16 film trailers were released last week. Which ones look good?

Animated ‘Spiderman’ looks promising. But ‘Suspiria’, and new films from Steve McQueen and Lenny Abrahamson look breathtaking

An avalanche of trailers hit screens recently as films jockey for festival releases and ultimately, Oscar glory.

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Have we just experienced the inauguration of International Trailer Week? I think we have. Did you miss it?

The movie world has always fitted itself to a regimented calendar and, in recent years, those unwritten regulations have become stricter than ever. If you have a film that has any chance of even a single Oscar nomination then you must premiere it as one of the three festivals – Toronto, Venice and Telluride – that announce the passage from summer to winter.

Most blockbusters open when sun-blasted US viewers are in gravest need of an air-conditioned space. Those sorts of things.

But there has never been a season for trailers. They sneak out at all times of the year to register many different stages of a film’s readiness. First a teaser. Then the first full-length trailer. Finally, a, well, final trailer emerges days before release.

The rules seem to have changed. In the first week of this month an avalanche of promos arrived for a series of tantalising movies. This could be a one-off, but I doubt it. The industry relishes articles like the one you’re reading now.

Expect the opening days of the sixth month to become the cinematic equivalent of Beaujolais nouveau mania or the beginning of the oyster season. You will resist. But you’ll end up regarding that period as an annual siren of the coming summer. Hollywood likes its patterns.

Just look at this. 

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB

A tattooed Claire Foy, the new Lisbeth Sander, complete with Swedish accent, attacks an unlucky abuser of women. How unlike the home-life of their own dear Queen. Grim. Makes a dark superhero of Stieg Larsson’s creation.
Trailer rating: 6/10


THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN

Robert Redford bumbles amiably as an older bank robber with a romantic interest in Sissy Spacek. David Lowery, director of A Ghost Story, spreads trademark murk about the photography. A nice final freeze-frame gestures to Redford’s heyday in the 1970s. Charming.
Trailer rating: 7/10


FIRST MAN

Oscar winner Damien Chazelle directs Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong. Claire Foy (her again) has the wifey role. Sounds dull. But the trailer careers with tense energy. The action sequences have a real fug of danger. Good throbbing on the soundtrack.
Trailer rating: 8/10


MORTAL ENGINES

What in the name of Doomed YA Adaptations is this thing? It begins with a woman observing an ambulatory version of London (yes, the city) advancing over the horizon. The succeeding off-the-peg Steampunk baloney does nothing to clarify the confusion. I’m sure Peter Jackson, producer of this take on Philip Reeve’s novel, has some idea what he’s doing. Right?
Trailer rating: 4/10


HALLOWEEN

Michael Myers “has spent the last 40 years in captivity”. Okay? Got it? It’s a direct sequel to the first film. Jamie Lee Curtis looks ruthless. There are two excellent jump scares. Hopes raised.
Trailer rating: 7/10


HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD

Yeah, blah, blah, blah. They discover a “hidden dragon world” apparently. Utterly generic animation trailer with few decent jokes. (The first two films were good though.)
Trailer rating: 5/10


SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

The animated take on an alternative Spider-Man universe fizzes with gorgeous colours and features super repartee between young Miles Morales (the “other” Spider-Man) and his dad. A blast.
Trailer rating: 8/10


THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART

“A lifetime has passed since the horrific events of Taco Tuesday.” It’s just a bunch of movie references and snarky gags. Just about enough to be getting on with then.
Trailer rating: 6/10


BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE

Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson and others wind up in a motel on the border between California, Nevada and (I’m making this bit up) New Tarantino. Soul music. Neon. Blood on the lens. Could go either way.
Trailer rating: 6/10


BUMBLEBEE

A young lady (Hailee Steinfeld) buys a VW beetle, brings it home and is surprised to watch it turn into a robot. I’ll be honest. If I didn’t know this was a spinoff from the Transformers films I’d be optimistic that fun and frolics were ahead. It’s not too noisy. The Rick Astley gag is good. But I do know that. So…
Trailer rating: 6/10


A STAR IS BORN

Initially greeted with shrugs, Bradley Cooper’s remake of the old warhorse – Coop is a fading country singer; Lady Gaga is his protégé – now has blistering buzz. The trailer doesn’t exactly surprise, but Lady G, wearing no-makeup makeup, spreads some real charm. Still a hot ticket in the Oscar sweepstake.
Trailer rating: 7/10


WIDOWS

Steve McQueen’s largely African-American remake of Lynda La Plante’s TV series looks totally awesome. Liam Neeson in bed with Viola Davis. Colin Farrell with a Trump mullet. Lots of heist action, all scored to the Junior Brothers’ remix of Billie Holiday’s Yesterdays. And Viola gets to do one of her trademark meltdowns. The sombreness alone sells it.
Trailer rating: 10/10


WHITE BOY RICK

Slightly confused by Donna Summer’s I Feel Love playing throughout the trailer for a film set in 1984. Never mind. Yan “71” Demange’s study of the FBI’s youngest ever informant (Richie Merritt) sells itself with a clutch of white-trash gags and muggy period detail. Despite the presence of Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bruce Dern, it’s plucky, noisy Bel Powley who steals the trailer.
Trailer rating: 8/10


LONDON FIELDS

Martin Amis has had a bad time of it at the cinema. Mired in legal difficulties, this adaptation of his 1989 novel has barely been heard of since premiering disastrously at Toronto in 2015. It may still turn out to be a classic, but the trailer is militantly awful. Amber Heard is leered at. Johnny Deep, current harbinger of doom, makes a brief appearance. Even the font is appalling.
Trailer rating: 2/10


SUSPIRIA

Wow! Luca Guadagnino’s variation on Dario Argento’s 1977 classic appears to take its tone as well as its plot from that horror of ballet and witchcraft. Thom Yorke’s score nudges towards Krautrock. Dakota Fanning shivers. Tilda Swinton looks threatening. References to the Red Army Faction kick up further intrigue. Can’t wait.
Trailer rating: 9/10


THE LITTLE STRANGER

Our own Lenny Abramson follows up the Oscar-garlanded Room with an adaptation of Sarah Waters’s ambiguous ghost story The Little Stranger. Domhnall Gleeson’s clipped tones talk us through an evenly distributed sequence of mysteries. Will Poulter is scarred. Oh, it’s Rampling. Does the job nicely.
Trailer rating: 8/10

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