Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies

He came back....just like he said in would all the way back in he returns in 2015's Terminator Genisys.

He came back….just like he said in would all the way back in 1984…as he returned in 2015’s Terminator Genisys.

Want to know the best Arnold Schwarzenegger movies?  How about the worst Arnold Schwarzenegger movies?  Curious about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s box office grosses or which Arnold Schwarzenegger movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Arnold Schwarzenegger movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which ones got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

I have already done pages on 1980s action stars Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone, so I figured a page on the last original founder of Planet Hollywood was overdue. Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947-) is a body builder, turned actor, turned politician who has returned o acting.   Arnold first appearance in a movie was in 1970’s Hercules In New York. He was billed as Arnold Strong and had his voice dubbed over. The rest of the 70s saw Arnold appear in a couple of weight-lifting movies and some supporting roles in movies like Stay Hungry and The Villain. In 1982, Arnold starred in Conan the Barbarian. Conan was a box office success and showed that Arnold could carry a film.

In 1984, he made the first of three appearances as the title character in director James Cameron’s The Terminator. The success of The Terminator, turned Arnold into a Hollywood superstar. From 1984-1997 he appeared in numerous successful films. Films like The Running Man, Predator, Twins, Total Recall, Kindergarten Cop and True Lies. In 1997 he appeared as Mr. Freeze in the worst Batman movie ever….Batman and Robin. After the critical failure of Batman & Robin, his film career and box office pull went into decline. His last movie before he became Governor of California was Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines.  After leaving office, Arnold, returned to making movies.  So far the results have been pretty disappointing.  Maybe the big man has one more big movie in him.

His IMDb page shows 55 acting credits from 1970-2017. This page will rank 35 Arnold Schwarzenegger movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television shows, shorts, cameos and movies that were not released in theaters were not included in the rankings.

Danny DeVito and Arnold in 1988's Twins

Danny DeVito and Arnold in 1988’s Twins

Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Arnold Schwarzenegger movies by co-stars of his movies.
  • Sort Arnold Schwarzenegger movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost
  • Sort Arnold Schwarzenegger movies by adjusted worldwide box office grosses using current movie ticket cost
  • Sort Arnold Schwarzenegger movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each Arnold Schwarzenegger movie received.
  • Sort Arnold Schwarzenegger movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • Use the search and sort buttons to make this a very interactive page….for example…if you want to see the three James Cameron/Arnold movies only….then type “James Cameron” in the search box and up pop the three movies.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Arnold Schwarzenegger Table

  1. Fifteen Arnold Schwarzenegger movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 42.85% of his movies listed. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) is his biggest box office hit domestically and worldwide.
  2. An average Arnold Schwarzenegger movie grosses $107.20 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using’s 60% fresh meter.  14 of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movies are rated as good movies…or 42.42% of his movies.  The Terminator (1984) is his highest rated movie while Hercules Goes To New York (1970) was his lowest rated movie.
  4. Five Arnold Schwarzenegger movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 15.15% of his movies.
  5. One Arnold Schwarzenegger movie (Terminator 2: Judgment Day) won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 3.03% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 40.00.  15 Arnold Schwarzenegger movies scored higher than that average….or 42.85% of his movies.  Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) got the the highest UMR Score while Hercules Goes To New York (1970) got the lowest UMR Score.
Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987's The Running Man

Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987’s The Running Man

The Best of Arnold Schwarzenegger

#5 Predator (1987)  Predator is Arnold’s third highest rated movie by critics and audiences with a 85% score, while finishing 9th on his top box office hits list. Whenever you read a article on the greatest action movies this movie is always in the conversation. Like the Terminator this movie also spawned many sequels.  The movie was directed by John McTiernan, who after finishing this movie moved on to another action film called Die Hard. No wonder he became known as a great action director after those back to back movies. Did you know….that Kevin Peter Hall who played the Predator also played Bigfoot in Harry and the Hendersons?  Did you know?  The Predator’s mandibles came from a suggestion by James Cameron.  Mandibles (jawbones) are the bones that form the skull with the cranium.  I was not really sure what mandibles were so I had to look it up.

#4 The Terminator (1984)  I have very fond memories of watching this movie at the theater. The audience reaction was one of the best I have ever experienced. I have forced my teenagers to watch this movie and even they like it….imagine that. The Terminator is Arnold’s highest rated movie according to critics and audiences with a 91% score but it barely cracks his Top Ten box office hit list…coming in at #10. This movie put James Cameron on the Hollywood map, turned Arnold into a superstar and started one of the most successful movie franchises ever.   I can not believe it has been over 30 years since the release of this classic movie.

