by Patrick Bromley
The maxim "Never doubt James Cameron" is getting thrown around a lot these days as critics and box office pundits attempt to predict the success of Avatar: The Way of Water, the filmmaker's latest biggest gamble. It's a truism that has been put to the test time and again, with Cameron always coming out on top. He's one of the last great spectacle makers in Hollywood -- a director who knows exactly how movies work no matter what the scale and always delivers. Never doubt James Cameron.
1. The Terminator (1984)
2. Aliens (1986)Alien. Like with his previous film, it's cool to see the Bigger is Better king working against limitations and solving problems creatively and effectively. Here he lays the blueprint for many of the tropes that would follow in the rest of his filmography, plus directs Sigourney Weave to an Oscar nomination for Best Actress inside a genre film -- no small feat. That there's even a debate as to whether or not one prefers this to the original is a testament to how fucking great it is.
3. The Abyss (1989)
4. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
5. Titanic (1997)
6. Avatar (2009)