Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Kevin Carr
    90
    This movie doesn’t cop out. It doesn’t go for fake, feel-good warm fuzzies, and it’s not for the faint of heart. Terminator 3 has guts. It has a LOT of guts. And it’s a rare thing for any movie – whether it’s a summer blockbuster or an indie arthouse flick – to have guts.
  2. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    90
    Here's a picture that you actually want to see a second time, not for the sake of further wrapping your head around its gnarly conceptual matrix, but because of the sheer visceral charge it provides. Here, at long last, is a summer movie -- like its precursors in the Terminator canon -- worth its weight in cybernetic organisms.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    T3 delivers the goods. A hard-hitting, straight-ahead sci-fi actioner with none of the pretentions and ponderousness that have put at least a portion of the public off of "The Matrix Reloaded" and "Hulk."
  4. The effects in "T3" are spectacular, and the action sequences -- particularly the fights between the good and bad terminators -- are exhilarating.
  5. With him (Schwarzenegger), we return to a franchise we never knew we missed, surprisingly grateful for the star's generosity -- and evident pleasure -- in strapping on the old sunglasses and blasting adversaries to hell.
  6. An expertly paced and efficient sci-fi thrill machine, "T3" effectively marries impressive action sequences with persuasive storytelling and its star's uniquely appealing style of "No" drama -- as in no reaction, no expression, no emotion of any kind.
  7. Tried hard to honor the spirit of the franchise, not exploit it, and take it to a new level and a surprising destination.
  8. 78
    Reality has overtaken the movies here, which, I suppose, makes T3 all the more cathartically appealing. At least onscreen we have Arnold Schwarzenegger in our corner.
  9. 75
    May lack the mythic pow of the 1984 original and the visionary thrill of T2, but it's a potent popcorn movie that digs in its hooks and doesn't let go until an ending that ODs on apocalyptic hoo-ha.
  10. 75
    Against all odds this "Terminator" deserves to be welcomed back.
  11. 75
    This is easily the funniest of the Terminator movies (although not, it should be stressed, the lightest). It is also the shortest and most compact.
  12. 75
    This third installment is the loudest, dopiest, and least inventive of the three. But what the movie...lacks in intelligence it makes up for in sheer doom.
  13. 75
    Gets the most bang for its buck by letting the camera linger on the spectacle, and allowing tension, not flashiness, to be its hallmark.
  14. 75
    It puts almost everything it has into its explosive set pieces, but manages to instill the audience with just enough emotional involvement. If, Ah-nold decides to come bach again, this installment should ensure he has an audience.
  15. Though this film doesn't have the novelty value of the first or the complex plotting of the second, it boasts the most spectacular single sequence.
  16. In a summer of comic book super-operas dense with psychological torment and sprawling well over two hours, the unpretentious efficiency of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is refreshing.
  17. Lacks the wonder, surprises and supercool attitude Cameron achieved. "T3" is no weak sister, though. With Arnold Schwarzenegger back as the iconic title character and an often witty, fast-paced script by John Brancato, Michael Ferris and Tedi Sarafian, audiences worldwide will embrace the new film.
  18. 70
    Pedestrian but appealing.
  19. 70
    T3, while far from a classic, is an overachieving, mercenary sequel that's short on thrills, but surprisingly long on laughs and surprises.
  20. Overall it's reasonably thrilling anyway. If you're hoping for a brilliant revisionist take on the franchise, forget it.
  21. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    70
    At its screeching, wall-breaking best, “T3” achieves heavy-metal slapstick.
  22. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    70
    At its metallic heart, T3 is another chase movie -- one figure relentlessly tracking three others, mostly in cars, at high speed through implausibly underpopulated Los Angeles streets.
  23. The brute force of Terminator 3 is relieved, I'm happy to say, by Claire Danes's winning performance as John Connor's reluctant accomplice (whom the production notes describe, not inaccurately, as an "unsuspecting veterinarian"); by many of the special effects, which don't seem obsolete at all, and, yes, by the sinister trix of the Terminatrix.
  24. 70
    As Mostow proved in “Breakdown” and “U-571,” he can churn out excitement at a steady pace; whether he can handle dread--altogether a more unstable material--is another matter. [14 & 21 July 2003, p. 85]
  25. 67
    As an action film it roars forward with agreeable, transporting energy.
  26. 63
    Is Terminator 3 a skillful piece of work? Indeed. Will it entertain the Friday night action crowd? You bet. Does it tease and intrigue us like the earlier films did? Not really.
  27. Terminator 3 moves at not-quite-breakneck speed, and the shape-shifting, metal-melting special effects aren't exactly spectacular.
  28. That's not to say Terminator 3 is terminally awful -- just banal, merely humdrum, more conventional horror flick than science-fiction myth, and a whole lot less than what came before.
  29. 63
    The good news is that Schwarzenegger is more entertaining than ever as the Terminator T-101 cyborg.
  30. 60
    Picking up some 10 years after the previous film left off, this stripped-down, intelligently conceived follow-up is a respectable conclusion to the Terminator trilogy.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 284 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 87 out of 137
  2. Negative: 34 out of 137
  1. Sep 18, 2011
    6
    "T3" lacks what made "T2" and "T1" a masterpiece, but it still has the blockbuster spirit within the movie.
  2. Dec 8, 2011
    3
    A unneeded sequel that does nothing but butcher a once great series. Terrible acting and poor action/special effects makes this a disapointing end to the original trilogy. Full Review »
  3. May 15, 2011
    10
    So a very outdated model is going to win against a brand spanking new one that can control machines and has plasma casters in her arms. Ya, that will happen. All credit to Arnold, who is a kick ass actor, but I don't think that a (apparently) nuclear powered robot is going to beat the new girl in town. Full Review »