Terminator 2: Judgment Day vs. The Terminator



Gonna go against the grain here Arnie's assault on the police station is brutal and michael biehn is just awesome and for me at least T2 suffers a little bit from seeing it too many times

This is tearing me apart. The story for T1 is stronger while the action and special effects are better in T2. I have to go with the original though because substance beats style.

I've been wondering when I'd get this particular matchup. Both films are phenomenal (Cameron is a genius), but I prefer T2.

I much prefer the poetic (yes, really) ending of T1 with the circular nature of the photograph, but for overall craftmanship (and the freedom afforded by a bigger budget) I have to go with 2.

Definitely T2.

Had to wait forever for this match-up as well. I love both but the orginal 'Terminator' really kept me glued to my seat from beginning to end, while a few moments in 'T2' my mind wandered a bit. Nothing agansit the film, just wasn't as gripping in my opinion.

There's an unfortunate trend where franchise films take themselves more seriously as they go along. THE TERMINATOR is one of the great campy shoot 'em up movies of it's era, while T2 is the victim of the aforementioned crippling disease. I get bored watching T2, but the original is still pretty cool.

This is an easy choice for most people. Not so much for me. I see it as a great action movie verses an equally great horror movie. I love both, it's really hard to choose.

I had a weird experience with these movies, sort of backwards, I watched T2 as a small child and when I was about 9 or 10, I finally caught The Terminator on tv and I was really confused, I remember thinking, "Why is Arnold the bad guy?!?"

I guess I missed out on the early twist of T2.


All the money in the world can't buy you happiness. This is a No-brainer.

i've never, never understood the preference for t2 over the original. the terminator was a perfect, self contained time travel paradox story that got more and more tied up in plot holes and inconsistances as it became expanded on and it started with t2 not t3.

i've never, never understood the preference for t2 over the original. the terminator was a perfect, self contained time travel paradox story that got more and more tied up in plot holes and inconsistances as it became expanded on and it started with t2 not t3.

Prefer the second film.

T2 just presents much more fun than the first one and Arnie is back as the true hero, thus I like it better. But T1 also is a very enjoyable movie.

I'm a big fan of the Terminator franchise, but the first one has always held a special place in my heart. And having to listen to Edward Furlong's squeaky voice just doesn't make up for the upgrade in the action sequences and superior special effects of T2.

Easy, Judgement Day

It's one of those inevitable choices flickchart has waiting for you. You know its coming, but you're never quite prepared for it when it finally shows up.

Judgment Day. The Terminator feels like a mindless action flick by comparison.

Terminator, definitely.

Of course its Terminator, for a plethora of reasons. First, it's not special effects-dependent, so it won't look nearly as stupid in the years to come (yes, the liquidy T-1000 looks STUPID now). Second, it doesn't have an annoying kid as its main character; in fact, take Arnold out of both, and Michael Biehn is clearly the best actor and plays the most interesting character of the remaining two casts. Third, the Terminator is one of the most terrifying characters ever - but when you make him Ed Furlong's Lil Buddie, he's not so scary anymore, and I'm sorry, but a soupy-metal shapeshifting The Thing wannabe just isn't as scary. Fourth, the assault on the police station is the best scene between the two, hands down. Fifth, the writing is tighter; Terminator is perfect in its time-travel paradox, and plays by its own rules, while the series seems to start to stretch its own plausibility as more and more characters start coming from the future, and that started with the sequel.

They are both great movies even though T-2 has better special effects i think terminator is the better movie because it has more excitement and the intensity than T-2

They are both great movies even though T-2 has better special effects i think terminator is the better movie because it has more excitement and the intensity than T-2

@admiralpiett: I see your Michael Biehn, and raise you Linda Hamilton in T2. She is frikking AWESOME in that movie, and makes me seriously wonder if she couldn't wipe the floor with Sigourney Weaver's Ripley from James Cameron's OTHER best movie, Aliens. Also, the T-1000 still holds up, and that has more to do with Stan Winston's outstanding creature effects than the 11 CGI shots. That's right: 19 years, an LOTR trilogy and an AVATAR later, the T-1000 still holds up. (I'm going to acknowledge that Furlong can be a little grating at points in the film, though.) Anyway you slice it, however, this is a battle.

