Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 518 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Judgment Day has come and gone. The artificial intelligence network Skynet controls the army of Terminators that roam the post-apocalyptic landscape, killing or collecting humans where they hide in the desolate cities and deserts. Only one man saw Judgment Day coming. One man, whose destiny has always been intertwined with the fate of human existence: John Connor. Now the world is on the brink of the future that Connor has been warned about all his life. But something totally new has shaken his belief that humanity stands a chance of winning this war: the appearance of Marcus Wright, a stranger from the past whose last memory is of being on death row before awakening in this strange, new world. (Warner Bros. Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 35
  2. Negative: 3 out of 35
  1. A fast-moving, rock 'em-sock 'em movie that continues the man-vs.-machines series begun 25 years ago.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    The result is a movie that takes itself far more seriously than the "Hasta la vista, baby" tone of previous installments.
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    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.
  5. In Arnold's absence, an important ingredient of the "Terminator" iconography -- namely, the fun factor -- is in short supply.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The predictable story feels as if it were written by a computer program labeled "sequel."
  7. 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.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 69 out of 253
  1. PaulW
    Jan 1, 2010
    As a huge of the first terminator film, I thought that T2 was too family friendly and moved away from the real plot. T3 although average set the scene for T4 which was innovative, clever, told a brilliant story, and paired Bale and Sam Worthington together who were brilliant. Expand
  2. ryanj.
    May 21, 2009
    Dark and different with the best action scenes in years.
  3. Aug 24, 2012
    THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE DIRECTOR'S CUT. I can see the hate on Terminator Salvation compared to James Cameron's films due to the weak writing and the fact its PG-13 but to all you haters on Metacritic, see the R-Rated Director's Cut - It is so much better than the theatrical PG-13 version. McG just cut out the R-Rated material to give it a PG-13 rating which I know, is stupid because what he cut out were important plot points and character development, nudity, and R-Rated material violence is added that includes blood and someone being stabbed with a screwdriver. McG even cut out some character development between Blair Williams and Marcus Wright and John Connor which made the film thin on writing. Terminator Salvation doesn't capture a lot of what made the first two great or Rise of the Machines visually amazing but it is time for a new formula in a new setting. Besides, the whole "Send a Terminator back in time to kill the main character but send another Terminator to protect him/her leading to action" formula was kind of getting tired in the script of Rise of the Machines but hey, there's actually pretty good character development in Salvation even though the script could of been better and more powerful and less thin. Also, why was it lacking substance for Marcus Wright and the Terminators? Sam Worthington was actually flawed but good at his performance as Marcus Wright. James Cameron recommended to McG to have Worthington join the cast, and plays a good infiltrator that has a perfect conflict to his character: Being determined to be an Infiltrator-Terminator by SkyNet or stay as his human self. He was executed in 2003, then reborn as an Infiltrator during the War Against the Machines but his living brain and heart still remains in his body not knowing he was recreated as a Terminator-Infiltrator. Marcus Wright was actually good character communicating with the Resistance and SkyNet when joining the War Against the Machines and facing his conflict of human or infiltrator. Christian Bale was pretty good as John Connor to. He was right for the role of playing John Connor in his 30s as a Military Soldier - better than Nick Stahl in Rise of the Machines. Terminator Salvation is an important to the Terminator franchise. Why? Well, remember in the first when Kyle Reese was sent back in time by John Connor to protect Sarah Connor from the T-800? John Connor has to meet him so he can send him back in time in the future and Kyle can impregnate Sarah so John Connor exists and it shows where the T-800s modeled after Schwarzenegger came from. It also gives a reason why the T-800s in the first two and the T-850 (The infiltrators Arnold Schwarzenegger played) were sent back in time from the 2020s since Terminator Salvation is set in 2018. Though the ending was bit corny when John Connor almost lost his life to the prototype T-800 that was played by Roland Kickinger as Schwarzenegger them Marcus Wright gave him his heart so he could continue fighting the machines in the war but it was a decent resolution giving the audience the message that everyone deserves a second chance (This scene is expanded in the Director's cut with nudity and more violent material) The Director's Cut of Terminator Salvation is Rated R for some violence and brief nudity. Expand
  4. EricF
    May 25, 2009
    Fairly predictable, some nice background story to the Terminator original, although we knew pretty much what was going to happen. Sets up future sequels nicely though, which have the potential to be more interesting from a character and plot development standpoint. Expand
  5. Feb 5, 2013
    Good looking and boosted by kinetic action, but the script is life-threatening stupid. Any machine with such a muddled, non-functional master-plan has to fail against even a completely unorganised human race. Characters are underdeveloped and the dialogue is barely okay. Christian Bale roars more than he speaks, which becomes quite annoying after some time. But as you expect it from director McG, the untalented cousin of Michael Bay, this is flashy, stupid fun. Expand
  6. Aug 2, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A Schwarzenegger-less disappointment. Terminate it, because really, it makes most sense that RISE OF THE MACHINES would be the final movie (making it a trilogy)--especially with the ending it has. Expand
  7. AGuy
    May 21, 2009
    McG = Franchise Killer.

See all 253 User Reviews

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