Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Best of Arnold Schwarzeneggar

I once made a list like this for Eddie Murphy and I've always wanted to do another one, but I couldn't figure out just who I should pick. When I read about the possibility of a Twins sequel featuring Eddie Murphy I think fate decided for me. So without further ado: Let's dish out the goods on what I consider to be the ten best Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.

  1. The Terminator - Back before "I'll be back" was a line that was completely ridiculous. Here, the line is cold and calculated and you knew some people were going to get killed and you maybe even knew how. Arnold was terrifying in this movie. He was literally the ruthless and efficient killing machine that the Terminator franchise still tries to copy to this day and hasn't yet. Robert Patrick came the closest, but no one else has. This is Arnold's best movie, period. 
  2. Predator - This movie is a classic and it gets better with age. It's claustrophobic and features guys like Jesse Ventura and Carl Weathers, but somehow manages to not come across as the same old same old "action guys vs. bad guy" movie. This is legit sci-fi horror where those action guys are reduced to mere mortals. 
  3. True Lies - This movie made Tom Arnold cool. Let me say that again, "This movie made Tom Arnold cool." Think about that for a minute. There are no killer terminators or sinking ships or life-sized smurfs, but I think James Cameron made his third-best movie (although second-best on this list) without all of that. There were tons of explosions in this movie, but that Jamie Lee Curtis stripping scene could be the hottest scene of them all. However, the best thing about this movie could be Bill Paxton's second movie confrontation with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Priceless.
  4. Terminator 2: Judgement Day - Yeah, I know people love this one. I do, too. But it's not better than the first one and it isn't as good as a lot of people say. Yes, it's close to perfect for the series on a movie-making level, but a lot of what was bad about later entries originated with this one. The fact that the T-800 smiles? C'mon. This is the terminator! Even if he has been reprogrammed he's the freaking terminator. Also, Robert Patrick's T-1000 disappears for basically any scene that isn't a chase scene because he just isn't cool to follow around as Arnold's terminator in the first one was. He's gone for so long that it's tough to remember the T-1000 is still a character by the time he turns up in Dyson's house. But, still, every time that thumb goes up at the end there isn't a dry eye in the house. 
  5. Total Recall - Hmmm, gotta love a woman with three boobs. But I do dock some points for that little mutant chest dude. That gave me the creeps when I was younger. 
  6. Escape Plan - I loved this movie. The big man even kinda acts in this one. Yeah, it's probably about as realistic as any other Stallone or Schwarzenegger movie, but it's still pretty decent compared to, say, dreck like Hercules in New York or any Stallone movie where Stallone isn't Rambo or Rocky or with the Expendables. 
  7. Conan the Barbarian - I'm not actually the biggest fan of this movie. I think it's okay for the time period of "classic Arnold," but when I look at this and then it's less regarded sequel I really don't see too much difference in quality. In some ways I prefer the sequel, but this one has its moments, too. I'll include this one mostly because of James Earl Jones being a badass snake-dude. 
  8. Last Action Hero - Okay, I know this is supposed to be a bomb and all that, but that was then and this is now. There are way worse Arnold movies and way worse movies in general. This is not as bad as others. I remember the first time I saw it (a long while ago) I rather enjoyed it. I haven't seen it in a while, but there's no way this is one of the worst Arnold films ever made. I mean, we're talking about the guy that was in Raw Deal.
  9. The Expendables 2 - It's your typical generic action thriller with an all-star action cast, but the gunfest involving Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Chuck Norris is just too good to ignore. Although the banter between Schwarzenegger and Willis is somewhat cringe-inducing. Arnold: "I'll be back." Bruce: "You've been back enough. I'll be back." Me: *sigh*
  10. Terminator Genisys - Okay, I know I called this movie really good when I reviewed it and that's why I'm ranking it in the top ten. However, context is important. It is a really good Arnold film. But it isn't a good film compared to something that's actually good like On the Waterfront. Compared to that this movie is a steaming pile of dogshit. But this movie is light years better than Commando or The 6th Day or Twins. It's better than almost every single other Arnold movie out there where he is featured in any kind of prominent role at all. 
Anyway, that's my list. Maybe you've seen one I haven't have that is just fantastic and needs to be on this list. If so, cool. Just don't tell me I sold Batman & Robin short. 


  1. The timing of this list is funny. A couple of nights ago, I was looking for something to watch on netflix and I saw the Conan movie available. I had not seen it since the 80s, so I watched it. After I was finished watching the movie, I was surfing on the computer and went to this site and what was the first thing I saw? Arnold.

    Boy, does Conan seem dated now. I enjoyed it but I could not get over how old it looked. Some of the fight sequences were kind of clunky. I noticed towards the end when Arnold went to all the trouble to make thousands of sharpened sticks that nobody actually got impaled on any of them, they just rolled over them. Impaling must have been too expensive.

    Anyway, I agree with your list except I haven't seen #6, 8, 9 & 10 (but I'm planning on seeing 10 soon). Action Hero had such a bad rep, I never bothered with it but I've read in many places that it's pretty good. I think it's on netflix, so I will check it out one of these days.

    1. Well, I used the movie Twins to try out my soundbar. It made the movie sound a lot more awesome than it actually was. And it got me in a mood to do a list. Maybe next time I should do a list of his one-liners, but that could be a long one.