The recent poor reception to the latest Terminator movie has done nothing to diminish the reputation of James Cameron.

The Canadian writer/director/producer/actor has been a Hollywood A-lister since the 1980s.

Though he has only directed a total of 10 movies to date, he has managed to create some of the most popular action and sci-fi movies ever made.

In order to honor all the hard work of this first-class action movie director, has put together a list of the best James Cameron movies ranked in order of their critical acclaim.

Let’s take a look at the 10 best James Cameron movies ever.

1. The Terminator

Having only directed one feature film up until this time, James Cameron was an almost complete unknown in Hollywood.

Living above a garage, Cameron sat down and wrote a script for what would become one of the most successful action movies of all time. After the studio requested to buy the script and assign another director, Cameron offered to make The Terminator for free.

This decision made his career and launched him into the twilight, from which he has never left.

The Terminator was originally slated to star O.J Simpson as the T101, but thankfully, bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger was selected by Cameron to replace Simpson at the last minute.

Arnie became the perfect Terminator, menacing and seemingly unstoppable. The movie did so well at the box office that Cameron was soon being offered truckloads of cash to make a sequel.

2. Terminator 2: Judgement Day

The first Terminator, while actually being an action movie, was more of a horror.

When James Cameron announced that he was making a sequel to Terminator, few people would have imagined what a great sequel he had in store.

Flipping the menacing Terminator, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, from a bad guy into a hero was a masterstroke.

Now battling to save John and Sarah Connor from an even more menacing Terminator, played by Robert Patrick, Arnie gets to play the action hero while also making us all laugh along the way.

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3. Aliens

The director who, not once, but twice managed to disprove the rule that the first movie is always best (at least by far), James Cameron’s Alien sequel is an action-packed adventure from start to finish.

This time, Cameron directed a movie that was a follow up to a film made by another director. He proved his ability to switch a movie’s horror theme into an action horror once again.

While the original Alien is indeed the scarier movie, the film is a classic and audiences flocked in droves to see it, making Aliens yet another Cameron hit.

4. The Abyss

After Aliens, Cameron took a 3-year break before making The Abyss.

The film is a kind of underwater Sci-Fi that is set in the modern-day. After a nuclear submarine goes missing, a team of Navy Seals is dispatched to an underwater oil rig in order to try to recover the weapons.

Unfortunately, things start to go wrong when the team encounters an underwater lifeform. Despite having all the hallmarks of a great Cameron action movie, action, suspense, and a good story, The Abyss was to perform relatively poorly at the box office.

5. True Lies

Teaming up once again with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who this time plays a hero super-agent, True Lies is a great comedy filled action movie. For the most part, Schwarzenegger had played serious tough guys for most of his career, so adding the humor element to his action persona was a masterstroke.

True Lies is an unchallenging action movie that makes up for its lack of depth with comedy. While the action sequences are typically over the top, the movie is a great all-round watch.

6. Titanic

Titanic was the movie that was to win more Oscars than just about any film ever. Cameron was to pick up an Oscar for Best Director along with a number of other awards like Best Picture.

Titanic became the highest-grossing movie of all time.

Nothing much else needs to be said about this movie, as if you have not already seen it, you must be living on another planet.

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7. Ghosts Of The Abyss

Titanic sparked a change in direction for Cameron who left feature films for a while to concentrate on making documentaries.

His love for the Titanic story led him to begin a new career as an underwater explorer. He soon combined this with his moviemaking to make Ghosts of the Abyss.

8. Aliens of the Deep

Two years after Ghosts of the Abyss, Cameron made Aliens of the Deep, a documentary about underwater sea life.

It was around this time that he also broke the deepest dive record by diving to the bottom of the Mariana trench.

9. Avatar

Cameron’s interest in new technologies seems to help him pull a smash hit blockbuster out of the bag whenever he decides to do so.

Avatar was the first global hit 3D movie.

It smashed box office records and boasted the director’s standing in Hollywood to a higher point than ever. Cameron is currently filming two Avatar sequels back to back, which will be released in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

10. Piranha II: The Spawning

Well, not the best film that has ever been made, but since Cameron was drafted in to replace the director at the last minute, not a bad effort.

The movie was further compromised by a producer who decided to recut Cameron’s version at the last minute.