The Terminator

Released in the weeks immediately preceding Ronald Reagan’s reelection in the fall of 1984, The Terminator, writes J. Hoberman, imagines a “nocturnal downtown Los Angeles, a veritable free-fire zone that, with its near-constant car chases and massive construction sites, might have been designed by the machine-based performance artists of the Survival Research Laboratories.” In his starring role as the “hyper-macho humanoid machine” who travels back in time from a robot-ruled future to prevent the birth of the man who would go on to lead the human resistance, Arnold Schwarzenegger delivers “an entertainment mechanism that allowed audiences to identify with, even while fearing, its killer robot, a creature that might be humanity’s future self.”

Playing on August 24 & September 1 in a 2-for-1 double feature with Gremlins.