I love looking at old newspaper ads because they feel like little time capsules. Most of the time, they illustrated a film in an entirely new light and were the only context you had for deciding what to see at the theater. For this post, I went all-in on action movies from the 80s, which had the biggest stars and the best marketing pitches. Timeless lines like “This Cop Doesn’t Stop for Donuts!” or “Science created him. Now Chuck Norris must destroy him.” are hard to top. The graininess and grit of the 1-color format bring it all home.

I ended up adding a little extra art direction to this post to make it feel like you’ve got a newspaper open to the movies page. I hope it’s subtle enough to be fun yet familiar. Buckle up!


  • 10 to Midnight

    1983

  • 48 Hrs.

    1982

  • A View to a Kill

    1985

  • Above the Law

    1988

  • Action Jackson

    1988

  • Beverly Hills Cop

    1984

  • Beverly Hills Cop II

    1987

  • Big Trouble in Little China

    1986

  • Black Rain

    1989

  • Bloodsport

    1988

  • Blue Thunder

    1983

  • Cobra

    1986

  • Code of Silence

    1985

  • Commando

    1985

  • Cyborg

    1989

  • Dead Heat

    1988


  • Death Hunt

    1981

  • Death Wish 4: The Crackdown

    1987

  • The Delta Force

    1986

  • Die Hard

    1988

  • Escape from New York

    1981

  • Extreme Prejudice

    1987

  • Fatal Beauty

    1987

  • Firefox

    1982

  • For Your Eyes Only

    1981

  • Forced Vengeance

    1982

  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

    1984

  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    1989

  • Invasion U.S.A.

    1985

  • Iron Eagle

    1986

  • Jaws 3-D

    1983

  • Jaws 4

    1987


  • The Jewel of the Nile

    1985

  • K-9

    1989

  • Kickboxer

    1989

  • Knights of the City

    1986

  • Lethal Weapon

    1987

  • Lethal Weapon 2

    1989

  • Licence to Kill

    1989

  • The Living Daylights

    1987

  • Lone Wolf McQuade

    1983

  • Mad Max 2

    1981

  • Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

    1985

  • Megaforce

    1982

  • Missing in Action

    1984

  • Murphy's Law

    1986

  • Never Say Never Again

    1983

  • Next of Kin

    1989


  • Night Hawks

    1981

  • No Holds Barred

    1989

  • No Retreat No Surrender

    1986

  • Octopussy

    1983

  • Out of Bounds

    1986

  • Over the Top

    1987

  • Pink Cadillac

    1989

  • Predator

    1987

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark

    1981

  • Rambo: First Blood

    1982

  • Rambo: First Blood Part II

    1985

  • Raw Deal

    1986

  • Red Dawn

    1984

  • Red Heat

    1988

  • Red Scorpion

    1988

  • Roadhouse

    1989


  • RoboCop

    1987

  • Romancing the Stone

    1984

  • Running Man

    1987

  • Running Scared

    1986

  • Shakedown

    1988

  • Silent Rage

    1982

  • Stakeout

    1987

  • Stick

    1985

  • Streets of Fire

    1984

  • Tango & Cash

    1989

  • Sharky's Machine

    1981

  • Terminator

    1984

  • They Live

    1988

  • Turner & Hooch

    1989

  • Top Gun

    1986

  • Young Guns

    1988