Up 37 this week

The Terminator (1984)

R  |   |  Action, Sci-Fi  |  26 October 1984 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 551,706 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 673 user | 222 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

A human-looking indestructible 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.


0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Top Rated Movies #207 | 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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 young son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg, made out of liquid metal.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A cybernetic warrior from a post-apocalyptic future travels back in time to protect a 19-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
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 wife Holly Gennaro and several others, 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
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 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
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
Aliens (1986)
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The planet from Alien (1979) has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough?

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn
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 US government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman
Action | Adventure
    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 and stop the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody
Alien (1979)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The commercial vessel Nostromo receives a distress call from an unexplored planet. After searching for survivors, the crew heads home only to realize that a deadly bioform has joined them.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt
Jaws (1975)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
The Matrix (1999)
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Directors: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Blacksmith Will Turner teams up with eccentric pirate "Captain" Jack Sparrow to save his love, the governor's daughter, from Jack's former pirate allies, who are now undead.

Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom


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


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


In the Year of Darkness, 2029, the rulers of this planet devised the ultimate plan. They would reshape the Future by changing the Past. The plan required something that felt no pity. No pain. No fear. Something unstoppable. They created 'THE TERMINATOR' See more »


Action | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

26 October 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Terminator  »

Box Office


$6,400,000 (estimated)


$38,400,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jennifer Jason Leigh was considered for the role of Sarah Connor, but director James Cameron feared she was too young for the part. She was later recast as Ginger but she was replaced at the last minute with Bess Motta. See more »


Sarah grabs Kyle's shotgun to stop him from getting out of the Cadillac. When the camera switches to the other side of the car, she is holding Kyle's arm, then she grabs the shotgun. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom (2003) See more »


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

Compelling science fiction
24 June 2002 | by (Dublin, Ireland) – See all my reviews

For the gift of `Aliens' and `The Terminator' I am willing to forgive Cameron's `Titanic'. The key plot concept is beautifully simple - machines take over the earth in the future. Machines are eventually over thrown by one man. Machines travel back in time to kill man's mother, thus preventing him being born and stopping their own defeat. One human also travels back to stop the machines from killing his leader's mother.

`The Terminator' is a classic good versus evil struggle, with little in the way of greys clouding the issue. The terminator is an unstoppable brutal remorseless killer, and it perfectly suits Arnold Schwarzenegger's limited acting abilities. His few lines, including the infamous `I'll be back' are all well judged and timed, and give a great feeling of precision and inhumanity to his character. Coupled with his chiselled features, he's the best choice for the role. Michael Biehn is playing a character type that he'd reprise two years later in Cameron's `Aliens' - the human tough guy: he's got the fight, but still the ability to love and care for people. His features are well chosen for this and although his delivery of lines is hardly exceptional - they tend to come out in the same tone of voice - he's able to carry his part. Linda Hamilton is the woman-thrown-into-chaos, somewhat reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver's Ripley character in `Alien', although Hamilton doesn't have Weaver's strength of presence. All the actors are, for an action science fiction, above average and so never distract.

It's the script, with Cameron's force behind it that lifts the movie from mediocrity. Yes, there's a certain amount of corniness - the `we loved a life time' element for example - but the movie has a real sense of conviction present. The movie believes in itself and, through its passion, will make you believe too. There's a general sense of darkness in the movie

  • rarely do we see daylight, and, when we do, it's often the soft light of

dawn. There's a nice sense of tension in the action scenes, helped not only by Cameron's camera work but also by an excellent electronic score (including a fantastic brooding credit sequence). Sure some of the SFX look clunky in these days of `Attack of the Clones' and `The Fellowship of the Ring', but they still work. There's a certain sense of inevitability, intertwined with hope, permeating the picture that creates a mood I particularly enjoyed and that's harder to find in the current crop of science fiction movies.

`The Terminator' is not a perfect picture. The movie lags in some parts, and the romance element is fairly contrived. Despite all that the movie brims with energy and promise, a script that mostly delivers, characters you can enjoy, and the ultimate Arnie role. Well worth catching. 8/10.

126 of 157 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I was skeptical, but Terminator delivered cartesianthought
Time and Time Travel alblmfld-1
"Nothing dead will go" JoeyCunninghamLennox
Why didn't Reese recognize the Terminator? dawsonbot
He can not be his father! nedeljkodjukic88
Kyle Resse and John Conner, father/son alblmfld-1
Discuss The Terminator (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page