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Adjectives usually are placed after the noun they modify. There is a short list of adjectives that typically are placed before the noun. Most are short, one or two syllable words.

autre another haut high
beau beautiful joli pretty
bref brief mauvais evil
bon good nouveau new
double double petit small
faux false vaste vast
grand large vieux old
gros fat

une belle montagne
le mauvais Dr Villard
la petite bombe.

a beautiful mountain
the evil Dr. Villard
the small bomb

There are other adjectives which can come before or after a noun.  When placed before a noun they typically take on a more figurative meaning.

L' homme pauvre a man poor in respect to money
Le pauvre homme a man that is unfortunate or deserving of pity

un ancien président  a former president. 
un président ancien an old president
ma chère mère  my dear mother
un l├ęgume cher an expensive vegetable
un grand peintre  a great painter
un peintre grand a tall painter
ma propre cuisine my own kitchen
ma cuisine propre my clean kitchen

Il est la seule personne qui a terminé la course .  He is the only person that finished the race.
Un homme seul ne peut pas sauver le monde. Nous devons le faire ensemble. A single man cannot save the world.  We must do it together. 

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