The 10 Most Misleading Movie Trailers Source:

Movie trailers have an incredibly difficult job; they must somehow convince the public to go out and spend their money to watch a film, simply based on the impression they get from an extremely short trailer. In order to do this, editors often pull little tricks, such as linking together unrelated points of dialogue or including the only funny scenes in the film. But sometimes, as a result of these edits, trailers are so misleading that people get a completely different film than they were expecting. These are 10 of those trailers.

10. Sweeney Todd

The trailer for Sweeney Todd depicts a gory period drama by director Tim Burton. The movie stars Johnny Depp, who plays a once happy barber who proceeds to have his life destroyed and goes back for revenge. Now, the trailer does a good job of summing up the plot, showcasing characters and providing dialogue, but they miss one massive thing. The trailer fails to show that this movie is a full-fledged musical, which is something that most of the gothic teens who went to see it in theaters would have wanted to know. Now, the informed would know this movie is an adaptation of a Broadway show, but it would have been nice for the trailer to give the watcher some indication of this.

9. After Earth

If you went off of what you saw in the trailer for After Earth, you would think you were getting an Avatar-style action film starring one of the best actors on earth, Will Smith, and his son Jaden. However, this is not what you got. In fact, Will Smith’s character actually breaks both of his legs in the opening crash sequence of the film, and he spends the remainder of the movie in a chair providing direction to his son. Given that most of the viewers were likely drawn in by the presence of Will Smith, there were probably a lot of disappointed audiences when they realized Jaden would be taking the reins in this film.

8. Catfish

By now we all know what this film is about, but when the trailer was released we had different ideas. The trailer gave off the vibe that this film would be a thriller about a young man who runs into some hard times while building a romantic relationship over the internet, which seems to culminate in a “slasher” type payoff. What viewers got, however, was much different. The movie never ever took the dark turn that was teased in the trailer, which likely let down the horror audiences that the trailers brought in. The film itself was actually pretty great, but deviated substantially from what the trailer showed.

7. Drive

The trailer promised us a Fast and Furious-esque film with crazy car chases, gun fights and Ryan Gosling basically being a total badass. As it turns out, the film was nothing like we expected. The movie is actually, for the most part, a slow and artsy film with occasional scenes of action. It was obvious that the marketing team pieced together all of the exciting scenes in the trailer to attract the young male demographic. The film is actually much deeper than the trailer showed, which is good, but there is no doubt that the trailer was bending the truth a little bit.

6. The Grey

The film, as it was advertised in the trailer, features Liam Neeson attempting to survive a plane crash in Alaska, fighting wolves and just being an overall badass. But despite the movie being branded as an action flick, it is far different than that. The film is actually much better than anyone expected, as it is a very intelligent survival flick, which is a far cry from the dumb action movie most people expected. This is one of the few films where people were likely pleasantly surprised by the trailer being misleading.

5. Observe and Report

This trailer had fans thinking they were in for another reincarnation of Kevin James’ Paul Blart: Mall Cop. The trailer featured male nudity, the stereotypical dumb blonde and a bunch of other common comedy antics. Now, the film is a comedy for sure, but is MUCH darker than the trailer shows. The main character, played by Seth Rogen, also appears to have some severe mental issues and seems unfit to be a security guard. The film is still decent, but goes to a much darker place than most would expect when they see the wacky trailer.

4. Kangaroo Jack

This trailer for Kangaroo Jack was misleading because it focused on a very small part of the movie, but played it up heavily in the marketing and trailer in order to attract a younger audience. In addition to making the Kangaroo the title character of the film, the trailer included a dream sequence where the Kangaroo speaks and raps in a thick Australian accent, making it seem like this would be a main element in the movie. In reality, the movie is nothing more than a buddy comedy filled with sex jokes and other things unsuitable for children, which makes it all the more unsavory that the marketing team would target such an inappropriate audience.

3. Annapolis

The trailer for this film featured James Franco joining the Navy with dreams of flying planes, driving boats and having to earn the respect of his superiors, much like Top Gun. But if fans thought they were getting something similar to Top Gun, they were sadly mistaken. In fact, Annapolis is actually a boxing movie. A full-fledged boxing movie. Though the trailer alluded to a few shots that could be boxing, they amassed less than 10 seconds of the two and a half minute trailer. This misleading behavior also went beyond the trailer, as both the movie poster and DVD cover make little allusion to the fact that this is a sport-themed film.

2. Magic Mike

This film was advertised as nothing more than a male stripper film that is strictly for the ladies. Most people thought they could just check their brain at the door and enjoy the visuals for the next few hours. But upon seeing the film they learned that it has an actual storyline and character development. The trailer depicts the men as little more than pieces of meat to ogle at, but the film shows they are actually characters that anyone can relate to, which may have been a problem for those who just went to the film for the eye candy.

1. Click

The trailer advertised this film as your classic Adam Sandler comedy, complete with his silly noises and antics. Though Click is far from perfect, the film is MUCH better than the trailer shows. While it does have the staples of any Adam Sandler comedy, it is also incredibly and unexpectedly sentimental. Most went into the film expecting a brainless comedy, but were shocked and surprised to find that a film starring Sandler could actually have them wiping a few tears from their cheeks. It is one of Sandler’s best comedies in a while, and he gets major props for this movie deviating from the typical mold of his other works.


Kale Havervold

Kale Havervold has been writing about video games, movies, tv and more for Goliath since 2015.