(Welcome to Where to Watch, which provides a clear and simple answer to the question, “Hey, where can I watch this thing?” In this edition: the Bourne franchise.)
There are more Terminator movies than you remember. There’s even a Terminator TV show (that I hear is quite good!), but we won’t get into that. As it turns out, every single Terminator movie is streaming right now. Granted, they’re not all streaming on the same service! But if you belong to multiple services (and you probably do), and are in the mood for a Terminator marathon, you might be in luck. Here’s where you can stream every Terminator movie.
Where to stream: Tubi
The one that started it all. James Cameron‘s lean, mean 1984 The Terminator feels more like a slasher movie than a big sci-fi action-adventure, especially when compared to the films that followed. Linda Hamilton is Sarah Connor, a waitress who will one day give birth to the savior of mankind. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a hulking cyborg sent to kill her. And Michael Biehn is a futuristic Resistance fighter sent back in time to save Sarah. Economical and ingenious, this is a damn good movie. ‘Nuff said.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Where to stream: Netflix
The sequel to end all sequels, Terminator 2: Judgment Day is bigger, bolder, and more action-packed than what came before. Working with a much bigger budget this time, James Cameron broke new ground with the folks at ILM creating jaw-dropping special effects that still look great even today. This time, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator is a good guy trying to help out Sarah Connor and her whiny son John (Edward Furlong). On the trail is the liquid-metal T-1000 (Robert Patrick), decked out as a cop – which Cameron says was a deliberate choice to comment on police brutality. They probably should’ve stopped making Terminator movies after this one, but…
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Where to stream: HBO Max
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines isn’t that bad, all things considered. Is it as good as the previous two movies? Oh, hell no. But while director Jonathan Mostow is no James Cameron, he does stage some nice action scenes – like a lengthy chase involving a crane truck. In this entry, John Connor is all grown up and now played by Nick Stahl. And wouldn’t ya know it, those damn robots from the future keep trying to kill him! Arnold Schwarzenegger is a good guy Terminator once again, facing off against the franchise’s first female Terminator – Kristanna Loken as the T-X. For all its flaws, Rise of the Machines still entertains. And it has a shockingly bleak ending for a summer action flick.
Where to stream: HBO Max
I’m pretty sure most people remember Termiantor Salvation – if they remember it at all – as the movie where Christian Bale lost his cool on set and flipped out and yelled at a lighting guy (or gaffer, if you will) for approximately 20 minutes. This dour, dumb post-apocalyptic sequel from director McG lacks pretty much everything that made the previous movies good. The only real bright spot is the late, great Anton Yelchin, who does a wonderful job playing the younger version of Kyle Reese, Michael Biehn’s character from the first film.
Where to stream: Paramount+
The franchise hit a new low with Terminator Genisys, a silly adventure that more or less drops an atomic bomb on any semblance of continuity. The movie takes us back to 1984, AKA the events of the first movie, but everything is different now. Emilia Clarke is woefully miscast as the new Sarah Connor; Jai Courtney is a block of solid wood as the new Kyle Reese; Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a reprogrammed Terminator named “Pops”; and Jason Clarke is hamming it up big time as a version of John Connor who has been turned evil. Nothing here works. Nothing. Anyway, feel free to watch it on Paramount+!
Terminator: Dark Fate
Where to stream: Hulu and Paramount+
Poor Terminator: Dark Fate. This was the entry that brought James Cameron back – as producer. He also helped with the story. Linda Hamilton came back, too. And Mackenzie Davis is also here, running around beating the ever-loving crap out of people and looking great as she does it. But by this point, audiences had had enough of Terminator sequels and diminishing returns, and Dark Fate flopped. This sequel takes the Halloween 2018 approach, where it pretends a bunch of the other sequels didn’t happen. And while that’s probably a good idea, it’s still not enough to rescue the film.
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