Best movie: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Did you really expect any other movie to get the top spot here? Terminator 2: Judgment Day is the absolute peak of the action genre in our opinion, and over 20 years after its release it’s amazing that it holds up just as well as it did on opening night. With a terrific story in place and a performance by Schwarzenegger that's the absolute best of career, T2 inspires memories of a time when Hollywood blockbusters were built with love and care, instead of the digital monstrosities that they have evolved into.
The terrifying story of technology gone mad might seem clichéd at this point, but Judgment Day did it better than anyone before or since. And most of the film’ acclaim has to rest at the feet of Schwarzenegger, who ironically brought some real heart and soul to the silicon killer that he was playing. Terminator 2 is one of the rare sequels that doesn’t just improve upon the original, it absolutely demolished it.
Runner-up: True Lies (1994)
It would be easy to put the original Terminator in this spot, but as a pure action movie, we think True Lies works much better. In yet another collaboration between Schwarzenegger and James Cameron, True Lies was the first comedy from the duo, and it turned out to be their most interesting project together.
In it, Cameron gave us an offbeat look at the life of a government spy as Schwarzenegger tried to juggle his mundane family life with his violent, action-packed job throughout the entire film. Cameron and Arnold seamlessly blended comedic timing and big-budget spectacle into a package that's still wholly original to this day.