The first and most critical function of a movie poster is, of course, to sell the movie. But selling the movie and subtly giving audiences clues as to what happens in it are two different things. A poster designer could, for example, make use of a blood-red background and have the stars' names over the word "in" over the name of the film, with all the traditional details in their traditional spot at the bottom. But unless a total lack of ideas were the game, why would you do that? It's better to dream up an image -- or a montage -- connecting audiences to the action of the film.

It turns out that 2009 was an above-average year for movie posters; choosing the top 10 seems like a crime. Still, here are 10 we think were the best of 2009 -- among the best, anyway. Offer us comments so we can know yours.