Definitely among the biggest movie stars of all time, at the end of the day, Arnold Schwarzenegger has done an awful lot in the film industry. First and foremost known as an action star, he has starred in many movies that are widely considered to be the best pulse-pounding films ever made. On top of that, he has proven himself to be surprisingly funny in several films and a movie like Maggie proves he has dramatic acting chops, too.
Given Arnold Schwarzenegger’s long track record for massive success, it is very safe to say that there have been many awesome movies that he was the highlight of. Unfortunately, nobody is perfect and there also is no question that some of the movies he starred in suffered because of his inclusion. With that in mind, it is time to get to this list of 7 movies Arnold Schwarzenegger ruined and 8 he saved.
15 Saved: Maggie
Back when Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career began, it was pretty easy to write him off as nothing more than a mega muscled action movie star. However, over time he has proven that he can be an excellent actor in the right project. For example, in Maggie, he gave a deeply thoughtful and restrained performance as a father dealing with his daughter’s heartbreaking fate.
14 Ruined: Sabotage
In theory, this movie should have been awesome. After all, its director David Ayer is known for intense movies like End of Watch and Street Kings so pairing him with an action movie titan like Arnold makes perfect sense. Sadly, when the pair made Sabotage, they mixed like water and oil as the actor flounders delivering one ridiculous line of dialogue after another and even the action scenes are nothing special.
13 Saved: Twins
Proof positive that Arnold Schwarzenegger can be hilarious in the right role, Twins never would have worked if he hadn’t hit the right tone. Thankfully, he was brilliant as an incredibly naïve man who meets his twin brother and thinks nothing of the massive differences between them both in terms of their upbringing and physicality.
12 Ruined: Collateral Damage
Definitely, among the most disappointing movies of Arnold Schwarzenegger's career, Collateral Damage only received 19% on Rotten Tomatoes and we think that number should have been lower. Given how formulaic this movie’s story actually is, in order for the film to be any good, Arnold needed to give an entertaining performance but instead, he largely phones it in.
11 Saved: The Terminator
Actually rated 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, The Terminator is one of the best action/sci-fi films ever made. Despite the fact that every other role in the movie was cast to perfection, it would have utterly failed if the actor that played the T-800 wasn’t intimidating. Of course, to say that Arnold was fearsome in the role of a seemingly unstoppable machine hunting down the main character is an understatement.
10 Ruined: Jingle All the Way
Of all the movies on the ruined side of this list, Jingle All the Way probably has the most fans. However, if you ask us, the only reason that is the case is a lot of viewers watch it with their nostalgia goggles on. Admittedly burdened with a poorly written character to portray, Arnold tried to make this movie work but he fails to pull off most of the lines. Worse yet, Arnold somehow seemed out of place in the movie’s action scene climax.
9 Saved: The Running Man
Far from an award-winning film, the appeal of The Running Man is how much fun the movie is. Cast as a so-called criminal who gets placed in a game for his life, Arnold and his cohorts have to take on one over the top character who is trying to hunt them down after another. Making the most of that concept, Arnold’s character enjoys dispatching each of them while also taking the time to deliver classic one-liners often direct to the camera.
8 Ruined: End of Days
In End of Days, Arnold Schwarzenegger was tasked with playing a depressed former police detective who is coping with addiction issues when he suddenly has to take on Satan. As a result, at first, you can write off his dull performance as fitting for his character. However, by the time the movie reaches its climax and Arnold still seems bored, it makes sense that he received a Razzie Award nomination for his performance.
7 Saved: True Lies
In a lot of ways, it seems like True Lies is the movie that Arnold Schwarzenegger was born to star in. After all, in the years prior, he had starred in a series of massive action movies with a few quality comedies sprinkled in for good measure. As a result, he was perfectly prepared to play an international spy who finds himself in the hilarious situation of having his wife discover his double life.
6 Ruined: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
When it comes to Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, there is little doubt that Arnold had to contend with a script that wasn’t worthy of the franchise. That said, he should have been able to make the most of his scenes but that simply wasn’t the case. Instead, Arnold’s performance as a T-800 in this movie was a big let down, especially when the character performed comedic lines, for some reason.
5 Saved: Total Recall
Back when Total Recall was released, Arnold Schwarzenegger was chiefly known for starring in excellent action movies that had a straight forward plot. On the other end of the spectrum, this movie delighted in messing with viewers’ minds. For that reason, it was imperative that in Total Recall Arnold pulled off playing a character that also was confused while still being a total badass and he did that in spades.
4 Ruined: The 6th Day
Unlike Total Recall, when it comes to this sci-fi film, Arnold was a major weakness. Cast as someone who learns that he has been cloned, Arnold’s The 6th Day character was written like he was an everyman. Obviously, someone who is physically remarkable, for that reason alone Arnold didn’t fit this role. On top of that, Arnold was surprisingly subdued in this movie which makes no sense given the fantastical situation his character finds himself in.
3 Saved: Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Considering how scary Arnold Schwarzenegger turned out to be in The Terminator, when word broke that he was going to star in a sequel people expected more of the same. Instead, in Terminator 2: Judgement Day things got flipped on their heads and audiences were expected to like Arnold as a different T-800. At first, it seemed impossible that Arnold could make us like his T2 character but in the end, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when he disappears into molten steel.
2 Ruined: Batman & Robin
For anyone movie fan that watched Batman & Robin expecting to see a movie they could take seriously, Arnold Schwarzenegger was a giant detriment to the film as a whole. After all, Arnold clearly committed to his character as he delivered every line with gusto which only served to make his portrayal of Mr. Freeze more cartoonish.
1 Saved: Predator
If you ask us, Predator is a perfect action movie. Focused on a group of deadly mercenaries battling against the universe’s ultimate hunter, in the end, the fight comes down to one man trying to take out the being that had dispatched all of his friends. Fortunately, it was easy to buy Arnold as a person that could not only earn a Predator’s respect but actually prevail in a fight against one.