The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
Though the production design is a bit flimsy at times, both the big ideas at work and director James Cameron's brilliance as a proactive, inventive filmmaker generate a powerful flow that cannot help but sweep viewers totally away.
Much of Terminator's greatness is due to its low-budget aesthetic and lo-fi energy; perhaps out of necessity, Cameron's sense of storytelling has a lean efficiency that both he and the series have long since abandoned.
You almost forget the film's flaws - like the cartoony look of the war-ravaged future. Here, the most absurd excursion is believable and we go along willingly - stopping now and then for a breath or a laugh.
Cameron maintains the heedless, non sequitur pace of a nightmare without resorting to cheap tactics. The frights of these nightmares, those cracked reflections of reality, hardly feel manufactured or inauthentic. And neither does "The Terminator."
Still a toss-up between The Terminator and Aliens as to which James Cameron picture ranks as his best, this propulsively exciting yarn about a murderous cyborg has long staked its claim as a classic -- science fiction or otherwise -- for the ages.