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Top 5 Best Terminator Movies From Worst To Best – Ranked

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The Terminator franchise got a shot in the arm with the latest entry Terminator Dark Fate. A fresh addition to the mythology of the franchise, by taking a page from the Halloween 2018 book, and bringing back the original cast for another round of Terminator action. In honor of the latest movie, we take a look bad and see what made the time travel adventure of the T-800 and Sarah Connor so interesting. So from Christian Bale’s take on the franchise to James Cameron legendary action film. Join me as we rank all the Terminator films from worst to best.

5. Terminator Genisys

Director: Alan Taylor
Release: June 21, 2015


Terminator Genisys has become infamous within the fan-base as a film that didn’t know how to hold back. The idea of the movie was to retcon the previous 2 films in order to start fresh. However, it also tried to reinvent Terminator 2, something that didn’t sit too well with the fans. In the future, John Connor sends Kyle Reese to the past to stop the terminator, however, instead of meeting an inexperienced Sarah Connor, he instead meets a badass Emilia Clarke. When she was younger Sarah was taken by the classic Terminator to train her for the upcoming judgment day. Unfortunately, despite its interesting premise, the movie seems dead set on ruining itself. The trailer that ruined the twist of the movie, the overuse of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and of course Jai Courtney.  It is safe to say that Terminator Genisys is the worst Terminator Movie.


4. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machine

Director: Jonathan Mostow
Release Date: July 2, 2003


I will be the first to say, that I am a Terminator 3 apologies, I saw the movie multiple times growing up and I even played the PS2 video game. With that said Terminator 3 is only the second-worst film and that is because it attempts to retell the second film, except, unlike Genisys it didn’t turn itself into something that can stand alone. The premise is the same, a female terminator goes back in time to kill John Connor, and the resistance sends their own terminator to save him. The formula reached its peak in the last film, and if you’ve never seen Terminator 2, you will enjoy Terminator 3. The biggest upside of the movie is that the nukes are fired and Judgement Day finally arrives creating a future that our heroes had fought hard to stop. However, despite the small praise Terminator 3 is a light version of a classic.


3. Terminator Salvation

Director: Joseph McGinty Nichol
Reales Date: May 21, 2009


Terminator Salvation is ambitious because it sends us to a time period that is only hinted at in the last movies, the future. John Connor played by a post Batman Begins Christian Bale is fighting with the resistance in order to fight Skynet. This is the future, and humanity is fighting for survival trying to keep hope alive, with that said the movie is average. The plot is confusing, with Skynet creating a hybrid human/ terminator who had his mind erased for the purpose of finding the resistance and leading them into a trap. The terminators have never been bigger, the action was scaled up to eleven, but it doesn’t really mean much. The biggest crime that the movie does, is that it never gave us a real reason to understand why Skynet fears John Connor. John Connor comes off as an extra in his own film. The best part of the film, however, is Christian Bale’s on set freak out. Do yourself a favor and go find the audio,


2. The Terminator

Director: James Cameron
Release Date: October 26, 1984


The Terminator is a sci-fi classic, a movie about an innocent girl who is being chased by a robot from the future looking to kill her, not for who she is, but for who she will bring to the world. There is a great argument that the first Terminator film should be considered a horror film. However, despite all its glory, the movie feels like a product of its time. From the stop motion CGI on the terminator to the aggressive 80s style, the first Terminator movie is the benchmark for all the films to follow. Despite its flaws and arguably slow pacing Terminator only hints at the greatness that is to come.


1. Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Director: James Cameron
Release Date: July 3, 1991


It might not be the most original choice, but there is a reason why Terminator 2: Judgement Day is considered one of the greatest action films of all time. In the future, Skynet creates a new terminator, The iconic T-1000, to hunt down a now eleven-year-old John Connor, however, in order to counter them the resistance re-outfits a T-800 in order to battle each other. The movie takes you on a non-stop thrill ride as we get Terminator on Terminator action. The movie also gives us a proper evolution to Sarah Connor, turning the innocent girl into one of the greatest female protagonists in cinema. Terminator 2 grabs all the ideas of the first one, and evolves them into their logical peak, while still surprising audience. A milestone of cinema, and easily the best Terminator film of all time.


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