#3 True Lies (1994)  Arnold plays Harry Tasker, a man leading a double life. For the sake of his wife and daughter he pretends to be a boring computer salesperson. For the sake of the country, he is a super agent and one of the last defenses who works for the secret government agency The Omega Sector. Since this is a James Cameron movie, True Lies was one of the most expensive films ever made, costing about $110 million in 1994. But the money was well spent as True Lies was the number three movie of the year with over $750 million dollars in adjusted worldwide box office grosses.  Many highlights in this movie.  For me the performance of Tom Arnold is one that I think about when I think about True Lies.  I thought at the time Tom Arnold was headed for big things…..sadly nearly twenty years later and this is his career pinnacle.

#2 Total Recall (1990)  Arnold’s 3rd biggest blockbuster hit with over 229 million in adjusted domestic box office dollars dollars. This great science fiction film was based on Phillip K. Dick’s story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”. Of all the Phillip K. Dicks’s stories to be turned into movies, Total Recall joins Blade Runner and Minority Report as the best of the bunch. This was one of the last big budget movies to use miniature sets versus computer effects. Before Arnold got the role, Richard Dreyfuss, Christoper Reeve and Patrick Swayze were offered the role

#1 Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)  Schwarzenegger’s biggest box office hit with a box office gross of over 1 BILLION when looking at worldwide adjusted box office dollars. Terminator 2: Judgement Day(or T2) is ranked the forty-second best movie on IMDB.  Arnold, Linda Hamilton and James Cameron all returned for this sequel. Even Kyle Reese shows up in a dream sequence if you ever watch the director’s cut.

The film’s visual effects included many breakthroughs in computer graphics that would change the way movies would be made. T2 won four Oscars® for makeup, sound mixing, sound editing, and visual effects. Arnold gets to play the good terminator this time out, while Robert Patrick as the bad T-1000, steals the show in my opinion.

There were two more sequels in this franchise but they have not been in the class as the first two.  I am thinking that might have something to do with James Cameron or more like the lack of James Cameron.

Check out Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

Academy Award® and Oscar® are the registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences.


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52 thoughts on “Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies

  1. Bob

    Arnold certainly has had one of the most amazing careers and life histories of anyone in any field I can think of. From Mr. Universe to #1 box office movie star to marrying into the Kennedy family and being elected governor of California. I always found him to be terrifically charismatic in his movie roles.

    1. JOHN
      I agree . Also for me he had in a way an original screen persona in the way that he mixed up his tough guy behaviour with at times modest self-depreciation as in True Lies and Kindergarten Cop.

    2. Hey John….he might not be a great actor…but his screen persona kept all eyes on him….there will never be another like him.

    1 Years ago I was a member of a gymnasium in Belfast and because most of its members were bodybuilders and Arnie was a world-famous bodybuilder he was like a God to those training in that gym. When he broke into movies we thought it was a gimmick and none of us foresaw that he would soon become a top movie star with a string of great hits that would generate almost $ 9 billion worldwide in adjusted dollars.

    2 In a book on the perceived “100 Greatest Icons of All Time” drawn from all professions and walks of life of the 22 male movie stars that were included Arnie was one. The list is alphabetically –

    Woody Allen/Fred Astaire/Humphrey Bogart/Marlon Brando
    Charlie Chaplin/Sean Connery/Robert DeNiro/James Dean
    Johnny Depp/Clint Eastwood/Harrison Ford/Michael J Fox
    Clark Gable/Cary Grant/Bruce Lee/Steve McQueen/Paul Newman
    Jack Nicholson/Laurence Olivier/Elvis/Arnie/Sinatra.

    3 Of course Arnie’s physique would not have carried him too far in mainstream movies if he had not also had a pleasing screen personality and the exciting new page on 80s Action Heroes illustrates that in terms of commercial success Arnie is a strong contender for tag Greatest action/adventure star of all time with Willis and Stallone from the modern era being the other two main contenders for that accolade. Ironically therefore Sly is not included among the Icons listed in the book that I have mentioned and whilst I am not arguing that that list is entirely definitive it does at least indirectly support John’s preference for downplaying the complete importance of billing as in Escape Plan the only movie that Stallone/Schwarzenegger have paired in Sly is billed over Arnie.

    1. Hey Bob….good comments on Arnold…I can see him being listed as one of the top 22 icons. He is a star celebrity….and I think those types have a much longer lasting legacy. Arnold’s first roles were horrible at best. The Terminator jump started that career….which only required him to say about 10 lines of dialogue. Good feedback.

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