The Terminator

1984

The Terminator

Critics Consensus

With its impressive action sequences, taut economic direction, and relentlessly fast pace, it's clear why The Terminator continues to be an influence on sci-fi and action flicks.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 60

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 775,645
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The Terminator Photos

Movie Info

A Cyborg has been sent from the future on a deadly mission, it has been programmed to kill a young woman named Sarah Connor. Sarah has no idea that her life will have a staggering effect on the fate of mankind and that she is in danger of being killed at the hands of an inescapable machine known as the Terminator. Kyle Reese has also been sent from the future, but his mission is to protect the unknowing mother of a future leader. Is there any way to stop the death of an innocent when the relentless Cyborg is set on his course...

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Cast

Arnold Schwarzenegger
as The Terminator
Linda Hamilton
as Sarah Connor
Michael Biehn
as Kyle Reese
Paul Winfield
as Det. Ed Traxler
Lance Henriksen
as Det. Vukovich
Bess Motta
as Ginger
Earl Boen
as Dr. Silberman
Dick Miller
as Pawn Shop Clerk
Franco Columbu
as Future Terminator
Bill Paxton
as Punk Leader
Bruce M. Kerner
as Desk Sergeant
Ken Fritz
as Policeman
Tom Oberhaus
as Policeman
Ed Dogans
as Cop in Alley
Joe Farago
as TV Anchor
Tony Mirelez
as Station Attendant
Philip Gordon
as Mexican Boy
Stan Yale
as Derelict
Al Kahn
as Customer
Leslie Morris
as Customer
Harriet Medin
as Customer
Loree Frazier
as Customer
James Ralston
as Customer
Norman Friedman
as Cleaning Man
Barbara Powers
as Ticket Taker
Wayne Stone
as Tanker Driver
David Hyde Pierce
as Tanker Partner
John Bristol
as Phone Booth Man
Patrick Pinney
as Bar Customer
Gregory Robbins
as Motel Customer
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News & Interviews for The Terminator

Critic Reviews for The Terminator

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (14)

  • Forget that the premise is silly and the acting second-rate because director James Cameron has the action formula down pat.

    Apr 26, 2018 | Full Review…
  • "The Terminator" brings film violence into the realm of the surreal.

    Jan 3, 2018 | Full Review…
  • You almost forget the film's flaws - like the cartoony look of the war-ravaged future. Here, the most absurd excursion is believable and we go along willingly - stopping now and then for a breath or a laugh.

    Oct 26, 2015 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Oct 3, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Getting the extraordinary physical specimen of Arnold Schwarzenegger for the lead was a stroke of genius and a stroke of fortune. Each of his pecs is the size of a bull's flank.

    Jun 25, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Damn close to perfect.

    Jun 15, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Terminator

  • Feb 07, 2016
    The Terminator is a very influential, smart, thrilling and important film. Arnold Schwarzenegger pulls off iconic lines as well as being perfect as the Terminator. A sci-fi classic!
    Mr N Super Reviewer
  • Dec 13, 2015
    "The Terminator" is an incredible and fun Action/Sci-Fi movie of 1984. "The Terminator's" plot is that a cyborg a.k.a. "The Terminator" portrayed by "Arnold Schwarzenegger" time travels from 2029 back to 1984 to murder "Sarah Connor" portrayed by "Linda Hamilton". A savior named "Kyle Reece" portrayed by "Michael Biehn" also time travels back to 1984 to save "Sarah Connor". The plot is simple yet incredible. There is neither plot holes nor unanswered questions after watching "The Terminator". The acting in this movie is perfect "Arnold Schwarzenegger" was born to play the role of "The Terminator". And the one-liner that was repeated over and over again "I'll be back". "Michael Biehn" was amazing playing the role of "Kyle Reece". The music in this movie is thrilling to listen to; the climax of the film is incredible thanks to the stunning music composed by "Brad Fiedel". "James Cameron" did an amazing job at directing this movie, and he was great at filming the movie, there are one or two scenes that could've been shot better but only one or two. The special effects in this movie are superb for 1984 for example the scene where the terminator drives the car into the police station. There is one scene that is very bad, this is the scene where the terminator's eye is damaged and he cuts he eye out this scene is bad. If you are a person who enjoys 1980's Sci-Fi/Action films then you should definitely watch "The Terminator" as it is an exciting and incredible movie. The only issues are the eyeball cutting out scene, one or two scenes shot better and the dialogue been a little less of it repeating itself. I give "The Terminator" a 9.5/10.
    Steve G Super Reviewer
  • Aug 27, 2015
    Still slaying audiences with as much dramatic precision and visual panache as it did 30 years ago, this classic piece of sci-fi-horror reveals to filmgoers from frame one why it's one of the most influential flicks of the last century. Terminator is, at its core processor, an expert level slasher movie. Think about it: Unstoppable killer pursues girl; ill-fated boy helps girl; girl renders killer stoppable. Better than even the best of this monstrous bunch without even technically being in the same genre (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween), the film also boasts a strong whipsmart heroine, instantly iconic villain, and (then) revolutionary time-traveling post-apocalyptic assassin hook. Tautly edited, the story itself is a heart-stopping killing machine of precision-a ridiculously efficient scaremaker. In this legendary R-rated flick, an indestructible cyborg - a Terminator (Schwarzenegger) - is sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), the woman whose unborn son will become humanity's only hope in a future war against machines. Even if he never made anything else, Schwarzenegger's laser-sighted steely cool in Terminator makes him a superstar monster for the ages on the level of Lugosi and Karloff. Even in an age when photo-realism has nearly been achieved via computers, look at Stan Winston's brilliant special effects (those are models, people, not all 1's and 0's). Nearly perfect, the wow factor of this film isn't going anywhere. Both star and SFX wizard got hired for their respective roles by writer/director James Cameron, however, which makes their inclusion all part and partial to this visionary's genius-level gamemanship. Bottom line: Pumping Iron Fists
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 17, 2015
    I know saying this puts me in the minority, but the first Terminator movie is actually my favourite of the franchise. That's not a knock on the second movie, Judgment Day is awesome. But I really dig the lower down, dark, sci-fi horror vibe of the original (it is a knock on every movie in the series that came after T2 though). Schwarzenegger as the titular Terminator is inspired casting. Firstly, any restrictions he had in acting ability back in the 80s are brushed aside by the fact that he's playing a cold, unfeeling machine. And can you imagine someone who looks like that coming after you? Forget the fact he's got an arsenal in his back pocket, forget the fact that he's got a near unstoppable metal exoskeleton, Arnie is already a machine! Being hunted by that man would be terrifying, and you feel that in the performance of the leads. The Terminator is one of the best movies I've ever seen, and I have seen - a lot.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer

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