40 must-watch movies to consider yourself a film buff

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Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

This sequel to James Cameron’s 1980s Terminator feature remains one of the best sequels ever made. Taking place over a decade after the events of the first film, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) finds herself trapped in a mental institution with no one believing that a sentient computer known as Skynet will create a race of robots to destroy humanity. When another, benevolent incarnation of the original Terminator (played, once again, by Arnold Schwarzenegger) returns to protect Sarah’s son, the trio must band together to stop Skynet once and for all.

Cameron doubled down on a lot that was introduced in the first film; there’s an influx of catchy one-liners, most of them spouted by Edward Furlong’s literal embodiment of every ‘90s kid. But the need for cool trailer lines aside, so much of this movie is a mile-a-minute commentary on our times, with some massively impressive special effects thrown in. Robert Patrick’s villain remains just as frightening now as he was in ‘91, and the effects hold up as well. Hamilton remains one of the best female heroes we’ve had.

And the film’s final image, a thumbs up, really defines the decade in hindsight.

Where to Watch It: Rent it now on Amazon, Apple, Google Play, PlayStation, YouTube, and Vudu.