50 Best Movie Taglines and Why They Work
A tagline is a short statement, catchphrase, or slogan that tells your audience who you are and what you stand for in just a few words. A brand-bite that summarizes an aspect of your offering. It must be memorable and capture the emotions of the consumers.
1. DUMB AND DUMBER
A dumb limo driver and his dumber friend go for a hilarious road-trip.
"For Harry and Lloyd, every day is a no brainer."
Tells the whole story.
Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.
"Who you gonna call?"
This tagline is particularly synonymous with the film.
3. CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
Inspired by the true story of a brilliant young master of deception and the FBI agent hot on his trail.
"The true story of a real fake."
A wordplay that makes it memorable and reflects its plot.
4. NAKED GUN
Incompetent police Detective Frank Drebin must foil an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II.
"If you only see one movie this year... you need to get out more often."
Typically sells the film.
5. OFFICE SPACE
It satirizes the work-life of a typical mid-to-late-1990s software company, focusing on a handful of individuals weary of their jobs.
6. WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S
The film stars Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman as young insurance corporation employees discovering that their boss, Bernie, is dead.
"He may be dead, but he's the life of the party."
It reflects the plot.
7. TOMMY BOY
An incompetent, immature, and dumb heir to an auto parts factory (Chris Farley) must save the business to keep it out of his con-artist relative's hands.
"If at first, you don't succeed, lower your standards."
The tagline serves to bring a different view to the norm.
8. CHICKEN RUN
Details the miserable lives of a clan of chickens being withheld within a sinister dairy farm in 1950's England.
"Escape or die frying."
It is a pun. Brief and reflects the plot.
9. MARS ATTACKS!
Martians invade Earth with unbeatable weapons and a cruel sense of humor.
"Nice Planet. We'll take it."
The tagline gives a clear insight into the film.
10. O' BROTHER WHERE ART THOU
Three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them.
"They have a plan, but not a clue."
It summarizes the plot and creates curiosity within the audience.
11. FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF
The film stars Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller, who skips school for a day in Chicago, with Mia Sara and Alan Ruck.
"One man's struggle to take it easy."
The tagline is paradoxical and captures attention because you're left wondering how it could be possible.
12. MY COUSIN VINNY
Two New Yorkers accused of murder in rural Alabama, while on their way back to college, call in the help of one of their cousins, a loudmouth lawyer with no trial experience.
"A comedy of trial and error."
The tagline accurately tells the whole story.
13. THE FIRST WIVES CLUB
A lady trio determined to hit back at their exes after leaving them for younger women.
"Don't get mad. Get everything."
The tagline captures a divorce theme.
14. HOT SHOTS! PART DEUX
"Rambo" parody in which Topper Harley leads a rescue team into Iraq. Saves Iraqi war prisoners and their previous rescue teams.
"Just Deux it."
Deux, French for Two, brings about a dramatic effect to the tagline. It projects more action.
CLASSIC MOVIES TAGLINES
15. 12 ANGRY MEN
This courtroom drama tells the story of a jury of 12 men as they deliberate the conviction or acquittal of an 18-year old defendant.
"Life is in their hands -- Death is on their minds."
It brings the stakes to the forefront.
16. THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
Seven gunmen from various backgrounds are brought together by a vengeful young widow to protect her town from the private army of a destructive industrialist.
"They were 7... and they fought like 700."
It plays with the numbers which are rhythmic and makes you curious.
17. EASY RIDER
A naive hustler travels from Texas to New York City to seek personal fortune and finds a new friend.
"A man went looking for America, and he couldn't find it anywhere."
The tagline captures a cultural moment where everything shifted. It speaks to a specific movement.
18. TAXI DRIVER
Enraged by New York's moral rot and urban decay, an unhinged cab driver goes mad, plotting an assassination and saving a teen sex worker.
"On every street in every city in this country, there is a nobody who dreams of being a somebody."
The tagline is catchy because of its relatability to a vast populace.
19. BONNIE AND CLYDE
Bored waitress Bonnie Parker falls in love with an ex-con named Clyde Barrow, and together, they start a violent crime spree.
"They're young, they're in love, and they kill people."
The juxtaposition of a couple with murder teases our interest.
20. HIGH NOON
A marshal prepares to retire from law enforcement, because of his marriage, to a Quaker. Four outlaws plan to kill him.
"The story of a man who was too proud to run."
It's straightforward and hints the heroism in its main character.
21. TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE
Two Americans searching for work in Mexico convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.
"The nearer they get to the treasure, the farther they get from the law."
This implies an uncertain danger within the story, almost asking the audience a question.
22. FATHER OF THE BRIDE
With his oldest daughter's wedding approaching, a father finds himself reluctant to let go.
"The Bride gets the THRILLS; the father gets the BILLS."
