The List: Top 20 Best Movie Robots of All Time

Let’s face reality here, people. Our time as the dominant force on this planet is slowly coming to an end. We’ve had a good run; The Renaissance, The Enlightenment, Lady Gaga. But our thirst for expanding our capabilities is inevitably going to reach its end at the hands of our own creation. The time for humans is over. The rise of the robot is here. In order to appease our future mechanical overlords and to potentially save myself from a lifetime of hellish slavery, I present to you my list of the 20 Best Robots, Cyborgs, and Androids in Movie History!

20. JINX- Space Camp

You have to give respect to a robot that can not only hack into NASA’s mainframe, but also manage to successfully launch Lea Thompson into space.

19. CALL- Alien: Resurrection

Sure, there have been several cyborgs in the Alien franchise, but this one wins above the others because, let’s be honest here, the other ones don’t look like Winona Ryder. That scores you plenty of bonus points right there.

18. DOT MATRIX- Spaceballs

Here’s a bit of a spoiler for the rest of the list. C-3PO will not be making an appearance. Why? Because DOT MATRIX, the sidekick to the surprisingly un-Druish looking Princess Vespa, looks like 3PO and basically serves the same type of purpose, but is voiced by Joan Rivers. C-3PO: Annoying. DOT MATRIX: Funny. Yeah, I said it! Come at me, bro!

17. WALL-E- WALL-E

Pixar really outdid themselves when they created this lovable little trash-compactor. With only a few words and a large heart, WALL-E managed to make us feel as though he was more human than the human race. When an animated robot can bring you to tears, you know you’ve been introduced to a great character.

16. Maria- Metropolis

Maria has been the archetype for almost every human-looking robot since Metropolis was released in 1927. Not to mention the fact that she can be transformed into a sexy, dancing lady.

15.  Johnny 5- Short Circuit and Short Circuit 2

You take WALL-E, make him taller, smarter, funnier, and deadlier, and what do you have? Mr. Johnny 5 of course! He cracks jokes, he can read and entire encyclopedia in two seconds, and if he can explode your entire body with the huge fucking laser attached to his shoulder. You better laugh at Mr. 5’s Three Stooges impression, or else you will be missing a body part or two.

14. RoboCop- Robocop Franchise

Do you hate the police? Well get ready for an officer who has the laws programmed into his goddamn brain. If you so choose to break the law, get ready for a semi-automatic handgun to emerge from the leg (yes, the leg) of the RoboCop formerly known as Murphy for the sole purpose of shooting you in the face. There is no gray area with RoboCop; you break the law, prepare to pay.

13. MechaGodzilla- Godzilla Franchise

Think back to how devastatingly terrifying Godzilla is. Now, cover him in an artificial diamond armor, install every man-made weapon to him, and voila! Instant death to everybody! Not impressed? how about the fact that MechaGodzilla can attach a fucking airship to him and become SUPER-MECHAGODZILLA! To add even more to the argument, MechaGodzilla is the only creature to defeat Godzilla. Yeah, bow down to the all powerful MechaGodzilla! Just his name alone says “You lose.”

12. Optimus Prime- Transformers: The Movie (1986)

Granted, Optimus is only in the first third of the film, but he managed to leave an everlasting impact on not only the Decepticons, but on every young child who was brought to tears when we watched him die. But he died only after he murdered Megatron, the only real threat the Autobots ever faced (Starscream, anybody?). To put it simply, Optimus Prime died for all of our sins. Optimus Prime is robot Jesus.

(Writer’s Note: Yes, I purposely left out any mention of the Michael Bay abortions referred to as “Transformers”, because they were shit.)

11. T-1000- Terminator 2: Judgement Day

When you think back to your memories of the 1991 James Cameron action epic, you can’t help but remember how frightened you were at the sight of the T-100 sprinting after John Conner as he is desperately trying to escape robot murder. He was pure liquid metal, meaning he can shape shift into your abusive foster parents, he can pretend to protect and serve as a member of the LAPD, or just skip all of that bullshit and stab you in the eye.

10. Roy Batty- Blade Runner

As leader of the Nexus 6 Replicants, Roy Batty delivers pain and fear to all that try to get in his way. His inability to deal with his humanlike emotions just adds to his unstable behavior. Fast, intelligent, deadly, and being cuckoo bananas equals one dangerous villain. Oh, and he’s played by Rutger Hauer… Pleasant nightmares.

