The Terminator

The Terminator Image
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 682 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A cyborg (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent from the 21st century to present-day Los Angeles to assassinate a seemingly innocent women whose child will play an important part in the world from which the killer came. [MGM]

Trailer

Please enter your birth date to continue:
You are not allowed to view this material at this time.
Autoplay: On | Off

Where To Watch

Stream On
Stream On
Stream On
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Dallas Observer
    Reviewed by: Luke Y. Thompson
    100
    The movie's scares are intense, but the notion that the Terminator would move on to politics is even more frightening.
  2. 100
    A blazing, cinematic comic book, full of virtuoso moviemaking, terrific momentum, solid performances and a compelling story.
  3. Director James Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd (both of whom co-wrote the script) demonstrate their storytelling virtuosity.
  4. Empire
    Reviewed by: Mark Dinning
    90
    A tense, slickly executed thriller.
  5. Premiere
    Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    88
    A model of economic storytelling....It raised the bar for movie action to a bionic level. [1 Dec 2003, p.13]
  6. An amazingly effective picture that becomes doubly impressive when one considers its small budget.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 63 out of 68
  2. Negative: 3 out of 68
  1. Jul 6, 2015
    10
    So machines took over the world! In 2029 The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent by Skynet to kill Sarah Connor in 1984, mother ofSo machines took over the world! In 2029 The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent by Skynet to kill Sarah Connor in 1984, mother of John Connor leader of the human resistance, if the Terminator kills Sarah Connor then John Connor would not have been born (basically The Terminator's mission). But then Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) is sent back in 1984 to stop the Terminator from killing her. Linda Hamilton's performance as "Sarah Connor" is sentiment; Arnold Schwarzenegger as the villain/Terminator, was awesome he brings so much energy into his character. Michael Biehn as Kyle Resse was kick ass as the hero. Writer-director James Cameron and producer Anne Hurd (both of whom co-wrote the script) present their virtuosity storytelling with mastering creativity towards the story. The film has it's like able characters which you can get in a science fiction film. Grade A+ Expand
  2. Aug 22, 2011
    10
    This is one of that movies that you want to watch it when you get bored, anytime,anywhere. I cant believe this movie affected me that much.This is one of that movies that you want to watch it when you get bored, anytime,anywhere. I cant believe this movie affected me that much. Only one fault on this one: Kyle Reese Paradox which is not possible. Expand
  3. JakeH
    Jun 19, 2008
    10
    This movie was down right action packed. Arnold Schwartezennager rules!!
  4. Jun 12, 2014
    9
    The Terminator is a classic scifi smash that was one of the first of its kind. It may not feature that great of effects, but the movie stillThe Terminator is a classic scifi smash that was one of the first of its kind. It may not feature that great of effects, but the movie still works here, thanks to Arnie. James Cameron does the best with what he has, and the results are phenomenal. Expand
  5. Jul 12, 2015
    8
    When it comes to sci-fi there just isn't another mind out there like Cameron's. His legendary work here infuses the genre with dark and grittyWhen it comes to sci-fi there just isn't another mind out there like Cameron's. His legendary work here infuses the genre with dark and gritty noir. Heck, given the relentlessness and ferocity of it's antagonist it's darn near part horror as well. The film's world pulls no punches in any department. While certain aspects of the movie might seem simple by today's standards the film is no less impressive.

    The story is effectively conveyed through minimalist dialog. Characters do carry on conversations, but the actual backstory is told rather quickly so as to put the film's focus squarely on the conflict at hand. The time travel scenario may have you scratching your head at some points until you realize the ending is meant to set up the sequel. It doesn't completely wrap up the overall story b it's conclusion. It instead leaves you with a satisfying ending for it's story while leaving viewers with the promise of more.

    The characters are portrayed spot on by the actors, but the real star of the show is Arnold Schwarzenegger. He plays the ruthless and somewhat terrifying "terminator" to perfection. While ultimately he doesn't do much actual acting as his lines are kept to a minimum he still manages to instill terror at his presence. Also it's just as fun as ever to watch him shoot things up.

    The film also just does a lot of cool things. While the special effects are obviously dated today, it' not hard to notice how cool the scenes must have looked back in the day. There are some really cool effects going on that toady couldn't be done without at least a little CGI. Cameron made the film's most impressive moments (which usually involve gore) all happen without it. A very impressive feat considering the time.

    While aspects of it haven't aged well and it's not as groundbreaking today as it was when it first came out, this is still one of the most original and creative sci-fi movies out there. With a sharp plot, good writing, cool effects, and an original theme this is one that 's still worth watching. It still manages to stand out as one of the best sci-fi movies you'll ever watch. If you haven't seen it yet I highly recommend that you do.

