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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 11.25%
Average: 6.25%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 2.5%

2 reviews, 148 user ratings

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Terminator, The
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by Scott Weinberg

"A big fat kick in the ass of a sci-fi/action epic!"
5 stars

With a script that has some brilliant twists, and some jaw-dropping action scenes, The Terminator easily earns as a place as a modern classic. (Yeah, T2, is damn good too, but sometimes less IS more.) Schwarzenegger is so much better as the villain, considering his..ahem...intimidation potential.

Perhaps better described a great science fiction movie that happens to boast some truly breathtaking action. It offers a real plot and some thought-provoking questions about the convenience of time travel. Directed in a kinetic and gritty style by James Cameron and written with a good degree of intelligence by Mr. C., and his then-wife, Gale Anne-Hurd. A reason to rejoice for sci-fi fans.

It turns out that, in the future, robots are going to take over the earth and wage a massive war against humans, due to our being so inefficient and dirty and all. (Hey, if we're so damn inefficient, why not just leave us alone?) So these clever robots decide the best way to kill the enemy is to destroy their leader.....before he is even conceived. So by going back in time and killing his future Mommy, they'll be set. (It makes sense in the script, I swear.) So the good guys send a soldier back also to protect this poor, unsuspecting woman, then all living and holy hell breaks loose.

The assassin in question is of course, Arnie-The Terminator. He is so completely inhuman and cold, he easily gives his best performance ever. (Sorry, big man.) Unfortunately for us humans, the best defense we can offer is Michael Biehn, who's OK for a genre character actor, but come on! Michael Biehn vs. Bob Denver would probably end up a draw! Linda Hamilton plays Sarah, who's equal parts terrified, confused, horny and shrieky. (Yes, I know, she grows balls for the sequel, OK.)

For fans of mindless carnage, we have a few scenes to offer you here. The shoot-up at the disco is pretty cool, but nothing comes close to what Arnold does at the police station, right after offering (for the first time ever) "I'll be back." The chases and explosions are all done well, with the music pumping and the trucks blowing up and Arnold getting all his skin burned off. What makes it more than just an OK sci-fi is the clever plot. The idea of going back in time to prevent history is quite cool, and the idea is not wasted here (or in part 2, actually.) Shame on you if you've yet to see it.

A loud, smart, sleek bad asskicker. Some movies deserve to be watched now and again, and this one falls in that pile. A well-oiled balance of sci-fi, action, brains and style. A perfect display of the kinds of characters Arnold should still be playing, and stop doing comedy. (Is this REALLY the same actor who was in Batman & Robin?)