It employs rhymes and depicts the comedy in the plot.
23. THE LADY EVE
The film is about a mismatched couple who meet on board an ocean liner.
"When you deal a fast shuffle, love is in the cards."
It employs wordplay.
24. THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)
This film is a musical based on the story of the Von Trapp family, which captures the tale of growth and hope amidst the horrors of WW II.
"The Happiest Sound in All the World."
The tagline emphasizes its genre and its desired emotional result.
25. DOUBLE INDEMNITY
A housewife seduces a guy into murder and fraud.
"From the moment they met, it was murder."
The tagline is sharp, makes the mind visualize the plot.
26. GREMLINS 2
Gremlins have taken control of a New York City media mogul's high-tech skyscraper.
"Here they grow again."
This one is a pun and a hint of comedy that captures attention.
27. THE THING
A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.
"Man is the warmest place to hide."
This tagline is rhetoric; you want to know more.
28. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE
An aging former actress holds her paraplegic, ex-movie star sister captive in an old Hollywood mansion.
"Sister, sister, oh so fair, why is there blood all over your hair?"
It is a fear arousing tagline for the horror theme.
A killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community. It's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.
"You'll never go in the water again."
Depicts the exact emotional reactions of the viewers
30. NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
The spirit of a slain child murderer seeks revenge by invading teenagers' dreams, whose parents were responsible for his death.
"If Nancy doesn't wake up screaming, she won't wake up at all..."
The movie poster and the tagline captures what makes Nightmare on Elm street scary exactly.
31. THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY
A bounty hunting scam joins two men against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.
"For three men, the civil war wasn't hell. It was practice."
It teases you up for something brutal.
32. TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY
A terminator is set on a mission to kill John Conner.
"Same Make. Same Model. New Mission."
This tagline is accurate about the plot.
33. DIRTY HARRY
"The Scorpio Killer" menaces the city; Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan is assigned to track down the psychopath.
"You don't assign him to murder cases. You just turn him loose."
It makes us imagine how violent and action-packed this film will be.
34. I AM LEGEND
Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles to find a cure.
"The last man on Earth is not alone."
The tagline uses contradiction, making us want to know more.
35. THE MATRIX
Hacker learns from rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war.
"Reality is a thing of the past."
The tagline is genius in its simplicity, leaving unanswered questions.
36. SILENT RAGE
A sheriff tries to stop the killing of a silent murderer who can self-heal from an experiment.
"Science created him. Now Chuck Norris must destroy him."
Explains the plot already.
37. TRUE LIES
A secret agent has his life turned upside down when he discovers his wife might be having an affair with a used-car salesman while terrorists smuggle nuclear warheads into the United States.
"When he said 'I do' he never said what he did."
This tagline is a contradiction, leaving unanswered questions.
38. SCHOOL TIES
A star-quarterback is allowed to attend an elite preparatory school but must conceal that he is Jewish.
"Just because you were accepted doesn't mean you belong."
The tagline is a snippet of the film.
A man with short-term memory loss attempts to track down his wife's murderer.
"Some memories are best forgotten."
It makes you curious and reflective.
40. BOOGIE NIGHTS
A young man explores California's pornography industry in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
"Everyone has one special thing."
It arouses curiosity.
41. ORDINARY PEOPLE
The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships in the family.
"Everything is in its proper place, except the past."
This tagline gives an insight into the theme, raises emotional concerns.
42. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
An electric lineman watches how his quiet and ordinary daily life turns upside down after a close encounter with a UFO.
"We are not alone."
43. ERIN BROCKOVICH
An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.
"She brought a small town to its feet and a corporation to its knees."
The goal of this tagline is to inspire.
A young soldier in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and man's duality.
"The first casualty of war is innocence."
It makes you feel sad before you've even seen the film.
45. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
A group of U.S. soldiers goes behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.
"The mission is a man."
Tagline arouses determination and inspiration while quaintly summing up the film.
46. QUIZ SHOW
A young lawyer, Richard Goodwin, investigates a potentially fixed game show.
"50 million people watching, but no one saw a thing."
47. EDWARD SCISSORHANDS
Story of an unfinished creation that has scissor blades instead of hands.
"His story will touch you even though he can't."
This tagline is a paradox.
48. THE SOCIAL NETWORK
It portrays the founding of the social networking website Facebook and the resulting lawsuits.
"You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies."
A political cartoonist, a crime reporter, and cops investigate San Francisco's infamous Zodiac Killer.
"There is more than one way to lose your life to a serial killer."
Worry and fascination.
50. LOST IN TRANSLATION
An American movie star gets a midlife crisis.
"Everyone wants to be found."
Catchy and relatable.
Movie taglines serve to clarify the movie itself. They can be comedic, serious, heartfelt, inspiring, what have you. But at all times, they are to the point and memorable.