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From 'Terminator' to 'Kindergarten Cop,' Arnold's best movies

March 29, 2014 at 10:00 AM ET

He said he'd be back, and he is. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in "Sabotage," which opens March 28, and he's back in the kind of role that made him famous. The former California governor plays the leader of an elite DEA task force whose family is kidnapped after his group takes down a dangerous drug cartel.

Image: The Cinema Society With Muscle & Fitness Host A Screening Of Open Road Films' "Sabotage" -  Arrivals
Jamie Mccarthy
Bodybuilder, actor, governor, Kennedy family member — Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger has lived a varied and dramatic life.

It's a made-for-Arnold role from start to finish. He gets to show off his biceps, chomp cigars, order people around and defend truth, justice and the American way.

But while Schwarzenegger is certainly best known for his action heroes, they're not his only roles worth remembering. Here's a look at some Schwarzenegger standouts.

'I'll be back'
No question, the "Terminator" franchise gave the actor his most iconic role ever. In this series, Schwarzenegger's Austrian accent was a benefit, not a liability — he was playing a machine, and who expects a machine to talk as smoothly as Morgan Freeman? And the films created a haunting apocalyptic future that still lingers in the DNA of other movies today.

Bad to the bone
If possible, Schwarzenegger was even more memorable in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," where his butt-kicking cyborg is reprogrammed to help humanity, not wipe it out. Who can forget the classic scene where a naked and buff-as-anything Arnold politely informs a Sons of Anarchy-type that he needs his clothes, boots and motorcycle? Hint: If Arnold ever asks for anything — anything! — do not argue.

'Get to da choppah'
Face it, 1987's "Predator" was never meant to be "Citizen Kane." And who knew that its muscly cast included two future governors — California's Schwarzenegger and Minnesota's Jesse Ventura? (Carl Weathers, your home state of Louisiana is waiting.) But despite earning negative reviews upon release, the monster-hunting bloodbath grew on viewers like an alien fungus, and is now considered a classic action flick.

'Consider this a divorce'
Forget about the recent Colin Farrell-starring remake of "Total Recall." It's Schwarzenegger's 1990 version that matters, with his construction worker-turned-secret-space-agent heading off to Mars to find his destiny. You're rooting for him all the way, even when he "consciously uncouples" from traitorous wife Sharon Stone with the help of a bullet.

'I married Rambo'
No, Jamie Lee Curtis, you didn't marry Rambo, you married the Terminator-turned-James Bond. In "True Lies," Schwarzenegger is a double-life-leading secret agent. The action is insane (Arnold rides a horse into an elevator) and Schwarzenegger and sidekick Tom Arnold make a fun pair.

Back to school
Face it, Schwarzenegger's bulky bod, always so in control, just looks funny as he helplessly bobs and weaves his way through a classroom of screaming 5-year-olds in "Kindergarten Cop." And it's so quotable, from "I'm the party pooper," to "It's not a tumor" and beyond. Arnold was born to be an action hero, but here he shows some decent comedic chops.


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