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Terminator Salvation Review Critics


Dave White Profile

If by salvation you mean explosions of doom... Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The predictable story feels as if it were written by a computer program labeled "sequel."

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    In Arnold's absence, an important ingredient of the "Terminator" iconography -- namely, the fun factor -- is in short supply.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    It's a deafening, sometimes boring, occasionally startling and ultimately impressive war movie with a concern for what it is that makes us human.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    It's basically a zombie movie with machines instead of the walking dead.

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  • See all Terminator Salvation reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

First PG-13 Terminator is loud, explosive, and dark.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this installment of the Terminator series is the first to earn a PG-13 rating instead of an R, it's still extremely violent. There's not much actual blood, but there's plenty of broken flesh, bruises, and batterings. The film's tone is also quite intense, with constant attacks, life-or-death struggles, and scenes in which giant robots attack and abduct humans. While much of the violence is directed against robots, some of those robots are remarkably human-looking, which makes the gore and grim action a bit tougher to take than you might think. Characters also touch on heavy topics like morality, ethics, and redemption. There's a little bit of kissing, but hardly anything to worry about in the way of strong language, drinking, or smoking.

  • Families can talk about what's makes this movie different from the other Terminator films -- why do you think this one is rated PG-13 when the others were R?
  • What's the impact of seeing violent images like the ones here?
  • Can human nature be replicated by a machine -- and, if so,would that machine be human?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Despite the constant violence, the movie's ultimate messages about the possibility of redemption and of sacrifice in the name of a greater good come through. The essential ethical nature of human behavior is discussed: "We aren't machines, and if we act like them, what's the point of winning?"

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Marcus -- a one-time criminal -- repeatedly puts himself at risk for others, particularly Kyle, and ultimately makes a very noble choice. John is relentless in his goal of eliminating the machines and sometimes lets that get in the way of compassion; but he, too, is a hero in the end. Some of the other resistance leaders are inflexible and short-sighted.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Extensive violence, much of it involving battles (hand-to-hand and with firearms) between super-strong robots and humans. There are also explosions (including a character getting blown up by a mine), crashes, shootings, stabbings, and assault with blunt objects; mutilated, wounded, and dead bodies are seen -- though there's not that much blood overall. Robots are burned with molten metal; the red-hot robots covered in jagged metal then attack humans. Gruesome medical/experimental imagery.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Some kissing. A man and a woman snuggle up to share warmth.

  • language false3

    Language: Mostly includes words like "hell" and "damn," but there are also a couple of uses of "s--t" and one of "f--k," plus "son of a bitch," "ass," and "God."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: It's good to know that Jeep and 7-Eleven make it through the apocalypse. ...

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue