50 Indie Movies You Need to See Before You Die

The Terminator (1984)

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield

One viewing of Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent "comeback" action pic The Last Stand is all you need to revisit The Terminator(or seek it out for the first time). Because at one point, the recent Governator was just a former Mr. Olympia with minimal acting chops, but then writer-director James Cameron changed all of that.

Casting Schwarzenegger as this film's titular villain (a time-traveling cyborg focused on killing), Cameron accentuated the Austrian muscleman's strengths: a hulking presence, brute physicality, and the ability to nail simple, blunt one-liners like "I'll be back." Schwarzenegger is legitimately frightening in The Terminator, upgrading an already superb and hardcore sci-fi thriller into certified genre classic. —MB

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