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Top 100 Movies Of The 1990's: #30 Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Box Office: $206.9 Million

Oscar Nominations: Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Makeup, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects

Oscar Wins: Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Makeup, Best Visual Effects

MovieRankings.Net: 96/100

Available To Stream: Paramount+

It's hard to explain to anyone who wasn't alive when T2 came out exactly how much it changed movies moving forward. If you watch The Abyss (which came out 2 years earlier), you sort of see the plan Cameron had in mind. The Abyss is an underwater sci-fi movies that tests out a lot of the special effects you'd see in T2 (especially the Robert Patrick metal stuff). I don't think The Abyss is a good movie but it's a wildly innovative one.

You could say the same kind of thing about the first Terminator movie. I don't think it holds up terribly well but it does a remarkable job setting up this world that T2 takes advantage of. At the time, it was the most expensive movie ever made and it really is on the screen. The effects are so good, they mostly hold up over 30 years later.

Giphy Images.

You're also getting Arnold Schwarzenegger at his absolute peak. Since the first Terminator, he had worked hard on turning himself into a better actor. It pays off here as you really care about an android. Linda Hamilton also gives the performance of her lifetime and physically turned herself into a total badass no one would want to fuck with. 

Robert Patrick wasn't supposed to play T-1000. It was supposed to be Billy Idol who would up getting hurt in a motorcycle accident right before filming. I find it hard to imagine that. Idol has so much personality even in his sneer. Patrick (who is also great in The Sopranos as Davey Scatino in Season 2) is perfect as this relentless force that just keeps trying to kill, kill, kill.

Giphy Images.

I'm guessing a lot of you might have this in your Top 10 so let me explain why I don't have it higher. It's less a quality issue and more a question of taste. This is an absolutely great sci-fi/action movie. If that's your favorite type of genre, this SHOULD be in your top 10. I'm just drawn more to other genres. 

Terminator 2, for all of its incredible strengths, is also far from a perfect movie. I like Edward Furlong here but he's far from great. His acting is inconsistent and really brings some scenes down. This is also a movie written by James Cameron so you're not getting great dialogue here. 

I admit I am absolutely cherry picking here. This is a fantastic movie. I know 30th sounds low but this for an entire decade. This is absolutely a great movie and one of the greatest sci-fi/action movies ever made. I'll own putting here on my personal list but if you have it much higher on yours, you won't get an argument from me.

30. Terminator 2: Judgement Day

31. Rounders

32. Unforgiven

33. Trainspotting

34. The Game

35. Out Of Sight

36. Carlito's Way

37. Seven

38. L.A. Confidential

39. Speed

40. Gattaca

41. Misery

42. Tombstone

43. Ransom

44. Wayne's World

45. The Insider

46. Back To The Future Part III

47. A Bronx Tale

48. The People Vs. Larry Flynt

49. Eyes Wide Shut

50. The Sandlot

51. Happy Gilmore

52. Contact

53. The Green Mile

54. Man On The Moon

55. Boyz N The Hood

56. Grosse Pointe Blank

57. Independence Day

58. The Rainmaker

59. Go

60. The Firm

61. Magnolia

62. The Talented Mr. Ripley

63. Tommy Boy

64. The Usual Suspects

65. In The Line Of Fire

66. My Cousin Vinny

67. Awakenings

68. JFK

69. Toy Story

70. Home Alone

71. Jerry Maguire

72. Titanic

73. Billy Madison

74. Apollo 13

75. Braveheart

76. Edward Scissorhands

77. Cape Fear

78. The River Wild

79. What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

80. 12 Monkeys

81. Stir Of Echoes

82. Mission: Impossible

83. Total Recall

84. Quiz Show

85. For Love Of The Game

86. Being John Malkovich

87. Men In Black

88. Scream

89. Alive

90. Three Kings

91. Glengarry Glen Ross

92. Die Hard With A Vengeance

93. The Blair Witch Project

94. Twister

95. Dirty Work

96. Election

97. Tremors

98. Any Given Sunday

99. The Wedding Singer

100. Clerks