Every James Cameron Movie Ranked Worst To Best

Exploring the best and worst of a great Hollywood innovator.

T2 Judgment Day
20th Century Studios

James Cameron has always stayed true to himself, whilst willingly being part of the Hollywood machine. A rare filmmaker who makes big budget blockbusters feel both passionate and worth the price tag, he's made sure to push the boundaries of what cinema can achieve with every film.

Known for pursuing bold passion projects that often go dramatically overbudget (but always make their money back, with plenty of room to spare), Cameron's films have earned over six billion dollars worldwide, and his tireless desire to craft projects with the most innovative production available has made him a madly popular figure.

A spirited environmentalist with firm beliefs that tend to leak into his work, James Cameron has a knack for creating grand worlds around intimate relationships, but also for directing explosive action spectacle. No, his films haven't always worked (a curse for all directors), but even at his worst he fails to totally disappoint.

With that in mind, from his recent Avatar sequel thirteen years in the making to his abysmal debut, which doesn't feel like it's his film at all, here's all 9 James Cameron movies ranked from worst to best.

9. Piranha II: The Spawning (1982)

T2 Judgment Day
Columbia Pictures

I noted in the introduction to this ranking that Cameron never disappoints, but that's not entirely true. His directorial debut, Piranha II: The Spawning, is so horribly poor it's shocking to think he was involved in it at all. And to his credit, he reportedly wasn't, since he claims to this day he didn't really direct it past the two-week mark.

Produced as a sequel to Joe Dante's 1978 original feature, Piranha II: The Spawning was so poor even Roger Corman rejected it, and Cameron (young and ironically hired after working as a VFX artist for Corman) lost control early on, clashing with producers and unable to see anything that had been filmed before it was edited.

The finished product is ultimately that of an ugly, unsavoury B-movie disaster, rife with atrocious performances, effects and production values. It's the kind of awful, abject dud that isn't even bad enough to be memorable. It just barely exists, leaving little wonder why Cameron doesn't consider it his.


I get to write about what I love, so that's pretty cool. Every great film should seem new every time you see it. Be excellent to each other.