Best Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies, Ranked

I'll be back... right after watching these Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.

by Matthew Kevin Mitchell

Are you wondering what the best Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, ranked, are? Schwarzenegger made his Hollywood debut with his first movie, 1970’s Hercules in New York. While that movie was god-awful, he would eventually give us some of the most memorable action movies, one-liners, and movie franchises that we still love to watch today. He went from bodybuilder to action star with no lines, to a comedic actor, to politician in an illustrious career. Here are the best Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies, Ranked, for your enjoyment!

Best Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies, Ranked

Schwarzenegger has given us many great movies, so it is hard to pick the best ones. To make it easier, we have picked the top 10 best Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, ranked to make your life easier. We will start with the top 10 list and discuss his top 5 performances.

  1. The Last Stand (2013)
  2. Conan The Barbarian (1982)
  3. Commando (1985)
  4. True Lies (1995)
  5. Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

5. Pumping Iron (1977)


Description: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno face off in a no-holds-barred competition for the title of Mr. Olympia in this critically-acclaimed film that made Schwarzenegger a household name.

Why It’s Good: Most people know Schwarzenegger as the actor, but few have seen him as a bodybuilder. Pumping Iron gives us an insight into the early life of Schwarzenegger during the golden age of bodybuilding.

Movie Trivia: Schwarzenegger admitted he fabricated several of the film’s stories on the advice of the producers to give the movie more drama. For example, the story about him skipping his father’s funeral to attend an event was a lie.

4. Predator (1987)


Description: A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extraterrestrial warrior.

Why It’s Good: Schwarzenegger is at his best in Predator, which brings us action, horror, sci-fi, and some of the best one-liners known to man. The supporting cast is also made up of some of the best 80s figures like Jesse Ventura and Carl Weathers, which makes it one of the best action movies of the 80s.

Movie Trivia: The famous line “Get to the Chopper!” is Schwarzenegger’s favorite one-liner from his films.

3. Total Recall (1990)


Description: When a man goes in to have virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars implanted in his mind, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real – or is he?

Why It’s Good: Total Recall provides viewers with suspense, satire, action, and humor in one mind-bending viewing experience. There is a lot of cheesy gore that still makes this movie endearing.

Movie Trivia: Schwarzenegger was initially tapped to play RoboCop but could not due to issues with the costume (that would be one massive RoboCop!). He liked the movie so much that he asked to work with the director Paul Verhoeven and the result is Total Recall.

2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)


Description: A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her 10-year-old adolescent son John from an even more advanced and powerful cyborg.

Why It’s Good: James Cameron shines as a director here for his well-paced action scenes and realistic shootouts due to the weapon training he required his actors to go through. The actors were perfectly cast for both the human and cyborg roles, adding to the fantastic story.

Movie Trivia: Schwarzenegger read his lines about the history of Skynet and Miles Dyson from a card taped to the car’s windshield.

1. The Terminator (1984)


Description: A human soldier is sent from 2029 to 1984 to stop an almost indestructible cyborg killing machine sent from the same year, which has been programmed to execute a young woman whose unborn son is the key to humanity’s future salvation.

Why It’s Good: The Terminator is still a highly effective action and sci-fi movie today. It was the birth of a fantastic franchise containing movies, TV shows, and video games. While not as good as Terminator 2: Judgement Day, we can’t deny what it did for Hollywood and Schwarzenegger’s career.

Movie Trivia: Schwarzenegger only has 14 lines in The Terminator. He also avoided Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn in real life not to form connections with them because his character’s primary objective was to kill them.

- This article was updated on December 21st, 2022

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