Metascore
43

Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 55 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 10
  2. Negative: 3 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    80
    It's easy to criticise Conan. Cheesy. Dated. And ever-so-slightly fascist (Conan is the ultimate Aryan: punishing the weak and defending the strong, while looking great in thigh-high boots). But while all that's true, for Arnie fans, the film still rocks.
  2. 75
    Those who have an inherent distaste for this sort of entertainment will appreciate Conan the Barbarian's impeccable production values without enjoying the story; most everyone else will be swept away by the film's spectacle.
  3. 75
    I liked a lot of it myself, and with me, a few broadswords and leather jerkins go a long way.
  4. An excessively brutal adventure comic book is exactly what it has set out to be - a medieval Heavy Metal. [14 May 1982]
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    40
    Director John Milius does a nice job of setting up the initial story.... But for whatever reasons, [Schwarzenegger] has a minimum of dialog and fails to convey much about the character through his actions.
  6. Conan the Barbarian is an extremely long, frequently incoherent, ineptly staged adventure-fantasy set in a prehistoric past.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    10
    Conan is a sort of psychopathic Star Wars, stupid and stupefying.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 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. Expand
  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."
    Expand
  3. 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 Expand
  4. 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
  5. 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 priest. The film comes off too eerie for me, but the action and dialogue really pushed me to sit through the whole movie. Expand
  6. 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. Expand
  7. 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. Expand

See all 14 User Reviews