COUNTDOWN: Transformers movie trailers – ranked from worst to best! (part 1)

Unless you’ve been asleep for the last four million years, you may have found yourself gorging on the visual delights of the new Rise of the Beasts trailer this week!

The upcoming 2023 film looks tremendously exciting so far, with the teaser showcasing all kinds of new and returning characters, as well as some hints towards the plot and setting. For more on that, you can check out our full trailer breakdown below.

It’s always an event when a new Transformers film trailer lands, so today, that’s what we’re looking at! We’re ranking the live-action trailers from worst to best, including every example seen between the initial 2007 film and now. We’re not including Superbowl spots or otherwise, but you will find all of the main English language trailers represented (or just about!). Also note this is ranking just the trailers as they are, regardless of any opinions on the final films themselves!

Prepare your eyes…

#16: Age of Extinction (2014) trailer 1

The marketing for Age of Extinction certainly went through a process. Initially, there was a real push to distinguish the film from the over-the-top, relentless spectacle that had come before it. Still, you can almost feel any attempt at that ebbing away at precisely the 1:23 mark here as bombastic Bayhem again takes over. It’s a shame as the opening half of the trailer is actually decent and gives some engaging visuals for us to chew over (even if we’d seen ‘Gunface’ by this point already), as well as some intrigue around humans hunting Transformers. Ultimately though, what we get is six shots of indistinct-looking alien spaceships thrown at us in the space of a little over ten seconds before a boat is dropped out of the sky and Stanley Tucci shouts, “my God!” – a phrase that you won’t hear for the last time on this list. The exhaustion sets in, and whatever else follows just washes over you.

#15: The Last Knight (2017) trailer 3

Like the example above, this third (but not final!) trailer from The Last Knight begins well enough before descending into outright drudgery. The bits at the beginning with Optimus Prime are intriguing enough (“My maker, I do) and whet the appetite for something more. After that, it all becomes a bit haphazard, with snippets such as Mark Wahlberg cracking about drummers feeling oddly placed at best. By the time Michael Bay’s name rolls in at 1:15, you’re still none the wiser about just what the storyline of this film will be, and despite the swelling and emotional score that follows, it all gets more nonsensical from there. A bit like the film, really.

#14: Revenge of the Fallen (2011) trailer 1 & 2

Although these two are technically different trailers, the second version is identical apart from small snippets of new footage and an extension of the opening scene, so we’ll throw them together here. There’s a lot to like overall, with some exciting footage, especially stuff like Megatron arising from the ocean floor and a creative timed edit to the classic score towards the end.

Unfortunately, what lets them both down is that they’re just too… honest about the film you’re about to see! If anything, these might be the trailers most representative of the corresponding final product on this list, which doesn’t necessarily work in their favour. Stuff like Bumblebee crying and quips about Simmons’ mother aren’t what many fans were hoping for from this follow-up effort, and there’s plenty more along those lines besides. Oh, and if you’re going to include a prominent shot of a Megan Fox stand-in for the final film, at least don’t put it in the easily-downloadable trailer for everyone to critique.

#13: The Last Knight (2017) trailer 2

I have a love/hate thing with this trailer. On the one hand, I like the idea, with the message and presentation of young protagonist Izabella being a much-needed fresh take on the franchise at this point. Unfortunately, the execution of it is clunky as anything, and there are just too many outright cringe moments that it falls a bit flat. Oh, and not for nothing, but where was all of this in the actual film? Because this is definitely not the story I watched.

#12: The Last Knight (2017) trailer 4 & 5

Two more (!)trailers for The Last Knight here, and whilst they’re technically very well put together, that same sense of sheer exhaustion at the non-stop pounding of more and more extreme visuals and loud booming is positively numbing between them. There’s some definite stand-out stuff, though, with bits such as Bumblebee violently springing back together lodging in the memory.

Cogman also makes an impression, but there’s just so much crammed into these efforts that it’s hard to see the wood from the trees, hence lumping them in as one entry.

#11: Bumblebee (2018) trailer 1

I’m surprised to include this one so far down the list, as my memory of the marketing for 2018’s Bumblebee was mostly much more favourable. It’s not bad by any means, but I ended up placing it here purely because I don’t believe it does the final film all that much justice in a way, if only because it tries to make it look much more EPIC and LOUD than it actually is. True, it starts out well enough, but it devolves in the final minute or so, presumably to capture the attention of fans of the previous big-screen outings. The result is not a patch on the teaser, though.

#10: Age of Extinction (2014) teaser trailer

It’s tempting to rate this more harshly as I know the film it advertises all too well, but really, there’s a lot to enjoy about this one. Whilst the trailer at #16 might have given in to its urges and showcased more of what this movie is really like, the teaser felt more restrained. Comparatively speaking, anyway. After Dark of the Moon had been a slog for some of us, the opening fifty seconds here were a decent breath of fresh air, even if they were advertising something we’d never get.

#9: Transformers (2007) trailer 1

Like many at the time, I watched this trailer to death. After the initial teaser, it was our first real glimpse of the robots in disguise in live action and by and large, it *largely* delivers. There are so many moments to gawk over again and again but what really works is that it also doesn’t show you too much, employing a slight sense of restraint and keeping the robots to brief glimpses for the most part. Equally, the weird alienesque tone and slightly jarring electronic soundtrack all create an oddly creepy feel. This arguably showcases the “some will come to defend us, most will come to destroy us” tagline better than any other bit of marketing from the first film. Oh, and that Bonecrusher meet bus moment will never not be a thrill.

Be sure to join us for part 2 soon!


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is shop-at-thanks.png

About Sixo

Transformers collector from the UK, collecting vintage G1/G2, CR/RID, UT & Masterpiece/3P. Find me at or on YouTube at


Don't miss out on the latest