Boxset Review: The Terminator Anthology

The Terminator Anthology (1984-2019)

GENRE: Sci-Fi, Thriller, Action

DIRECTORS: James Cameron (T1, T2), Jonathan Mostow (T3), McG (Salvation), Alan Taylor (Genysis), Tim Miller (Dark Fate)

WRITERS: James Cameron (T1, T2, Dark Fate), Gale Anne Hurd (T1), William Wisher Jr. (T1, T2), Tedi Sarafian (T3), John Brancato and Michael Ferris (T3, Salvation), Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier (Genysis), Charles H. Eglee, Josh Friedman, David S. Goyer, Justin Rhodes and Billy Ray (Dark Fate)

STARS: Arnold Schwarzenegger (all), Linda Hamilton (T1, T2, Salvation, Dark Fate), Michael Biehn (T1), Robert Patrick (T2), Christian Bale (Salvation)



The Terminator (1984) 107min | Action, Sci-Fi | 11 January 1985 Summary: In 1984, a human soldier is tasked to stop an indestructible cyborg killing machine, both sent from 2029, from executing a young woman, whose unborn son is the key to humanity's future salvation.
Countries: UK, USALanguages: English, Spanish


The Terminator 1984 Some of the effects may be dated but that doesn't stop this being the most gripping, relentless Sci-Fi film of all time, with a fantastic story and a performance from Arnie in the iconic title role that shows more acting skill than he gets credit for. Mat 10


Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) 137min | Action, Sci-Fi | 24 October 1991 Summary: A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced and powerful cyborg.
Countries: USALanguages: English, Spanish


Terminator 2: Judgement Day 1991 It is not an overstatement to call T2 a genre defining film. Most of the effects still stand strong today and Arnie is at his robotic best in the time travel apocalypse that rewrote the action film. Gordon 9
Terminator 2: Judgement Day 1991 With tremendous action and effects that still look pretty good, this is one of the best sequels of all time, but the increased budget and making Arnie the hero remove some of the menace and raw thrills that made the original film so memorable. Mat 8


Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) 109min | Action, Sci-Fi | 31 July 2003 Summary: A machine from a post-apocalyptic future travels back in time to protect a man and a woman from an advanced robotic assassin to ensure they both survive a nuclear attack.
Countries: USA, Germany, UKLanguages: English


Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines 2003 Unfairly lambasted simply for not being as good as its predecessors, this is a perfectly enjoyable action thriller that furthers the John Connor saga well and has the best ending of any film in the franchise. Mat 7


Terminator Salvation (2009) 115min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 4 June 2009 Summary: In 2018, a mysterious new weapon in the war against the machines, half-human and half-machine, comes to John Connor on the eve of a resistance attack on Skynet. But whose side is he on, and can he be trusted?
Countries: USA, Germany, UK, ItalyLanguages: English, Italian


Terminator Salvation 2009 An amiable, if somewhat soulless, bridge between the previous Terminator movies, ruined slightly by a bland performance from Sam Worthington. Graeme 6


Terminator Genisys (2015) 126min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 9 July 2015 (Germany) Summary: When John Connor, leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline.
Countries: USA, CanadaLanguages: English


Terminator Genisys 2015 Starts off well enough as an alternate version of the first film, but the plot is well and truly lost by the end. A few reasonable action setpieces help to subdue the confusing story. Mat 6


Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) 128min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 24 October 2019 (Germany) Summary: An augmented human and Sarah Connor must stop an advanced liquid Terminator from hunting down a young girl, whose fate is critical to the human race.
Countries: China, Spain, Hungary, USALanguages: English, Spanish


Terminator: Dark Fate 2019 There is too little of Arnie and too much pantomime villain from Linda Hamilton, but there is also a lot of action and some good humour in this T2 sequel. Not quite a return to form, but Dark Fate does stop the slide for the Terminator franchise. Gordon 6
Terminator: Dark Fate 2019 Another attempt to reboot the franchise but it's not much of a departure from the story of earlier films. Despite that the action is thick and fast, the characters are decent and Arnie is really good as another incarnation of his famous character. Mat 7


Boxset Summary

  • The Terminator
  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
  • Terminator Salvation
  • Terminator Genisys
  • Terminator: Dark Fate


It was always going to be an impossible task to keep up the momentum from the first two films, but the weight of expectation has meant that some of the further sequels have been given a little too much a hard time. All of the films carry some value, but it is clearly the ones where creator James Cameron is involved where the series peaks. The original thriller and its follow up blockbuster action extravaganza stand out as true classics in their respective genres, but it is probably time to stop judging the sequels against those impossibly high standard and enjoy them for what they are. Slices of entertaining time travel nonsense.

User Review
3 (1 vote)

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