Terminator 1,The 2nd one feels like a mess.

Very hard choice. T2 was a stable of my teen years, but I gotta give it to the original. A simple, powerfully executed classic.

I'm voting for T2 because the terminators are more realistic and the action feels more intense. Still the police station scene from the first one is brutal :)

Having watched T2 again just a couple of weeks ago, I still say the CGI holds up. Movie still looks great. I am, however, starting to question the fact that I have it higher than Aliens in my Top 10....

Edward Furlong is one of the most annoying young actors I've ever seen in any movie. Linda Hamilton's character in Terminator 2 is such an obnoxious survivalist wackjob that Schwarzenegger's "restrained" performance was a blessing. I don't care if Terminator 2 was bigger and flashier, because it's certainly not better. The original movie has more likable and believable protagonists, and isn't bogged down by lousy humor. I wanted Sarah Connor to succeed in The Terminator, but in Terminator 2 I couldn't care less. I just wanted the noise to end.

Terminator 2 is better than The Terminator, despite Edward Furlong's whiny voice. Arnold Schwarzenegger is perfect in the sequel.

Terminator is a far tighter, more focused picture; the chase is well paced and there is enough affecting character beats from Kyle Reese & Sarah Connor to give the movie heart. T2 is bigger in every respect, but is messier in it's pacing, it's story feels distracted and the character beats feel more forced. It's still one of THE best action blockbusters of all time, but I side with the streamlined, intense


I prefer the mean and lean Arnie of T1.

In the theater for T1: When the terminator shows up at the first Sarah Connor's house, there's the toy truck in the street, a car tire runs over it, door opens and a big boot steps out. The whole theater yelled "ARNOLD!" Moments like that are what I love about going to the movies. ----Anyway T1 is my choice.

@johnmason: Agree to disagree with Linda Hamilton vs. Michael Biehn; I'll just say that, while Hamilton is a fine actor, Cameron seems to be obsessed with the whole ass-kicking, Tomb Raider-ish female character in most of his movies, and sometimes it becomes a tad bit ridiculous. Biehn, on the other hand, was trained from an early age to fight terminators, so his abilities seem plausable, at least to me. Although all I did is rag on it in my earlier comment, I should note that I enjoyed T2 (primarily for its great action sequences), just not nearly as much as the first, which I believe to be Cameron's best film, hands down. Maybe this just makes me a James Cameron hater, but I believe it is because he made it before he started falling prey to all the indulgent excesses his later fame brought him, especially shambling writing and ham-fisted moral posturing, both of which pop up a bit in T2 but are cranked to 11 on movies like The Abyss and Avatar. The first film feels ingeniously claustrophobic, something no other Cameron movie (not even The Abyss) comes close to doing. Both Arnold and the taught script move forward with terrifying efficiency; T2, on the other hand, feels like it winds around its simple plot, introducing unnecessary elements and characters that add little to the overall story. Also, the Terminator is essentially a brilliantly modernized version of the Frankenstein monster: a creature that appears human but lacks the physical weaknesses and sense of morality inherent to all humans. As a human playing a machine, no one approaches Schwarzenegger in believability and thus, terror; so when you suddenly make such a frightening villain the new "good guy", it not only seems like a non sequitur but does damage to the mystique of the original, much in the way Star Wars: Ep. I-III do damage to the Darth Vader character and The Matrix: Reloaded and Revolutions do damage to the Agent Smith character. T2 is flawed; the Terminator is not.

Haven't seen the original Terminator in years, but I remember liking 2 way more. Rewatched it countless times.

The Terminator is much better than the second one.


I second the motion.

