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Top 10 Trailers Better than the Movie

Overpromised and underdelivered. These trailers were better than the actual movie.

Talk about false advertising. Welcome to WatchMojo. Today, we’re counting down our picks for the "Top 10 Trailers Better than the Movie."

For this list, we’re taking a look at trailers that seemed so full of promise, but the actual movies failed to deliver on that promise. These snippets were designed to entice audiences to see the full film, but they just set us up for disappointment. While the movies themselves weren’t necessarily terrible, we were definitely not as psyched leaving the theater as we were when we arrived.

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#10: 'Wild Wild West' (1999)

There’s a shirtless Will Smith. There’s Kevin Kline. There’s apparently a soundtrack with Will trying to relive his glory days as a rapper. There’s even steampunk-looking gadgetry that’s enough to keep even the most ardent cosplayer interested. And while it seems that all of those features should’ve added up to at least a moderately interesting movie-going experience, it was really just… uncomfortable viewing. And kinda embarrassing, even with Salma Hayek and the steampunk spider-thingy. 

#9: 'Battle: Los Angeles' (2011)

The trailer does a good job of establishing the alien invasion premise without giving up too much. Clearly, this was an invasion that was years in the making, and it’s a global-scale assault—at least that’s how it’s presented. We see bombs, we see machine gun fire, we’re treated to some heavy-duty artillery in this effort to combat alien forces. The special effects even look top notch. The actual movie? Not so much. 

#8: 'Prometheus' (2012)

Fans of the Alien franchise were already amped at the idea of a prequel, especially since Ridley Scott was taking the helm as director. And honestly, who wouldn’t want to see how the whole Alien thing started? Much like its 1979 predecessor, the trailer boasts some impressive visuals along with some genuinely creepy moments. Plus, there’s Michael Fassbender, and Idris Elba, and Charlize Theron. But somehow, all of this awesomeness didn’t translate to the feature. 

#7: 'Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace' (1999)

Speaking of long-awaited prequels, this trailer alone sparked nerd-gasms across the galaxy. The hearts of dedicated fans everywhere were all a-flutter at the continuation of this epic tale through the prequel. Plus, there’s Yoda and Obi-Wan and little Anakin-slash-Darth Vader. The trailer assured us that the things we loved about Star Wars would makes us love this prequel series as well. But oh how we were deceived. 

#6: 'Terminator Salvation' (2009)

According to the trailer, “Judgment Day” happened, and John Connor is in the middle of leading a resistance against the robots. It seems like an awesome payoff for fans of the Terminator series who wanted to see what all that fighting to save John Connor was about. Also, the special effects looked fun. Unfortunately, though, the most interesting about the film was probably the leaked audio of Christian Bale’s on-set rant. 

Sometimes, you just have to see it for yourself.

Check out the latest trailers and new releases to see what movie you'll be tricked into seeing next...

#5: 'Sucker Punch' (2011)

We’re willing to overlook Carla Gugino’s strangely accented voice-over at the beginning because the trailer looks a-may-zing. Like a mix of 300 and Sin City and Burlesque. And who doesn’t want to see beautiful ladies kicking some major tail on a supernatural scale? The film seemed laden with potential and it was wasted, squandered on a crappy plot and horrible pacing. It could’ve been a contender. 

#4: 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' (2009)

We know what to expect when it comes to Michael Bay films, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hope for greatness. Indeed, the trailer captures the best elements of the film: really cool special effects, Megan Fox beauty shots, and Shia LaBeouf arguing with robots. That’s pretty much it. We’re not going to lie and say that the movie doesn’t have it moments, but it seems that those moments were all captured in the entertaining trailer. 

#3: 'Spider-Man 3' (2007)

Yeah, we see the Sandman and the story with Harry and Mary Jane or whatever, but what fans really wanted to see was Venom. The trailer gave us a dark and tortured Spider-Man, as he struggles not to succumb to evil. He’s got to navigate like 15 enemies in the trailer alone, including himself. But even with all of that, the movie was still sort of yawn inducing. 

#2: 'The Last Airbender' (2010)

This movie was on a collision course with disaster since the beginning, but the trailer still gave us a glimmer of hope. Honestly, some of the special effects looked kinda cool. There was a lot of bending of elements along with the Avatar’s signature arrow tattoo. In those few seconds of the trailer, audiences ere allowed to believe that the film might stand a chance. Unfortunately, it was a catastrophe.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

  • 2012 (2009)
  • Pearl Harbor (2001)
  • Superman Returns (2006)
  • Tron: Legacy (2010) 

#1: 'Godzilla' (1998)

Audiences may have been expecting something really awesome and epic based on this trailer. Somehow, an elderly fisherman manages to muster up the speed to escape Godzilla’s emergence from the sea. That alone is worth a viewing. Audiences are given just enough action, including a peek at a Godzilla eyeball, to keep us from realizing how truly awful the movie is. Because we know if the trailer had been filled with Matthew Broderick and his beret, it just wouldn’t have pulled in the numbers.

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Top 10 Trailers Better than the Movie
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