Today’s Prayer Focus

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

also known as “T3,” “T3: Rise of the Machines,” “Terminator 3: La rebelión de las máquinas,” “Terminator 3 - Le soulèvement des machines,” “Terminator 3 - Rebellion der Maschinen,” See more »
MPA Rating: R-Rating (MPA) for strong sci-fi violence and action, and for language and brief nudity.

Reviewed by: Jay Levitz

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Sci-Fi Action, Adventure Thriller Sequel
1 hr. 49 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
July 2, 2003 (wide)
Copyright, Warner Bros. Copyright, Warner Bros. Copyright, Warner Bros. Copyright, Warner Bros. Copyright, Warner Bros. Copyright, Warner Bros. Copyright, Warner Bros. Copyright, Warner Bros.
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Learn more

“The Terminator” series paints a rather bleak picture of the future of mankind. What’s the truth? Is there HOPE for humanity? Answer

Death in the Bible

Final judgment



VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

CHANGE THE WORLD—A single man or woman can help change the world. Read about some who did with faith and God’s help…
Jesus Christ, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and David

Featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl as John Connor, Kristanna Loken, Claire Danes, See all »
Director Jonathan Mostow
Producer C-2 Pictures, Intermedia Films, IMF Internationale Medien und Film GmbH & Co. 3. Produktions KG, Mostow/Lieberman Productions, Andrew G. Vajna, Mario Kassar, Joel B. Michaels, Colin Wilson, Moritz Borman, Guy East, Nigel Sinclair
Distributor Warner Bros.

Rooting for robots

Terminator 3 is thus named, as it’s the third in a series of highly successful action films, the first produced in the ’80s, the second in the ’90s, and now comes the third in what looks to be an even longer saga. In each film, lone representatives from the future, one sent to murder, the other sent to save, wage war over the life of John Connor. In The Terminator, John was not yet born, in “T2: Judgment Day” he was an adolescent, and, in this installment, he’s a young adult getting ready to fulfill his Savior-like destiny.

All three films have had high production values, mixing amazing stunts and explosions with a story of desperate survival against seemingly invinsible machine-enemies (the Terminator robots from the future). All three are rated R for extreme violence, continuous profanity, and some nudity (non-sexual in the case of “T3”).

What is new in “T3” is its director, Jonathan Mostow (U571, Beverly Hills Bodysnatchers), replacing the series creator James Cameron (Titanic, Pirhana 2). Plus, this time Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Good Terminator is pitted against a Female-Disguised(!) Terminator killer. Maybe the filmmakers were expecting laughter when Arnie smashes a urinal over his female enemy’s head? Or when he plunges her head into a toilet? Or… you get the idea.

If you feel entertained watching teenagers being shot to death point-blank in their homes and fast food restaurants; if you get your kicks watching countless cars and their drivers colliding, flipping, and exploding; if you’ve ever dreamed of slaughtering a roomful of office workers with a machine gun, then maybe “T3” is your film of choice. To learn more about the effects of violence on viewers, click here.

If honest and thoughtful character counts in the heroes you’re asked to root for; if you enjoy a good story that is not simply “Hero Runs From, Fights, and Runs More From Evil Woman Robot” for nearly two straight hours; if you have a brain in your head, then sprint away, don’t walk, from any date, group, or impulse that tries to guide you into seeing “T3”. This film is not “just action.” It’s pointless mayhem dressed up as an apocalyptic warning and, as such, a waste of your time, money, and Hollywood’s imagination.

Please don’t send a message with your ticket-purchase that you’re craving more of the same drivel.

“T3” pictures human beings as victims of their own computers—unable to harness their technology from becoming “self-aware” and, therefore, at war with men. To learn more about the moment when humans themselves became “self-aware” and began their own war against a different kind of adversary, click here.

And if you’re still itching for some action, go rent “The Right Stuff”, a great American epic about the beginning of our space program, when men pushed machines to their limits and inspired a generation. (Although, beware that this PG-rated film has some objectionable profanity and minor sexual references.)

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—This movie was pretty good, better than the new Matrix. To bring light to the murders at the beginning of the film, the bad robot is sent from the future to assassinate future leaders of the resistance. The Terminator is sent to protect Connor and the woman because they are the head of the future resistance against the machines. This film is very violent, but except for the detective cab scene, it is not graphic, but the violence deserves an R rating.