The final countdown. Me and my dad argue about this one all the time. This is one that could definitely go either way, but T2 wins it out for me. The Liquid metal terminator blew my mind the first time I saw it, and I still consider it the best use of CGI ever.

@admiralpiett: You have some interesting points. And, of course, I don't like to come across as ragging on T1, either, because I love it. You certainly have a point about Cameron's excesses; when I read about him being asked if he would ever do a 2-D movie again, and commenting "Why would I do that?", I cringed. But for me, his slip happened after Titanic became the monster success that it was. I love The Abyss, for example. When it comes to the Terminator being the "good guy" in the second movie, I can only imagine that that was a fantastic twist in the theaters in '91. In fact, I probably saw T2 a couple of times before I even watched T1 the first time... Anyway, I love both. (Need to watch T1 again, as a matter of fact...)

I guess if I had seen T2 before T1, I might have like it better, just because Arnold's look is so iconic whichever role (hero or villain) comes first is probably set in your mind as the default. I don't agree with it, but I definitely see where you're coming from.

Yes, now that I think about it: Nostalgia definitely has to be a factor for me here. I'm sure I probably didn't see T1 until I was well into my teens, while I know I would have seen at least bits and pieces of T2 (even on TV or something, when my parents didn't know) when I was younger. And, of course, at the time, I would have thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. One thing I love about it is how the CGI still holds up today. It doesn't look nearly so dated as T1 does now. (I know; such a superficial thing.)

While both great movies, T2 wins out. T1 is essentially a slasher flick with a sci-fi twist. The effects and premise were ahead of its time, but the plot and characters are more shallow. T2 on the other hand is so much more. It expounds upon the time travel paradox introduced at the end of the original while exploring the new theme of fate vs. choice. It adds a couple of very interesting character relationships, including the reversed storytelling convention of John teaching the terminator. And, of course, the action sequences are terrific with effects and stunts that still hold up today. T2 works as a horror, action, sci-fi, and even buddy flick.

No doubt for me, T2 wins! The characters are so great compared to the first one and the whole story starts unfolding! It's really one of my favorite movies of all-time.

T1 is such a badass film,but T2 is definitely the better one,i love them both.

Fuck you, asshole!

T2 is so much better. It would be impossible to make a terminator movie better than this one

Christ this is a hard one. Both redefined the action genre, and both are amazing. I don't even want to choose. Arghh!! T2 there, I did it. Just because Brad Fiedels' score outdoes the first movie

The original is the best if you ask me, there's a lot more substance to it and originality gives it the edge. I think they're about even in terms of action and effects, T2 upped the scale but not the style. On top of that Schwarzenegger is much better as a cold blooded killer than he is as a bodyguard.


Terminator 2. The artistic depth of the movie and character development of Arnold's character hook me in every time.

T2....I dare to say that it is simply the better film.

I'm going to stand up for T1. It was more like an action horror film, whereas I think T2 was more action based. I liked the T1000 as a villain, so I've always preferred the first, even though T2 is probably a better movie.

Technically a tough decision & there's a lot of valid points made about how tighter & leaner T1 is but my heart says Judgment Day is the best. Would we have really been happy leaving the Terminator story as it was? The sequel builds on a fantastic foundation & very neatly rounds up all the loose ends, expanding on the theme of fate as Sarah decides to take it into her own hands, "No Fate But What You Make". Linda Hamilton's overall performance was way more intriguing than her dolly-bird character of the first movie & arguably much more interesting than Michael Biehn's time-traveling bodyguard. The original movie was a great 80's sci-fi/action movie but Terminator 2: Judgment Day will forever be part of movie history because of the massive advances made in stunt-work & CGI, which went hand in hand with a thrilling, action-filled story filled with well-rounded & interesting characters. It's just a shame Arnie came back afterwards...

T2. Robert Patrick's villain is so much better than Arnie's. It's also near perfect.

