Terminator 3 - Rise of the Machines (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

Terminator 3 - Rise of the Machines (2003)



Critic Consensus: Although T3 never reaches the heights of the second movie, it is a welcome addition to the Terminator franchise.

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Movie Info

The second sequel to the 1984 sci-fi action classic, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is the first film without the involvement of director James Cameron. Instead, Jonathan Mostow, the man behind Breakdown and U-571, has stepped in to fill the shoes left vacant by Cameron. In addition, the role of John Connor from the second film has been recast, with In the Bedroom's Nick Stahl taking over for Edward Furlong. Set ten years after the events of 1991's Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the film finds Connor living on the streets as a common laborer. Sarah Connor, his mother, has since died, and their efforts in the second film have not stopped the creation of SkyNet artificial intelligence network. As he will still become the leader of the human resistance, Connor is once again targeted by a Terminator sent from the future by SkyNet. This new Terminator, T-X (Kristanna Loken), is a female and is more powerful than any of her predecessors. To protect Connor, the human resistance sends a new T-101 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back from the future. Also starring Claire Danes, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines had its world premiere when it showed out of competition at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.

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Nick Stahl
as John Connor
Claire Danes
as Kate Brewster
David Andrews
as Robert Brewster
Mark Famiglietti
as Scott Petersen
Earl Boen
as Dr. Peter Silberman
Chopper Bernet
as Chief Engineer
Christopher Lawford
as Brewster's Aide
Timothy Dowling
as Paramedic Stevens
Carolyn Hennesy
as Rich Woman
Jay Acavone
as Cop - Westside Street
Jay Acovone
as Cop, Westside Street
M.C. Gainey
as Roadhouse Bouncer
Susan Merson
as Roadhouse Clubgoer No. 1
Elizabeth Morehead
as Roadhouse Clubgoer No. 2
Billy Lucas
as Angry Man
Brian Sites
as Bill Anderson
Alana Curry
as Bill Anderson's Girlfriend
Larry McCormick
as KTLA Anchorman
Robert Alonzo
as Jose Barrera
Michael Papajohn
as Paramedic No. 1
Tim Dowling
as Paramedic Stevens
Jon Foster
as Gas Station Cashier
Mark Hicks
as Detective Martinez
Kim Robillard
as Detective Edwards
Matt Gerald
as SWAT Team Leader
William O'Leary
as Mr. Smith
Rick Zief
as Mr. Jones
Rebecca Tilney
as Laura the CRS Tech
Chris Hardwick
as 2nd Engineer
Helen Eigenberg
as 3rd Engineer
Kiki Gorton
as Roadhouse Clubgoer No. 3
Walter von Huene
as CRS Victim
Jerry Katell
as CRS Executive
Rick Zieff
as Mr. Jones
George E. Sack Jr.
as Semi Truck Driver
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Critic Reviews for Terminator 3 - Rise of the Machines

All Critics (205) | Top Critics (42)

Perhaps wisely, Mostow doesn't try to outdo James Cameron. His sequel has a B-movie spirit--swift, punchy, tongue often in cheek. ...at its screeching, wall-breaking best, "T3" achieves heavy-metal slapstick.

March 12, 2018
Top Critic

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines tells the simple yet compelling story of a very old piece of equipment that refuses to go away. Its name is Arnold Schwarzenegger, and, as famously promised, he's back, and at his anticharismatic best, too.

July 8, 2003 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Wastes no time getting very loud and very silly and never really lets up.

July 8, 2003

A lean, efficient, amusing action picture, T3 isn't a patch on its predecessors, but delivers polished genre entertainment nonetheless.

July 8, 2003 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A sizable quotient of the movie's target audience just wants to see stuff destroyed, and in that regard Rise of the Machines won't disappoint.

July 4, 2003 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

It's not as taut or surprising as the first installment. And it's not as resonant or ambitious as the second, but Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines still manages to kick plenty of butt.

July 3, 2003 | Rating: B

Audience Reviews for Terminator 3 - Rise of the Machines

An unnecessary third movie that only repeats the formula of the one before, with unstoppable (and even tiresome) action for those who enjoy seeing cyborgs destroying an entire city - and it is easy to notice how it destroys the continuity of the series.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Unwanted and unnecessary, "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" is the third instalment of the "Terminator" lore, and while it does continue the franchise story leading up to Judgement Day, they go pretty distant from the first two films. Having Arnold back actually made this laughably bad, because he is almost parodying the best bits of the originals and fighting off a lady terminator. Getting rid of iconic characters like Sarah Connor by saying she died of cancer was such an easy way out that I just let it go, but when your film relies on cheap pyrotechnics and bad dialogue to drive the film, yeah, you're in for a real treat. In the end, "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" is not an insult to the originals, but more of an insult to your intelligence. It has a few nice moments, but the action is too dumb and the characters decisions are very questionable. This movie is meh at best, but on a pure entertainment scale, I have no proble turning my brain off to enjoy.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


Almost a soulless robot from the future all by itself, many scenes from the first two simply reheated (with only Ah-nold's dubious charisma to deadlift this one off the ground into tolerable territory). Only this robot doesn't kill, it lulls you into a state of desultory complacency with a less than interested script. Stahl and Danes simultaneously convey excitement for being part of a franchise monster while being embarrassed reciting dreck.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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