There is some strong profanity, but it is not excessive like Training Day. The ending is unforgettable, shocking, and original, it breaks the “good guys win and everyone lives happily ever after” trend in other blockbusters. This is not a movie to take the kids though(some irresponsible parents the theater I went to, brought their kids). But think about this, the people who say senseless violence in fiction is morally wrong is somehow justifying a real senseless war with violence in real life. Christ is looking down on liberal Hollywood AND a conservative administration.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 5]
Tyler, age 20
I thought this was a very welcome addition to the Terminator franchise. On the surface, one might not think this is a smart film, but if you dig a little deeper this is a very thought provoking, smart and tight film that breathes new life into the Terminator franchise. The violence is on par or a tad less than its predecessor “T2: Judgment Day.” There is only one very graphic scene that takes place in a detective car. But other than that it’s typical amounts of violence as in any other summer action flick.

If you liked the Terminator films then this is a must see. But I must warn those who are true fanboys of the first 2 Terminator films, this outing is different in tone because it is directed by a different director who has taken the series into a different direction. So don’t try to compare it to the previous Terminator’s but judge it on its own merits and what it brings to the franchise.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 5]
Luis Cruz, age 20
Positive—I’d like to offer a different perspective on the film and its message. No matter how hard he tries, John Connor cannot change the future. He can postpone it, but he must face what is going to happen. Aren’t we also powerless in our lives, despite our best efforts, to change our own future through our willforce? Doesn’t Christ have to do it for us through his free gift? I actually found this film refreshing in that humans are not all powerful and able to handle everything. There are some things that are beyond human ability, just as there are in real life. While there is a high body count, it is due to the evil terminatrix. Isn’t that what we expect of evil? I am more concerned when I go to movies where you are made to feel sympathetic to the “good” character, then they do an unexpected sin as part of the story that is viewed as fine. To me this is far more destructive than evil acting evil. There was no pro-homosexuality or anti-Christian messages or positive comments on sinful lifestyles. The movie was strictly an escapist action movie and should be viewed in that way. If you enjoy these movies, then you’ll enjoy Terminator 3.
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
Bill Bagot, age 37
Positive—Great effects. Don’t read this if you don’t want to know the ending. Really the movie left little hope for man kind. Of course, their definition of Judgment Day is a nuclear war that leaves machines in command, unlike the biblical Judgment Day when good triumphs. The thought of Judgment Day being postponed, but eventually coming anyway, was interesting. The moral decay and denial of God in our society rapidly increasing, reminds me that Jesus said the end would be like this when He comes. I hope that our prayers, preaching of the Gospel and actions can postpone this divine Judgment day for a few more to enter into the kingdom.
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
Rick, age 29
Positive—I don’t know why everyone is so hard on this movie. I thought it was great. Not too violent compared to the last two or as intense. There was only a minor amount of language and nudity was pretty low (although they could have done better) The plot is a little inconsistant since the saga was supposed to end in Terminator 2 but I think they did a pretty good job covering up and making it fit. Maybe the rest that wasn’t explained here will be in the next one (like how the terminators came back after the chips were terminated in the last one). So it wasn’t as good as the first two but oh well, still worth seeing.
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
Chris, age 19
Neutral—Action-packed and filled with excellent special effects. Lots of amusing one-liners. Turn your brain off,however, when you purchase your ticket as there are numerous inconsistancies in the storyline. Although there is a lot of violence, the director used surprising restraint in limiting the amount of graphic violence on the screen. I didn’t notice a lot of profanity, and the nudity was minimal. It was worth seeing at the theatre for the special effects, but watch the matinee.
My Ratings: [Average / 2]
Eric, age 35
Neutral—This movie has its good and bad points. The bad points are the obvious shots of bare rear-ends of both robots in the film and the profanity in the film. Other than that, it’s a pretty good, intense action flick with a message behind it. Like the title character says, we must realize what our mission in life is and we must realize that we do have a purpose and we must fulfill that purpose. As Christians, our purpose is to serve God in the way that we were designed.
My Ratings: [Average / 5]
Negative—The movie didn’t really put forth a “good” guys vs “bad” guys type of situation. We had trouble understanding the killings early in the movie, it was never really explained why it was being done. Also the character of the bad terminator being dressed as a high class women did not come off well at all. It was hard to feel anything about her one way or another. It was just not believable, plus she brought really nothing new in the way of an advanced terminator model (liquid metal,etc), but more or less reflected a women in the way she did things, even though she was just a non-human terminator underneath. There was no spark of love or much in the way of feelings between John Connor and his future wife. It just never seemed to get past the animosity between the two.

It was also hard to have any feeling for the people who were killed(like reading of a bus crash in India that kill 50 people)it just seemed so mindless that you didn’t care one way or another, you never felt any sympathy like in the other films(respect for cops,etc) It was hard to develop any feelings for any of the characters, a real lack of character development from the beginning to the end of the movie. The action scenes were so-so compared to the(the MAC truck chase scene)the other movies. As a christian there was little if any hope offered for the human race. There was little sympathy to be felt, little compassion, no mercy offered.

I would not recommend this movie as it has not much to offer new or innovative as an action movie and from a christian viewpoint little if anything good can be derived or any deep thinking about God and his Kingdom be brought forth.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 2]
Joe and Martha, age 50’s
Comments from young people
Positive—First of all, don’t see this movie until you have seen the first two in the trilogy (maybe an edited version of T1 would be best). You can’t enjoy the movie quite as much without knowing the “terminator feel.” I went to the theater expecting a fairly good movie, because, in spite of some objectionable material, I enjoyed the first two. I was not disappointed with “T3”. The movie, although violent in many places, kept gore to limited amounts. Swearing, also, was limited to a good degree. And, in the minuscule amount of nudity present, the director was kind enough to use clever methods of keeping the actors partly (and importantly) covered.

It’s rated R, they didn’t have to keep it that clean. I’m very glad they did. I would be happy if this was the last one… not because of any poor quality in the movie making, but because it came to such a good conclusion. The plot was good, the storyline twists were great. No, this isn’t a movie to take little kids to see. No, it doesn’t always have the greatest morals. But it is (in itself) an honest movie. Honest that people are people, who have emotions, and who make mistakes. And, it is honest about the fact that there is evil out there, and denying evil’s right to be in any movie (or books) is not appropriate. The movie doesn’t glorify war and violence, as some might say… the whole storyline of the three Terminator movies is, in fact, people working towards ending the violence. And that’s a pretty good thing to work towards.
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
Tim Rauscher, age 18
Positive—Terminator 3 was a great movie. I thought that the special effects were great. There is some strong violence in terminator 3 (more than terminator 2). Some profanity is present, although it is tame for an R-rated movie. Also, there is brief side nudity of the butt. I loved this movie though and would recommend this for anyone who has seen any other of the terminator movies or anyone who enjoys a great action film. No one under the age of 14 should see this movie though due to its violent content and some bad language.
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
Jordan, age 15
Positive—I thought that this movie was very enjoyable. And no, I do not get my kicks watching teenagers getting shot point-blank in their homes. Those particular scenes lasted maybe thirty seconds, combined, and were not overdone. And the killings were explained in the movie, and they made sense.

The reason the main bad guy (err… girl) was a girl, was that there hadn’t been a bad girl in a Terminator movie before. I have read interviews where the director said the same thing. Not because the audience would laugh at her getting beat up by Arnold, or her beating up Arnold.

Yes, the movie had a lot of action, but it didn’t seem excessive, like the Matrix: Reloaded. True, it was a “Hero Runs From, Fights, and Runs More From Evil Woman Robot”-type plot, but hasn’t that been what all the other Terminators have been like? Shake your head yes. The movie was very entertaining, and I do recommend it to people (not young people).
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 5]
Eric, age 17
Movie Critics
…pointless and mind-numbing…
Lou Lumenick, New York Post
…Extreme caution… (plus) plot and character problems…
Movie Guide
…Heavy blood/gore …Heavy Sex/Nudity …Heavy profanity …Extreme violence…
…It’s loud, it’s brutal…
Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
…stunts steal the show…
Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter
…A worthy and welcome addition to the franchise…
Michael Elliott, Movie Parables