    I give it an 8.9/10.
    Expand
  6. Jul 7, 2014
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Pretty much one of the most iconic sci-fi action romps of its time "The Terminator" manages to pull you into its time twisted, post apocalyptic and (defiantly now) retro 80's ride, filled with an action packed storyline, putting time aside for not only character relations but also throwing in elements of a horror, "The Terminator" doesn't drag nor disappoint, with a seemingly flexible cast and an actor who was born to play this role, "The Terminator" is full of surprises that might just leave you wanting more.

    Like I said Schwarzenegger was born to play the role of the Terminator, its an iconic part, one filled with many quotes and catchphrases (which is pretty much all of his dialogue) contributed by fantastic and believable performances by Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn, thrusting this film into a gripping tale of hunter and hunted. The soundtrack is one that gets you motivated and pumped but has a sense of sadness to it one that gets you even more emotive (especially when the drums kick in) towards the actual war taking place as the story takes a route down memory lane for Kyle Reese, its another part that makes this franchise iconic as its a theme you will never forget.

    Yes, this is a bit of an action flick, one taken with a pinch of salt, and for a low budget film (especially in the 80's) its done an amazing job at heart, with only the CGI and make up looking very naff at some points, but hey.. cant blame them! Yes, there are a few questionable moments that end up in explosions and onslaught, but that's all apart of the experience, what I'm surprised at is how an action romp such as this has time to fit in sensible and likable characters that have point and purpose to the entire integrity of the films lore. I have to say I'm not a mega fan of James Cameron's work, but seeing what tools where at his disposal he has done a fantastic job with this, making something original and thought out, that can and does deserve at least one good sequel. Yes, I do like this film, of course there are flaws with it, even at its time, mainly being a tad mediocre and following a noticeable A to B format but I think we can agree that the action contracts that. this one is for retro loving thrill seekers!
    Expand
  7. JaredC
    Jul 2, 2007
    0
    "I am the Terminator," what agay type of movie this is. Sure some of the action scenes were pretty sweet but overall the movie totally "I am the Terminator," what agay type of movie this is. Sure some of the action scenes were pretty sweet but overall the movie totally completely sucked. Thumbs down for James Cameron. Expand

See all 68 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. Ranked: The Best and Worst Film Franchises

    Ranked: The Best and Worst Film Franchises Image
    Published: August 8, 2012
    Can an ongoing film franchise maintain high quality over many years and multiple movies? This week's new Bourne movie only confirms how hard a task that is, though our rankings of 25 major film franchises shows that it isn't impossible.
  2. The Best and Worst Time Travel Movies

    The Best and Worst Time Travel Movies Image
    Published: March 23, 2010
    We've traveled through the history of cinema to uncover the best and worst time travel movies -- as well as everything in between. Where do your favorites stand?
  3. All Films Considered: James Cameron

    All Films Considered: James Cameron Image
    Published: December 18, 2009
    Now that the reviews are in for Avatar, we look back at the other James Cameron-directed films in our database, to see how the critics have responded to his work.
  4. 15 Reboots Worse Than the Original Movies

    15 Reboots Worse Than the Original Movies Image
    Published: July 5, 2016
    While we await the verdict on the new Ghostbusters, we look back at 15 other recent film reboots that failed to match the quality of their predecessors.
  5. Film Friday (4/17): This Week's New Movies & Trailers

    Film Friday (4/17): This Week's New Movies & Trailers Image
    Published: April 17, 2015
    Find a guide to this weekend's new theatrical releases and watch all of the week's new movie trailers, including new looks at Star Wars, Ant-Man, Terminator Genisys, Dope, Love & Mercy, and much more.
  6. Film Friday (1/30): This Week's New Movies & Trailers

    Film Friday (1/30): This Week's New Movies & Trailers Image
    Published: January 30, 2015
    Find a guide to this weekend's new theatrical releases and watch all of the week's new movie trailers, including new looks at The Fantastic Four, Ted 2, and Child 44, and a preview of Super Bowl spots for Tomorrowland, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Insurgent, Terminator Genisys, and much more.
  7. Film Friday (12/5): This Week's New Movies & Trailers

    Film Friday (12/5): This Week's New Movies & Trailers Image
    Published: December 5, 2014
    Find a guide to this weekend's new theatrical releases and watch all of the week's new movie trailers, including new looks at Terminator Genisys, Chris Rock's Top Five, Noah Baumbach's While We’re Young, What We Do in the Shadows, and more.