Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)



Critic Consensus: T2 features thrilling action sequences and eye-popping visual effects, but what takes this sci-fi/ action landmark to the next level is the depth of the human (and cyborg) characters.

Movie Info

A sequel to the sci-fi action thriller that made him and star Arnold Schwarzenegger A-list Hollywood names, writer/director James Cameron upped the ante with this follow-up by employing a more sweeping storyline and cutting-edge special effects. Linda Hamilton returns as Sarah Connor, now a single mother to rebellious teen John Connor (Edward Furlong), during the late nineties. Having been informed by a time-traveling soldier in the first film that John will one day grow up to become humanity's savior from a computer-controlled Armageddon, Sarah has responded by becoming a muscle-bound she-warrior bent on educating John in survival tactics and battle strategies. Her ranting about humankind's future has landed Sarah in an insane asylum and John in the foster care system. The rebellious John has responded to his situation by getting into scrapes with the law. When a new and improved Terminator android called the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) arrives from the future to eliminate John, an older model T-800 (Schwarzenegger) is sent to protect the boy. The T-1000, however, has the ability to morph itself into any shape it desires, allowing it chameleon-like powers and near indestructibility. The T-800 saves John's life and helps break Sarah out of the institution. Staying only one step ahead of the dogged T-1000, Sarah leads her son and the T-800 to the headquarters of Cyberdyne Systems, the company that will invent a robotic intelligence that will eventually take over the world. There, they attempt to convince inventor Miles Dyson (Joe Morton) to help them stop the future from ever occurring by destroying his work. Dyson sacrifices himself in an explosion to save the world, leading to a final showdown between the two Terminators at a steel foundry. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), which won four Oscars in technical categories for its groundbreaking effects, was followed by a short sequel filmed exclusively as an attraction for theme parks, Terminator 2: 3-D Battle Across Time (1996). ~ Karl Williams, Rovimore
Rating: R (for strong sci-fi action and violence, and for language)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: James Cameron, William Wisher, William Wisher Jr.
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 31, 1998
TriStar Pictures


Linda Hamilton
as Sarah Connor
Edward Furlong
as John Connor
Earl Boen
as Dr. Silberman
Joe Morton
as Miles Dyson
S. Epatha Merkerson
as Tarissa Dyson
Castulo Guerra
as Enrique Salceda
Jenette Goldstein
as Janelle Voight
Xander Berkeley
as Todd Voight
Ken Gibbel
as Douglas
Robert Winley
as Cigar Biker
Shane Wilder
as Trucker
Michael Edwards
as Old John Connor
Don Lake
as Mossberg
Richard Vidan
as Weatherby
Gwenda Deacon
as Night Nurse
Don Stanton
as Lewis the Guard
Dan Stanton
as Lewis as T-1000
Noel Evangelisti
as Hospital Guard
Tony Simotes
as Vault Guard
Diane Rodriguez
as Jolanda Salceda
Dalton Abbott
as Infant John Connor
Ron Young
as Pool Cue Biker
Mike Muscat
as Moshier
Dean Norris
as SWAT Team Leader
Charles Tamburro
as Police Chopper Pilot
J. Rob Jordan
as Pickup Truck Driver
Denney Pierce
as Burly Attendant
Mark Christopher Law...
as Burly Attendant
Terrence Evans
as Tanker Truck Driver
Pat Kouri
as SWAT Leader
Van Ling
as Cyberdine Tech
Peter Kent
as Mr. Schwarzenegger's...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Critic Reviews for Terminator 2: Judgment Day

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (21)

"The Terminator 2" is movie-making on a massive scale, packed dense with spectacular touches that are too many to describe - escape scenes, helicopter stunts and huge explosions.

Full Review… | June 30, 2015
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Best of all, though, the level of tension in the film is palpable because we can`t figure out how Arnold is going to terminate the Terminator.

Full Review… | August 12, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

A pop epiphany, marking that commercially creative point where the power of Hollywood meets the purity of myth.

July 29, 2013
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Terminator 2 does work viscerally, however, and with this kind of movie, that's really what counts. No problemo.

Full Review… | July 29, 2013
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

The pathos of the film is the pathos of its leading character -- it is a magnificent machine, but a machine it remains.

Full Review… | July 29, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

More elaborate than the original, but just as shrewdly put together, it cleverly combines the most successful elements of its predecessor with a number of new twists to produce one hell of a wild ride.

Full Review… | July 29, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Terminator 2: Judgment Day

"T2: Judgement Day" is the sequel that nobody in their right minds should have expected to be this entertaining. James Cameron takes every great element from his original film, showcases them with an enormous budget and tells an even more compelling story. Keeping you engaged by monotone robots and rogue humans may be quite the challenge on paper, but it is displayed seamlessly here. Again, the cast is fantastic, Edward Furlong (young John Connor) who really holds his own next to Schwarzenegger, and that is no easy feat. I loved this film from start to finish. From it's scary look at the collapsed future to it's gritty portrayal of a world going to hell, "T2: Judgement Day" may just be one of the best sequels ever made in general. This is everything a sequel needs to be.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

James Cameron's sci-fi action sequel is brilliant and well-crafted. T2: Judgment Day displays violence, drama and heart throughout, not to mention the enthralling action sequences and visual effects. The film's well-blended genre mixture with visual landmarks and audacious effects illustrates its impact and evolution in sci-fi/action filmmaking. 5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer


Along with Aliens, James Cameron has been responsible for two of the most inventive sequels around. This follow up to his own sci-fi classic The Terminator sees another sent back through time to protect John Connor in childhood from a shapeshifting assassin bent on preventing him from leading the human race to salvation. It puts an interesting spin on the original concept, essentially switching the roles of Arnie and Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton turning in easily the best performance); he becomes the nurturing parental figure, she the emotionless, singleminded terminator who only regains her humanity when shown the human face of her target. Throw in a nice time paradox, some excellent set pieces and innovative effects and you have a great cocktail for breathless action sci-fi. The one flaw is the badly misjudged humour and generous dollop of schmaltz trowelled on by Cameron when dealing with Edward Furlong's young John Connor. I would have preferred to see more of the T-1000 and less of the sentimentality and weak humour resulting from the father-son bond of the boy and his cyborg, but thanks to some ingenious plotting and ground breaking special effects it has dated very well indeed.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Terminator 2: Judgment Day Quotes

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