Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Director James Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd (both of whom co-wrote the script) demonstrate their storytelling virtuosity.
  2. The movie's scares are intense, but the notion that the Terminator would move on to politics is even more frightening.
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    100
    A blazing, cinematic comic book, full of virtuoso moviemaking, terrific momentum, solid performances and a compelling story.
  4. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    91
    Kineticism and suspense, combined with strongly conceived characters....Made Cameron a talent to watch. [13 Jan 1995, p. 67]
  5. Reviewed by: Mark Dinning
    90
    A tense, slickly executed thriller.
  6. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    90
    Plenty of tech-noir savvy to keep infidels and action fans satisfied.[26 Nov 1984, p. 105]
  7. 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]
  8. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    80
    An amazingly effective picture that becomes doubly impressive when one considers its small budget.
  9. An efficient, cold-blooded sci-fi splatter movie that never makes the mistake of forgetting that on some level it is deeply ridiculous.
  10. 70
    Schwarzenegger is presented as a lumbering slab of dumb, destructive strength--the image is more geological than human--and Cameron plays his crushing weightiness against the strangely light, almost graceful violence of the gunplay directed against him. The results have the air of a demented ballet.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 217 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 33
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 33
  3. Negative: 3 out of 33
  1. Sep 17, 2011
    8
    "The Terminator" is a loud,noisy action "block bluster"; pretty good CGI (considering it was 1984), solid acting from Mr. governor, a dull but appealing story. Expect fun. Full Review »
  2. Aug 17, 2011
    9
    One of the best movies I ever seen
  3. j30
    Jan 26, 2012
    9
    Terminator keeps a steady diet of action flowing throughout the film, without excess of the 80's cheese. Keeping this James Cameron gem a lean, mean, fighting machine. Full Review »