You shouldn't have said "hasta la vista"! Judgment day has come!

Some people like Terminator better then Terminator 2: Judgment Day (T2) others don't... For me they are both good, and much better then the other Terminator movies out there (including the series). That said, I have to go with T2 here. It got one of the best villains ever made, some of the best music ever made for movies and some of the most remembered quotes taken from movies ("hasta la vista, baby", "I'll be back").

T1, original and best.

T1, no question.

Terminator 1 wins. Just enjoyed it more. I tend to like simpler stuff.

T2. I've watched it more times than T1 and find the action more exciting. I enjoy Linda Hamilton's role in this one, we need more female action-heroes like her (and Ripley in Aliens).

I liked The Terminator better, it had faster pacing making it more of a thriller while T2 was more just straight up action. I also think that Arnold made a better villian.

its T1

My choice is the original. T1

There are not many sequels I'd take over the original. Terminator 2, however, is one of the exceptions.

The themes, characters, performances, action, and FX in T2 terminated anything T1 had to offer a long time ago. Although I am a fan of Michael Biehn, "I say we take off, nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

T2 by far.

T-1000 and great characters is what makes T2 better.

Terminator 2 seems like the blueprint of all modern blockbusters to me, so I've got something personal against it.

arnold schwarzenegger is better in the first one and there pretty equal as far as action.But two has a bigger and more engaging story

part one

Both are amazing, but in the end T2 has a more complex plot which I like, Judgement Day wins.

T2. It's a far more entertaining picture.

Haha never thought id get this matchup up, the terminator films are amazing except for the 4th one. Terminator 2 is the best and always will be, its one of few sequels that are actually better than the original, the action, and writing and the directing of the 2nd film was just soooo much better than the first and a lot more fun to watch.

T2 relied a lot on special effects and long action sequences, but I found the original more interesting.


I agree withe everything @admiralpiett has mentioned. It took me a while to realize that in fact The Terminator was indeed a stronger, more focused, intimate and intense film than Judgment Day. For the longest time I had The Terminator outside of my top 100, while Judgement Day hovered around my top 70. After giving it a lot of thought, I came to the conclusion that I allowed the opinion of others to influence how I really felt about both films. While both are classics, I strongly believe The Terminator is an overall better movie.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day is alot better than The Terminator for me. So, Terminator 2: Judgement Day wins this time.

Judgment Day was a massive step up from The Terminator.

this 2 movies are soooo close...but terminator 2 is better for me...for the visual effects....and for tha last scene.

T1 is superb but T2 is T2 and is even better....Cameron's best is T2 in my eyes

Terminator 2: Judgement Day is the best and it is even alot better than Terminator 1.

One of the few sequels that is better than the original. But i still adore T1

They are so close but I have to go with T2 if only because of the awful sound effects in the first one (both the original mono and the 5.1 remix). Schwarzenegger's best performance ever is definitely in the original, but as to who makes a better villain: that's a close one too.

I loved the action in T1 and the story for it. I also loved the action for T2 but i didnt like the story as much. I prefer T1.

I liked T1 better

Both are absolutely amazing. I think T2 is the better film.

T2, no contest.

T1 is great but T2 is even better.

Oh come on, T2 is definitely better than T1, in every possible way.

Terminator 2. It raised the stakes, added more character development, and had the better, more complex story. Everything a sequel should do was done for that film. In my opinion, it's the 2nd best sequel ever made right behind The Empire Strikes Back. Love both, but the answer will always be T2. Well, at least for me.

Terminator 2 wasn't only ahead of his time in terms of special effects, but as a movie was much better than Terminator 2. It's the movie I've seen the most times in my life... and it never gets old. Everything is amazing. The Terminator was definitely no slouch, but it wasn't on par either.

T1 was great, but T2 is even better. T2 just may be the best pure action/sci-fi of all time.

I prefer Arnie in T1 all the way!

