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The Most Misleading Movie Trailers Of All Time

Reddit user ClerkMajestic asked: 'Which movie trailer was the most misleading?'

Lone moviegoer inside a theaeter
Karen Zhao/Unsplash

It's hard to tell what a movie's premise exactly is just by watching a trailer, let alone a teaser that offers nothing more than a film's title.

But whatever gets people into theaters is the great lengths studios will go to in producing previews of promising blockbusters, even if that means deceiving the audience with an edit that delivers more than it actually does.

Moviegoers who were fooled into thinking the films they chose to see at the nearest cinema were about something else, Redditor ClerkMajestic asked:

"Which movie trailer was the most misleading?"

Some Redditors found fantasy films to be very misleading.

Talking Maruspial

"Kangaroo Jack. The trailer made it look like it would be a movie about a talking kangaroo. The kangaroo only talks during a dream sequence."

– Dull-Seesaw4952

Young Adult Angst

"I was burned by bridge to Terabithia."

"Trailer made it seem like a whimsical adventure in a magical land. In reality it's about two kids with troubled lives becoming friends. Then it delivers a gutpunch"

– VikingTeddy

Dead Men Tell No Tales

"The original Pirates of the Caribbean movie - the trailer looked dark and serious. The movie was… not."

– borntouncertainty

Not Your Typical Christmas Movie


"Oh look, its a Christmas movie for the whole family... NOPE."

"The MPAA had to invent the pg-13 movie rating just to address this particular mishap."

– VT_Squire

In some cases, all the hardcore action is in the trailer with nothing left to spare for the actual movie.

Imbalanced Representation

"Godzilla (2014) 90% of the trailer was Godzilla and Bryan Cranston. The actual movie had 80% big spider, 10% Godzilla and almost no Cranston."

– Imvencible

"F'king THANK YOU. I remember seeing the trailer and being so excited to go see Bryan Cranston star in a Godzilla movie. I went with two friends who were also huge into Breaking Bad (IIRC this came out like 6 months after Breaking Bad ended?) and we got 20 minutes into the movie and had a collective 'wait, what?' moment once we found out that the first 20 minutes contained the entirety of his screen time. Kinda spoiled the rest of the movie until the final fight scene, which was pretty amazing."

– The_Goop2526

The Best For Last

"I’m still upset about that Transformers movie that advertised the f'k out of robot dinosaurs and then we got like 2 minutes of robot dinosaurs at the very end. What the f'k."

– jackyohlantern

"My son is obsessed with transformers and I was so hyped to take him to that movie and it was such a disappointment. I was so ready to see these ancient transformers and barely saw them! We fell asleep lol."

– ATCP2019

Some people got confused about the genre insinuated in the trailer.

They Didn't Know Jack

"There was a Robin Williams movie called 'Jack' in the 90s and the trailer made it seem like a funny 'Big' type movie but it was really about a dude with a tragic medical condition and it really wasn't funny."

– StudioCreative7189

War Torn

"Jarhead. But it's one that actually enjoyed. The commercial made the movie seem like an action packed crazy fun movie. Then when you actually watch it you realize it's mostly boring mundane day to day activity.. kind of like how recruiters get people to join the army."

– luvgothb*rches

The Ruff Twist

"I thought 'Marley and Me' was a delightful family romp. Turns out you spend 45 minutes watching a dog slowly die. Saw it on Christmas! Almost everyone I saw coming out of the theater was shattered."

– TheBimpo

Not all jarring of expectations is bad.

The Unexpected Bite

"From Dusk Til Dawn. I was about a third of the way through the movie when all of a sudden there were vampires. I had NO IDEA there were going to be vampires. I thought it was an action movie about a run from the law in Mexico that had the added bonus of Salma Hayek in skimpy clothes. Then.,..vampires. Lots of them. W.T.F? Im not anti vampire movie. I was just gobsmacked."

– JCMizzou

Screaming In Space

"Event Horizon. We thought we were going to see a sci fi film...."

– Karazhan

"I didn't sign up for 'Lovecraftian Nightmare' but...I'm into it."

– akennelley

"I honestly didn't know what to expect when my mother and I chose to watch this film on Netflix. We basically chose it because it has Sam Neill and Lawrence Fishburn starring in main roles. Oh boy I didn't leave that living room unscarred."

– KingofDungus

Small Misconception

"Downsizing. It's a good and serious movie but the trailer made it look like a comedy about shrunk people."

– culturalcunt

This One Sings

"‘MEAN GIRLS’ 2024"

"No trailer (that i saw) had a glimpse of a musical in it."

– Jaysipp

The worst are the trailers that show all the best bits.

The Year That Was

"2012. The preview looked AMAZING. Turned out all of the cool special effects were what they showed in the 1 minute trailer."

– OutrageousStrength91

"That’s pretty standard for most big disaster flicks tho."

– WackHeisenBauer

Study Of Contrasts

"Funny People. Looked like it was gonna be a funny standup centric movie but it has a lot more serious themes. A lot of people sh*t on it but I think it’s Apatow’s best movie and Sandler really nails his role."

– nathanielsnurpis

I remember seeing a movie in 2006 called Bug, which, at the time I didn't know was a psychological drama based on a 1996 play by Tracy Letts.

The trailer marketed as a horror film was vague. It showed the two stars, Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon, reacting wildly to what they believe is a huge insect manifestation.

The premise actually covers themes of paranoia and conspiracy theories centered on a woman who gets dragged by the delusions of a Gulf War drifter who is paranoid about UFOs, cult suicides, and secret government experiments on soldiers.

It was more of a cerebral film, that focused less on the background plot of a bug infestation in a motel room, where most of the movie took place.

By the time I realized halfway through the movie that I wasn't going to see an over-the-top bug attack, I heard an audience member yell out, "Where the bugs at???"

I was in stitches for a while after that. So yeah, Bug wound up being comedy gold for me.