1985 | 108 minutes | Rated R
The best science-fiction films are found in the last three decades of the 20th century. The best decade of that period is without question the 1980s. And one of the highest achievements of 1980s-era sci-fi cinema is The Terminator, James Cameron’s film about a robot that’s sent from the future to kill the mother of a human rebel leader. True, the plot makes no sense. If the robot succeeds in killing the rebel leader’s mother, it will not just be the death of the rebellion but also the creation of a completely different temporal trajectory that begins at the point that the rebel leader’s mother’s life is terminated. And how that path unfolds is completely unknown. Though its philosophy of time is weak, the motor that drives the film’s story is powerful. There is not one dull moment in The Terminator, which made Arnold Schwarzenegger a household name.
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