Terminator Salvation

Metascore
49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 46
  2. Negative: 7 out of 46

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Simon Edwards
    Jul 4, 2015
    80
    The Terminator story recharges with a post-apocalyptic jolt of energy. Frantic and full of welcome ties to the past, it also ploughs new ground with purpose.
  2. A fast-moving, rock 'em-sock 'em movie that continues the man-vs.-machines series begun 25 years ago.
  3. Reviewed by: Devin Faraci
    80
    McG has sparked a moribund franchise back to life, giving fans the post-apocalyptic action they’ve been craving since they first saw a metal foot crush a human skull two decades ago.
  4. 75
    With its idea of an insurgency striking against an implacable evil empire, there's more than a little "Star Wars" in Terminator: Savlation, although not even at its "Empire Strikes Back" bleakest was Lucas' series this dark.
  5. 75
    Despite some laughably silly plot elements, McG has created an overall entertaining movie experience. It's a great kick-off to the summer explosion season.
  6. A couple of scenes directly reference the Iraq war and the Holocaust (where the humans are herded into cattle cars), and this is taking things much too seriously. This is a big blow-'em-up franchise movie. It should not under any circumstances be confused with a Statement.
  7. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    70
    Darker, grimmer and more stylistically single-minded than its two relatively giddy predecessors, Terminator Salvation boasts the kind of singular vision that distinguished the James Cameron original, the full-throttle kinetics of "Speed" and an old-fashioned regard for human (and humanoid) heroics.
  8. 70
    The result is a movie that takes itself far more seriously than the "Hasta la vista, baby" tone of previous installments.
  9. 70
    It parades neither the egghead aspirations of "Star Trek" nor the thick-skulled pretensions of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," but instead feels both comfortable with its limitations and justly proud of its accomplishments.
  10. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    70
    It all contributes to making the story breathless and nerve-jangling.
  11. 67
    The way-too-familiar climax feels less like a comment on destiny than like watching a finely crafted but soulless product roll off an assembly line.
  12. It's basically a zombie movie with machines instead of the walking dead.
  13. 67
    Grim, post-apocalyptic, special-effects extravaganza.
  14. 63
    Yet what makes this movie is the digital effects. It's got all the heart of a demolition derby.
  15. A dark-and-stormy sci-fi shoot-'em-up directed by McG, T4 has enough hardware and havoc to satisfy the crowd of action junkies and gamers who sped to "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" on opening weekend. (Terminator Salvation is a couple of liquid metal drops' more satisfying, but only a couple.)
  16. 63
    Bale even cedes the juiciest part to Aussie newcomer Sam Worthington, who is star material as a machine with a conscience. T4 is a mixed bag, but it's not f***ing amateur.
  17. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jul 4, 2015
    60
    Director McG proves perfectly adept at blowing things up in interesting ways, but there's not so much acting here as there is yelling at different volumes.
  18. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jul 4, 2015
    60
    Terminator Salvation is one of the most visually impressive films in the series. The action is non-stop and the look borders on dazzling.... But ironically for a series that's supposed to be about an embattled humanity struggling against those who lack it, there isn't an emotional moment in this.
  19. If you're a "Terminator" fan, though, "Salvation" is mostly worth it. The machines are mindless, yes, but there are enough pyrotechnics and heavy artillery to feel like Armageddon squared. And when the story starts to crumble around Bale, Worthington is there to pick up the pieces.
  20. It's a deafening, sometimes boring, occasionally startling and ultimately impressive war movie with a concern for what it is that makes us human.
  21. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jul 4, 2015
    50
    Terminator Salvation is a tale told idiotically, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
  22. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jul 4, 2015
    50
    Not only does the largely disposable Terminator Salvation fail to advance the franchise's overarching rise-of-the-machines storyline (a better title: "Terminator Stagnation") but, worse, it never manages to distinguish itself from any other reasonably budgeted action film.
  23. In Arnold's absence, an important ingredient of the "Terminator" iconography -- namely, the fun factor -- is in short supply.
  24. 50
    The most timid in the series. There's no invention in it, no sense of discovery. Only the impressively orchestrated action sequences feel fresh.
  25. 50
    Among the many things junked in McG's chop-shop is the notion of pleasure.
  26. Though competent in its B-movie way, Terminator Salvation lacks the humour, heart-tugging moments and visual pleasure that made the first two movies of the series modern pop masterpieces.
  27. 50
    Most of the running time is occupied by action sequences, chase sequences, motorcycle sequences, plow-truck sequences, helicopter sequences, fighter-plane sequences, towering android sequences and fistfights. It gives you all the pleasure of a video game without the bother of having to play it.
  28. 50
    This fourth "Terminator" film is the ultimate heavy-metal parody. Better make that travesty, because there are next to no moments of comedy.
  29. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    The predictable story feels as if it were written by a computer program labeled "sequel."
