Terminator 3 - Rise of the Machines

Critics Consensus

Although T3 never reaches the heights of the second movie, it is a welcome addition to the Terminator franchise.

69%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 204

46%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 441,214
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Movie Info

The second sequel to the 1984 sci-fi action classic, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is the first film without the involvement of director James Cameron. Instead, Jonathan Mostow, the man behind Breakdown and U-571, has stepped in to fill the shoes left vacant by Cameron. In addition, the role of John Connor from the second film has been recast, with In the Bedroom's Nick Stahl taking over for Edward Furlong. Set ten years after the events of 1991's Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the film finds Connor living on the streets as a common laborer. Sarah Connor, his mother, has since died, and their efforts in the second film have not stopped the creation of SkyNet artificial intelligence network. As he will still become the leader of the human resistance, Connor is once again targeted by a Terminator sent from the future by SkyNet. This new Terminator, T-X (Kristanna Loken), is a female and is more powerful than any of her predecessors. To protect Connor, the human resistance sends a new T-101 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back from the future. Also starring Claire Danes, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines had its world premiere when it showed out of competition at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.

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Cast

Nick Stahl
as John Connor
Claire Danes
as Kate Brewster
David Andrews
as Robert Brewster
Mark Famiglietti
as Scott Petersen
Earl Boen
as Dr. Peter Silberman
Chopper Bernet
as Chief Engineer
Christopher Lawford
as Brewster's Aide
Timothy Dowling
as Paramedic Stevens
Carolyn Hennesy
as Rich Woman
Jay Acavone
as Cop - Westside Street
Jay Acovone
as Cop, Westside Street
M.C. Gainey
as Roadhouse Bouncer
Susan Merson
as Roadhouse Clubgoer No. 1
Elizabeth Morehead
as Roadhouse Clubgoer No. 2
Billy Lucas
as Angry Man
Brian Sites
as Bill Anderson
Alana Curry
as Bill Anderson's Girlfriend
Larry McCormick
as KTLA Anchorman
Robert Alonzo
as Jose Barrera
Michael Papajohn
as Paramedic No. 1
Tim Dowling
as Paramedic Stevens
Jon Foster
as Gas Station Cashier
Mark Hicks
as Detective Martinez
Kim Robillard
as Detective Edwards
Matt Gerald
as SWAT Team Leader
William O'Leary
as Mr. Smith
Rick Zief
as Mr. Jones
Rebecca Tilney
as Laura the CRS Tech
Chris Hardwick
as 2nd Engineer
Helen Eigenberg
as 3rd Engineer
Kiki Gorton
as Roadhouse Clubgoer No. 3
Walter von Huene
as CRS Victim
Jerry Katell
as CRS Executive
Rick Zieff
as Mr. Jones
George E. Sack Jr.
as Semi Truck Driver
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Critic Reviews for Terminator 3 - Rise of the Machines

All Critics (204) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (141) | Rotten (63)

  • Perhaps wisely, Mostow doesn't try to outdo James Cameron. His sequel has a B-movie spirit--swift, punchy, tongue often in cheek. ...at its screeching, wall-breaking best, "T3" achieves heavy-metal slapstick.

    Mar 12, 2018

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines tells the simple yet compelling story of a very old piece of equipment that refuses to go away. Its name is Arnold Schwarzenegger, and, as famously promised, he's back, and at his anticharismatic best, too.

    Jul 8, 2003 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Wastes no time getting very loud and very silly and never really lets up.

    Jul 8, 2003
  • A lean, efficient, amusing action picture, T3 isn't a patch on its predecessors, but delivers polished genre entertainment nonetheless.

    Jul 8, 2003 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Nev Pierce

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • Here is the first movie of its kind in many moons that doesn't have to labor, Hulk- or Charlie's Angels-style, over convincing you of how entertaining it is.

    Jul 4, 2003 | Full Review…
  • A sizable quotient of the movie's target audience just wants to see stuff destroyed, and in that regard Rise of the Machines won't disappoint.

    Jul 4, 2003 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Terminator 3 - Rise of the Machines

  • Dec 26, 2013
    There's no reason for this to be as good as it is and yet it manages to work. True, the forced humor is often painful and there was never really a need to continue the franchise after the second film . . . but "Terminator 3" is still a surprisingly entertaining entry. The film is full of the cynicism and uncertainty of the first one and there is some superb action set pieces (that car chase is wonderfully insane).
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 22, 2012
    The overturned popcorn bucket under the audience review says it all. Doomed from the moment Cameron passed it on, T3 just feels less human than its predecessors.
    Jason 123 D Super Reviewer
  • May 25, 2012
    A hugely disappointing addition to the franchise that lacks any suspense or sci-fi influence of it's predecessors. (1) There's corny dialogue with some that even twist out the famous lines once used (ex: "I'm back"...wtf), (2) a story that renders the once surprising possibility of a future war into an inevitable, predictable, visually inferior mess that keeps us far from thrilled, (3) most of the action bits are rehashed from the predecessors', (4) Nick Stahl's performance as John Connor into his early adulthood was incredibly weak and unconvincing compared to Furlong's in the 2nd movie, especially his narration with plotholes, (5) there is no Sarah Connor, and (6) the T-X design was half-borrowed from the Oscar-winning design of the T-1000 in T2, all done with no menacing features to offer. Apart from the wild TX-controlled car chase with multiple vehicles, barely-redeeming humor in some parts there's nothing new, original or exciting here.
    Max G Super Reviewer
  • May 20, 2012
    I could see the good money making intention in this sequel, but required better script writing. Lots of fun with guns, killer machines, female T-X. If you like Arnold Schwarenegger then it wowuld be a good film to kill time with
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer

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