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 cruelty, neglect, and poverty in 1950s Austria, pushing his body over chasms and boundaries of physical limit, 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 of the world’s sixth largest economy 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.

Now take your clothes, your boots, and your preferred method of transportation and get to da Rotten…Tomatoes guide of Arnold Schwarzenegger movies by Tomatometer!

#37

The Villain (1979)
0%

#37
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Also released under the title Cactus Jack, this western spoof follows the evil schemes of the villainous Cactus Jack (Kirk... [More]
Directed By: Hal Needham

#36

Batman & Robin (1997)
11%

#36
Adjusted Score: 16.459%
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: Batman & Robin try to keep their relationship together even as they must stop Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy from... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#35

End of Days (1999)
11%

#35
Adjusted Score: 15.19%
Critics Consensus: An overblown thriller with formulaic action scenes and poor acting.
Synopsis: Jericho Cane, a beaten down ex-cop, is the reluctant hero of End of Days, a chilling, horrific thriller set at... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hyams

#34

Red Sonja (1985)
15%

#34
Adjusted Score: 16.362%
Critics Consensus: Dull, poorly directed, and badly miscast, Red Sonja is an uninspired conclusion to Schwarzenegger's barbarian trilogy.
Synopsis: Red Sonja is unwavering in her quest to avenge the murder of her family and wrestle an all-powerful, sacred talisman... [More]
Directed By: Richard Fleischer

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 17.338%
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: The true meaning of Christmas -- desperate last-minute shopping -- is the subject of this holiday-themed comedy. Howard Langston (Arnold... [More]
Directed By: Brian Levant

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 12.733%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Every movie star has to start somewhere, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, then little-known outside of body building circles, made his screen... [More]

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 22.696%
Critics Consensus: Despite its timely subject matter, Collateral Damage is an unexceptional and formulaic action thriller.
Synopsis: In one fleeting moment, L.A. firefighter Gordy Brewer loses everything he ever cared about. Running late to meet his wife... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Davis

#30

Sabotage (2014)
20%

#30
Adjusted Score: 23.671%
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: In "Sabotage", Arnold Schwarzenegger leads an elite DEA task force that takes on the world's deadliest drug cartels. When the... [More]
Directed By: David Ayer

#29

Raw Deal (1986)
25%

#29
Adjusted Score: 25.311%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This action film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Kaminksi, a former FBI agent called back to duty on a special assignment.... [More]
Directed By: John Irvin

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 27.191%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Based on a character created by Robert E. Howard, this fast-paced, occasionally humorous sequel to Conan the Barbarian features the... [More]
Directed By: Richard Fleischer

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 35.744%
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: James Cameron's sci-fi classic gets rebooted in this Paramount production designed as the first installment in a new trilogy. ~... [More]
Directed By: Alan Taylor

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 38.2%
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: In THE EXPENDABLES 3, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team come face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson),... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Hughes

#25

Eraser (1996)
35%

#25
Adjusted Score: 37.246%
Critics Consensus: Eraser's shoot-'em-up action might show off some cutting edge weaponry, but its rote story is embarrassingly obsolete.
Synopsis: Top-notch action sequences and exciting stunt work highlight this fast-moving thriller. John Kruger (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a top agent in... [More]
Directed By: Chuck Russell

#24

Last Action Hero (1993)
36%

#24
Adjusted Score: 39.374%
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: Arnold Schwarzenegger appears as a pumped-up Shakespearian hero while an announcer bellows, "Something is rotten in Denmark -- and Hamlet... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#23

Junior (1994)
36%

#23
Adjusted Score: 37.537%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Ultimate manly man Arnold Schwarzenegger learns what it's like to be an expectant mother in director Ivan Reitman's high-concept comedy.... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#22

The 6th Day (2000)
41%

#22
Adjusted Score: 44.833%
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: In this science-fiction thriller set in the very near future, DNA cloning has been perfected and has become an accepted... [More]
Directed By: Roger Spottiswoode

#21

The Expendables (2010)
42%

#21
Adjusted Score: 47.807%
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: An all-star cast of action-movie icons headline Sylvester Stallone's explosive action thriller about a group of hard-nosed mercenaries who are... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#20

Aftermath (2017)
42%

#20
Adjusted Score: 43.392%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Two strangers' lives become inextricably bound together after a devastating plane crash. Inspired by actual events, AFTERMATH tells a story... [More]
Directed By: Elliott Lester

#19

Twins (1988)
44%

#19
Adjusted Score: 46.67%
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: A tall and muscular but mild-mannered man and a short, corpulent loose cannon discover that they are actually twins, their... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#18

Killing Gunther (2017)
48%

#18
Adjusted Score: 48.058%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A comedy set in the world of contract killers. A group of young, raw and undisciplined assassins hire a docu-crew... [More]
Directed By: Taran Killam

#17

Escape Plan (2013)
50%

#17
Adjusted Score: 53.562%
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: One of the world's foremost authorities on structural security agrees to take on one last job: breaking out of an... [More]
Directed By: Mikael Håfström

#16

Kindergarten Cop (1990)
51%

#16
Adjusted Score: 52.945%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Arnold Schwarzenegger sheds his action image in Ivan Reitman's police comedy Kindergarten Cop, where he plays an undercover cop teaching... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#15

Maggie (2015)
60%

#15
Adjusted Score: 64.622%
Critics Consensus: Maggie lurches a bit clumsily at times, but is partially redeemed by strong performances and an unexpectedly thoughtful tone.
Synopsis: When a deadly zombie virus sweeps the nation, a father will stop at nothing to save his infected daughter in... [More]
Directed By: Henry Hobson

#14

The Last Stand (2013)
61%

#14
Adjusted Score: 66.823%
Critics Consensus: There's nothing particularly distinguished about it, but for Schwarzenegger fans The Last Stand provides perfectly undemanding entertainment.
Synopsis: After leaving his LAPD narcotics post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with remorse and regret, Sheriff Ray... [More]
Directed By: Kim Jee-woon

#13

The Running Man (1987)
64%

#13
Adjusted Score: 66.803%
Critics Consensus: The Running Man is winking sci-fi satire with ridiculous clothes and workmanlike direction.
Synopsis: An unjustly accused prisoner in 2019 is given a slim chance at freedom if he enters a battle-to-the-death on a... [More]
Directed By: Paul Michael Glaser

#12

Red Heat (1988)
64%

#12
Adjusted Score: 64.969%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a taciturn law-enforcement officer from Russia. James Belushi co-stars as a wise-lipped Chicago cop. Though they go... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 71.268%
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: The Expendables are back and this time it's personal... Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet... [More]
Directed By: Simon West

#10
Adjusted Score: 74.783%
Critics Consensus: Although T3 never reaches the heights of the second movie, it is a welcome addition to the Terminator franchise.
Synopsis: The second sequel to the 1984 sci-fi action classic, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is the first film without... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Mostow

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 72.653%
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: John Milius's jingoistic direction and pulpy screenplay fit perfectly into this film version of the Robert E. Howard fantasy story... [More]
Directed By: John Milius

#8

Commando (1985)
70%

#8
Adjusted Score: 71.998%
Critics Consensus: The ultimate '80s Schwarzenegger movie, replete with a threadbare plot, outsized action, and endless one-liners.
Synopsis: Colonel Matrix (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is retired and living peaceably with his 10-year-old daughter (Alyssa Milano) when she is kidnapped by... [More]
Directed By: Mark L. Lester

#7

True Lies (1994)
70%

#7
Adjusted Score: 72.845%
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: Borrowing liberally from the French film La Totale, this is an action picture, domestic comedy, and political thriller rolled into... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron, Tony Scott

#6

Stay Hungry (1976)
75%

#6
Adjusted Score: 75.537%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This comedy drama centers on a blue-blooded Southerner's attempt to buy a popular gym as part of a crucial real... [More]
Directed By: Bob Rafelson

#5

Predator (1987)
81%

#5
Adjusted Score: 84.583%
Critics Consensus: Predator: Part sci-fi, part horror, part action -- all muscle.
Synopsis: Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has a code of honor which he will not violate, even when his life depends on it.... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#4

Total Recall (1990)
82%

#4
Adjusted Score: 86.721%
Critics Consensus: Under Paul Verhoeven's frenetic direction, Total Recall is a fast-paced rush of violence, gore, and humor that never slacks.
Synopsis: In Paul Verhoeven's wild sci-fi action movie Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a 21st-century construction worker who discovers that his... [More]
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

#3
Adjusted Score: 99.243%
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: A sequel to the sci-fi action thriller that made him and star Arnold Schwarzenegger A-list Hollywood names, writer/director James Cameron... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#2

Pumping Iron (1976)
94%

#2
Adjusted Score: 97.354%
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: Baby oil, bulging biceps and perfect pecs abound in this documentary that takes a fascinating look behind-the-scenes at the Mr.... [More]

#1

The Terminator (1984)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 104.715%
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: A Cyborg has been sent from the future on a deadly mission, it has been programmed to kill a young... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

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