User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 61 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 61
  2. Negative: 1 out of 61

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  1. Sep 28, 2011
    6
    Although the movie has so many unnecessary parts with a hurried ending, John Millius created "Conan the Barbarian" with a appropriate cast and fantastic visuals, which is why its regarded as a classic.
  2. Sep 20, 2011
    10
    Epic swash-buckling fantasy adventure in the true sword & sorcery style.
    Arnold personifies Robert E. Howard's Conan like no one else could and delivers what the target audience expects. Visceral Combat, One-liners and a camel-punch or two.
    Right up there with "The Princess Bride" and "Ladyhawke."
  3. Jul 27, 2011
    9
    This movie has aged very well, while some moments are cheesy, it's still a highly enjoyable movie for fans of fantasy epic movies, a truly unique movie that's a lot of fun to watch.
  4. Aug 18, 2011
    10
    This movie contains much more then most people can understand because it is about power of spirit. Total classic and still one of the best fantasy movies.
  5. Nov 6, 2011
    10
    The long drawn out silence and "high adventure" perfectly set the grand scale of the Conan universe, doubtful you'll ever see a better performance from Arnie... the action is done very well, the dialogue is minimal but perfect for the broody character, the visuals are wonderful, the music is amazing, personally can't find a flaw in this first outing. 10/10
  6. Jan 26, 2011
    4
    I love Arnie and even though I love cheesy 80s movies this one just didn't catch me. The plot was lame, the acting terrible, the audio was at times unintelligible, and other than the over-the-top gore there was really nothing to savor. Perhaps had I seen it in the 80s I would have had a better appreciation for it, but by somehow missing it I just can't accept giving it anything higher than a 4.
  7. Jan 22, 2013
    10
    "What is best in life? ..." "the riddle of steel" The gold of Conan the Barbarian isn't really the excellent story telling or Swartzneggers prolifically suited role but in the truth of life we must digest while immersed in this "survival of the fittest" . The beauty of Conan here is not great acting but rather the story of passion, the fight of good and evil and the triumph of justice and"What is best in life? ..." "the riddle of steel" The gold of Conan the Barbarian isn't really the excellent story telling or Swartzneggers prolifically suited role but in the truth of life we must digest while immersed in this "survival of the fittest" . The beauty of Conan here is not great acting but rather the story of passion, the fight of good and evil and the triumph of justice and triumph of the human spirit. Conan the Barbarian as a "cultural artifact" is for many the beginning nothing more than slew of meaningless "adventure movies" that proceeded afterwards, for myself though Conan means a kind of "hope" in many respects .. and that hope while imperfect makes up for a lot of the "movie sin". Expand
  8. Feb 1, 2013
    6
    A guilty pleasure, carried by Arnolds brute charisma and his lack of acting. A fantasy tale that is ultimately both enjoyable and very silly. The ending is quite disappointing, though, even with this "Riefenstahlesque" look.
  9. Sep 12, 2014
    10
    Don't be fooled - this is a pure art movie. No other like it before or since (not even the sequel - it sucks, by the way)
    Amazing soundtrack (how it didn't even got nominated for the Oscar is beyond me)
  10. Nov 24, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. With a mix of fantasy, humor, and Arnold's big arms, this flick is one that I think gets better and better with repeat viewings. I haven't read the Howard books, so I can't make any comparison. But until I do read them, Schwarzenegger is my first thought when I hear "Conan" (with O'Brien a distant second). The classic saga of a boy who eventually extracts revenge on the person who was responsible for killing his parents (Holy Batman!), the film traces the training (strength through slavery) Conan receives as a child. This leads to a life as a gladiator, thief, and eventually vigilante. I find the ending to be 'lacking', and rather bland, but the final scene 'promises' more high adventure (re: Conan the Conqueror). As I mentioned, there is actually quite a bit of humor in this film (which helps to maintain the fantasy elements, I believe), with some of the better quotes that I remember. The assorted members of Conan's loose cadre offer various aspects: Valeria (sex), Subota (loyal companion - like a proto-'George Stone' of "The Untouchables"), and The Wizard (start thinking of a Dungeons and Dragons quest party). I've really started to like this movie (since AMC seems to offer it on a regular basis), and though I pretty much know the dialog by heart, it still offers light entertainment. Expand
  11. Jul 10, 2014
    7
    'Conan' possesses an eeriness, an unorthodox form of story telling that I doubt we often see. It may not seem like it at first, but in the film there is a philosophical view, of power, vengeance, and loss. Arnold Schwarzenegger gives his deepest role, but the problem was simply his accent. James Earl Jones, in his small yet pivotal role, is the most captivating as the mystical snake'Conan' possesses an eeriness, an unorthodox form of story telling that I doubt we often see. It may not seem like it at first, but in the film there is a philosophical view, of power, vengeance, and loss. Arnold Schwarzenegger gives his deepest role, but the problem was simply his accent. James Earl Jones, in his small yet pivotal role, is the most captivating as the mystical snake priest. The film comes off too eerie for me, but the action and dialogue really pushed me to sit through the whole movie. Expand
  12. Nov 5, 2014
    4
    Conan the Barbarian stands as a very different take on fantasy and remains to be challenged as far as musical score and majestic feel. Arnold could not have been more fit for a role in his life, makes sense that this is the one that practically launched his movie career. There are obvious things that are impressive about this movie. There is a particular attention paid to the overallConan the Barbarian stands as a very different take on fantasy and remains to be challenged as far as musical score and majestic feel. Arnold could not have been more fit for a role in his life, makes sense that this is the one that practically launched his movie career. There are obvious things that are impressive about this movie. There is a particular attention paid to the overall spectacle of the movie that makes it hard to duplicate. The costumes, the sets, and the props. All the things about the environment make it exclusively the Conan universe. Good job. However, There is a major issue with the minimal dialogue and dominantly brutish nature of just about all the characters. The argument would be that that follows after Conan's character and he doesn't say much...okay maybe that is true, but I think James Earl Jones had a little too little to work with. I think he spoke the most out of anyone. And I was relieved to hear him, its like oh, someone who is coherent, and not just anyone, Its JAMES FREAKING EARL JONES, thank you for that. I think everyone was aware of that and given this was an origin story, it sort of gave the impression of self discovery. So the weight was purposely put more on the visuals and music. which is impeccable honestly, I listen to the soundtrack all the time. Its that good. But overall there was too much testosterone all at once to be a great movie. Blood, brutality, nudity, and primitive behavior is useful depending on what you are trying to convey. Here it was just the whole movie. i never felt like it leveled out and rose up a plain or two. The end fight scene was awesome though and fantasy classic none the less. Expand
Metascore
43

Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 10
  2. Negative: 3 out of 10
  1. Schwarzenegger has probably never been better-cast.
  2. 30
    Milius has nothing to say: this 1982 film only hints at the romantic heroics of "The Wind and the Lion" and has none of the personal quality of "Big Wednesday."
  3. 75
    I liked a lot of it myself, and with me, a few broadswords and leather jerkins go a long way.