Ranking the Star Trek movies

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CosmicMonkey
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Ranking the Star Trek movies

Post by CosmicMonkey »

We've already had a thread for ranking the James Bond films, so why not Star Trek? It's been running for almost as long.

My Rankings:

Good:
1. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
2. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
3. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
4. Star Trek: First Contact
5. Star Trek (2009)

Meh:
6. Star Trek Into Darkness
7. Star Trek Beyond
8. Star Trek: Nemesis
9. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
10. Star Trek: Insurrection

Bad:
11. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
12. Star Trek Generations
13. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

(All films have been re-watched in past 3 months except for the reboot trilogy)
Last edited by CosmicMonkey on Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

amazedemon
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Re: Ranking the Star Trek movies

Post by amazedemon »

Liked it:
1. Star Trek (2009)
2. Star Trek Beyond
3. Star Trek: First Contact
4. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
5. Star Trek: Insurrection

Meh:
6. Star Trek Into Darkness
7. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
8. Star Trek: Nemesis
9. Star Trek Generations

Disliked:
10. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
11. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Haven't yet seen or don't recall:
12. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
13. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

djross
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Re: Ranking the Star Trek movies

Post by djross »

May as well take this opportunity to show off the proud fact that in May 2013 I made the effort to watch all of these. Year, score and percentile indicated:

1. Star Trek (2009, 60, 60%): This is an enjoyable and cleverly-concocted adventure, thereby forming an immediate contrast with any previous Trek incarnation that I have encountered. The casting seems right and the relations between the central characters well-handled. The overarching feeling of knowing amusement indicates this is blockbuster filmmaking at its canniest (with everything that implies, though perhaps not quite as canny as Avatar), even if it perhaps does not quite sustain the energy until the conclusion.

2. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013, 55, 51%): It may take the experience of mortality as a key theme, but this is certainly rollicking adventure rather than any real journey into darkness, conceptual or otherwise. Nevertheless, the filmmakers deserve credit for the effort expended on most of the major aspects of storytelling, especially when compared with most recent blockbuster fare. Perhaps the climax lacked grandeur, although Kirk's concluding soliloquy notably contained an obvious Obama reference, in the form of "that's not who we are."

3. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986, 50, 41%): The most charming and amusing entry in the series. The narrative may be utterly ridiculous, but it wisely avoids melodrama and refreshingly stays away from the stock standard space battle and other tired conventions. The environmental agenda becomes rather confused, with a couple of whales agreeing, apparently, to be deposited by humans into a future in which all their kind have been killed at the hand of man, and agreeing to do so for the sake of man, but who's quibbling? "Ah, the giants."

4. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991, 40, 25%): Brush up your Shakespeare, Klingons are quoting him now. So-so political allegory that tries to become a mystery then switch back to a conspiracy plot, with the result that everything gets a bit muddled. Fewer visible production problems, but still clearly done on a tight budget. Gulag planet subplot went nowhere, but the blue-faced alien who battles Kirk did bear a striking facial resemblance to Roger Federer. No interesting, meaningful or likeable female characters, despite Cattrall and Iman.

5. Star Trek: Insurrection (1998, 40, 25%): Breezier entry that improves on the previous two by aiming for a bit of charm and romance, downscaling the story, and casting an appealing female lead. The allegorical aspects of the narrative seem, fifteen years on, almost to have appreciated in significance: the good guys are a group with an ambivalent attitude to industrial civilisation, forced by the latter to become refugees and hide out in a mountainous cave system in order to avoid drone strikes! Fizzles, but watchable. Admirably uncool.

6. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982, 35, 18th): More competent than the first film, despite a budget that was a quarter that of the initial instalment, but less thematically ambitious, too. The central themes of ageing and mortality are clunkily handled, partly as a result of production problems and script uncertainty. Even so, there are moments that just about work. Nice to see a young Kirstie Alley.

7. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989, 35, 18th): It seems for a while as if a confrontation is being staged between Kirk's Odyssean metis, Spock's stoic rationalism, and the lures of est-style emotional transcendentalism, the key moment being Kirk's impassioned declaration, "I need my pain." All this is, of course, swept away in a farcical third act that recapitulates The Wizard of Oz and ends with a campfire sing-a-long as ode to bachelorhood and the bonds of masculine friendship. Production and script problems are, as usual, obvious.

8. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979, 30, 12%): Rewatching this in 2013, 34 years after I saw it at the cinema at the age of 8, the central idea still seems moderately good, as do some (but not all) of the visual effects and the character played by Khambatta, but the ponderous, sometimes laughable execution means that the grandiosity never achieves the grandeur for which the filmmakers seemed to be striving. Even so, there is something admirable about the commitment, just a few years after Star Wars, to avoiding what is called action.

9. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984, 30, 12%): The forced compromises and poor decision-making that afflicted the first two films meant that an entire movie had to be devoted to trying to right the ship in the third. For that reason, this is the first entry in the series with a clear, definite narrative, but for the same reason it is also inevitably highly predictable. Also suffers from ill-judged attempts at melodrama. Lloyd is probably the best performer in the film, and look out for Miguel Ferrer. But no Kirstie Alley.

10. Star Trek: First Contact (1996, 30, 12%): Generic television inflated for the big screen. Plot and concepts are silly and uninteresting. The only characters who receive any focus are Cochrane and Picard: the former is an unconvincing scientist or engineer of some kind; in the latter case, Stewart does quite well, but the theme of overcoming past trauma is very conventional and it turns out, strangely, that Picard was right to assert that the Enterprise did not need to be destroyed. I guess the rest of the crew were cowards after all.

11. Star Trek: Nemesis (2002, 25, 7%): Good guys tussle with bad guys. Doppelgänger theme goes nowhere. Probably the emptiest, least interesting of the series, if not quite the worst (that honour goes to Generations). Baird would never again be given the opportunity to direct. 2016 Update: Beyond is definitively the worst.

12. Star Trek: Generations (1994, 25, 7%): The essence of Star Trek was staged interactions between Kirk, Spock and Bones, three friends who each very clearly represent a different approach to life. This is my first encounter with this "next generation" cast: they seem to be dull, wooden characters who represent nothing and don't interact. Little use is made of the "borrowed" Solaris concept, except to provide the opportunity for a terrible speech about time as companion. Plot has large holes, even on its own terms. The humour is weak.

13. Star Trek Beyond (2016, 20, 2%): No hint of any "beyond" in this dull, witless sequel. Having worked hard in the first movie to establish a new Trek world, and in the second to pursue the characters further, here every virtue of the prior two movies is discarded. Characterisation is reduced to interactions of the most weakly humorous kind, the narrative is nothing but meaningless computerised action sequences, and the visual design consists of an inordinate number of scenes taking place in murky darkness. No redeeming features.

Further assessment of Star Trek Beyond here: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=5900&p=55769#p55769.

CosmicMonkey
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Re: Ranking the Star Trek movies

Post by CosmicMonkey »

This is my first encounter with this "next generation" cast: they seem to be dull, wooden characters who represent nothing and don't interact.
The films really did not do justice to the TNG characters. If I had only seen the films, I would agree fully with you on this; all the depth and nuance of the characters and the complexity of their relationships that was present in the show was completely missing from the films and it's disappointing.

