Top 5 Films Starring Arnold “ARG@HHH!” Schwarzenegger

Written by Josh Litman November 12, 2011

Those who know me know that Arnold Schwarzenegger is my favourite actor of all time. And it isn’t because I think he’s the best actor out there (LOL), but rather the most consistently entertaining. Extraordinary charisma, hilarious line delivery (admittedly due, in part, to his Austrian accent), the way he says “ARGHHH”…there’s just no actor who compares in terms of sheer entertainment value. So join me now as I count down the top 5 films starring the former governator.

5. Jingle All the Way (1996)

TURBO MAN!!! Some of you may be surprised to see Jingle All the Way on this list given its ludicrously low score on Rotten Tomatoes. Well, to that I say… F*CK ROTTEN TOMATOES! Jingle All the Way is not only hilarious, but it’s a Christmas classic matched only by Home Alone and Die Hard. And that’s saying something coming from a Jew…at least, I think it’s saying something. Anyway, it’s the classic story of a comically-out-of-place Austrian-American father on a mission to do right by his son — who feels neglected due to Daddy never keeping his promises — by nearly killing himself competing with another father in a highly entertaining search for a doll…a TURBO MAN doll, that is! Trust me, it’s a blast — and MORE than deserving of a place on this list.

4. Predator (1987)

“I ain’t got time to bleed.” Predator follows Dutch (Arnold) and his team sent into the jungle to rescue another team from…whatever, the point is they wind up being hunted for sport by some…thing. What makes Predator so freaking awesome — other than the whole ‘group getting picked off one by one’ scenario — is that this mysterious hunter is a formidable threat, with technology that appears to outmatch that of Dutch and his team. And so, of course, when Arnold finally starts kicking some major ass, it makes it that much more satisfying knowing what he’s up against. The triumphant blend of action, sci-fi, and horror elements make Predator a fine killing machine of a film.

3. True Lies (1994 )

“Have you ever killed anyone?” “Yeah, but they were all bad…” Arnold Schwarzenegger as James Bond — this is the closest you’re ever going to get. Directed by James Cameron, True Lies is one hell of a fun ride. It’s packed to the brim with action, yet manages equal amounts of comedy. And while it might not be saying a whole lot, True Lies proves Arnold a more than capable actor — that is, not simply an action hero, but an actor with…you know, real acting talent…and stuff. But best of all, the classic Arnold one-liners are here in full blast and more entertaining than ever. So sit back, grab a bag of whatever junk food you have on hand, and enjoy the crap out of this movie like it was meant to be.

2. Total Recall (1990)

“See you at the party, Richter!” Welcome to the smartest movie Arnold’s ever had the privilege of starring in — otherwise known as “Arnold Goes to Mars.” Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi action flick has a great concept backing it; and Arnold’s awesome one-liners simply make everything better, don’t they? Total Recall has a similar satiric feel to Paul Verhoeven’s other films, such as Robocop and Starship Troopers, but I’d wager it’s even sharper than those two classics. It’s also just as entertainingly (and thankfully) violent. I only wish films like this were still made (…and don’t be snarky and point out the pointless remake on the way).

1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

“Come with me if you want to live.” And here it is: Numero Uno is a number 2— not only Arnold’s best film, but arguably the best sci-fi action movie ever made. This is James Cameron’s true masterpiece. Given how solid the first Terminator was, it’s a miracle Judgment Day didn’t catch sequelitis. Yet somehow, it bucked the trend and delivered the goods — and then some. Arnold’s the good guy (er, robot/cyborg) in this one, sent back in time to protect Sarah Connor and her son John so that he might still grow up to be leader of the resistance against the machines. What, that doesn’t sound AWESOME to you? Please go do yourself a favour and die. Anywho, while Arnold is pretty bad-ass, it’s Robert Patrick who steals the show as the new and improved T1000 — a villainous terminator who will stop at nothing to scare the sh*t out of you…and kill a little boy. Terminator 2 delivered state-of-the-art special effects when it first hit theatres in 1991 (e.g., the T1000’s metallic morphing ability) — and the effects still hold up today. The action is nearly non-stop, and yet the film still finds time to deliver a touching, haunting story. If you haven’t seen Terminator 2 yet, go drown yourself…and then have someone revive you so you can watch it in all its glory. Arnold’s best movie, bar none.

Honorable Mention: Last Action Hero (1993)

“To be or not to be…NOT to be.” I had to add this one in here as I can’t stand the bad rap it gets, critically. Last Action Hero is not only a childhood favourite of mine, it’s simply an incredibly creative and original film. Here, Schwarzenegger knowingly pokes fun at his action hero facade. First, a magic ticket draws movie-loving-kid Danny into the world of the new Jack Slater (Arnold) film, whereby he tries to convince Jack that he’s a character in a movie. Then later, Jack Slater, the character is brought into the real world, whereby he meets the actor (Schwarzenegger) who plays him and frets that he’s only a fictional character. It’s ridiculous, but awesome and original nonetheless. The only downside is how annoying Danny is. But forget that for a second and the film has loads of fun illustrating the differences between the real world and the realm of an action movie (e,g., explosions and getting shot in real life are far more deadly). Do yourself a favour and check this classic Arnold movie out; it’s one of his best. And if you don’t? BIG MISTAKE. (See what I did there? No? Then WATCH THE MOVIE, DAMMIT!)

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About Josh Litman

Josh Litman

Director/producer/writer/actor/editor/cinematographer/musician/neuroscientist… Josh prides himself on being simultaneously awesome and modest. In addition to We Eat Films, Josh also produces his own work (films, writing) under the banner of Action Potential Productions and has his own website, too, where his handiwork can be viewed: -- or (if you prefer).

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