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Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

 -  Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller  -  2 July 2003 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 240,271 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 1,647 user | 259 critic | 41 from Metacritic.com

A cybernetic warrior from a post-apocalyptic future travels back in time to protect a 19-year old drifter and his future wife from an most advanced robotic assassin and to ensure they both survive a nuclear attack.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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T-X
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Betsy (as Moira Harris)
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Brewster's Aide (as Chris Lawford)
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Cop - Westside Street
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Roadhouse Bouncer
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Elizabeth Morehead ...
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Storyline

More than 10 years after 'Terminator 2', John Connor now exists only as a drifter - living 'off the grid', so no more Terminators from the future can hunt him down. Unfortunately, SkyNet does send another one back - and this one is called the T-X, even more powerful & advanced than the dreaded T-1000. However, another CSM-101 Terminator is also sent back to protect John against the T-X. Now, Skynet is patiently assuming control of civilian computer systems, under the guise of a computer virus. John has also met his future wife, Kate Brewster, whose father - a U.S. Air Force General - is in charge of the military computer systems & is leery of up linking SkyNet. However, when the SkyNet virus infects the U.S military computers & leaves the country open to attack, the machines begin their horrific takeover. Soon a nuclear war will result - and the war against the machines will begin. Can the outdated CSM-101 Terminator eliminate the highly advanced T-X - or will a darker future await ... Written by Derek O'Cain

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Next Summer, the machines will rise. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sci-fi violence and action, and for language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

2 July 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

T3  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$200,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,107,698 (Italy) (19 September 2003)

Gross:

$150,350,192 (USA) (17 October 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | (8 channels)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After viewing initial dailies, the director, Jonathan Mostow deemed Sophia Bush too young to play hero John Connor's love interest, and replaced her with Claire Danes at the last minute. Danes started filming immediately and basically learned about her character on the job. Danes later said this may have helped her performance, as Kate Brewster's character was similarly thrust into a strange new reality with no warning. See more »

Goofs

Sarah Connor dies in August 1997. In accordance with her will she has many guns hidden in a coffin right after her death. After the cemetery scene, at the RV, The Terminator pulls a Heckler & Koch UMP-45 out of the coffin. This gun wasn't for sale until mid-1999, two years after the gun was placed in the coffin. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
John Connor: [voiceover] The future has not been written. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. I wish I could believe that. My name is John Connor, they tried to murder me before I was born, when I was 13 they tried again. Machines from the future. Terminators. All my life my mother told me the storm was coming, Judgment Day, the beginning of the war between man and machines. Three billion lives would vanish in an instant, and I would lead what was left of the human race to ultimate ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the initial opening credits, a wind can be heard blowing in the background. See more »

Connections

References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

I Told You
Written by Mia Julia Schettino
Performed by Mia Julia
Produced by Greg Wood & Maurizio Moricci
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Following in the footsteps of James Cameron
2 July 2003 | by (Montreal, Canada) – See all my reviews

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines deals with another robot sent in the past to make the future better. It's a concept that should've been applied when they began working on this third installment. The film had a lot to surpass and following in James Cameron's footsteps is not an easy task to do. Fortunately, Jonathan Mostow does a good job recreating the mood of the previous two films. Unfortunately, the problem lies in the structure of the film. What could've been one of the most important films out of the three made so far (so far, considering 'he' might be back) is instead what seems to be the weakest one of all, too short and not developped enough.

As said before, while Mostow succeeded in giving this film a bit of a James Cameron vibe, the foundation on which the it was built is somewhat weak. Visually, it's close to Cameron's Terminators but on paper, it's a different story... literally. The writing gives the impression of a story thrown together for a quick cash-in at the box-office. Disappointing considering it was written by the same people who brought us the Hitchcock-esque 'The Game'. T3: Rise of the Machines suffers from bad structure and therfore is really more like a film cut in two parts. If the second half really gives us an insight of that the future holds for the characters, the first is filled with too much action and comedic relief. Terminator was always more than just an action film, it had a story that kept the other movies of the franchise balanced. In this case, the viewer is bombarded with car chases and confrontations right from the start which unfortunately means the omission to include any real interactions (other than fights) between the main characters. The dialogue is kept to a strict minimum throughout the first half (referring to meaningful dialogue that is) and the viewer is left with a sense of emptiness. It's as though they decided to throw everything they had right at the start and afterwards the audience is left with barely anything to chew on.

Another weakness is the comedic relief. When viewing a movie like T3: Rise of the Machines, no one expects to be laughing every few minutes. If the jokes are meant to be entertaining, they instead distract the viewer from what the purpose of a character like the Terminator has. If the character is not supposed to understand the feelings that a human might go through, he shouldn't have to be a running gag either. That's something James Cameron understood while filming T2: Judgment Day. While those kinds of scenes were left on the cutting room floor by Cameron, they remained in T3: Rise of the Machines. Maybe it's because James Cameron had enough material to work with therefore being able to take the liberty of doing just that. Running at a mere 109 Minutes, this latest installment fails to deliver barely enough juicy material to keep the people's interest awake.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is not all that bad though. While the first half is nothing more than a B-movie filled with cheap gags and too much action, the second half is where the movie really begins. At this point, it gets into a good pace where action shares the scene (no pun intended) with a slower, more dramatic feel. That's why the movie is so weak, it is unbalanced. T2: Judgment Day kept the ball rolling and took the time to tell a story. It's not normal that anyone should wait over 40-45 Minutes to find out what happened to the second most important character of all the Terminator films, Sarah Connor. Instead of filling the beginning with their entire arsenal of special effects, they should have dispersed them throughout the film, in between the scenes that occupies the second half, a second half where characters like John Connor (Nick Stahl) and Kate Brewster (Claire Danes) finally have a chance to evolve. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger is unable to give 3 dimensions to his character. If the character is supposed to be another version of the one seen in T2: Judgment Day, it instead ressembles more the one portrayed in the first Terminator film, a killer on a mission. Never once is there a chance for the viewer to believe in this Terminator character. In the end, he appears just as cold and uninteresting, very much like the steel it was built on.

Would've T3: Rise of the Machines been a better movie with James Cameron on board... probably. James Cameron, besides being a good director, knew the characters like no one else. For sure, the film would have been shot based on a better structure and filmed more evenly. As mentionned earlier, the movie is about going into the past to make the future better. That's something they should've paid more attention to, taking more notice of the franchise past to make a better future or in this case, delivering a better present. In the end, Terminator falls into the stereotype of all the other action films it follows. Not the type of movie that really drives you to watch the first two if you're new to the franchise.

Rating: *** Nothing more than a B-movie with a big budget. Could've been better.

(The second half really is what saved this film. Hopefully if there is going to be another installment, they will learn from their mistake and balance the story more, James Cameron style).


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