cocky demeanor, constant trash talking and witty comebacks provide the character with depth when contrasted against Peter Parker’s conservative and introverted personality.

There’s not many Spider Man movies I don’t at least enjoy, but Spider Man 3 checks in on this list of top ten movie trailers for movies that are better than the movie. And boy was this trailer ever a tease for the final entry of the Sam Raimi Spider Man trilogy.

With a slow buildup this trailer delivers with showing us the first glorious glimpse of Venom, one of the greatest villains in Spider Man lore. Promising shots of Peter struggling with the black symbiotic alien hinted at depth and a struggle for the one side of Peter that is usually unbeatable.

Where Peter Parker is constantly the protagonist that struggles to keep his girlfriend, his job and financially in shambles, this movie was supposed to show us the struggles of Spider Man the hero.

Glimpses of Sandman and flashes of Green Goblin made this movie a must watch for me personally, even though I thought “This could be a sloppy mess” I saw it anyway. And boy was I ever right because this movie is a complete and utter mess. Instead of showing us the struggle that we’ve never seen before, it’s the same struggle as the previous two movies.

Mary Jane and Peter relationship issues plague the movie’s pacing, and the movie inexplicably rewrites Spider Man history by changing Uncle Ben’s killer and therefore destroying Spidey’s origin.

Sandman as a villain served absolutely zero purpose other than to push the plot forward, and the very character changes Peter’s drive to be Spider Man. His entire involvement in the Uncle Ben killing and Peter unconvincingly forgiving him while his friend Harry lies dying a few feet away completely shit on who the hero Spider Man is at his core.

Venom looked decent although the character of Eddie was so cosmically stupid and clearly nothing more than a plot device that I had a serious problem taking the villain seriously.

"Dear God, please kill Peter Parker"

Sandman flying through the air, Spider Man not having any spidey sense or cracking any jokes, and Mary Jane helping Harry were bad enough.

But Harry instantly forgiving Peter after his butler posing as a criminologist conveniently delivered an autopsy report are just some of the serious issues with this movie. The characters we’ve watched for two movies before this change so quickly and rapidly it shatters any emotional investment we had in them in the first place.

It ruins Venom which is a horrible waste, it wastes Sandman and makes Harry look like a buffoon. Not. A. Fan.

And let’s not forget that this piece of cinematic turd showed me a Spidey I had never known. Spider Man put on mascara and turned into a petulant emo teenager, disco dancing down the street like a complete asshole.


The Last Airbender

The Last Airbender

It’s rare when you can find a movie that completely subverts the source material and creates such a widespread sense of aversion from fans and non fans alike, but M. Night Shyamalan does just that. I’m not going to pretend that I’m some sort of huge fan of this series but being Asian I’m aware of the story and characters. Sadly it doesn’t take long for this movie to show you that it does not care one bit about you as a moviegoer.

This trailer does not look bad in one bit however, with some cool effects showing how these benders where manipulating matter and elements. It at least promised a decent special effects driven fan service movie, which is what I thought it would be walking into it. What it really turned out to be however was a complete and utter farce of a movie, that lacked anything truly honest or deliberate about it.

Pacing is just one of the minor issues with this movie, because that would be the script and the facsimile of acting in this movie. Further the editing and script do nothing to explain the actions of it’s characters and the exposition is delivered in a way that looks like someone was making it up as they went along.

What didn’t bother me all that much until after I read about the production was the obvious lack of Asian actors for the obviously Asian characters. Actors have successfully changed their race or at least delivered a good enough performance in movies to convince the audience, if not allow them suspension of disbelief.

But after reading about the studio actively seeking Caucasian actors to play the part, I have to admit it kind of bothered me.

In closing however, the mere fact that the lack of Asian actors had nothing to do with how horrificly idiotic this movie was, is the true barometer of how much better the trailer is than the movie. The fact that M. Night claims it’s the “most culturally diverse movie ever made” only further makes this movie devoid of any merit whatsoever.


The Happening

The Happening

M. Night Shyamalan puts two movies up back to back on the top ten movie trailers that I’d rather watch than the movie, and The Happening truly is a complete mess. This trailer actually looked pretty spooky looking, with corpses and what looked like mass suicide.

What occurs instead is an accidental comedy and the truly funny part about it is you don’t really know what the funniest part of this movie is. The casting is horrible, the acting is horrible, the pacing and writing is completely off the wall and nonsensical.

Mark Wahlberg did not fit his character at all, Zooey Deschanel looked completely lost and John Leguizamo has never been finer at his cringe inducing self delivering these colossally incredible lines.

My vote for the funniest scene in this film is of course the lion in the zoo scene, complete with special effects so realistic it makes Monty Python movies look like the pinnacle of cinematic glory.

Words just don’t do that scene justice.


The Amazing Spider Man 2

The Amazing Spider Man 2

I’ll admit I initially hated Tobey McgGuire as everyone’s favorite webhead in the first version of Spiderman, and I happen to think that Andrew Garfield fits the role quite well in costume. The Marc Webb version of Spider Man is much more the trash talking, quick quipping hero that I’ve come to love.

Amazing Spider Man was a decent enough film but I just didn’t see the need to play the origin out completely. I do appreciate the more accurate web slinging mechanism that exists on the Amazing version as opposed to the weird bot fly like hole that secreted webbing in the Sam Raimi films.

The trailer is pretty good flexing it’s big budget special effects but this movie was nothing more than a greedy cash grab on the part of Sony. This movie firmly convinced me that the Spider Man films will be nothing more than a three hour Sony commercial.

