The Terminator Reviews

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Top Critic
Kirk Ellis
Hollywood Reporter
October 3, 2015
The havoc makes for a genuine steel metal trap of a movie that may very well be the best picture of its kind since The Road Warrior.
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
December 8, 2002
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
October 26, 1984
The movie's strength is that, like The Matrix, it combines action with ideas.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Alan Jones
Radio Times
April 1, 2014
Wittily written with a nice eye for sharp detail, it's hard sci-fi action all the way.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
James Rocchi
November 7, 2002
The film that put James Cameron on the map and made Arnold Schwarzenegger an international star, The Terminator is a high-potency distillation of a bunch of sci-fi concepts into one package.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Scott Weinberg
Apollo Guide
October 11, 2001
While many feel the sequel is superior, I'd contend that T2 was merely more expensive. If you're building a sci-fi collection, this one should be on your Top Ten list.
Full Review | Original Score: 89/100
Top Critic
Jay Scott
Globe and Mail
May 18, 2009
An efficient, cold-blooded sci-fi splatter movie that never makes the mistake of forgetting that on some level it is deeply ridiculous.
Top Critic
Tom Huddleston
Time Out
June 15, 2015
Damn close to perfect.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
December 6, 2009
I remain perpetually amazed by how magnificently Cameron keeps the tension up... there is not a single moment that isn't operating at 100%.
Full Review | Original Score: 10/10
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
May 22, 2009
A brilliant sci-fi film that cleverly combines strong storytelling with suspense and killer set-pieces.
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
February 18, 2013
Still one of the most harrowing science fiction films in James Cameron's repertoire...
Rob Humanick
Slant Magazine
May 23, 2011
Remains a surprisingly meditative work, its concentrated visceral bursts not unlike punctuation marks among something more brooding, even prayerful.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Variety Staff
February 13, 2001
The Terminator is a blazing, cinematic comic book, full of virtuoso moviemaking, terrific momentum, solid performances and a compelling story.
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
February 9, 2006
More than enough violence to make it a profoundly moral film; and Arnold's a whizz.
Nick Rogers
October 30, 2014
Cameron maintains the heedless, non sequitur pace of a nightmare without resorting to cheap tactics. The frights of these nightmares, those cracked reflections of reality, hardly feel manufactured or inauthentic. And neither does "The Terminator."
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis
August 22, 2001
...remains the quintessential Schwarzenegger movie...a high-octane, tech-noir adventure.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
December 10, 2001
A surprisingly vicious little film, filled with indiscriminate, un-PC killings and a rough-edged feel that makes it utterly compelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Sean Axmaker
Turner Classic Movies Online
December 29, 2007
Gritty, clever, breathlessly paced, and dynamic despite the dark shadow of doom cast over the story, this sci-fi thriller remains one of the defining American films of the 1980s.
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
March 27, 2008
It's a work of pulp art to see the future guv of California rip out someone's heart.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
May 18, 2009
As for Schwarzenegger, he nicely fleshes out the convention of a soulless gun for hire. With his choppy hair, cryptic shades and state-of-the-'80s leather ensemble, he looks like the Incredible Hulk gone punk.
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