20th Century Fox/courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by 20th Century Fox/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies Ranked

Much like his breakthrough role Conan the Barbarian, Arnold Schwarzenegger transcended a childhood of neglect and poverty in 1950s Austria, pushing his body over over the top, to become one day the king of the Hyborian Age governor of California. Schwarzenegger’s bodybuilding career, begun at age 14, was enough to take him abroad in competitions, and eventually into the viewfinder of Hollywood agents. On this list of Schwarzenegger’s best movies ranked by Tomatometer (alongside the worst), we’re including the 1976 Pumping Iron documentary that helped him land Conan the Barbarian – even though he’s not playing a character, Iron was vital in crafting Arnie’s on-screen image.

Also included, of course, are his star-making ’80s action films, ranging from sci-fi (The Terminator) to horror (Predator) to practically comedy (Commando). He started the ’90s with a bang with mega-violent mind-bender Total Recall, which was followed by the legendary Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The rest of the decade saw him mixing action with more overt comedies (Jingle All the Way, Junior, Kindergarten Cop) to varying success. Schwarzenegger’s side gig as governor kept him off-screen during most of the 2000s, but since then it’s drama (Aftermath, Maggie) that’s he mixed in with minor-comeback vehicles, like The Last Stand or Stallone team-up Escape Plan. And speaking of Stallone projects, we’ve included all three Expendables on this list; Schwarzenegger went uncredited in the first, but was upgraded to a side character in the next two. Considering the Expendables‘ proudly-worn mantle of throwback action, we felt it was right to have them. Otherwise, his cameos (like in The Rundown, in which he officially passed the action torch to Dwayne Johnson) and bit parts, however memorable (watch Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye!), were excluded.

With Kindergarten Cop celebrating its 30th anniversary, we’re ranking all Arnold Schwarzenegger movies by Tomatometer!

#38

The Villain (1979)
0%

#38
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An outlaw (Kirk Douglas) eyes a stagecoach and a beautiful woman (Ann-Margret) but is foiled by a handsome stranger in... [More]
Directed By: Hal Needham

#37

Batman & Robin (1997)
12%

#37
Adjusted Score: 17028%
Critics Consensus: Joel Schumacher's tongue-in-cheek attitude hits an unbearable limit in Batman & Robin resulting in a frantic and mindless movie that's too jokey to care much for.
Synopsis: This superhero adventure finds Batman (George Clooney) and his partner, Robin (Chris O'Donnell), attempting to the foil the sinister schemes... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#36

End of Days (1999)
11%

#36
Adjusted Score: 14245%
Critics Consensus: An overblown thriller with formulaic action scenes and poor acting.
Synopsis: With the millennium approaching, a series of disturbing signs suggests that Satan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has returned to Earth and is... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hyams

#35

Red Sonja (1985)
19%

#35
Adjusted Score: 19633%
Critics Consensus: Dull, poorly directed, and badly miscast, Red Sonja is an uninspired conclusion to Schwarzenegger's barbarian trilogy.
Synopsis: Power-hungry Queen Gedren (Sandahl Bergman) captures the priestesses guarding the Talisman, a mystical orb that created and can destroy the... [More]
Directed By: Richard Fleischer

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 22509%
Critics Consensus: Arnold Schwarzenegger tries his best, but Jingle All the Way suffers from an uneven tone, shifting wildly from a would-be satire on materialism to an antic, slapstick yuk-fest.
Synopsis: Workaholic Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) wants to make things up to his son, Jamie (Jake Lloyd), and wife, Liz (Rita... [More]
Directed By: Brian Levant

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 11823%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Banished Hercules (Arnold Schwarzenegger) catches an escaped bear, cruises Broadway and wrestles professionally.... [More]

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 22425%
Critics Consensus: Despite its timely subject matter, Collateral Damage is an unexceptional and formulaic action thriller.
Synopsis: A family man (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is plunged into the complex and dangerous world of international terrorism after he loses his... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Davis

#31

Sabotage (2014)
22%

#31
Adjusted Score: 25357%
Critics Consensus: Sabotage boasts one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's finer post-political performances, but it's wasted in a movie driven by grueling violence that punishes seemingly without purpose.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: David Ayer

#30

Raw Deal (1986)
29%

#30
Adjusted Score: 28518%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When efforts to prosecute mob boss Luigi Patrovita (Sam Wanamaker) are repeatedly derailed thanks to a mole in the FBI,... [More]
Directed By: John Irwin

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 26283%
Critics Consensus: Conan the Destroyer softens the edges that gave its predecessor gravitas, resulting in a campy sequel without the comparative thrills.
Synopsis: In his second cinematic adventure, the mighty warrior Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is tricked into working for the scheming Queen Taramis... [More]
Directed By: Richard Fleischer

