Terminator Salvation (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Terminator Salvation (2009)



Critic Consensus: With storytelling as robotic as the film's iconic villains, Terminator Salvation offers plenty of great effects but lacks the heart of the original films.

Movie Info

The fourth installment of the Terminator series follows an adult John Connor (played by Christian Bale) as he attempts to organize a human resistance force which could prove to be mankind's last true hope in the war against the machines. Opening in the year 2018, Terminator Salvation finds John Connor's certainty about the future shaken by the sudden appearance of a mysterious stranger named Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), whose last memory is of sitting on death row and awaiting execution. Unable to determine whether Marcus was sent from the future or rescued from the past, Connor begins to wonder whether there is still any hope left for the human race as the robots grow more powerful and aggressive than ever before. It appears that Skynet is preparing a devastating final attack designed to eliminate the human resistance once and for all, leaving Connor and Marcus with no choice but to strike back at the cybernetic heart of Skynet's operations. Once there, the two battle-scarred soldiers discover a devastating secret regarding the potential annihilation of all humankind. Anton Yelchin fills Michael Biehn's shoes as a young Kyle Reese in the first installment of a planned Terminator trilogy from director McG (Charlie's Angels). ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: John Brancato, Michael Ferris
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 1, 2009
Box Office: $125.3M
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


Christian Bale
as John Connor
Sam Worthington
as Marcus Wright
Anton Yelchin
as Kyle Reese
Moon Bloodgood
as Blair Williams
Helena Bonham Carter
as Dr. Serena Kogan
as Barnes
Michael Ironside
as General Ashdown
Ivan G'Vera
as General Losenko
Kevin Wiggins
as General Olsen
Terry Crews
as Captain Jericho
Isaac Kappy
as Barbarosa
Po Chan
as Naima
Greg Plitt
as Hybrid Male
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Terminator Salvation

Critic Reviews for Terminator Salvation

All Critics (269) | Top Critics (46)

Missing is Cameron's signature action modification, best exploited in Aliens: the strapping female heroine. McG's testosterone-juiced world feels a little doomed without her.

Full Review… | November 17, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

It brings me very little joy to report that this version of the popular Terminator franchise is silly, obtuse, and pointless.

Full Review… | May 6, 2011
Top Critic

"Terminator Salvation" could almost pass as a sequel to "Mad Max," which goes to show just how everyone involved is merely going through the motions.

Full Review… | October 7, 2015
Critic's Notebook

This is big empty turgid gunk, coming more from the brainless Transformers school than the Cameron Big Art Pop philoso-candy cloth.

Full Review… | June 22, 2013

Everything that made the Terminator films great is absent in this film. The violence, the terror, the basic fear is gone ... In this film, children defeat a terminator.

Full Review… | September 29, 2012
The Aristocrat

Once the screeching din has died down, you won't recall a single line of dialogue, note of music or plot point that wasn't punctuated with an explosion.

Full Review… | September 29, 2012

Audience Reviews for Terminator Salvation

Was okay. . i didnt hate it like some but wasnt the great movie it could have been. This was the movie I think many original Terminator fans were wanting . . the battle in the future but it didnt live up to what we wanted.

John Manard

Super Reviewer


Boring, boring, and more boring. That is the one word I will always use to describe the fourth instalment in the "Terminator" franchise. "Not having Arnold back" really left this film stale, although Christian Bale and Anton Yelchin do bring enough enjoyable charisma to the table. Much further down the line after the third instalment, Judgement Day has happened and we get to see the world crumbling around them as Skynet and technology in general has taken over the planet. Throwing in one-liners that relate to the original film and having terrible cameos were pretty much the only things keeping this film connected to it's predecessor's, and that is a big problem for me. If you watch this film as a summer blockbuster you may find yourself having a blast watching the action and not caring about the story, but that is about the most credit I can give it. Since "T2: Judgement Day," these films have been going downhill very, very fast. What's next? Probably nothing good.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Mixed bag 'T4' is, to be honest it started crap, simple, I was bored, confused and completely uninterested at what was going on. Bale's frogman bit from a chopper into a furious sea to swim to the sub headquarters was pretty stupid, the 'Moto-terminators' were crap as I suspected (surely terminators of that speed and high tech could kill people very easily?).

Anton Yelchin grew on me during the film but I still think he was a tad too weak willed and skinny for Michael Biehn's 'Reese'. The huge robot sequence was just 'Transformers' and didn't fit the Terminator franchise if you ask me.
But after we got past that stuff it did get better and the action at the end between 'Connor', 'Marcus' and the 'T-800' was great stuff. The first 30min of the film was almost plotless, just random it seemed, but about halfway through things were pulling together and it did start to feel like a good flick. Its much better than 'T3' for sure and actually I did prefer it over 'T2' towards the end, despite the low cert it did come across well and not light hearted a tall. Although a bit more blood and harsh language would have picked up the pace somewhat or added a more tense adult feel.

Some of it still didn't quite feel right though, the Arnie 'cameo' was a really nice touch and was so cool but the face was a little 'off', not quite perfect but close. The mannerisms of Arnie's facial movements were imitated well but I wanted to see a bit more Arnie. The classic Terminator tune needed to be used more in tense parts too, you really need that track playing more in a Terminator film. The last thing was 'Skynet' being a bit of an anti climax, not really the terminator fortress I expected with legions of 'T-600's' and tanks etc...it seemed a bit plain and devoid of much activity.

Its growing on me as I think about it now hours after seeing it, not as good as it should have been. Again the certification and being light on the originals grim darkness factor has a lot to do with that for me but its certainly not too bad, better than I thought it would be.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

Terminator Salvation Quotes

– Submitted by Nick S (3 years ago)
– Submitted by russell b (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Jed G (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Jed G (3 years ago)

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