This movie is completely uninspired to do anything but take your money and subliminally implant products carefully chosen by a board of shareholders for their direct benefit.

Like Spider Man 3 the villains in this movie are plot devices, only there to push you into the next action scene and all the characters in this movie are shallow and flat. The chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone is the only thing that remotely works with this cast, and it’s pushed down our throats so much that it gets stale quickly.

The worst thing about this movie is how they ended it, which is to say it ended the same way the trailer did with Spider Man twirling a man hole cover around against Rhino.

The Amazing Spider Man 2 is the only movie on this list of top ten movie trailers that can say the trailer truly is better than the movie, why waste three hours of your life when you know how it’s going to end?

Ending the movie the same way the trailer ended takes guts, and honestly it's so insulting that I refuse to watch this turd ever again. Have we fallen so far as a movie going audience that Hollywood somehow thinks that this kind of crap is okay in our movies?


Tron Legacy

Tron Legacy

When you start to approach the very best top ten movie trailers for movies that stunk, you realize that it’s not just the fact the movie was bad. Rather, it’s the fact that the studio missed so badly on a golden opportunity that is the true indicator.

Tron Legacy fits that description perfectly, with this Disney powered tech driven sequel to an iconic movie, what could go wrong?

The answer is almost everything, because this movie has almost nothing going for it outside of a few fan service shots for older Tron fans who waited years to see the updated version of this universe. The movie senselessly stumbles about like a clumsy drunk sailor, irresponsibly throwing caution to the wind and showing no restraint or decorum when it comes to the characters or plot.

What is going on? Who is fighting who? Why is this happening? Who knows! The movie roars out of the gate in the first stanza, and then falls down the stairs and breaks itself for the rest of the running time.

What could have been an epic return to the futuristic universe of ENCOM’s computer system, was nothing more than a cash grab for Disney because the best part of this movie is the soundtrack. Not lying here at all.

The biggest thing that bugged me? BIGGEST thing? The pig they are eating at the dining table scene. Where did it come from? Why is it there? Am I supposed to believe that these people made of electronic stuff eat pork?




Checking in at number 2 is yet another movie that manages to completely subvert the original material, but unlike The Last Airbender the Transformers series actually performs well at the box office. And I’m not sure why.

The trailer looks promising enough, highlighting everyone’s favorite 80’s robots that transform into various vehicles or modes of transport. With a relatively decent sized fanbase, Bay had the characters, the story and the moving pieces to put together a great movie.

Instead Transformers is a schizophrenic mess of a film featuring action sequences so discombobulated it’s hard to tell which robot is hitting who, and what exactly is going on.

Michael Bay has the tools, the budget and the moxie to showcase his unique shooting style, but much like his testosterone driven adolescent fans he just can’t help himself. Every shot and battle are presented to the audience with little forethought to the paperthin plot that is supposedly a big part of this film.

Shia LaBeouf (the famous version) may play the awkward protagonist relatively well, but Megan Fox serves little purpose other than eye candy for teenage boys who plunk down their parent’s money to watch this travesty.

None of the robots are memorable at all, outside of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee the Transformers are all expendable racial stereotypes that look like walking junkyards. And Bumblebee speaks by way of radio clips, making him completely devoid of any character whatsoever.

The dialogue is truly insipid the jokes written by a fourth grader, and the juvenile, racially chargd, potty mouth antics of the Transformer robots makes this movie a complete joke.

In the end this movie does what it’s supposed to, which is throw as many explosions and moving mechanical parts on the screen in an attempt to convince you it’s a real movie. The pacing charges ahead at warp speed, hurdling you from one action sequence to another and somehow managing to confuse the viewer about how little sense the plot makes.

The best part of this movie is the voice acting, which is absolutely incredible with Hugo Weaving, Mark Ryan and of course the incomparable Peter Cullen. This movie and it’s subsequent sequels are a blight upon the cinema world, and really humanity as a whole, but one that will undoubtedly continue as the box office rakes in the money.


Star Wars Phantom Menace

Star Wars Phantom Menace

Do you want your movie to be the very best of this top ten movie trailer list, it’s quite simple just ask George Lucas. Make three powerfully influential movies that not only won over entire generations, but inspired them and drove them and then wait 30 years to release a movie that single handedly destroys the mythos of the previous trilogy. This trailer easily wins this top ten movie trailer countdown and it isn't even close.

People camped outside in the cold, missing work to watch what surely would be the movie that brought us back to our childhood, back into the magical universe that inspired so many. I can recall my own experience at the theater, the air was so thick with anticipation you could have cut it.

The movie trailer teased us with images lightsabers, laser battles and looked to be the missing link in the epic saga that played such a vital role in so many peoples lives.

There will never ever be a movie that will be anticipated more than this movie was, only because Star Wars seemed to be the one island unblemished by the touch of corporate Hollywood. George was one of us, the little guy that hated corporations and believed in something.

Instead we were betrayed by the very genius that we grew to love and support, as George Lucas showed his true colors by simply mailing the script and movie in. Uninspired and a complete pacing mess, no faults in this movie have been missed by now given it’s release in 1999.

By now the bashing of the Star Wars prequels has become a social phenomenon, which is not surprising given how great the original Star Wars trilogy was. One of the greatest critiques in my opinion is the legendary review done by RedLetterMedia. These guys are some of my absolute favorite reviewers, although they can be a bit over the top with their snarky attitudes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my list of movie trailers that I’d rather watch then the movie, do you agree with it? What movies do you think were deserving?