David has had a variety of life experiences, which he loves to share with his readers.
I grew tired of seeing a listing of the best to worst Star Trek movies done by those who know very little about Star Trek, or by some some journalist who probably hasn't even watched all of the movies.
I have watched and loved Star Trek for over 30 years. I never saw a list of movies I completely agreed with for the reasons being given. So I thought I would provide a list, directly from a fan, to those who truly wish to enjoy the Star Trek movie experience. This listing will start out with the worst and work its way up to the best.
This article will contain SPOILERS.
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
God. That's what this movie is all about, God. It's not even a God worshipped by humans. It's not even an adventure the Enterprise crew want to go on. They are forced into it.
The problem is that Star Trek IV had some great comedy bits as part of it, and they tried to continue that here along with a very serious storyline. Both sides of that fell flat. Also, Spock has a half brother.
It was a horrible story. The acting was subpar. The directing was not good. It's considered to be the worst Star Trek movie, which I wholeheartedly agree with. If you don't mind spoilers, watch the above movie clip. It's proof why you should skip this movie.
Star Trek: Insurrection
After the success of First Contact, it would be hard to pull off another win just as big as that movie. This is what they went with. A story about forever youth and piloting the Enterprise with a joystick from an Atari game system.
The storyline may have been decent for the TV series, but as a movie it fell flat. I just didn't care about it. The plot felt like a justification for action sequences, but even those weren't that good.
The joystick scene was the worst. Instead of relying on a console to do precise movements with the Enterprise, a joystick comes out of the floor for the commander to pilot the Enterprise. It was a joke. The scene makes me laugh because it just makes no sense. Even during TNG, they used the console to do precise movements, or, relied on the computer. The movie just wasn't good.
Star Trek Into Darkness
Instead of the second movie in the rebooted series try something new, they decided to rehash something that didn't need to be rehashed at all. They brought Khan back. While I tried to give it a chance the entire time, I kept comparing it to the The Wrath of Kahn. Since I was making the comparison, it just couldn't do it justice.
The actor they picked for Khan did a decent enough job, but lacked the swagger needed for such a role. He was almost too serious without the charm. Plus, they added another villain, which muddled the line between who was the good guy and who was the bad guy.
Also, a woman undresses and they show her on full display. She is still wearing underwear, but the scene had zero place in the movie. I rolled my eyes at how stupid it was and how it didn't add to the plot what so ever.
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
I think this movie is decent enough and offered some nice glimpses into other areas of the Federation, but, it didn't really do The Original Series justice either. I think this movie served as a great segue between the second and fourth movies, which I liked far better.
My problem with this movie is that I don't believe the crew would make the decisions they made. They did everything wrong in order to save one life, which didn't really ask to be saved. I felt it was against the characters personality to turn against Starfleet and commit crimes they did in order to save that one life.
However, I do want to point out that the actor playing the Klingon captain did such a great job. At the time I didn't know who actors were, and once I realized it, I was taken aback by how well the role was played. When I do watch this movie, I do it for this performance since the actor does such a great job playing a Klingon.
Star Trek: Nemesis
Finally, a movie with the Romulans. The Romulans have always been a fan favorite and it was always disappointing that they were never the main villain in a Star Trek movie. Well, guess what, they still aren't. Sure, they play a big role in this movie, but not near big enough.
The main villain is a human and a new species. While there could have been political intrigue and deception, it was a movie chocked full of action sequences, space battles, and minor drama.
It's a decent movie, but it wasn't really Star Trek and paved the way to even more heavy action oriented Star Trek movies in the reboot.
Star Trek Beyond
I will admit, I have this rated higher than other movies because of all of tech that comes up during the movie. The space station they have is more impressive than any of the other space stations in any of the other Star Trek movies and TV shows.
Beyond that, since I was used to action clogging up Star Trek movies, it's actually a pretty decent movie. The action sequences were entertaining. There was a purpose behind each one of them.
This is one of those movies I put on in the background as I do something else in the house, because I can sit down, take a break, and watch a few minutes before I do something else. I also liked it touched on some of the history of the Federation and the impacts it had on others.
Star Trek Generations
This movie bridged The Original Series crew with The Next Generation crew. It did a great job of passing that baton off from one crew to another. First off, I'll praise directing and visuals of the movie. The scenes with The Original Series crew felt like any of Star Trek movie. But, the scenes with The Next Generation crew felt new and fresh.
The plot itself was good and provided a great reason why everyone was doing what they were doing. There were some action sequences, but they made sense for what was happening in the plot. There were times there was no action at all, so they had to rely on just characters talking, and it was effective.
Besides one other movie, this is the only other movie I saw twice in the theater, because I enjoyed it that much. It's not ranked higher because there are simply better Star Trek movies.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
A lot of folks don't like The Motion Picture. I admit, it has a different look and feel as compared to the subsequence Star Trek movies set with The Original Series crew. However, I love this movie because it's pure sci-fi without excessive action or violence.
This movie is all about exploration. About finding out what the menace is and what it wants. The twist towards the end when we find out what the menace is makes it even better.
This is a solid movie. It's a solid, standalone movie even for those who are not a fan of Star Trek. It's slow. There is thought behind it. I think it's a great movie and would recommend it as an introduction to what Star Trek truly is.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
To be honest I had The Wrath of Khan ranked lower on my list. But, as I was writing up the other movies, I kept bumping this one higher. This is because of the acting. The acting in this movie was great from all involved. With what little action there was, the acting really put it over the top.
The action mostly entailed starship battles, but they were calculated battles. There would be a move, then a counter move. What impressed me is that they actually moved ships along the z-axis. Star Trek frequently ignores that there are three dimensions, so it was nice to see they employed that in this movie.
It's not ranked higher simply because I didn't enjoy it as much. Khan is a great villain, but, the motives of Khan are in question. He could have done so much more. Oddly enough, Into Darkness had Khan doing more than he did in this movie.
After many long years, the reboot for Star Trek finally came out. I remember being so excited for this movie. I went to see it on opening day, that's how excited I was. I even saw it a second time soon after.
The Romulans served as the villains for this movie and it worked really well. They didn't quite look like the Romulans in The Next Generation, but I was glad about that as well. Otherwise, everything felt fresh, new, and engaging. I really felt like I was watching what The Original Series crew would have been like fresh out of the academy.
I had issues with a couple things though. First off, time travel, again? They just find any excuse to bring it in and really do a poor job of explaining why it happens. Plus, Kirk is given command far too early in my opinion, but I know that's the point too of the mythos behind Kirk.
Star Trek: First Contact
The Borg. One of the best villains of Star Trek finally on the big screen. This movie did it justice. This is the best movie with The Next Generation crew, hands down. Not only did they bring the Borg back, it brought time travel into the mix and I felt like it was done right.
The crew of the Enterprise traveled back in time to see humans achieve warp flight for the first time. What a great premise for a movie. That was a focus as much as the Borg were. Scenes bounced back and forth between the Enterprise and Earth.
I can't consider this the best Star Trek movie because I felt like The Original Series crew just had better movies. But I can promise this is the best movie with The Next Generation crew.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
It was so hard to make this the second to the best movie. I love this movie, despite it being a niche concept.
The Original Series crew travel back in time to capture some whales. The plot sounds so stupid, but it works. What I love about this movie is the comedy. Thrusting the crew of the Enterprise into present day Earth and watching as they try to handle the various situations that come up. The comedy is top notch, but also shows the flaws in today's society.
The Enterprise pretty much wasn't in this movie at all, and it didn't need to be. The focus was entirely on Earth and not in space. It works though. It's not a typical Star Trek movie, but it works in so many ways. I love this movie for the chances it took and how they paid off.
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
To me, The Undiscovered Country has the perfect balance of all things a Star Trek movie should have. First off, the Klingons finally have a huge role in a Star Trek film. The movie covers one of the more pivotal points for the Federation and the Klingon Empire. The action sequences throughout the movie are so well done and are an integral part of the movie.
This movie surprised me. I tend to predict most TV shows and movies pretty well, but I couldn't do it with this one. I had to re-watch the movie a few times to catch everything. People who you thought were the good guys weren't at all, and vise versa. Also, the music used in this movie set the tone in so many ways.
This movie was the proper send off of The Original Series crew. This movie is the highest point of any of the Star Trek movies. This is my favorite Star Trek movie.
- "Star Trek" TV Shows, Ranked Best to Worst, by a Fan
Want to know what a true Trekkie feels is the best and worst of all of the Star Trek TV shows? This article covers each of the Star Trek TV series, from best to worst, from the eyes of a true Star Trek fan.
© 2021 David Livermore