Director James Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd (both of whom co-wrote the script) demonstrate their storytelling virtuosity.
A blazing, cinematic comic book, full of virtuoso moviemaking, terrific momentum, solid performances and a compelling story.
Luke Y. Thompson
The movie's scares are intense, but the notion that the Terminator would move on to politics is even more frightening.
Kineticism and suspense, combined with strongly conceived characters....Made Cameron a talent to watch. [13 Jan 1995, p. 67]
Plenty of tech-noir savvy to keep infidels and action fans satisfied.[26 Nov 1984, p. 105]
A model of economic storytelling....It raised the bar for movie action to a bionic level. [1 Dec 2003, p.13]
TV Guide Magazine
An amazingly effective picture that becomes doubly impressive when one considers its small budget.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
An efficient, cold-blooded sci-fi splatter movie that never makes the mistake of forgetting that on some level it is deeply ridiculous.
Schwarzenegger is presented as a lumbering slab of dumb, destructive strength--the image is more geological than human--and Cameron plays his crushing weightiness against the strangely light, almost graceful violence of the gunplay directed against him. The results have the air of a demented ballet.