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originally posted: 10/20/99 17:09:48
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Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell AWESOME the best in the series IMHO 5 stars
3/16/12 stanley welles cheesy b-movie with a highly predictable ending 1 stars
5/11/11 Silkworm ALL TIME CLASSIC - no Arnie, no film therefore no brainer 5 stars
9/25/10 Flathead King Arnie probably will never make a better film than this masterpiece 5 stars
3/09/10 patsy Kyle Reese is so....yummy 5 stars
12/27/09 randy todger incredible what can be done on a small budget 5 stars
8/29/09 Jeff Wilder Plenty of action with a real story and characters. Superb 5 stars
7/16/09 Steven M The best sci fi action ever made! but ''Navy SEALS'' tops this as far as action movies go!! 5 stars
7/08/09 *Holy_J@lapeno* Such an origional. cant beat it. 5 stars no doubt about it 5 stars
6/29/09 budo UNREAL!!! 5 stars
6/13/09 Hiroshi Who doesn't love this film? It's a classic, as well as T2. 5 stars
6/03/09 C Vega great of the lot. 5 stars
8/18/08 K. Sear Fantastic and chilling. 5 stars
1/20/08 Pamela White awesone suspense and great FX what a ride 5 stars
7/13/07 Arg By far the best of all 3 films 5 stars
5/07/07 Cindy my favorite movie, fucking awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
4/23/07 David Risser Pretty good 4 stars
4/20/07 Stevo UK T2 was better, but this knocks seven shades of shit out of T3 5 stars
3/21/07 man loved it 4 stars
1/19/07 movieman not as good as T2 5 stars
1/15/07 ahmed lashin nice 3 stars
1/11/07 Michael Cox It is scary, great score 5 stars
12/28/06 David Pollastrini brilliant, great fx 5 stars
12/26/06 johnnyfog I watch it every xmas. Perfect except for the random, stupid love scene 5 stars
11/24/06 Austin Wertman NOT NEARLY AS GOOD AS T2 OR T3 4 stars
11/22/06 R.W.Welch Arnold's big break, and one of the top five sci-fi operas. 5 stars
8/27/06 Jim "Sarah Connor?" 5 stars
4/12/06 chris f one of the best action films made 5 stars
12/06/05 cooler the greatest sci-fi film ever made 5 stars
11/24/05 cr sarah conner repley yes classic line in a james cameron classic scfi actionflim 4 stars
10/03/05 Ronin T2 is better IMO but this one has that thriller feeling in it. Highly recommended classic 4 stars
8/24/05 Eden Classic time traveling paradox film - very well done 5 stars
8/22/05 ES Time travel in films, is like tomatoes in a blender, but this series sells its sauce well 4 stars
8/12/05 Rogue Psyker Without the Terminator, there'd be no T2. Think about that. Cinematic Masterpiece. 5 stars
6/29/05 darick T2 is better, but this is still awesome 5 stars
6/17/05 Quigley so full of cinematic cheese it could have been an enchilada. sequel is much better, yes! 1 stars
6/10/05 JD A true classic!! 5 stars
6/02/05 Chris The original classic(although not the best Terminator movie) 5 stars
4/27/05 lio good writing + skillful filmaking 5 stars
4/23/05 Indrid Cold Not sure why people think this equals or surpasses T2, but yeah, it's very good. 4 stars
3/04/05 Jon Smith Awesome! 5 stars
12/03/04 Sugarfoot Robbed at oscar time! 5 stars
8/06/04 Anthony G we are not comparing movies spiderfaggot, we are rating this classic, nerd boy(spock lives) 5 stars
7/06/04 Spiderfan720 If I were to relate each movie to the Alien trilogy (yes, only 3), Alien is WAY better!!! 3 stars
6/27/04 Daveman Classic 80's sci-fi b-movie magic. Cameron shows what you can do with a shoestring budget. 5 stars
5/10/04 TonyMontana as good as Aliens 5 stars
4/11/04 American Slasher Goddess A brilliant treasure of a movie. 5 stars
2/21/04 Denise Duspiva Great 5 stars
2/02/04 I Would Much better than the overrated second film. 5 stars
1/26/04 Eric Arnold was cool but Biehn was better.The best actors they could have got.The fit great 5 stars
1/23/04 De eeeeeee 5 stars
12/15/03 Falco This film kicks ass! 5 stars
11/30/03 john it's a solid B movie 3 stars
11/16/03 Eeon Very well done, with some subtle context messages 5 stars
11/02/03 American Slasher Goddess Classic all the way around. 5 stars
10/02/03 Spiderfan729 I liked it. T2 was better but I liked it... 4 stars
9/29/03 Arnold Who ever whatched this is gey 1 stars
9/27/03 Boris Smtih Great Action, Plot, and Characters! My 17th favorite movie! 5 stars
8/20/03 Jake Probably should be considered in the top ten best movies ever. 5 stars
8/07/03 marc_ian_a Excellent ! (5 stars) :) 5 stars
7/26/03 Shane Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! INSTANT CLASSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/25/03 Double G Best Terminator Movie, this was scary, 2 was boring but good, 3rd was funny and good!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/05/03 ND phenominal classic and personal favorite movie of my own. Arnold and James are the best!!! 5 stars
6/20/03 Sammy very memorable movie to say the least 5 stars
6/18/03 Deanna Awesome. My all-time favorite action film (boo, good arnie in T2!) 5 stars
6/14/03 Alice I hate action movies but this one rocks !! 5 stars
6/10/03 Vicious This needs no explanation. 5 stars
4/18/03 LIAM JACKSON arnie is a hero. the street punk scum. the annoying roomate. they fucking deserved it.great 5 stars
3/18/03 GMan Nothing better than a movie with a herculean cyborg mutilating unsuspecting new-wavers... 5 stars
3/12/03 Butterball Cenobite good action, but Sarah Conner character here is ridiculous, and some maudlin scenes 3 stars
3/06/03 J Knight Excellent! 5 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby A full-throttle, intense masterpiece. Biehn and Hamilton are outstanding. 5 stars
2/06/03 kosta Best movie ever. 5 stars
2/01/03 Shane Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ha-Ha iam back, fuckers!! and yes this was a good movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/28/02 Sarah The Terminator kicks arse! Loved it. Go Arnie! 5 stars
