8.0/10
648,776
709 user 206 critic

The Terminator (1984)

A seemingly indestructible humanoid cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
752 ( 188)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Top Rated Movies #230 | 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her ten year old son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A cybernetic warrior from a post-apocalyptic future travels back in time to protect a 25-year old drifter and his future wife from a most advanced robotic assassin and to ensure they both survive a nuclear attack.

Director: Jonathan Mostow
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Kristanna Loken
Jurassic Park (1993)
Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum
Die Hard (1988)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia
Adventure | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

When Dr. Henry Jones Sr. suddenly goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, eminent archaeologist Indiana Jones must follow in his father's footsteps to stop the Nazis from getting their hands on the Holy Grail first.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy a more powerful Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor's trap.

Director: Richard Marquand
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 2018, a mysterious new weapon in the war against the machines, half-human and half-machine, comes to John Connor on the eve of a resistance attack on Skynet. But whose side is he on, and can he be trusted?

Director: McG
Stars: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

After the rebels are overpowered by the Empire on their newly established base, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Master Yoda. His friends accept shelter from a questionable ally as Darth Vader hunts them in a plan to capture Luke.

Director: Irvin Kershner
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Adventure | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

After visiting 2015, Marty McFly must repeat his visit to 1955 to prevent disastrous changes to 1985...without interfering with his first trip.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Shawn Schepps ...
Bruce M. Kerner ...
...
...
Brad Rearden ...
...

What You Missed at San Diego Comic-Con 2017

From the madness of the convention floor to the emotional panel reveals and star-studded interviews, catch up on all the unforgettable sights from Comic-Con.

Browse Our Guide to Comic-Con

Edit

Storyline

A cyborg is sent from the future on a deadly mission. He has to kill Sarah Connor, a young woman whose life will have a great significance in years to come. Sarah has only one protector - Kyle Reese - also sent from the future. The Terminator uses his exceptional intelligence and strength to find Sarah, but is there any way to stop the seemingly indestructible cyborg ? Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Your future is in his hands. See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 October 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Terminator  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,400,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$38,400,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(original release)| (DVD Re-Release)| (DTS HD Master Audio)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jürgen Prochnow was also considered to play the title role. See more »

Goofs

Both Sarah Connor and Lt. Traxler state that the Tech Noir nightclub is on Pico Blvd. When Kyle and Sarah leave the nightclub, they briefly run down an alley, steal a car and flee the scene. As they leave, a policeman radios in a request for "an ambulance at 7th and Broadway" (erroneously thinking the Terminator will need medical attention). But in reality, 7th and Broadway is nearly a mile away from Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles, not nearby as would have to be the case for the movie sequence to make sense. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[the garbage truck's engine stops]
Truck Driver: What the hell? Goddamn son of a bitch...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits run while large outlines of the two halves of THE TERMINATOR cross each other. After the last directorial credit is shown, the title THE TERMINATOR zooms backward, is filled by metallic blue, and reveals itself. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Top 11 TV Show Intros (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Photoplay
Performed by Tryanglz
Written by Tane McClure (as Tahnee Cain), Pug Baker, Jonathan Cain
Published by Any Garage Music (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The wonderful action movie which started a wonderful action saga
22 January 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

The Terminator is one of the best action movies of all time in my opinion. It doesn't set a single foot wrong and it also kicked off a wonderful saga. Without this, there would be no Terminator 2. Think about that. As such, this movie is fondly remembered by many people and it has been the subject of many quotes and spoofs over the years. Why doesn't it set a foot wrong? It is thrilling, almost always entertaining and filled with insane explosions, which more or less makes a good action movie. But 'The Terminator' stands head and shoulders above the rest of it's genre, because of it's well thought-out plot, splendid acting and an eerily memorable music score which gives you a reason to watch the credits at the end.

Now to analysing why the plot is so well-thought out. Well, for one thing, the concept of preventing or setting in stone the future by going back in time was one which wasn't really explored in those days. By exploring it, the Terminator was offering something different, something which has inspired films such as Back to the Future (read the plot synopsis for that film, there are a few similarities). The notion of the final battle of a future war being fought in 'our present', not in the future, between one member of opposing sides, in this case a man and a machine, is also an intriguing one and sets the stage for an exciting battle royale.

I'll run down the plot while I'm here. Sarah Connor, a young woman in her 20's, is the protagonist of the film and our two from the future, Kyle Reese and the Terminator, revolve around her. Reese, who is a battle-hardened soldier who has led a hard life in the wasteland which is the future, must protect Sarah, while the Terminator, an unstoppable cyborg, must kill her, in order to kill her unborn son, the leader of the future resistance.

All of this leads to some thrilling action scenes and insane explosions, topped off by music scores which add to the tension and excitement. The movie purrs into action quickly, but really kicks off at a disco, where Reese and the Terminator have a shootout, resulting in a city-wide drive-by chase involving the police which doesn't really let up until Reese and Sarah are arrested. During the lull in the chase scene, Reese tells Sarah about himself, the Terminator and their general predicament, which is fairly realistic.

The next action scene is the infamous police station massacre which everyone seems to talk about whenever they discuss this movie. I can understand why, too. The Terminator pretty much kills every cop in his path with the greatest of ease, either with the AK-47, his shotgun, or both. He also ends up cutting the power and setting the station on fire, again adding to the tension and excitement.

The last action scene which, like the one in T2, is a chase which leads to a final showdown in a building. It is a slight letdown, but it is still an intense scene. I will refrain from spoiling the ending, as this is too good a movie to be spoiled.

All of the acting fits the bill perfectly. As in T2, there is not a single bad performance to be found. Michael Biehn delivers a remarkably intense performance as Kyle Reese, acting like a typical human would in his situation. He displays his range of emotions at the right times, from passionate to worried to unyielding. It is a wonder that his only other major movie is 'Aliens' and that he is starring in stuff like 'Clockstoppers' these days. Linda Hamilton again does well as Sarah Connor, displaying an innocent woman who shows over the course of the film why she is John Connor's mother, displaying previously unheralded steel at the crunch. The support cast isn't too bad either (Dr. Silberman makes his first appearance). But again, the best performance in the film belongs to the bad guy, in this case, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He acts like a killing machine should; incredibly cold, sterile, soulless and unyielding. His facial expression never changes throughout the film and his physical appearance makes him slightly more imposing and intimidating than the Liquid Terminator. He also commences his famous one-liners which have been the subject of many a spoof, including (no, especially) "I'll be back." This is undoubtedly his best performance, even though it is not his only good one.

I will compliment all involved on making a movie which still manages to look good despite having a low budget. I've seen pretty bad-looking movies with fairly high budgets (read: Scooby-Doo), but never good-looking movies with low budgets.

In the end, The Terminator is a masterful action movie which laid the groundwork for the equally brilliant Terminator 2. If you asked me whether I preferred The Terminator or T2, I would say T2 because I am more familiar with it, otherwise, these two would be on a level footing. If you haven't seen this movie and are an action movie fan, then see it immediately. You won't be disappointed. Trust me.

5/5 stars


96 of 111 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page