Every Arnold Schwarzenegger Movie Ranked Worst To Best

Charting the highs and lows of Hollywood's greatest-ever action star.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Ranked
Columbia Pictures / TriStar Pictures / 20th Century Studios

Arnold Schwarzenegger is, quite simply, the best to ever do it. By "it" I mean the action genre, which Schwarzenegger - alongside iconic rival Sylvester Stallone - reshaped in their image during the 1980s. There were perhaps better technical performers - Jackie Chan, who has spent his whole career perfecting a peerless and fearless blend of stuntwork, martial arts choreography and comedy, is undoubtedly the king in that regard - but Arnie was a force unto himself, a giant of charisma who travelled a continent, defied Hollywood convention, and became an icon.

Even with his iconic status in mind, though, Schwarzenegger feels continually underestimated. His brawny appearance, brash personality, and Austrian accent became a recurring dig during his career peak, codified into pop culture by The Simpsons' Ranier Wolfcastle as well as in more scathing contemporary reviews. Arnie's genre efforts, meanwhile, have frequently been categorised as easy, cheesy, and inextricably eighties - quality action cinema, sure, but ultimately low-brow vehicles for ridiculousness that became outdated with the arrival of Die Hard in 1988.

However, to quote Arnie in John McTiernan's 1987 masterpiece Predator, "it's all bullsh*t. All of it." Schwarzenegger was more than just a novelty, and neither were his movies, which frequently displayed a level of interiority and genre introspection beyond their contemporaries. Arnold worked with the best and became the best, starring in genre masterpieces both unheralded and otherwise, and leaving behind a truly unique screen presence and legacy in the process.

There were of course lows as well as highs. As unjustly received as it was, 1993's Last Action Hero marked the beginning of the end of Schwarzenegger's peak, leading to a run of middling to lacklustre efforts that eventually culminated in his departure from Hollywood and subsequent entrance into politics.

Not that this blemishes his career, though. Whether good or bad, Arnold is still unabashedly Arnold, and - as will become clear as we rank every Arnold Schwarzenegger movie in this list - even a really bad picture would struggle to smother that.

37. Hercules In New York

Arnold Schwarzenegger Ranked
Trimark Pictures

Schwarzenegger's acting career was almost over before it started, with his debut, Hercules in New York, remaining his worst outing to date. Here, Arnold portrayed the hero of Greek legend as Zeus sends him to man's world. What should make for novel viewing today is still pretty cringe-inducing, with none of the humour landing and Arnie himself struggling with the dialogue.

Content Producer/Presenter
Content Producer/Presenter

Resident movie guy at WhatCulture who used to be Comics Editor. Thinks John Carpenter is the best. Likes Hellboy a lot. Can usually be found talking about Dad Movies on his Twitter at @EwanRuinsThings.