Ally Burnie

James Cameron’s Best Movies Ranked | Man of Many

It’s been 13 years since Cameron released the original Avatar, then the highest-grossing movie of all time. Set in the year 2154, the film centres on the story of an ex-Marine (Sam Worthington) falling in love with a local Na’vi woman (Zoe Saldana) on the extraterrestrial moon of Pandora, which is being invaded and stripped of its natural resources. To bring the movie to life in 2009 required the invention of dozens of new technologies, from cameras to digital effects and more, which is what truly made it a masterpiece of its time.

A Quick History of Avatar

To rank James Cameron’s best movies (no easy task, we’ll tell ya that much), we headed to our trusty film advisor – AKA IMDB ratings. Films on IMDB are ranked by user votes, and ranked from 1 to 10 and then aggregated into one final vote.

How the Rankings Work

Based on IMDB rankings, here are the best to worst (can we even call it worst, when the “worst” is still rated 7.3/10?) James Cameron films.

Best James Cameron Movies Ranked

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong
IMDB Rating: 8.6
Run Time: 2 hours and 17 minutes

1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn
IMDB Rating: 8.4
Run Time: 2 hours and 17 minutes

2. Aliens (1986)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn
IMDB Rating: 8.1
Run Time: 1 hour and 47 minutes

3. The Terminator (1984)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane
IMDB Rating: 7.9
Run Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes

4. Titanic (1997)

Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver
IMDB Rating: 7.8
Run Time: 2 hours and 41 minutes

5. Avatar (2009)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold
IMDB Rating: 7.3
Run Time: 2 hours and 24 minutes

6. True Lies (1994)

Starring: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn
IMDB Rating: 7.5
Run Time: 2 hours and 19 minutes

7. The Abyss (1989)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier
IMDB Rating: 6.5
Run Time: 1 hour and 36 minutes
Directed by: George P. Cosmatos

Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) – Honourable Mention

James Cameron (68) is a Canadian filmmaker best known for directing a bunch of epic films across his decades working in the movie business. With three Academy Awards and some of the biggest box office hits of all time, James Cameron is certainly one of the best directors of his time (and continues to be to this day). He’s well-regarded as one of the industry’s most innovative directors, pushing the boundaries of cinema.

Who is James Cameron?

It was while working as a truck driver in his 20s that Cameron decided to become a filmmaker, and so he taught himself filmmaking. He’d go to the stacks at the library at USC (University of Southern California), home of a well-known filmmaking program Cameron couldn’t afford. He then got hired by American film director, producer, and actor Roger Corman, who’s known for also starting the careers of Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese.

Success as a Filmmaker

The idea for his breakthrough movie The Terminator came to Cameron in a dream, as did the all important scene in his second film, Aliens, when main character Ripley finds herself in a room full of alien eggs and turns around to see the alien queen.

The Terminator & Aliens Breakthrough

The Canadian filmmaker loves working to the biggest scale possible, with Terminator 2: Judgment Day, True Lies, and Titanic all among the most expensive films ever made at the time of their release. It’s a good thing he went hard on the Titanic budget, which went on to win him three Academy Awards and make box office history, gearing a monumental $600.7 million in its original 1997 release and it has generated $659 million (not adjusted for inflation) with subsequent re-releases.

Titanic Makes Box Office History

Development of the wildly successful Avatar actually began in 1994, and between the development of the Na’vi language and visual effects technology, it took 15 years to finish. Avatar went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time, surpassing Titanic and maintaining its status until the release of Avengers: Endgame. However, a theatrical re-release earned Avatar its first place, back, grossing USD$2.84 billion in total.

Avatar’s Insane Success

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