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 38267%
Critics Consensus: Mired in its muddled mythology, Terminator: Genisys is a lurching retread that lacks the thematic depth, conceptual intelligence, or visual thrills that launched this once-mighty franchise.
Synopsis: When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance against Skynet, sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984... [More]
Directed By: Alan Taylor

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 39224%
Critics Consensus: Like its predecessors, Expendables 3 offers a modicum of all-star thrills for old-school action thriller aficionados -- but given all the talent assembled, it should have been a lot more fun.
Synopsis: Years ago, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) co-founded the Expendables with Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson). After Stonebanks became an arms dealer,... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Hughes

#26

Junior (1994)
36%

#26
Adjusted Score: 37613%
Critics Consensus: Even with an abundance of talent behind and in front of the camera, Junior doesn't quite deliver enough laughs to nurse its zany high-concept idea.
Synopsis: A research scientist becomes the world's first pregnant man in order to test a drug he and a colleague have... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#25

Last Action Hero (1993)
40%

#25
Adjusted Score: 43850%
Critics Consensus: Last Action Hero has most of the right ingredients for a big-budget action spoof, but its scattershot tone and uneven structure only add up to a confused, chaotic mess.
Synopsis: Following the death of his father, young Danny Madigan (Austin O'Brien) takes comfort in watching action movies featuring the indestructible... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#24

Eraser (1996)
39%

#24
Adjusted Score: 41653%
Critics Consensus: Eraser's shoot-'em-up action might show off some cutting edge weaponry, but its rote story is embarrassingly obsolete.
Synopsis: John "The Eraser" Kruger is the top gun in the US Marshall Witness Protection scheme; he erases their past and... [More]
Directed By: Charles Russell

#23

The 6th Day (2000)
40%

#23
Adjusted Score: 44186%
Critics Consensus: This offering from Arnold Schwarzenegger contains an intriguing, disturbing premise, but the film's execution is too routine and formulaic to make good use of it.
Synopsis: A world of the very near future in which cattle, fish and even family pet can be cloned. But cloning... [More]
Directed By: Roger Spottiswoode

#22

Aftermath (2017)
42%

#22
Adjusted Score: 44323%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Two strangers' lives become inextricably bound together after an error by an air traffic controller (Scoot McNairy) causes the death... [More]
Directed By: Elliott Lester

#21

The Expendables (2010)
42%

#21
Adjusted Score: 49883%
Critics Consensus: It makes good on the old-school action it promises, but given all the talent on display, The Expendables should hit harder.
Synopsis: Mercenary leader Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his loyal men take on what they think is a routine assignment: a... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#20

Twins (1988)
43%

#20
Adjusted Score: 44761%
Critics Consensus: Though it offers a few modest pleasures for undemanding viewers, Twins leans too heavily on the wackiness of its premise to overcome its narrative shortcomings.
Synopsis: The products of a genetic experiment, fraternal twins Julius (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Vincent (Danny DeVito) are separated at birth. Their... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#19

Killing Gunther (2017)
46%

#19
Adjusted Score: 45886%
Critics Consensus: Despite a game cast led by an enjoyably over the top Arnold Schwarzenegger, Killing Gunther feels like a sketch overstretched to feature length.
Synopsis: Professional assassins join forces to try and kill the world's best hit man.... [More]
Directed By: Taran Killam

#18

Kindergarten Cop (1990)
51%

#18
Adjusted Score: 53220%
Critics Consensus: Arnold Schwarzenegger substitutes his action brio with some refreshingly adept comedic timing, but Kindergarten Cop is too grim for children and too cloying for adults.
Synopsis: In this action-comedy, unusual circumstances find big, brawny cop John Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) posing as a kindergarten teacher in order... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#17

Escape Plan (2013)
50%

#17
Adjusted Score: 54149%
Critics Consensus: As much fun as it is to see Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger team up onscreen, Escape Plan fails to offer much more than a pale imitation of 1980s popcorn thrills.
Synopsis: Tough and chiseled Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) knows how to infiltrate a prison -- and bust out of one. His... [More]
Directed By: Mikael Hafstrom

#16

Maggie (2015)
60%

#16
Adjusted Score: 65044%
Critics Consensus: Maggie lurches a bit clumsily at times, but is partially redeemed by strong performances and an unexpectedly thoughtful tone.
Synopsis: After his daughter (Abigail Breslin) is infected with a virus that transforms her into a zombie, a small-town farmer (Arnold... [More]
Directed By: Henry Hobson

#15

The Last Stand (2013)
61%

#15
Adjusted Score: 67478%
Critics Consensus: There's nothing particularly distinguished about it, but for Schwarzenegger fans The Last Stand provides perfectly undemanding entertainment.
Synopsis: Once a narcotics officer in the LAPD, Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has settled into a peaceful life as sheriff of... [More]
Directed By: Kim Jee-woon

