15 Most Misleading Movie Posters Of All Time

POSTED BY Tayyab Khalil, UPDATED ON September 22nd, 2023
Most Misleading Movie Posters

Ever since the dawn of Hollywood, movie posters have been a key element in movie promotional ventures. They are supposed to be an accurate representation of the contents of a particular movie but on a few occasions, there have been blatant attempts to utilize them as tools to purposely deceive the audience. Here are the 15 most misleading movie posters:


15. The Happening (2008)

The Happening 2008

One might immediately assume that The Happening is marginally inspired by Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece Inception due to the presence of the bendable buildings in the poster.

As it turns out, The Happening is actually about people committing mass suicides by neurotoxins released by wrathful plants.


14. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Reservoir Dogs 1992

Five criminals provided with colors for their aliases team up under the instructions of a mob boss to rob a jewelry store. However, the guy in the middle is not one of them. Heck, he did not even wear a suit in the entire movie.

The man in question is actually the underboss whereas the real fifth guy – Mr. Blue – is nowhere to be seen


13. From Dusk Till Dawn (2006)

From Dusk Till Dawn 2006

A crime movie? What made you think that? The guns? No, it’s not!

From Dusk Till Dawn is actually an action horror movie that features the pictured Gecko brothers, a father, and his children fighting off vampires in a strip club.


12. Reign of Fire (2002)

Reign of Fire 2002

Fire-breathing dragons wreaking havoc in London? Shut up and take my money!

If you decide to watch Reign of Fire for that very reason, you will be sorely disappointed as the events of the movie take place after what is depicted in the poster.


11. Scary Movie 4 (2006)

Scary Movie 4 2006

The parody movie spoofed Saw, War of the Worlds, and The Grudge but there was not even a single scene that had King Kong in it despite the presence of a giant gorilla in the movie poster.

Moreover, Scary Movie 4 was not the final chapter of the franchise.


10. Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon 1973

The sheer hilarity of the movie poster is more amusing than the plot itself. The two formidable monsters never fight on top of the World Trade Centers.

Not only that, but the movie does not even take place in New York!


9. Godzilla (2014)

Godzilla 2014

Speaking of Godzilla, his size is not just a gigantic entity, it is a legitimate marketing tool capable of luring numerous moviegoers to the cinemas.

Apparently, the designer of the movie poster took an adequate amount of liberties as Godzilla was not as enormous as depicted.


8. King Kong (1976)

King Kong 1976

Fellow monster King Kong is not too far behind when it comes to misleading movie posters. The 1976 King Kong movie starring Jeff Bridges did feature the Twin Towers but the iconic gorilla never stood on them with its feet on each tower.

The sheer absurdity of the movie poster expands upon further observation as Kong was never that big nor were there any jet planes in the movie. Moreover, the scene involving Kong and the Twin Towers happened at night.


7. The Room (2003)

The Room 2003

The movie poster for the infamous movie The Room is as cringe-worthy as the movie itself. One might consider it a crime or prison movie as Tommy Wiseau’s face resembles a mug shot.

However, upon seeing the movie, it would be crystal clear why his face is the only visual on the poster as The Room is a self-centralized passion project in which Wiseau directed, produced, wrote, and starred.


6. A Bronx Tale (1993)

A Bronx Tale 1993

An action movie starring Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro? Shit just got real, right? Hell no! Despite his face on the left side and his name in bold capital letters on top of the movie poster, De Niro is merely a supporting character.

The emphasis on De Niro on the movie poster makes perfect sense due to the fact that his primary role was not on the scenes but behind them as he was the director. Well, at least A Bronx Tale has an epic scene of a guy running away from explosives, right? It doesn’t? You’ve got to be kidding me!


5. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

Kramer vs. Kramer 1979

Awww! Would you look at that? A cheerful, uplifting movie centered on a happy family enriched with moral values?

Hell no! Believe it or not, Kramer vs. Kramer is actually about a dreadful divorce.


4. Camp Hell (2010)

Camp Hell 2010

A thriller with none other than Jesse Eisenberg as the leading star? Well, his face and name accommodate the majority of the space on the movie poster so he’s got to be the star, right? Wrong! Fresh off the major success of The Social Network, Eisenberg’s career catapulted from obscurity to mainstream success, and in the same year, Camp Hell was released in which he had a brief appearance that lasted less than 5 minutes.

That did not stop the distributor company Lionsgate from capitalizing on the actor’s newfound fame and had his face plastered on the movie cover as a conniving tactic to lure in more audience. The deceitful move backfired as Eisenberg sued Lionsgate for $3 million due to falsely advertising him as the star of the movie in which he was barely in.


3. Escape From New York (1981)

Escape From New York 1981

John Carpenter is an outstanding director and Escape From New York is one of his most excellently crafted works to date but is it too much to ask for a little honesty when it comes to the movie’s promotional material?

The head of the Statue of Liberty never falls down in New York. In fact, the renowned statue only appears in just one scene in the entire movie. Furthermore, New York gradually turned into a maximum-security prison instead of being vandalized as advertised on the poster.


2. Rocky V (1990)

Rocky V 1990

At first glance, it seems that one has the movie all figured out – Rocky overcoming the odds once again by winning a hard-fought boxing match and proudly covering the American flag afterward.

On the contrary, Rocky doesn’t even compete in a boxing match in the movie and trains an aspiring boxer instead. It gets worse. Rocky V doesn’t even end with a thrilling match with a motivational conclusion. No wonder it was the lowest-grossing installment in the franchise. 


1. BlacKkKlansman (2018)

BlacKkKlansman 2018

As the most recently released movie on the entire list, it just goes to show that the fraudulent trend of misleading posters does not seem to end anytime soon. BlacKkKlansman is the true story of Detective Ron Stallworth, a black cop who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan as part of an undercover investigation.

After a series of phone calls, Detective Stallworth was indeed successful in gaining official membership of the Klan but he never wore a white robe and a mask when it came to interacting with fellow Klansmen as the poster leads you to believe. Instead, he would send a white cop in his place who would impersonate him.

Hope you enjoyed reading our list of the most misleading movie posters of all time. Feel free to share your views in the comments below!

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