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Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

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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.


Jonathan Mostow


James Cameron (characters), Gale Anne Hurd (characters) | 5 more credits »
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3 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Terminator
Nick Stahl ... John Connor
Claire Danes ... Kate Brewster
Kristanna Loken ... T-X
David Andrews ... Robert Brewster
Mark Famiglietti ... Scott Petersen
Earl Boen ... Dr. Peter Silberman
Moira Sinise ... Betsy (as Moira Harris)
Chopper Bernet ... Chief Engineer
Christopher Lawford ... Brewster's Aide (as Chris Lawford)
Carolyn Hennesy ... Rich Woman
Jay Acovone ... Cop - Westside Street
M.C. Gainey ... Roadhouse Bouncer
Susan Merson ... Roadhouse Clubgoer #1
Elizabeth Morehead ... Roadhouse Clubgoer #1


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 Can the outdated CSM-101 Terminator eliminate the highly advanced T-X - or will a darker future await ...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


The Machines Will Rise See more »


Action | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

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USA | Germany | UK



Release Date:

2 July 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

T3 See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$200,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$44,041,440, 6 July 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS (8 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jonathan Mostow wanted to make the new Terminator more robotic than the Terminator in the previous film Terminator 2 (1991), who had become more human, due to his CPU when coming into contact with humans and John teaching the Terminator to be more human than robotic. If the Terminator in the previous movie was a father figure to John, then this one would be more of a trainer who pushes his trainee to the maximum, like Louis Gossett Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982). See more »


(at around 58 mins) In the Hearse scene, the hub caps get knocked off, then reappears several times during the chase. See more »


[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

Jay Acovone is credited as Jay Acavone. See more »


Written & Performed by Peter Beckett
Produced by Peter Beckett for Right Hook Productions
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An excellent installment, worth the 12-year wait.
14 July 2003 | by LebowskiT1000See all my reviews

When I first heard that James Cameron wasn't going to be involved with the third installment to this fantastic series, I was less than pleased. The thought of another director taking over the franchise kind of upset me, I just had to hope that they would find a director that could fill those rather large shoes. I later heard that Jonathan Mostow was named director of T3 and was pleased due to being VERY impressed with both of his previous directorial efforts, "Breakdown" and "U-571", but of course I was still skeptical.

So the film was finally released and of course I went and saw it opening weekend. Let me tell you I was NOT let down! I thought the film was truly fantastic! I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with me and I'm sure plenty might even get upset with me, but I thought "Terminator 3" was just as good as both previous installments of the series. They all had their pros and they all had their cons.

I was at first a little uneasy with the idea of a female terminator. But, after seeing the film and thinking about I've come to the conclusion that having a female terminator if a brilliant idea. What would have an easier time infiltrating just about anything? A gorgeous and sexy woman or a large intimidating man? The woman, definitely! Besides, Jonathan Mostow did such a fantastic job with the T-X that it just worked perfectly.

The special effects in the film are truly amazing, looking even better than the effects in T2. There were VERY few times where I thought it looked like obvious CG. There is one scene in the first few minutes of the film that show a slew of Terminators walking around doing what they do that nearly brought tears to my eyes, it looked so awesome! I won't get into the specifics, but the special effects are reason enough to see this film.

The actors all did a fantastic job. I thought Nick Stahl was an excellent replacement for Edward Furlong. When I first heard Nick was taking over the role I didn't think he looked the part, but he really pulled it off. In fact, in the end, I'm happier that Nick took over the role rather than Edward Furlong continuing his role, because I really don't think Edward looks the part anymore, he was fine as the young John Connor, but I don't think he'd work well as the John Connor of this film. Claire Danes did a fantastic job as well, she pulled off a great job in the film and looks as beautiful as ever. Kristanna Loken plays the part of the T-X very well, looking sexy as can be and doing a great job with her facial expressions and her limited dialogue. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for her future work. Then of course, there's the great Arnold Schwarzenegger, reprising his role as The Terminator (T-800/T-101). Arnold, again was excellent as the Terminator and didn't let me down. There is also a very nice cameo by Earl Boen, the only other actor to reprise a role from the first two installments in the Terminator series. Despite having very little screen time, he did a great job and I was very happy to see him in the film.

Personally I thought the story in this film was great and very well thought out. There are a few things that may have been overlooked or improperly explained, but nonetheless, this is a movie we're talking about here and there are bound to be a few plot holes, so I didn't let those little things affect my enjoyment of the film.

The only thing I would complain about if I had to, is some of the humor in the film. I won't deny that the jokes were funny, but I thought some were a little misplaced, this is, after all an R-rated sci-fi/action film. There were only really two or three comedic moments that I thought should have been excised from the film, but otherwise I thought everything worked pretty well.

I would definitely recommend this film to anyone that liked the previous Terminator films. I would hope that you can enjoy this for what it is and not what James Cameron MIGHT have done had he directed the film. Just because Cameron opted not to direct the film does not mean it's a bad film. Don't get hung up on the fact that Cameron didn't direct it, just sit back and enjoy the ride. Thanks for reading my review, and be sure to check out my reviews for both previous films: "The Terminator" and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day".

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