12 of the greatest robots in movie history
BEEP! BLOP! BLORP! Hyper-intelligent robots have been showing up on the big screen since pretty much the dawn of film (fact: the first movie to feature a robot was a 1921 silent film named The Mechanical Man). Of all the artificially intelligent movie characters out there, here are 12 of the greatest.
Photo credit: YouTube/Orion Pictures
12 Data – Star Trek
Who says robots can’t feel emotion? While initially as unloving and distant as my step-dad, Star Trek’s favorite chief operations officer discovers the horrors of empathy when Dr. Soong eventually implants an emotion chip into him. Whether you liked this upgrade or not, Data’s amazing computational skills and ability to show an outsider’s perspective on humanity helped make him an important character in both the Star Trek show and movies.
11 Bender Bending Rodriguez – Futurama
Yeah, Bender is better known on the small screen, but all those straight-to-DVD Futurama movies help him find his way onto this list. Simply put, there’s no other robot out there that you’d rather party with. When not sucking down a cold brew or stealing your wallet, Bender can also be pretty useful when he wants to be. I mean, if you ever need something bent, you know whom to call…
10 Johnny 5 – Short Circuit
Apparently, all it takes is one little lightning strike to grant self-awareness to an unassuming military robot. Such is the case with one of the silliest robots of all time – Johnny 5. Despite his flaws, this sappy little guy endeared himself to an entire generation of 80s kids.
9 Gort – The Day the Earth Stood Still
When it comes to robots, Gort is the strong silent type. Assembled in outer space by extraterrestrials, this big hunk of metal has the power to disintegrate weapons with his snazzy laser ray. Serving much like a bouncer at a nightclub, his primary objective is to keep humans (a.k.a. the riffraff) from entering his master’s spaceship.
8 The Stepford Wives
In the town of Stepford, Connecticut, every man appears to have the perfect wife. Devoted, loving and exceptionally attractive, this is the type of wife that many a man dreams about. As it turns out, these zombie-like vixens are (spoiler alert!) actually women turned into robots…with the primary objective of serving man.
No, RoboCop isn’t all nuts and bolts (there’s still a little Alex Murphy in there), but for all intents and purposes this ultimate police officer is a robot through and through. Due to the sheer badassery of his program design, RoboCop can essentially perform the duties of the entire Detroit police force (and we all know how hard that job can be). Unlike pure robots, Murphy’s memories continue to flash through, helping to humanize this metal-clad cop.
6 The Iron Giant
When you were a kid, did you ever dream of owning your own robot? Unless you’re anti-American, then the answer is, “Yes.” The Iron Giant takes this premise and turns it into a great cartoon movie. With his 50-foot height, awesome steampunk design and ability to shoot destructive missiles, this is one powerful robot that any kid would be lucky to have for a friend.
5 Optimus Prime – Transformers
Whether or not you’re a fan of the new Transformers movies, you can’t deny that Optimus Prime is one epic robot. I mean, it takes a pretty powerful robot to continually take on and defeat the Decepticons evil plans for destruction. To get the job done, he has the ability to shoot projectiles, slice off heads with a retractable blade and an unwavering belief in truth and justice. Oh, and of course he’s also got the ability to transform into a semi truck (bonus!).
Lonely old WALL-E is one of the scrappiest robots to ever have been assembled. From his love for Hello Dolly to his love for EVE (and who can blame him – that bitch is HOT), you’d have to be a robot yourself to not love this little dude. Whether you’re five years old or (God forbid) 85 years old, WALL-E is an artificial lifeform that anyone would want to have around.
3 T-800 – Terminator series
Do we really have to go into the details? The T-800 is a supreme cyborg that delivers super strength, has the ability to learn from past experiences and tops it off with an endless number of witty catchphrases. Wrap it all up into a muscle-clad bodybuilder package, and there’s no doubt Model 101 is one of the most badass robots of all time.
2 HAL 9000 – 2001: A Space Odyssey
Anyone who has seen 2001: A Space Odyssey will be forever haunted by that ever-present bright red light that is HAL 9000. Unlike most robots on this list, HAL is more of a methodical and psychologically powerful robot. Unfortunately, his powerful computer brain suffers somewhat of a breakdown, causing him to go on a murderous rampage.
1 R2-D2 – Star Wars
For being nothing more than a run-of-the-mill astromech droid, R2-D2 proves himself time and again to be an incredibly important character in the Star Wars universe. Beyond his ability to cut the tension with a little humor (shout out to similarly awesome C-3PO for the assist), R2 has saved the necks of his sentient friends more than once. From his simple delivery of Leia’s message to his ability to repair starships on the fly, this little guy is one of the most functional and loveable robots in film history.