Terminator is one of the great technological movies ever created. While the original is the better story with the better script and the better acting, you cannot deny the production of T2 and it's influences on future cinematic advances. Ultimately, that is what does make the sequel better in this case.

Even though Part 2 is a childhood favorite, Part 1 is my pick.

The second matchup I get for ranking Terminator 2 is this one. Interesting. I loved every single second of Terminator 2. So much better than the first one, which I did really like as well, just not nearly as much as the second one. The first Terminator is a cool showcase of pure 80s cinema, but Terminator 2 is more like the ultimate action film. James Cameron, man, the guy knows what he's doing.

I like both equally

T2 by alot

Cameron is a smart director, because he knows that the only way to make a brilliant sequel is to distance it from the original. He did that with Aliens -- which is nothing like Ridley Scott's Alien -- and he also did that with T2. The Terminator was scarier, darker and meaner than Terminator 2, but Judgment Day had better production values. That means better special effects, better fight and chase scenes and nicer locations to shoot the action sequences. All being said, I'll go with the original Terminator, because it's unanticipated success was the reason Cameron was trusted with so much money to make the amazing T2.

T2 improves on The Terminator in everyway.

Maybe I'm in the Minority, but I prefer the original


T2 by far.

T2 all the way.

Easy choice! Terminator first

I like T2 more.It is without a doubt the greatest action movie ever and comfortably seats at my top 20.

The original is far better. Hell, T3 is better than T2. Fact.

^ Never

Terminator is great, but T2 ruined it.

I love both but T2 has aged better and had more of an emotional impact on me

Same make. Same movie. New quality.

Terminator 2

I love both. The sequel is better at many aspects (Budget,effects,even tried to seem more complex and deeper) but there´s something in which the first one is the best. The feeling of danger and threat. In the sequel, there are two ciborgs one agains other, they can beat, kick and shoot each other but both are machine. The first one shows human vs a machine which has no remorse, no pity, no feelings, it seems unstoppable and indestructible and that is what makes it more creepy and scared, Its just like a horror film in many ways, like Mike Myers or Freddy coming to an particular victim

I actually have to pick the original here. I love T-2, unfortunately the kid wears on my over time and I love Arnold as a bad guy.

The best two movies of all time. As a 1-2 punch, these two go p against the best and win most of the time. This plot is so amazing but it's the first one that is the winner because it introduced us to the best action star who ever lived.

T2 is the better one of the two Terminator movies (All the other ones are non-canon garbage.)

Both great but T2 takes this one

Terminator 2: Judgement day is far more preeminent of much greatness story and watchable besides Terminator the first film.

Both awesome, T2 is best Terminator movie all time but T1 is close second

Terminator II Is simply the better film.

T2 definitely.

Both are amazing but I love the original more!

Definitely the sequel is value good.

I love the first because Arnold is such a great villain, he worked better than as the hero

The sequel

Judgment Day is a much better film.

An almost impossible choice for me. T1 is more dark and scary and original. T2 had better style, script and of course special effect. I am flipping a coin.

Terminator 2 was epic but you can't beat the original which gave the idea and had the perfect horror/tense/thriller feeling.

As for sure judgement day is easily the best sequel in the entire terminator franchise.

As for sure judgement day is easily the best sequel in the entire terminator franchise.

ah yes the only two good movies in the terminator franchise

Definitely the second film is indeed nominal best here.

I love both, and could see either one winning today, and I could vote the other way on rewatch. For now, I'll go with the original.

Terminator 2 is easily the best Terminator film.

T2 is much better, but these are the only 2 great Terminator movies

Honestly, there are a few things the first did better than the second. The first one has a more cyberpunk feel to it and it had a better plot. However 2 is better as it had a better villain, better protagonist, better vfx, and it was more fun.

Terminator 1 for me. The story is great and I think Arnie is better as a villain. Besides, I’d say it’s more iconic. I mean, the police station, I’ll be back, and the reveal of the metal skeleton. Also, the car chase(s) are killer.