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 67857%
Critics Consensus: Though Conan may take itself too seriously for some, this adventure film about a former slave seeking vengeance is full of quotable Schwarzenegger lines and gritty action.
Synopsis: Orphaned boy Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is enslaved after his village is destroyed by the forces of vicious necromancer Thulsa Doom... [More]
Directed By: John Milius

#13

The Running Man (1987)
66%

#13
Adjusted Score: 68226%
Critics Consensus: The Running Man is winking sci-fi satire with ridiculous clothes and workmanlike direction.
Synopsis: In the year 2019, America is a totalitarian state where the favorite television program is "The Running Man" -- a... [More]
Directed By: Paul Michael Glaser

#12

Stay Hungry (1976)
67%

#12
Adjusted Score: 66682%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A dishonest businessman asks rich layabout Craig Blake (Jeff Bridges) to help him buy a gym, which will be demolished... [More]
Directed By: Bob Rafelson

#11

Red Heat (1988)
67%

#11
Adjusted Score: 67150%
Critics Consensus: Red Heat's overreliance on genre formula is bolstered by Walter Hill's rugged direction and a strong touch of humor.
Synopsis: A Moscow detective (Arnold Schwarzenegger) shows his local police escort (James Belushi) how to hunt a Soviet drug smuggler in... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 72210%
Critics Consensus: Taut, violent, and suitably self-deprecating, The Expendables 2 gives classic action fans everything they can reasonably expect from a star-studded shoot-'em-up -- for better and for worse.
Synopsis: Mercenary leader Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) and the rest of the Expendables team reunite when Mr.... [More]
Directed By: Simon West

#9
Adjusted Score: 76129%
Critics Consensus: Although T3 never reaches the heights of the second movie, it is a welcome addition to the Terminator franchise.
Synopsis: Now 25, Connor (Nick Stahl) lives with no record of his existence -- no way he can be traced by... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Mostow

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 91851%
Critics Consensus: Terminator: Dark Fate represents a significant upgrade over its immediate predecessors, even if it lacks the thrilling firepower of the franchise's best installments.
Synopsis: In Mexico City, a newly modified liquid Terminator -- the Rev-9 model -- arrives from the future to kill a... [More]
Directed By: Tim Miller

#7

Commando (1985)
69%

#7
Adjusted Score: 70413%
Critics Consensus: The ultimate '80s Schwarzenegger movie, replete with a threadbare plot, outsized action, and endless one-liners.
Synopsis: Retired Special Forces soldier John Matrix (Arnold Schwarzenegger) lives with daughter Jenny (Alyssa Milano) in isolation, but his privacy is... [More]
Directed By: Mark L. Lester

#6

True Lies (1994)
70%

#6
Adjusted Score: 72197%
Critics Consensus: If it doesn't reach the heights of director James Cameron's and star Arnold Schwarzenegger's previous collaborations, True Lies still packs enough action and humor into its sometimes absurd plot to entertain.
Synopsis: Secretly a spy but thought by his family to be a dull salesman, Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is tracking down... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#5

Predator (1987)
82%

#5
Adjusted Score: 84707%
Critics Consensus: Predator: Part sci-fi, part horror, part action -- all muscle.
Synopsis: Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a soldier of fortune, is hired by the U.S. government to secretly rescue a group of politicians... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#4

Total Recall (1990)
82%

#4
Adjusted Score: 87440%
Critics Consensus: Under Paul Verhoeven's frenetic direction, Total Recall is a fast-paced rush of violence, gore, and humor that never slacks.
Synopsis: Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a bored construction worker in the year 2084 who dreams of visiting the colonized Mars.... [More]
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

#3

Pumping Iron (1977)
91%

#3
Adjusted Score: 93896%
Critics Consensus: In addition to offering an enlightening early look into the world of future star/politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pumping Iron provides a witty and insightful overview of competitive bodybuilding.
Synopsis: This partly real and partly scripted film documents what many consider to be the golden age of bodybuilding that occurred... [More]

#2
Adjusted Score: 98533%
Critics Consensus: T2 features thrilling action sequences and eye-popping visual effects, but what takes this sci-fi/ action landmark to the next level is the depth of the human (and cyborg) characters.
Synopsis: In this sequel set eleven years after "The Terminator," young John Connor (Edward Furlong), the key to civilization's victory over... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#1

The Terminator (1984)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 105183%
Critics Consensus: With its impressive action sequences, taut economic direction, and relentlessly fast pace, it's clear why The Terminator continues to be an influence on sci-fi and action flicks.
Synopsis: Disguised as a human, a cyborg assassin known as a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) travels from 2029 to 1984 to kill... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

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