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The Terminator

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United Kingdom, United States · 1984
Rated R · 1h 48m
Director James Cameron
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield
Genre Action, Thriller, Science Fiction

In the post-apocalyptic future, reigning tyrannical supercomputers teleport a cyborg assassin known as the "Terminator" back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor, whose unborn son is destined to lead insurgents against 21st century machines. Meanwhile, the human-resistance movement dispatches a lone warrior to safeguard Sarah. Can he stop the virtually indestructible killing machine?

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What are people saying?

Eddie Godino Profile picture for Eddie Godino

A quintessential '80s action flick, The Terminator helped turn Arnold Schwarzenegger into one of the most bankable stars of the decade, and spawned a rich sci-fi movie universe that, unfortunately, hasn't been well utilized since. Playing on mankind's fear of being replaced by machines, The Terminator flirts with philosophical undertones, but is ultimately a thrill ride more focussed on horror and action than anything else. The effects don't hold up well by today's standards, but considering what it accomplished for the time, The Terminator remains a classic.

What are critics saying?


TV Guide Magazine by

An amazingly effective picture that becomes doubly impressive when one considers its small budget.


Chicago Reader by Dave Kehr

Schwarzenegger is presented as a lumbering slab of dumb, destructive strength--the image is more geological than human--and Cameron plays his crushing weightiness against the strangely light, almost graceful violence of the gunplay directed against him. The results have the air of a demented ballet.

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