8 Best Arnold Schwarzenegger Action Movies (Ranked)

Credit - Tri-Star Pictures

If someone was the action star of the 90s it has to be Arnold Schwarzenegger. The American star is one of the best action stars of all time because he truly represented what everybody wanted from an action star at the time. The actor has been involved in many iconic movies that have been in the conversation for many years and in those movies, the action star has gone up against killing machines, aliens, and robots. So, here are the 10 best Arnold Schwarzenegger action movies.

8. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

Best Arnold Schwarzenegger Action Movies
Credit – Tri-Star Pictures

Synopsis: A decade has passed since John Connor (Nick Stahl) helped save humankind from mass destruction. Now 25, Connor lives “off the grid:” no home, credit cards, cell phone or job. No way he can be traced by Skynet, the highly developed network of machines that once tried to kill him and wage war on humanity. Until the appearance of the T-X (Kristanna Loken), Skynet’s most sophisticated killing machine yet. Sent back through time to complete the job left unfinished by her predecessor, this machine is as relentless as her human guise is beautiful. Now Connor’s only hope is the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), his mysterious former assassin. Together, they must triumph over the technologically superior T-X and forestall the looming threat of Judgment Day… or face the fall of civilization as we know it.

7. Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Best Arnold Schwarzenegger Action Movies
Credit – Universal Pictures

Synopsis: Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in the original action-packed epic adventure Conan the Barbarian. Following his parents’ savage murder, young Conan (Schwarzenegger) is captured by the cold-blooded Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) and spends the next fifteen years in agony, first chained to the Wheel of Pain and then enslaved as a Pit Fighter. Rather than allowing this brutal fate to conquer him, Conan builds an incomparable body and an indomitable spirit—both of which he needs when he suddenly finds himself a free man. Aided by his companions Subotai the Mongol (Gerry Lopez) and Valeria, Queen of Thieves (Sandahl Bergman), Conan sets out to solve the “riddle of steel,” seize ultimate power and, finally, take revenge on the warlord who killed his family.

6. Commando (1985)

Best Arnold Schwarzenegger Action Movies
Credit – 20th Century Fox

Synopsis: In this early action classic that features his unique blend of thrills and offbeat humor, Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Col. John Matrix, ultimate soldier and one-man army. Matrix, the former leader of a special commando strike force that always got the toughest jobs done, is forced back into action when his young daughter (Alyssa Milano) is kidnapped. To find her, Matrix has to fight his way through an array of punks, killers, one of his former commandos, and a fully equipped private army. With the help of a feisty stewardess (Rae Dawn Chong) and an old friend, Matrix has only a few hours to overcome his greatest challenge: finding his daughter before she’s killed.

5. The Running Man (1987)

Best Arnold Schwarzenegger Action Movies
Credit – Tri-Star Pictures

Synopsis: Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Ben Richards, a cop in the totalitarian America of 2019, framed for massacring rioting civilians during a famine. After escaping from jail, Richards tries to prove his innocence, but his efforts are thwarted at every turn by a regime in need of a scapegoat. Richards is captured along with an innocent civilian, Amber Mendez (Maria Conchita Alonso), and they are forced to participate in a violent game show called “The Running Man,” hosted by the unctuous Damon Killian (Richard Dawson). The object of the game for Richards and Mendez: obtain freedom by staying alive against a gauntlet of skillful assassins like “Subzero” (Prof. Toru Tanaka) and “Captain Freedom” (Jesse Ventura), each armed with unique weapons like razor-sharp hockey sticks and chainsaws. With the help of some fellow “contestants,” Richards is able to tap into government computers and prove his innocence. The Running Man was very loosely based on a short story by Stephen King, who wrote it under the name Richard Bachman.

4. Total Recall (1990)

Credit – Tri-Star Pictures

Synopsis: A construction worker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) plagued by dreams of Mars visits an agency that implants virtual vacation memories. However, when the procedure backfires, he realizes he was once a secret agent whose memory was wiped – and now he must travel to Mars for real.

3. Predator (1988)

Credit – 20th Century Fox

Synopsis: Major Dutch Schaefer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is the leader of a military rescue unit looking for allies captured by guerrillas in the Latin American jungle. At first it seems like any other mission: Schaefer and his team of seasoned combat veterans spot a guerilla camp, destroy it, and find the men they were sent to rescue executed. But when Schaefer attempts to lead his unit out, with a captured guerrilla in tow, something horrifying and inexplicable begins to happen: One by one the men are killed by a mysterious adversary – a Predator from another world.

2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Best Arnold Schwarzenegger Action Movies
Credit – Tri-Star Pictures

Synopsis: Sarah Connor’s ordeal is only just beginning as she struggles to protect her son John, the future leader of the human resistance against the machines, from a new Terminator, sent back in time to eliminate John Connor while he’s still a child. The human resistance have managed to send them an ally, a warrior from the future ordered to protect John Connor at any cost.

1. The Terminator (1984)

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Credit – TriStar Pictures

Synopsis: A cyborg is sent from the future to assassinate a young woman who is destined to give birth to a son who will become the key to saving humanity. Directed by James Cameron.

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