Ranking Arnold Schwarzenegger's Movies, From 'Hercules' Through 'Terminator'

Chill out.

Arnold Schwarzenegger movies are a sub genre all on their own. Just browse the action hero's resumé and see for yourself: a big, beautiful mix of beat-'em-ups, sci-fi thrillers, out-and-out comedies, and more. Some of them are legendary for the right reasons, and others? Not so much.

This week, we add a new movie to the Schwarzenegger pantheon: "Terminator Genisys," the fifth film in the series, and Arnold's fourth in-person appearance as the time-traveling cyborg. We can't say where "Genisys" will place in the grand scheme of Arnold's work just yet, but we can at least organize his other efforts right now.

With that in mind, here's your definitive ranking of all of Arnold's starring roles over the years. Note that we're only including movies he's headlined personally, so the "Around the World in 80 Days" and "Expendables" films of the world are out of the running. This is the Schwarzenegger show, period, full stop.

Oh, and "Commando"? I'll rank you first.

  1. "Escape Plan"

    The long-in-the-making Schwarzenegger/Stallone team-up should have waited a little bit longer… as in, maybe never?

  2. "Collateral Damage"

    He's played some outside-the-box characters in his time, but Schwarzenegger's turn as a Los Angeles firefighter ripping through Colombia to avenge his family against a bunch of terrorists is pretty easily one of his most unconvincing turns.

  3. "End of Days"

    Scores points for creepy Gabriel Byrne Devil and one of Schwarzenegger's strangest character names: Jericho Caine. That's about it.

  4. "Hercules in New York"

    Arnold's first movie is not good. But it's worth seeking out for the legend alone.

  5. "Batman & Robin"
    Warner Bros.

    Saved from bottom of the barrel if only because Arnold's Mr. Freeze is finally endearing (and actually a little bit amazing) after almost two full decades on ice.

  6. "Red Sonja"

    The fact that Schwarzenegger isn't playing Conan here still makes almost no sense at all.

  7. "The 6th Day"

    I mean, how bad can Schwarzenegger playing "Twins" opposite himself actually be? Not awful, but who needs fair when you have Arnie shooting up bad guys while falling out of an airplane?

  8. "Sabotage"

    That hair, though.

  9. "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines"

    The weakest of Schwarzenegger's three released Terminator appearances thus far, "Rise of the Machines" still earns respect for containing one of the weirdest deleted scenes of all time.

  10. "Maggie"

    Schwarzenegger starring in a touching zombie drama is one of the more outside-the-box choices in his career, and it's a surprisingly powerful turn.

  11. "Eraser"

    Arnold vs James Caan does not seem like a fair fight on paper, but unfair can be awesome.

  12. "Conan the Destroyer"

    Cool it with the lamentation, everyone. You'll see Conan again much higher on the list.

  13. "Red Heat"

    Vanko. You're welcome.

  14. "Raw Deal"

    Insert obligatory "Only 16th place? What a raw deal!" joke here.

  15. "The Last Stand"

    Underrated! Schwarzenegger's first foray into moviemaking following his stint as Governator is actually solid, if not iconic. Seek it out if you haven't yet.

  16. "Junior"

    Pregnant Arnold is fantastic Arnold.

  17. "Jingle All The Way"

    Arnold vs Sinbad in a battle for Christmas supremacy. Not the best of the Arnold comedies, but still pretty turbo, man.

  18. "Running Man"

    An even better Arnold comedy than "Jingle All the Way."

  19. "Pumping Iron"

    The closest we'll ever get to The Terminator versus The Hulk.

  20. "Last Action Hero"

    Do not underestimate the famous comedian Arnold Braunschweiger.

  21. "Twins"

    All the purity and strength went into Arnold and Danny DeVito's 1988 team-up. There was no crap leftover.

  22. "Commando"

    Hey "Commando," remember when I told you that I would rank you first? I LIED.

  23. "The Terminator"

    The first sighting of the T-800 on this list. He'll be back.

  24. "True Lies"

    You could make the argument that this is the best Schwarzenegger movie for the scene where he death-punches Bill Paxton in the face, and I would not fight you on it.

  25. "Conan the Barbarian"

    If you don't think "Conan" deserves to be this high up, then TO HELL WITH YOU.

  26. "Total Recall"

    If you only know this science fiction thriller because of the Colin Farrell remake, then stop what you're doing and get your ass to Mars with Arnold.

  27. "Kindergarten Cop"

    Schwarzenegger's all-time best comedy ferrets its way into the top three. It's not just a movie. It's a princess.

  28. "Predator"

    This movie makes Schwarzenegger look like a sexual tyrannosaurus, and almost clinched the top spot, if not for the fact that "Predator" is as good as it is because of its epic ensemble of unreasonably muscular action heroes and its equally amazing villain. Instead, the top movie to get to the chopper is…

  29. "Terminator 2: Judgment Day"

    His all-time most iconic performance. As far as Schwarzenegger movies go, this will always be the one to beat.