9. The Gunslinger- Westworld

In the future we will be able to experience first hand what it was like to be a cowboy in the wild west. Sounds fun, right? Not when somebody screws the pooch and give the A.I live ammunition. And the most fear-inducing robo-cowboy of them all is a character known as “The Gunslinger”. Played by the amazing Yul Brynner, The Gunslinger is programmed to shoot first, ask questions never.

8. Tom Servo & Crow T. Robot- Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie

How does one handle sitting through an extremely god awful turd of a movie? You build two robots, insert every smartass comment into their database, and let them riff the hell out of it. If it wasn’t for these two wise-cracking bots, Mike Nelson would have went all Brando-in-Apocalypse Now-crazy years ago.

7. Evil Bill & Ted/Good Robot Bill & Ted- Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey

Ever wanted to know what would happen if Bill and his most excellent friend Ted were suddenly evil? Well Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey answers that question. They have the same mental capacity, but with malicious intent. And the only way to stop them is to pull a genius alien out of heaven and make him construct a pair of GOOD robots that resemble our heroes made out of parts purchased at the local Builders Emporium. Good or Evil, both are EXCELLENT!

6. Robby the Robot- Forbidden Planet

Even if you have never seen the 1956 sci-fi classic, chances are you have some understanding of what Robby the Robot is. He is the perfect example of 1950’s science fiction. When you think of walking, talking robots, you are probably picturing Robby in your head. So beloved is Robby that he has regularly shown up in other films, as well as dozens of television shows such as The Twilight Zone, Lost in Space, The Simpsons, and even The Love Boat! I mean come on, Robby showed up in a Charmin commercial for fucks sake! Now that is one cool robot.

5. R2-D2- Star Wars Franchise

This little droid needs no introduction… Even your grandparents know who R2-D2 is. With only the ability to communicate through beeps and boops, R2-D2 is one of the most charismatic characters in the Star Wars universe. Let’s not forget the fact that he has helped save the rebellion so many damn times that he deserves to be a general. Plus it’s always fun to imagine that every other beep that comes out of his speaker box is actually a very filthy swear word. Try it next time you see he and C-3PO having a discussion.

4. The Iron Giant- The Iron Giant

It’s hard to imagine that a 50 foot tall killing machine from outer space could be so loveable, but believe me, he is. The Giant is truly a boy’s best friend, given the fact that causing the boy any sort of harm can lead to the destruction of all humanity. And plus, he is self repairing! So if you blast him into a million pieces, eventually those pieces are all going to find themselves again, and when they do, you better be ready for robot murder. He can be the nicest, sweetest robot ever, but only if you manage to avoid his self-defense mechanism, which is pretty damn easy to trigger.

3. GORT- The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

The person in charge of GORT, the eight-foot-tall metal enforcer from space, has the power of absolute destruction in the palm of their hand. A simple command could grant GORT permission to destroy the planet. And yes, when I say “destroy the planet”, I literally mean that GORT can destroy the fucking planet. And he was designed in such a way that he can NEVER die. Peace, or annihilation. Your choice, Planet Earth.

2. T-800- Terminator Franchise

He cannot be bargained with. He cannot be reasoned with. He absolutely will not stop… Until you are dead. That is what you’re up against when dealing with the iconic Cyberdyne Model T-800. That is of course, you manage to reprogram him. Then you would get the greatest bodyguard in the history of guards protecting bodies. He will stop at nothing to make sure you are dead… or alive. All depends on who got to his brain first. Either way, he’s an unstoppable, catchphrase creating, motorcycle riding, sunglass wearing robotic angel of death.

1.HAL 9000- 2001: A Space Odyssey

How can a simple computer be more terrifying than a robotic godzilla, a relentless terminator, or Jesus Prime? The answer can be found in our own reality. We are an ever-evolving society, relying more and more on highly developed technologies and artificial intelligence. And although we’ve been warned by pop culture countless times, we can’t help but continue to make computers and robots smarter. 2001: A Space Odyssey allows us to see a realistic vision of what will happen if (more like when) we give the technology we’ve created a little too much power. With a humble, almost polite cadence, HAL is one of the most menacing villains in all of cinema. His logic is what makes him so dangerous. All that matters is the prime directive, and nobody will stop him from accomplishing the mission. And that means death to any obsolete human who questions the mission at hand.

Get ready for our demise, fellow human. And it won’t be at the hands of robots with giant lasers. It will be your computer politely announcing that your services will no longer be needed and extermination will now proceed. Oh, and have a nice day.

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~ by Brandon Gnuschke on October 3, 2011.

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