VinegarBob
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Re: Ranking the Star Trek movies

Post by VinegarBob »

1. Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home
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All the rest

metalhank
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Re: Ranking the Star Trek movies

Post by metalhank »

1. Star Trek - 99%rating - Re-introduction of this new cast is just great, it has everything great about ST.
2. Star Trek Into Darkness - 99% - Abrams knows what should be on screen
3. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan - 97% - Klingons are awesome
4. Star Trek Beyond - 97% - While it is quite action heavy, it is really well done
5. Star Trek: First Contact - 97% - Borg are great villains and Krige knocks it out of the park
6. Star Trek: Insurrection - 95% - This is one of the most fun movies with the humour while still having realness
7. Star Trek: Nemesis - 94% - Covers a lot of the other main aliens of the series
8. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock - 93% - Also has Klingons!!
9. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country - 92% - One more time, Klingons, yeah
10. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier - 89% - Heavy on faith and morality
11. Star Trek: Generations - 81% - kinda goofy, but an interesting transition between casts
12. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home - 77% - My opinion is this is the most accessible film for non-trekkies
13. Star Trek: The Motion Picture -74% - A valiant attempt at starting things off

In case you can't tell from these rating, I would be what is considered a trekkie as I've seen pretty much all of the tv series as well, not the 2 newest (yet).

ShogunRua
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Re: Ranking the Star Trek movies

Post by ShogunRua »

The only one of the new reboot I've seen is Star Trek (2009), and it was laughable garbage. Gave it a 27/100 with the following review;

"Simply awful. One eye-rolling, cliche, and stereotypical scene and character after another. No ingenuity whatsoever. The speeches and scenes about "love" and "feelings" made me laugh;they would have sounded trite and pathetic 50 years ago. On top of this,there are thousands of plot holes,continuity errors,and overuse of deus ex machina;from Kirk escaping from that giant monster, to fire being made on an ice planet,to Kirk randomly meeting Scotty,who allows him to get back on the ship. Dreadful."

Needless to say, I haven't bothered watching the two sequels.

Among the original movies, I haven't seen all of them, but among those that I have.

1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, 75/100-

"Too simplistic a story and execution for the highest scores, and a few annoying plot holes. (How are Khan's men such fine pilots of a ship they briefly encountered 15 years ago?) Still, a wonderful performance by Montalban, great soundtrack, and fine execution of its themes and characters make this a very good, swashbuckling adventure."

2. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home 49/100-

"A fish-out-water comedy for its first half, there are several funny moments with the Star Trek interacting with people in the present day. In fact, a humorous premise was probably a good idea for a franchise that was becoming tedious and repetitive by the third installment. Unfortunately, the second half of the movie turns away from comedy to bad melodrama. And ending a Star Trek picture with a generically-presented court case was especially bad. Nimoy, you're no Sidney Lumet."

3. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country 25/100

"Completely and utterly mailed-in. Nary a single moment of originality, action, or humor. The original cast is all visibly old, making one wonder why they are still in a military federation, and not long since retired. And story itself is as stale and predictable as they come. A perfect example of a film thrown together because it was part of a major franchise and would thus at least recoup expenses. The fact that it got average reviews just makes it all the more depressing."

To conclude, I think one can safely watch "The Wrath of Khan" and ignore all the other movies if one is looking for quality, although perhaps I've missed a gem out of the other Shatner movies and the Picard series.

Malcym
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Re: Ranking the Star Trek movies

Post by Malcym »

:D

Star Trek: First Contact
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Star Trek (2009)

:)

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek Into Darkness
Star Trek Beyond
Star Trek Insurrection

:|

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Star Trek Generations
Star Trek III; The Search for Spock
Star Trek: The Motion Picture

:(

Star Trek: Nemesis
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

coffee
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Re: Ranking the Star Trek movies

Post by coffee »

The first ever Star Trek movie was the best of them. :D
Spoiler!
Just kidding... but it's really fun.
.

CosmicMonkey
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Re: Ranking the Star Trek movies

Post by CosmicMonkey »

coffee wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 5:43 pm
The first ever Star Trek movie was the best of them. :D
Spoiler!
Just kidding... but it's really fun.
.
I've wanted to watch this forever but haven't been able to find a version of it with English subtitles anywhere. Do you know where I can find one by chance?

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