When discussing the greatest movie robot characters of all time, we’re often reminded of Peter Weller’s iconic portrayal of a robotically enhanced Detroit police officer from RoboCop (1987) and the sequel, RoboCop 2 (1990). Despite Weller leaving the franchise after the second film, the RoboCop franchise continued to flourish, spawning the creation of a television series, multiple comic book series, a few video games, and one terrible remake. Do you have a favorite movie robot?
With that in mind and James Cameron and Tim Miller’s highly anticipated Terminator: Dark Fate opening on October 25, 2019, here are 10 of our favorite robot characters featured in movies and what makes these artificial beings so memorable.
10. H.A.L. 9000 – 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
While not a robot in the truest sense of the definition (H.A.L. has no body and is more of an onboard computer), the character of H.A.L. 9000 deserves a spot on this list for the influence the character has exerted over other filmmakers. Voiced to calm, creepy effect by Canadian character actor Douglas Rain (originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba), H.A.L. functions as the protagonist in 2001: A Space Odyssey as he glitches and then turns on the astronauts aboard the ship he is operating. With his red glowing light and eerily rational voice, H.A.L. set the template for artificial intelligence that becomes “self-aware” and then turns on its masters. The scene where H.A.L. pleads with astronaut Dave Bowman (actor Keir Dullea) as he disconnects his wiring is one of the best in all of science fiction filmdom. Director Stanley Kubrick really was a visionary who was ahead of his time.