Predator was part of a string of 1980s hits for Arnold Schwarzenegger: One-half testosterone-drenched shootout movie, one-half sci-fi horror that deconstructs (limb by limb) the action genre and the men who star in them, who find all their guns and collective body mass useless against a superior warrior who hunt humans for sport. The dreaded creature, one-liners, sweltering jungle setting, and John McTiernan made Predator an instant action classic.
Predator 2, set 10 years after the first, is just as sweaty as the first, as the Predator visits Los Angeles with a few days to kill during a sweltering heat wave. Predator 2 is even more meatheaded than the first, but its eclectic cast (including Danny Glover envisioned as a bonafide macho action star), deepening of the Predator lore, and wild coke-fueled attitude and tone, the sequel is something now of a cult classic.
The lingering appearance of a Xenomorph skull in the Predator’s ship led the way to two crossover Alien films in the 2000s. 2010’s Predators goes even further by throwing audiences in with a hive of scum and villainy on a game hunting preserve planet reserved by the Predators. 2018’s The Predator attempted to mix the humor of Shane Black (who starred in the 1987 original) with MCU-style worldbuilding to somewhat disastrous effect.
2022’s Prey, set in 1719, takes it back to basics as a band of Comanche warriors and fighters (including a star-making turn from Amber Midthunder) must learn to adapt as they’re stalked and hunter by a Predator on his first visit to Earth.
And now, we’re ranking all the Predator movies by Tomatometer! —Alex Vo