10 Best Movie Robots, Ranked

Robots have fascinated humans for a long time. They’ve been a mainstay of cinema for almost a century, but the old legends about automatons and golems date back even further. Mary Shelleyit is Frankenstein, published in 1818, introduced many of the most recognizable tropes regarding artificial humans. The word “robot” was not coined until the beginning of the 20th century, deriving from the Slavic word “robota”, which means “forced labor”.

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Depending on the films, robots offer us a glimpse of a techno-utopia or a cautionary tale about the future we seem to be heading towards. At best, movie robots can serve as a means of examine our own humanity – or lack thereof. On the contrary, the rapid technological changes of the past decades have made people more intrigued than ever by living machines.

C-3PO (star wars)

Few movie robots are as entertaining and likeable as C-3PO. With pal R2-D2, the nervous and awkward C-3PO brings a lot of comic relief in the star wars movies. In fact, the two appear in 11 films; most of all the characters.

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C-3PO’s shape and distinctive gold plating reference the robot in Fritz Langthe influential 1927 film Metropolis. george lucas originally imagined C-3PO as a trickster type character with an American accent, but he liked Antoine DanielI auditioned so much that he revamped C-3P0 especially for the Brit. The result is a mix of The Tin Man and Monty Python.


TAR (Interstellar)

by Christophe Nolan Interstellar introduced the public to TARS, one of the most original robots in years. TARS is supposed to be a Marine Corps tactical robot, and it certainly looks like one. TARS is a simple design consisting of four movable bars. These can function as legs and arms, adaptable to any terrain.

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What makes TARS great is its simplicity and credibility. A robot like C-3PO may only exist in Hollywood, but TARS looks like something you might see on display at Boston Dynamics.

Iron Giant (The iron giant)

The Iron Giant, based on by Ted Hughes novel from 1968, might be the most moving film ever made about a living machine. Set in Maine in the 1950s, the story follows the friendship between a boy and an alien robot. Together, they must evade US federal agents seeking to destroy the giant.

The iron giant is a charming and well-told story, but it’s also a surprisingly nuanced allegory of the Cold War. Many of his themes remain relevant today. In particular, the paranoia around the machine seems prescient in hindsight. Technology is a great tool, as the film shows us. Whether it hurts or hurts depends on how we use it.

Marvin (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

Marvin (Alan Rickman), “the paranoid android” in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxyinverted robot tropes on their head. Far from being strong, impressive or emotionless, Marvin is bored and depressed. He hates being dragged around the universe by his brainless compatriots. He hates most things, actually.

Rickman’s voice acting is top notch. It nails Marvin’s sardonic tone and withered humor. Marvin represents all the underutilized machines people have. Our phones pack more computing power than the Apollo Moon – but we often use them to watch cat videos and share them Bridgerton memes. No wonder Marvin is depressed.

HAL 9000 (2001: A Space Odyssey)

“Open the mod bay doors, HAL.” George Lucas called by Stanley Kubrick 2001: A Space Odyssey the “ultimate sci-fi movie”. A big part of the film’s appeal is the character of HAL 9000, the AI ​​that runs the spaceship. HAL has a bland Midwestern accent and a calm demeanor, but beneath his unassuming red lens lurks some serious darkness. He torments the hero Bowman (Keir Dullea), ultimately threatening to kill him.

Many science fiction tales explore the dangers of rationality unrelated to morality, and HAL takes this idea to the extreme. He is cold and insensitive, a being of pure reason capable of inhuman acts. HAL had a major influence on how AI would be portrayed in science fiction for decades. Anthony Hopkins even says that he was inspired by HAL for his interpretation of Hannibal Lecter in Thesilenceofthelambs. There may be no higher praise.

bishop (aliens)

“I may be synthetic, but I’m not stupid.” bishop (Lance Henriksen) is the science officer aboard the spacecraft by James Cameron aliens. Unlike the cyborgs in Cameron’s previous film The Terminator, Bishop is loyal and dedicated to protecting the humans in his crew. His programming forbids him to harm people; in this respect it is a representation of isaac asimov’s First Law of Robotics.

This makes Bishop an interesting screen robot, especially for the 1980s. Unlike the Malevolent Ash from the first Extraterrestrial film, Bishop is courageous and self-sacrificing. He still has a cold, machine-like demeanor, portrayed perfectly by Henriksen, but his devotion to humans sets him apart from most robots of his day.


Pixar’s Lead WALL-E is a marvel of characterization. He has no voice or facial features except for his twin-like eyes, but he communicates more emotion than most human actors. The animators do a great job with body language, distilling it down to the essentials. The first scenes of WALL-E roaming the earth all alone compacting the trash are particularly nostalgic and melancholic. Director terry gilliam compared to classic silent movies, like by Charlie Chaplin little wanderer.

Through the character of WALL-E, the film explores ideas around the environment, technology and humanity. Director Andrew Stanon stated that the film’s theme was that “irrational love overcomes the programming of life”. In the process, Pixar has created a robot hero for the ages.

T-800 (The Terminator)

It’s easy to forget how much The Terminator That was 1984. So many movies have copied his style, story, and aesthetic since many audiences took him for granted. It deserves endless kudos for putting a new, high-octane spin on cyborg tropes.

The T-800 isn’t the most visually stunning or complex robot, but it’s unmatched in brutality. He is relentless, embodied in his legendary slogan “I will return”. He also has looks hardcore, especially his skinless skeleton form. Director james cameron described the look of the T-800 as “Death rendered in steel”. Arnold Schwarzenegger was the perfect actor to play the muscular killing machine. The role catapulted Arnie to new heights of stardom and set a blueprint for sci-fi villains for the next four decades.

Samantha (His)

His tells the story of Theo (Joaquin Phoenix), a man who falls in love with Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), the AI ​​of its operating system. His is probably the smartest science fiction yet about how we rely on technology to replace the human connection.

Johansson’s vocal performance as Samantha is brilliant. She’s kind, smart, and sexy, but also manipulative, even scary. Its soft tones contain echoes of HAL 9000. There is a devastating scene near the end where Theo asks Samantha how many other people she is in love with. “641,” she replies. An explosion from the Terminator would hurt less.

R2-D2 (Star wars)

R2-D2 is the most iconic robot of all time, and it’s not even close. George Lucas called R2 his favorite star wars character, and this year alone, the little droid was voted the most popular robot in the United States. In a recent exhibit, the Smithsonian even included RD-D2 as one of 101 Objects That Made America.

As with WALL-E, it’s amazing how much character R2-D2 has despite having no face or voice. It communicates in beeps and boops like a dial-up modem, but it conveys a surprising amount of emotion. We can tell when he is scared, happy, bored or sad. R2 is as brave as the organic heroes of the saga. He flies into battle countless times and is essential to the heroes’ success. If the actual robots of the future look like R2, then maybe things won’t be so bad after all.

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