  30. With the exception of one breathtaking sequence in a helicopter, the action in Terminator Salvation is astonishingly dull.
  31. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    The latest installment in the venerable sci-fi action franchise turns out to be a straight-up war film, grim and muscular and thundering and joyless. It's the color of cement, and it weighs as much, too.
  32. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    50
    A good summer movie isn't just an uninterrupted crescendo of cacophony. You need stuff IN BETWEEN the fireballs and the cyborgs.
  33. Granted, it's great action. Terrific special effects. Pulse-pounding pacing. But it's a case of diminishing returns. Salvation so keeps its characters at arm's length that after a while it really doesn't matter what happens to them.
  34. 50
    The movie's only unmitigated pleasure is a too-brief fight scene between Connor and a naked combatant made up to look precisely like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  35. 50
    It is occasionally a first-rate action spectacle, but it is only the spectacle that merits recommendation.
  36. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Jul 4, 2015
    40
    Terminator Salvation isn’t the gritty, futuristic blitzkrieg for which fans of the first two films have been salivating. It isn’t even the slick, entertaining Hollywood blockbuster most were realistically expecting. It is a shambolic, deafening, intelligence-insulting mess, a crushing failure on almost all counts.
  37. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jul 4, 2015
    40
    Missing is Cameron’s signature action modification, best exploited in Aliens: the strapping female heroine. McG’s testosterone-juiced world feels a little doomed without her.
  38. With McG's migraine-inducing jerky-cam and monochromatic palette (livened only by splotches of rust), Terminator Salvation puts the numb in numskull.
  39. 40
    A confused, humorless grind.
  40. Reviewed by: Laremy Legel
    Jul 4, 2015
    35
    The sound is great, the explosions are great, the look and feel could have been turned into something special. It’s the words and plot that are huge negatives here.
  41. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Jul 4, 2015
    30
    What's lacking is the sense of emotional balance and urgency that the original Terminator, though just a B movie, was blessed with--the quality that earned it fans in the first place.
  42. 30
    Terrifically dull, full of ear-searing sound design and much yakkity-yakking about the fate of humanity but entirely lacking any sort of soul or sense of good old summer matinee fun.
  43. 30
    Terminator Salvation has no brains and no soul; it's just a mass of stiff, creaking metal joints. Clearly, the machines have won.
  44. When Christian Bale allowed himself to play Bruce Wayne in "Batman Begins," he was slumming - and to good effect. But with Terminator Salvation, this ostensibly serious actor takes up residence in the action ghetto, and it's not a good fit.
  45. Reviewed by: Sukhdev Sandhu
    Jul 4, 2015
    20
    It’s a catastrophically bad movie whose aggressive dullness and dumbness can best be reproduced by picking up a brick and slamming it against one’s forehead for two hours.
  46. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Jul 4, 2015
    20
    With much buzzing, beeping and whirring, the Terminator franchise comes to an absolute creative standstill, or even goes clankingly into reverse, with this fantastically dull fourth episode.
User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 632 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 74 out of 271
  1. Sep 18, 2011
    5
    MacG's "Terminator: Salvation" doesn't offer anything new; just story and action revolving around wars and battles, In the end, the movie isMacG's "Terminator: Salvation" doesn't offer anything new; just story and action revolving around wars and battles, In the end, the movie is just a CGI bridge in the Terminator series. Full Review »
  2. SeanF
    Jan 8, 2010
    3
    Bear with me as I may find it difficult to actually express how appalled by this film I was into words - although I guess that already gives Bear with me as I may find it difficult to actually express how appalled by this film I was into words - although I guess that already gives you a good idea of my opinion of this film. I'll try to keep this short and list just a few of the reasons for loathing this film. First, this film is part of a trend of films that Hollywood is churning out with much more frequency, that have forgotten that the basic principle of any good film is not how much shit you can blow up but actually having a good story and characterisation. However, I Full Review »
  3. DomoR
    Jun 1, 2009
    1
    Dreadful, noisy crap. The only thing, and I mean THE ONLY THING I found engaging in this film were the tiny little hairs around the lower lip Dreadful, noisy crap. The only thing, and I mean THE ONLY THING I found engaging in this film were the tiny little hairs around the lower lip of Sam Worthington. He was the best thing in the film and my eroitic fantasies of doing him 9000 ways to Pittsburg was the only thing that got me to stay. Really. During the first third of the film the continuity was so bad, I swear they were scenes shot for nine other films stitched together like a crazy quilt of celuloid. And that silent little Newt from Aliens clone shows up and I just wanted to yank the hairs on its head (gender-f much?) And then Arnold shows up and he has no genitals! What a disgrace! I mean really. What was the effing point? This had no balls, no dick and no story. I prayed for the machines to blow up the theater and let me tell you, they should have!!! Oh, and BTW, Bryce Dallas Howard should stick to her gig as a local newscaster. Full Review »