12/20/02 anil good 3 stars
12/04/02 Russell Mad Max-er I mean, The Terminator, is out to get Linda Hamilton and the other guy 5 stars
11/10/02 Jay I'll Be Back 5 stars
10/04/02 CVJ EXCELLENT but the sequel made this look like Bambi 5 stars
7/02/02 Film Guy A Classic Science fiction movie. Kick ass gun play 5 stars
6/28/02 Justin Arnie at his best! 5 stars
5/26/02 Chowie Fuck u asshole....I'll be back ( he sure will!) 5 stars
4/25/02 maximal01 Great movie (remember the eyeball?) where Arnold acts WELL w/ only two lines of dialogue! 5 stars
4/11/02 Chuck Michael Biehn would kick *your* ass, man 5 stars
4/06/02 Justin Fuck you, asshole! Cool movie! 5 stars
3/24/02 K y L e The original. 5 stars
3/01/02 Chowie Pretty good, but the 2nd kicked it's arse 4 stars
1/07/02 the asm hero You're Terminated, Fucker. 5 stars
11/23/01 Andrew Carden Non-Stop Action, but The Plot Wears Off Quickly. 3 stars
10/16/01 Mike One of the greatest of all. 5 stars
10/16/01 Jake You've got me burning' ***echo reverb*** Technoir! Need I say more?? 5 stars
10/10/01 jawsboy Predator is better, but this is pretty good. it's overated and corny but it's good for 84'. 4 stars
10/06/01 Shams Huque This and Aliens are Cameron's finest. He'll never do anything better. Awesome. 5 stars
8/10/01 badfish Awesome,beautiful,one of the best Sci-Fi epics ever!!! 5 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk Ruthless. Cameron showed what a bad-ass director he was with this one. 5 stars
7/28/01 Steve Not too bad, but a bit cheesy, looked cheap. Sequel is obviously best movie ever. :-P 3 stars
7/28/01 Henry Ginsberg Good idea .To predictable . 4 stars
6/10/01 Turtle This movie is good, but too corny and stupidly strange. 3 stars
5/03/01 Gracy Lionheart Gotta admit that it's a great movie 5 stars
2/10/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi The film that inspired countless hack imitations...its only flaw. 5 stars
1/13/01 Invader This is everything a movie should be from hollywood at least -fantastic. 5 stars
1/13/01 Jake Cameron's first masterpiece 5 stars
1/13/01 Stewart Ball The movie that made Arnold a star, and the role he was born to play. 5 stars
1/10/01 Chris Parks Very Very Good! Arnold is a great villian! 5 stars
1/07/01 Destruction Worker Awesomely awesome awesomeness. 5 stars
1/01/01 Msitrab I love this movie 5 stars
12/30/00 sagesource forget the tech, it's a love story. damn good one, too. 5 stars
12/27/00 Turtle Great action and more great action, but Arnold's been better. 4 stars
12/24/00 md the best movie ever made 5 stars
12/21/00 Al Arnold sucks..this movie sucks 1 stars
12/08/00 Arielle Nicholas I'LL BE FUCKING BACK TO SEE THE THIRD 5 stars
11/29/00 SP fun and exciting; this was perhaps the only role Ahnold played perfectly 5 stars
11/18/00 Gary Absolutely perfect Science Fiction/Action movie! 5 stars
10/30/00 Mic Excellent. But what's the deal with doing it as soon as he said "I've always loved you."?? 4 stars
10/24/00 Viking Leaves Titanic for dead !!! 5 stars
10/21/00 JB The Best movie in the whole wide world of Sci-fi. We miss you Arnold. 5 stars
9/20/00 Jeff still Cameron's best film 5 stars
9/19/00 White Rabbit A great piece of Sci-Fi 5 stars
6/28/00 Bender 10 times more interesting and scarier than the sequel 5 stars
6/12/00 Bruce T2 is my favorite movie, but this one isn't far behind 5 stars
6/01/00 Jimmy Cameron's and Schwarzenegger's first great film. 5 stars
5/21/00 Jess I grew up on this stuff in the 80's. I love this film. I am emotional. 5 stars
5/05/00 matt THIS MOVIE STARTED IT ALL 5 stars
3/22/00 Lame-Oh great movie, but the ending sucked! 5 stars
3/10/00 David Rogers The role Arnold was famous for was not what I expected. 3 stars
3/06/00 Kyle Broflovski Thoroughly saturated, non-sugarcoated sci-fi 5 stars
2/16/00 Richard Wright A near perfect mix of action and sci-fi. It doesn't get much better than this. A classic. 5 stars
1/17/00 Dirk Diggler almost as good as part 2 5 stars
1/13/00 Chrissy T Don't be mean to Michael! The Terminator is romantic and explosive! Love it. 4 stars
1/10/00 dr.d behind Terminator 2 this is the best sci-fi 5 stars
12/13/99 Brad Jenison One of the best, if not the best. 5 stars
11/26/99 Matt Henderson More than just action. Intelligent exploration of human/technology relations. 5 stars
11/23/99 Andrea Pavlichich Pretty Awsome 4 stars
11/01/99 Poke I know better 80's movie but this was a OK movie. 3 stars
10/29/99 Lame-Oh awesome movie, but the ending was a letdown... 5 stars
10/26/99 Karahde Khan This is what I call good Sci-Fi. The best effect is always a good script. 5 stars
10/21/99 the Grinch James Cameron, what happened? More slap, less pap, please! Classic sci-fi/action movie! 5 stars
9/07/99 Glitter Berry The days before Cameron became a COMPLETE asshole. 5 stars
6/10/99 Homer J. Simpson This the movie that started the most famous line in history"I'll be back" 5 stars
4/28/99 Michael Grimm What can I say, cream of the crop 5 stars
4/21/99 lucas jackson The best action film of the eighties,the one liners are fucking great 5 stars
12/07/98 Shadow Raider Not exactly sucky, I stll say it's great even for... Aww, watch it. Nothing to spoil. 5 stars
10/28/98 cyanide rush bested only by t2 5 stars
10/28/98 Silent Rob It's everything T2 ain't....and vice versa. 5 stars
10/19/98 Johny Looks understandably dated, T2 is many steps above this film. 4 stars
10/10/98 {{{OZ}}} For my money, this kicked T2 up and down. 5 stars
9/15/98 tessSpork good plot, entertaining, not boring movie-could have used more character development. 4 stars
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  26-Oct-1984 (R)



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