Summarizing a movie to make it more appetizing to fickle theater-goers is a tall task, like trying to stop a T-800 with a Garden Weasel. But some movies manage to do just that exceptionally well, crafting tag lines that get you seriously pumped to see the movie. Action flicks provide generate great tags since action pics aren’t serious to begin with. Plus, if you’re not amped to see the movie, what’s the point? Here are the 20 Greatest Action Movie Taglines Ever! Looks like we’re having a tag sale!
20. “Murder is forever…until now.” – Timecop
As cheesy, underrated and addictive as the movie itself, and the movie’s star Jean-Claude Van Damme. This might be Van Damme’s finest movie; it’s definitely his finest tag line.
19. “At the end of the universe lies the beginning of vengeance.” Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn
And at the end of this tag line lies a scifi masterpiece of intergalactic over-acting that thrills the masses to this day. Any tag line that features “vengeance” lets you know there’s awesome action ahead.
18. “An adventure 65 million years in the making.” – Jurassic Park
Considering his penchant for full-scale crowd-pleasers, Spielberg movies are made for great tags. But this one stands out for truly getting the blood pumping for some dino-action. You can practically hear the theme song.
17. “One Shot. One Kill. No Exceptions.” – Sniper
A shining example of a tagline that’s more badass than the movie. I still use this line to this day. So it upsets people. I’m cool with that.
16. “America Wasn’t Ready…He Was” – Invasion USA
This Chuck Norris guilty pleasure is ’80s action at its best, and the tag sets up the premise of one of the most absurd movies ever: A single bearded guy stops a foreign invasion.
15. “The magic is back.” – Lethal Weapon 2
All this one does is reminds audiences of the unique chemistry of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. So lame it’s almost clever.
14. “A murdered wife. A one-armed man. An obsessed detective. The chase begins.” – The Fugitive
Evoking the cult TV series and the old school feel of the movie, this tag is cool without being flashy. Game on.
13. “Trapped in time, surrounded by evil, low on gas.” – Army of Darkness
The finale of the Evil Dead series is a time-traveling action comedy of surreal proportions, and features a tagline that is 100% guaranteed to make you think of no other movie ever again.
12. “Every man dies, not every man really lives.” – Braveheart
Bonus points for being a line from the movie itself, an inspirational quote and probably appearing in a few high school yearbooks. That’s tag line power for you.
11. “Justice Is Coming.” – Tombstone
Hardly as elegant as the flowery bouquets offered up by Val Kilmer’s Doc Holiday but this line still gets you seriously excited for the showdown at the OK Corral.
10. “Everything That Has A Beginning Has An End.” – The Matrix Revolutions
Any lingering resentment towards Matrix Reloaded is mitigated by this philosophical teaser, which is so awesome it could intrigue Matrix skeptics.
9. “Part man. Part machine. All cop.” – Robocop
He’s a cop, made of both person and robot parts. Action and moral struggles to ensue. You don’t actually need to know any more than that you’re talking about a part-man, part-machine cop. And therein lies the genius.
8. “Crime is a disease. Meet the cure.” – Cobra
The finest tag to any Stallone film, and a fine example of when dialogue in some form from the movie is so great it absolutely must become the movie’s tag.
7. “You’ll Believe A Man Can Fly.” – Superman: The Movie
When coupled with John Williams theme, you do believe a man can fly. What a way to capture the essence of why peoplelove Superman.
6. “40 Stories Of Sheer Adventure.” – Die Hard
A seemingly old-fashioned tag line for a contemporary classic. Not what you’d expect, but neither was Bruce Willis as an action star in 1988.
5. “Everything he touches turns to excitement!” – Goldfinger
This tagline is a cheesy double-entendre. But being a ’60s James Bond movie, that’s exactly how you want it. 24-karat brilliance.
4. “You don’t assign him to murder cases. You just turn him loose.” – Dirty Harry
This is just as much a tagline as a warning that true greatness is about to be unleashed upon you. How better could you encapuslate the spirit of Harry Callahan?
3. “Prepare For Glory.” – 300
Tell me you heard this line and weren’t ready to hit the gym, then draw a sword and die for a cause. Or just yell “This! Is! Sparta!” in the middle of the street.
2. “The Return Of The Great Adventure.” – Raiders of the Lost Ark
This tag reveals absolutely nothing about the ride you’re about to take, yet has the audacity to tout itself as such. Raiders earns high points for calling its shot, and hitting a homer.
1. “A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…” – Star Wars
This seems the obvious choice, but there’s a reason the line is so memorable everyone — everyone! — knows it. Magic.
Check out AMC Can’t Get Enough Dirty Harry, starting Mon., Apr. 18 at 8PM | 7C. A different Dirty Harry movie airs each night.
Nick Stevens tries to make funny about movies, pop culture, and sports as often as possible. He lists John McClane, Batman, and Tom Brady as the people with whom he’d most like to have beers. For more of his grown-up nonsense, visit his Tumblr page or follow him on Twitter.Read More