James Cameron: Ranking His Films From Worst To Best

No one does it like James Cameron, and here's the filmography that proves it.

Battle Angel Alita
20th Century Studios

NEVER bet against James Cameron.

It took the biggest media conglomerate on the planet over a decade to wretch the highest grossing film spot from this man, and there is no question why if you've seen any of his films. The director has a craft and an eye for this art form that no other filmmaker has. From his worlds, to his stories, to the characters that make up those worlds and stories, there's no question that James Cameron has cemented his place in history.

Which is why we've decided to count down the best films he's made so far. But one quick ground rule: we're only counting down movies that he directed, wrote - ideally both. While he's produced a ton more than that, financing a film is very different from actually being involved hands-on with the making of one.

When you filter his filmography with this rule, you're left with nine movies. Not that many when you consider how long he's been making them. But most of the time, quality over quantity is the way to go.

So, from the worst to the best, here are the films that have made James Cameron a household name in modern geekdom.

9. Piranha 2: The Spawning

Battle Angel Alita
Columbia Pictures

They say that when you're the first, you're the worst, and that's more than true of Cameron's cinematic debut, Piranha 2: The Spawning.

The very first Hollywood film Cameron ever worked on, and it definitely shows. It's not a bad film by any means - none of the films on this list are well and truly bad - but watching this movie is like reading the first published work of a brand new author. While you can clearly see the parts that make the creator behind the work great, they're left unpolished by a lack of experience and mired in other issues that generally hold it back.

While not the most complex film out there - and not even that scary in terms of suspense and tension - it doesn't really need to be. Its effects still hold up for the most part, the characters are defined just enough to root for them to get out of this ludicrous situation intact, and if you aren't scared of piranhas with wings on a purely instinctive level, then congrats, you are a stronger person than I.


John Tibbetts is a novelist in theory, a Whatculture contributor in practice, and a nerd all around who loves talking about movies, TV, anime, and video games more than he loves breathing. Which might be a problem in the long term, but eh, who can think that far ahead?