The Best, Worst 2009 Super Bowl Movie Commercials

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CHICAGO – While Al Michaels and John Madden may have been talking about the incredible play of Santonio Holmes and Larry Fitzgerald in the 2009 Super Bowl, audiences around the world were bombarded with previews for big movies for the summer of 2009 by studios hoping that their films would be the real subject of post-game conversation.

A total of 11 major spots aired during the annual festivities including “Land of the Lost,” “G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra,” “Angels & Demons,” “Fast & Furious,” “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” “Up,” “Year One,” “Star Trek,” “Duplicity,” “Race to Witch Mountain".

What did we learn from the movie commercials during last night's game? Besides the fact that nothing from your childhood is safe any more? (From "Land of the Lost" to "G.I. Joe," it's only a matter of time before the Hollywood machine works its way through every toy and TV show of your youth.) Which previews were the best and which were the worst? Let us offer our opinion. Watch the previews yourself and leave your own.


“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”

Here’s the sign of a sequel preview that works - it gets even the people who didn’t like the first movie talking about it. Selling a sequel to a fans of the original is like shooting fish in a barrel, but the spot for the second “Transformers” movie created the biggest “whoa” ripple of any of Sunday night’s ads among viewers. With almost no dialogue, massive explosions, and effects that look more impressive than the first, “Revenge of the Fallen” scored a touchdown. There’s no doubt that what will probably be at least the loudest if not the biggest movie of the summer was a perfect fit for the most over-the-top TV event of the year.

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” was directed by Michael Bay and stars Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Rainn Wilson, John Turturro, Josh Duhamel, Isabel Lucas, and Tyrese Gibson. It opens on June 26th, 2009.

“Land of the Lost”

It’s hard to tell with just 45 seconds, but the spot for “Land of the Lost” popped up, got people talking, and got out. The jury may still be deliberating if the movie will be any good but the blend of comedy and action has summer family hit written all over it. In a summer overrun with high-profile sequels, the spot for “Land of the Lost” did exactly what it needed to in under a minute - start building buzz.

“Land of the Lost” was directed by Brad Silberling and stars Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, Anna Friel, and Jorma Taccone. It opens on June 5th, 2009.


Clive Owen and Julia Roberts in a spy/romantic comedy with tones of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”? Where do I sign up? Written and directed by the man behind “Michael Clayton,” the spot for “Duplicity” doesn’t give away too of the actual film but offers just enough of a taste to get audiences intrigued. This spot ran early in the game when a lot of people were still arriving at parties and filling out their squares, so it doesn’t have quite the same buzz the morning after, but it was still one of the best.

“Duplicity” was directed by Tony Gilroy and stars Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Tom Wilkinson, and Paul Giamatti. It opens on March 20th, 2009.

“Year One”

I might be a little blinded by this one. The actual spot is just so-so, but the idea of Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, David Cross, and Jack Black sharing screen time has me as excited as any summer comedy. Considering Sunday night was packed with high-budget action movie commercials, it was refreshing to see something funny and low-key, changing speed from the predictable blockbuster ads that we were all expecting to see.

“Year One” was directed by Harold Ramis and stars Jack Black, Michael Cera, Olivia Wilde, David Cross, Paul Rudd, Oliver Platt, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Hank Azaria. It opens on June 19th, 2009.


I agree that this one doesn’t work as well as the early ads for “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” or “WALL-E,” but Pixar has built up so much goodwill with their amazing streak of brilliance that a lot can be foprgiven. In fact, it’s clear that they’re aware of that, using clips from their last few movies to get audiences prepared for “Up.” I was hoping for more footage and something, a visual image or great line, to get people buzzing this morning. The spot is oddly forgettable. But I’m also pretty confident that this is just the beginning and we’ll see some great stuff soon. This was just a taste.

“Up” was directed by Pete Docter & Bob Peterson and features voice work from Christopher Plummer, John Ratzenberger, Ed Asner, and Delroy Lindo. It opens on May 29th, 2009.'s picture

"Star Trek"...

Can’t agree with you on “Star Trek,” Brian. :-) It’s not just because I’m a Trekkie. So far, the reinvention and modernization looks hyper compelling to me.

MDH-StoneColdJediMatt's picture

I heartily agree with Adam.

I heartily agree with Adam. Although I am Star Wars over Star Trek, I did get a little into TNG. Plus, Simon Pegg as Scotty is genius casting.

Anonymous's picture

it was close with scotty

Simon Pegg nearly didnt get and PAul McGillion was that good they found a part for him anyway

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