Movie Poster Analysis

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Today we are going to be searching for the denotations and connotations of the movie title “Real Steel”. The genre of the movie is action, sci-fi and sport. The importance of denotations and connotations are that they manipulate our thoughts and what we can visualise however, they also allow us to see beyond a simple image and allow us to interpret and suggest what could possibly happen next within an image/shot (E.g., if it was a low camera angle, we would assume the people we are looking up to in the shot are in command of something).The use of denotations and connotations are also purposely utilised by the movie makers as it allows the viewers to unfold parts and hints of the movie themselves. This makes the movie more entertaining and interesting. I will also make a comparison between another film that also uses connotation/denotation similarly and this will show you why and how the movies I compare are successful due to the use of denotation and connotation that are implemented for specific reasons.

The denotations of this image is that we can visualise a massive muscular robot, the robot looks colossal compared to the main actor. It is in a close up shot and at an eye level angle that makes the image seem more natural and also it makes the robot look more powerful since we have to look up to him. The image also tells us that the robots name is Atom because it is a glowing logo on his chest, this tells the audience that the robot is not very old since it has sophisticated features that make it look more sharp and cool. Atom is clenching his fists, from the setting we are able to identify that the robot is in ring with his trainer/owner, this is clearly evident since there are bright light positioned upwards and thick strands of ropes behind the robots which give the audience the impression of a boxing ring, this type of lighting is a mixture of high key and low key lighting because it makes the exterior look natural such as the expected lights of a boxing ring and a shadow around which is the audience.

Looking at the characters body language, the main character (Hugh Jackman) is in a boxing position and the traditional boxing stance he is in, this is copied by the robot behind him, since the trainer and robot are close their body language suggests this is making the characters bond and closer relationship wise. Props are also used, the main character (Charlie) is also wearing boxing wrist wraps which make the suggestion of them being in a boxing ring more accurate. Another denotation is the title, it is directly placed in the centre of the poster and looks very simple but effective due to it having the same kind of shade as steel. This links to the movie “Creed because the denotations are similar, there is a trainer and a student boxer and there are lights that are getting brighter and lastly, there is the title that is positioned in the centre at the top. Even though the movies are not the same, they share similar themes and denotations which make them obvious of their genres (both have a sporty genre).

The connotations for this movie poster is that we can infer that the robot atom is a boxing robot, this is because he looks very strong, muscular and also has dents that look like the size of robot fists on his body, this shows he is a great boxer as he only has minimal damage. His body physique is shredded similar to a boxing athlete, the main character (Charlie), also may be the trainer of Atom since he is wearing wrist wraps however, he does not look fit enough to be in a boxers shape and this could be due to an injury hence why he is training atom and looks like a retired boxer who has become a trainer. The body physique of both robot and man is emphasised by the eye level camera angle, this makes the robot look more immense and fierce since the audience are looking up to him similar to an inspirational statue. The robot Atom could also be a great fighter since the ring that is behind them is very large and seems to be a ring where professionals would fight, we can infer this because of the powerful lights that beam down on the opponents in the ring making the boxing ring seem more quality and high class.

The letters that are also on the front of the title spell “Real Steel”, this links to the image of the robot that is clenching his fist with the human who is doing the same action because it satisfies the audience into believing that they are going to be guaranteed an action packed movie. The title of the movie is positioned onto a dark background, the dark metallic font and colour of the letter connotes strength and durability. Also, we can visualise the darkness of the robot and the human is surrounded by bright light in the background which tells the audience that there will be some form of success reached by the robot and the man and perhaps they could win in a battle due to the determined looks they have on their face, they look focused on one specific thing which means that it could be the title belt of their boxing careers. The connotations of this movie link to the movie “Creed” because they both share similar backgrounds. The backgrounds begin dark and eventually transform into light which could reflect the history and success of the characters during their careers. Also the trainer and boxing relationship could show that both individuals were great at boxing in their own time however, they may have started/stopped the sport due to various reasons which will maybe unfold during the movie. Another connotation that could be made is that as the teacher and student in both films begin, they have difficulties with each other however, once both individuals open up, they become more touched by their stories.

To conclude, both film posters are brilliant. The movie “Real Steel” portrays the image of hard work and dedication as the trainer has to progress with his robot and turn what they have into a substantial victory, whereas the movie “Creed” is very similar as it shows the boxers have to maintain and dedicate their lives to a fixed routine and this routine is a recipe towards success. The use of backgrounds in both movies highlight the struggle the characters experienced as it began dark however, in both backgrounds there are lights which connote saviour and success that we see happen throughout both of the movies. From the connotation and denotation, we are able to easily find clues and hints that relate to big scenes of the movie, this makes both of the movie titles enjoyable to view and it also provides a vast amount of facts regarding the content of the movie. The audiences would often view these posters and instantly they would be drawn into the movie. This is purposely used to capture the specific audiences that like these movie genres and are able to catch onto small hints and surprises that may unfold during the movies.


A movie which links with “Real Steel” is “Fast 5”. This is because the movies both show and represent the purity of their content through a single poster. For “Real Steel”, the movie poster shows strength, ferociousness and defense. These are all words which link to the movie because they actually happen through the use of Mise En Scene. In comparison, the movie “Fast 5” also links to the movie “Real Steel” because both movies offer their specific audience types a simulation of the content that they show through the movie posters. For the “Fast 5”, the poster represents courage, brotherhood and power. Shockingly, these are all conventions which are shown in the movie trailer through the effective use of Mise En scene and since the posters of both movies are highly effective, they offer the audience a real experience and taste of the movie and some of the content that it comes with.

The movie I have chosen that links to “Creed” is called “Rocky Balboa”. This is a movie which is of the same genre of “Creed” However, both movies link because they each display images which are related to the movie but allow the audience to understand what they are displaying. For the movie “Creed”, we have an image of a boxer who has a trainer, we understand that the movie is about the sport, boxing. Another interesting fact is that we get can see talent through the young man and his assumed trainer is using his talent to make the boxer a successful champion. These are just some of the interpretations that we are able to visualise as an audience. The movie “Rocky Balboa” can also link to creed because it has a picture of a man who is wearing boxing wrist wraps and has his arm in the air. This links to “Creed” because both movies have characters that are successful and champions through their expressions in the images of the movie posters. The movie creed shows a character who is motivated to be a champ and the other shows a character who has already been a champ.


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2015 – Creed (Ryan Coogler)

2011 – Real Steel (Shawn Levy)

2011 – Fast 5 (Justin Lin)

2006 – Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone)

3 thoughts on “Movie Poster Analysis

  1. This is almost there but please look at your use of media terminology and how many of the below you have used:

    Camera shot e.g. closeup
    Camera angle e.g. high
    Facial expressions
    Body language
    Positioning of objects within a frame.

    You also need to break your paragraphs up and check your SP&G Don’t forget your references are also not finished.

  2. I have highlighted the SP&G mistakes in the first two paragraphs – please proof read all of this. There should also be more images and references. This would be completed by referring to more media texts (films).

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