It’s hard to imagine the world of action films without Arnold Schwarzenegger’s larger-than-life presence. From his breakout role as the titular character in 1984’s “The Terminator” to his memorable turns as Dutch in “Predator” and Conan in “Conan the Barbarian,” Schwarzenegger has left an indelible mark on the genre. 

With a career spanning over four decades and numerous iconic performances under his belt, it’s no wonder that Schwarzenegger is considered one of the best actors in the business. In this article, we’ll be ranking the best Arnold Schwarzenegger movies of all time. But with so many classic films to choose from, how do you decide which ones deserve the top spots? We’ve considered box office success, critical acclaim, and cultural impact to determine the definitive list of the best Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

Top 10 Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies

It is clear that Arnold Schwarzenegger has had a long and successful career in Hollywood, starring in a wide range of films that have garnered critical acclaim and box office success. Hence, when it comes to ranking the best Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, it can be difficult to narrow it down to just a few, but the films listed in this article are certainly some of his most memorable and impressive. 

Here are the 10 best Arnold Schwarzenegger movies of all time based on box office success, critical acclaim, and cultural impact.

1. “The Terminator” (1984)

The Terminator (1984) Official Trailer - Arnold Schwarzenegge Movie

This classic sci-fi film made Arnold Schwarzenegger a household name and established him as a major action star. The movie’s memorable catchphrases, groundbreaking special effects, and taut storytelling have made it a fan favorite for decades. It’s no surprise that the film was a huge box office success, grossing over $78 million against a budget of $6.5 million.

2. “Predator” (1987)

Predator | #TBT Trailer | 20th Century FOX

In this classic action-horror film, Schwarzenegger leads a team of soldiers on a mission to rescue a group of missing CIA agents. Along the way, they encounter an alien predator that stalks them one by one. The movie’s tension-filled script and impressive special effects have made it a fan favorite, and it has inspired numerous sequels and spin-offs.

3. “Conan the Barbarian” (1982)

Conan the Barbarian 1982 Trailer | Arnold Schwarzenegger

This epic fantasy film sees Schwarzenegger taking on the role of Conan, a barbarian warrior on a quest for revenge. The movie’s impressive fight scenes, sweeping score, and memorable one-liners have made it a fan favorite, and it has spawned numerous sequels and a 2011 reboot.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About “The Legend of Conan”

4. “Total Recall” (1990)

TOTAL RECALL TRAILER 1990

This science fiction action film follows Schwarzenegger as Douglas Quaid, a man who begins to believe that his entire life is a dream. The movie’s impressive special effects, memorable characters, and twisty plot have made it a fan favorite, and it has inspired a 2012 reboot.

5. “Kindergarten Cop” (1990)

Kindergarten Cop: Clips + Trailer

This family-friendly comedy sees Schwarzenegger taking on the role of John Kimble, a tough-as-nails detective who goes undercover as a kindergarten teacher to catch a drug dealer. The movie’s mix of action and comedy has made it a fan favorite, and it has inspired a sequel and a reboot.

6. “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)

TERMINATOR 2 - New Trailer - Official (2015)

This highly-acclaimed sequel to “The Terminator” sees Schwarzenegger reprising his role as the titular character, who is sent back in time to protect John Connor, the future leader of the human resistance against the machines. The movie’s impressive special effects and memorable characters have made it a fan favorite, and it has inspired numerous sequels and spin-offs.

7. “The Running Man” (1987)

The Running Man (1987) Trailer Remastered HD

In this science fiction action film, Schwarzenegger plays Ben Richards, a wrongly convicted man who must participate in a deadly game show in order to win his freedom. The movie’s fast-paced plot and memorable one-liners have made it a fan favorite, and it has inspired a 2013 film adaptation.

8. “Conan the Destroyer” (1984)

Conan the Destroyer (1984) Official Trailer - Arnold Schwarzenegger Action Movie HD

This sequel to “Conan the Barbarian” sees Schwarzenegger reprising his role as Conan, who is hired by a princess to find a magical artifact. The movie’s impressive fight scenes and epic score have made it a fan favorite, and it has inspired numerous spin-offs.

9. “True Lies” (1994)

True Lies Trailer | Arnold Schwarzenegger Jamie Lee Curtis | Throwback Trailers

This action comedy sees Schwarzenegger playing Harry Tasker, a secret agent who must go undercover to protect his family from terrorists. The movie’s mix of action and comedy has made it a fan favorite, and it has inspired a TV series adaptation.

10. “The Last Action Hero” (1993)

Last Action Hero Trailer | Arnold Schwarzenegger | Throwback Trailer

This action comedy sees Schwarzenegger playing Jack Slater, a fictional action hero who is transported into the real world. The movie’s mix of action and comedy has made it a fan favorite, and it has inspired numerous spin-offs.

Other Titles on the Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies List 

  • The Commandment (1985)
  • Red Heat (1988)
  • Raw Deal (1986)
  • Twins (1988)
  • The Expendables (2010)
  • The Expendables 2 (2012)
  • Escape Plan (2013)
  • Escape Plan 2: Hades (2018)
  • Sabotage (2014)
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
  • Terminator Salvation (2009)
  • Terminator Genisys (2015)
  • The Terminator (2019)
  • The 6th Day (2000)
  • Junior (1994)
  • Eraser (1996)
  • Batman & Robin (1997)
  • Collateral Damage (2002)
  • The Rundown (2003)
  • Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
  • The Kid & I (2005)
  • The Governator (2012)
  • Maggie (2015)
  • Aftermath (2017)
  • Killing Gunther (2017)

Learn More About the Best Movies and Shows on BuddyTV 

Whether you’re a fan of action, comedy, or science fiction, there is likely a Schwarzenegger film on the above list that will appeal to you. Keep checking BuddyTV for more movie suggestion articles like this one. Eager to know which movies to look out for in 2023? Check this article “30 Most Anticipated Movies of 2023.”