8.0/10
734,384
769 user 214 critic

The Terminator (1984)

Clip
2:29 | Clip

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
A seemingly indestructible robot is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a young waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against sentient machines, while a human soldier from the same war is sent to protect her at all costs.

Director:

James Cameron
Reviews
Popularity
278 ( 44)

Linda Hamilton: More Than Just Sarah Connor

Linda Hamilton has made a career out of playing strong female protagonists, especially as Sarah Connor in The Terminator and Terminator: Dark Fate. What other roles has she played?

Learn more about Linda

Top Rated Movies #227 | 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Sci-Fi
    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 teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced and powerful 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)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    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
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 thirty 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  

After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the Rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy the second Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Darth 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 | Sci-Fi
    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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman
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
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In 1938, after his father Professor Henry Jones, Sr. goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, Professor Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. finds himself up against Adolf Hitler's Nazis again to stop them from obtaining its powers.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody
Adventure | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Learning about the death of Doc Brown in 1885, Marty travels back in time to save him. But when the fuel tank on the time machine is punctured, the two must figure out a way to escape the Old West before Emmet is murdered.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Mary Steenburgen
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 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 mysterious Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When John Connor, leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline.

Director: Alan Taylor
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Terminator
Michael Biehn ... Kyle Reese
Linda Hamilton ... Sarah Connor
Paul Winfield ... Lieutenant Ed Traxler
Lance Henriksen ... Detective Hal Vukovich
Rick Rossovich ... Matt Buchanan
Bess Motta ... Ginger Ventura
Earl Boen ... Dr. Peter Silberman
Dick Miller ... Pawn Shop Clerk
Shawn Schepps ... Nancy
Bruce M. Kerner Bruce M. Kerner ... Desk Sergeant
Franco Columbu ... Future Terminator
Bill Paxton ... Punk Leader
Brad Rearden ... Punk
Brian Thompson ... Punk
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:

I'll be back! See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Facebook

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

26 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Terminator See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,020,663, 28 October 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$38,400,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$40,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Arnold Schwarzenegger's first horror film. Schwarzenegger's other horror films were Predator (1987), End of Days (1999) and Maggie (2015). See more »

Goofs

If The Terminator had no problem with storming the police station full of dozens of cops he should have had no problem attacking Sarah and Reese in the car after he wrecked and they were surrounded by police. 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 »

Alternate Versions

When aired on TV, many alterations are made. Like when Terminator confronts the punks and orders them to turn over their clothes, Bill Paxton's response of "Fuck you, Asshole" is changed to "Eat this, scum!" (some versions remove the line altogether); The scene of Terminator ripping out the heart of one of the punks is removed and just shows him picking him up the cuts to Terminator glaring at another punk who willfully turns over his clothes; When Terminator first arrives and he walks towards the edge of the building to see the city, the camera is moved upwards to crop his buttocks, Reese's is also edited; The execution of Ginger is removed, instead just shows the one shot Terminator fired at her then she goes flying; Vukovich's remark of 'Like shit, boss' is changed to 'Like you've been dead for a week'; when Terminator knocks out a cop and takes his car, the part of Terminator banging the cop's head against the car is removed and just shows him throwing the cop into the street. See more »


Soundtracks

Beat Street Breakdown
(uncredited)
Performed by Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The wonderful action movie which started a wonderful action saga
22 January 2006 | by DaRick89See 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


108 of 134 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 769 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed