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.

Most recently, Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and James Cameron returned to Terminator territory for Dark Fate. Critics were mostly on-board but audiences stayed away, fed up with the retconning chicanery and having been previously twice burned by Salvation and Genisys. Well, until we get that End of Days reboot (timing feels right, don’t you think?), we’re ranking all 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: 16.677%
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: 15.229%
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: 16.292%
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: 17.096%
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: 12.488%
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: 22.76%
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)
22%

#30
Adjusted Score: 25.988%
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)
23%

#29
Adjusted Score: 23.389%
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: 26.24%
Critics Consensus: Conan the Destroyer softens the edges that gave its predecessor gravitas, resulting in a campy sequel without the comparative thrills.
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: 37.414%
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: 38.549%
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)
38%

#25
Adjusted Score: 40.365%
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:

#24

Last Action Hero (1993)
38%

#24
Adjusted Score: 41.393%
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: 37.515%
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: 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)
40%

#22
Adjusted Score: 43.889%
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: 48.12%
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: 43.529%
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)
43%

#19
Adjusted Score: 45.685%
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: Despite a game cast led by an enjoyably over the top Arnold Schwarzenegger, Killing Gunther feels like a sketch overstretched to feature length.
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: 53.813%
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: 53.093%
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: 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: 64.686%
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: 67.198%
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: 66.948%
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)
67%

#12
Adjusted Score: 68.106%
Critics Consensus: Red Heat's overreliance on genre formula is bolstered by Walter Hill's rugged direction and a strong touch of humor.
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: 72.441%
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: 74.878%
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: 66.791%
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)
71%

#8
Adjusted Score: 73.086%
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)
71%

#7
Adjusted Score: 73.964%
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)
67%

#6
Adjusted Score: 67.84%
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: 84.512%
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: Shane Black

#4

Total Recall (1990)
82%

#4
Adjusted Score: 86.935%
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: 99.188%
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)
91%

#2
Adjusted Score: 94.293%
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: 104.973%
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

Tag Cloud

romantic comedy Marvel Television zombies First Look Film Festival TV Land Extras Endgame Nominations VH1 Certified Fresh DC streaming service Travel Channel medical drama RT21 Super Bowl dogs 20th Century Fox composers award winner animated social media Academy Awards Countdown sitcom Baby Yoda documentaries SXSW CBS Summer Warner Bros. Anna Paquin FOX Chernobyl 72 Emmy Awards Food Network Shondaland Biopics BAFTA The Arrangement IFC Comedy kids romance Elton John 2019 nbcuniversal Pet Sematary transformers Rom-Com zero dark thirty TCA Awards Black History Month criterion robots TLC cats DGA werewolf toronto Toys comedies Watching Series thriller Election anime game of thrones Sci-Fi scary movies 2020 Martial Arts Mystery Creative Arts Emmys CNN teaser free movies Music slashers APB Set visit Rocky Spectrum Originals ABC YA foreign Black Mirror Syfy Pride Month stand-up comedy Apple TV+ Hallmark Family casting news latino cartoon halloween CW Seed Trophy Talk Drama worst 2017 mission: impossible blockbuster supernatural Emmys dceu Dark Horse Comics Podcast jamie lee curtis 2015 Crackle DirecTV Starz cancelled TV series History festivals spinoff AMC SDCC See It Skip It crime drama RT History unscripted Reality crime thriller christmas movies WarnerMedia justice league Grammys football Teen Acorn TV docudrama Thanksgiving Box Office cults Comedy Central Heroines boxoffice Discovery Channel aliens comiccon TCM E3 reboot GLAAD Epix FXX travel sports Country Film Lifetime Christmas movies Avengers Tarantino golden globes emmy awards Fox News Brie Larson classics Disney streaming service Sundance Columbia Pictures harry potter Pixar Disney Channel A&E LGBTQ worst movies asian-american historical drama PaleyFest video on demand Mary Tyler Moore cops cancelled TV shows satire stop motion politics Stephen King E! blaxploitation Interview Musicals twilight south america Star Wars The Purge concert San Diego Comic-Con IFC Films war Turner Classic Movies cooking ghosts technology Disney+ Disney Plus Apple Television Critics Association New York Comic Con 2018 Rocketman Pop TV Emmy Nominations die hard USA series Bravo films Masterpiece Star Trek 21st Century Fox PlayStation screenings TBS sequel a nightmare on elm street children's TV hollywood Musical psychological thriller CBS All Access chucky YouTube Red book Year in Review American Society of Cinematographers Amazon Prime Video Cartoon Network Comic Book tv talk Awards Sundance Now PBS scorecard Animation serial killer obituary BBC One NBC Esquire Video Games richard e. Grant diversity discovery Best and Worst Lifetime Disney Freeform remakes joker The CW Cannes Funimation Mindy Kaling NYCC game show comics streaming VOD Quiz Marvel 4/20 Shudder Hallmark Christmas movies Disney Plus ABC Family Fall TV video independent Premiere Dates Crunchyroll Character Guide Reality Competition TV biography A24 Netflix Christmas movies comic canceled spanish language Walt Disney Pictures Horror Rock HBO Max Amazon Prime Sneak Peek Writers Guild of America adaptation Trivia Sundance TV Turner Superheroes psycho festival Captain marvel OneApp name the review quibi Spike Ellie Kemper Hulu talk show revenge Nickelodeon crime Holidays ratings what to watch Infographic TNT natural history Fantasy witnail The Walking Dead franchise spain renewed TV shows disaster BBC Netflix BET Pop Television Academy Apple TV Plus dramedy cinemax movie screen actors guild Paramount green book miniseries Marvel Studios MTV Trailer fast and furious Oscars adventure batman sequels directors strong female leads hist Showtime Spring TV ESPN WGN Ghostbusters Mary Poppins Returns Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Comics on TV parents versus Valentine's Day doctor who HBO FX TruTV laika Polls and Games science fiction cancelled toy story Hear Us Out 007 police drama Opinion 45 First Reviews DC Comics 24 frames best finale SundanceTV Mudbound Christmas Britbox President universal monsters BBC America vampires mutant Song of Ice and Fire based on movie El Rey USA Network canceled TV shows dragons BET Awards TIFF dark hispanic CMT Photos rotten Calendar Amazon Studios HBO Go 71st Emmy Awards Logo Winners Ovation critics Kids & Family Paramount Network facebook nature ITV venice GIFs zombie Awards Tour Nat Geo breaking bad Lionsgate Cosplay space cars 2016 Tubi anthology Mary poppins MSNBC period drama Western singing competition all-time Binge Guide nfl Tomatazos child's play Women's History Month superhero Tumblr rotten movies we love Vudu reviews VICE TCA 2017 TV renewals spy thriller true crime Lucasfilm mockumentary movies MCU LGBT indiana jones stoner Classic Film YouTube Premium The Witch Action YouTube elevated horror documentary television binge TCA Winter 2020 crossover National Geographic Sony Pictures Chilling Adventures of Sabrina political drama cancelled television Holiday Red Carpet Superheroe spider-man TCA OWN FX on Hulu Arrowverse indie sag awards Peacock Universal Amazon Pirates GoT X-Men Adult Swim Winter TV theme song dc Marathons DC Universe Schedule