Hey guys! So I have done it! I have finished watching and podcasting about all the Star Trek movies. Including Galaxy Quest and our ranking episode that’s 15 podcasts! My friend Tom joined me for these podcasts and it has been so much fun to jump out of my comfort zone and try something new. I’ve been impressed with the variety to the Star Trek movies. Sure not all of them are great but so is the case with any franchise, but they do shake it up quite a bit. There is action, adventure, sci-fi, horror elements, goofy comedy and everything in between.
We had some technical difficulties with audio in some of the early podcasts but we hit our stride eventually. I think you will really enjoy them.
Today to conclude the series we did our rankings of the 14 films we watched and I thought I would share it with you guys. I would love to hear your rankings in the comments section.
14. Star Trek: The Final Frontier- William Shatner’s one and only time directing and it is a mess. Garish, sloppy and boring it just doesn’t work
13. Star Trek Nemesis- An intriguing idea of a Captain Picard clone becomes extremely forgettable and with a rape subplot it doesn’t feel like Star Trek
12. Star Trek: the Motion Picture- An attempt to homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey but it doesn’t have the sense of mystery about Kubrick’s film. Long self indulgent shots of the ship exemplify the film for me. I found it extremely boring and I didn’t get into the film like 2001
11. Star Trek Insurrection- The idea of relocating a people is an interesting dynamic along with some strange looking villain people with stretched faces. You also get some humor with the crew getting twitterpated. The villain played by F. Murray Abraham is very bad and it is just very forgettable
10. Star Trek Generations- Best parts of the film are when Picard and Kirk see the lives they could have lived and have to make the choice to return to reality and face their foes. However, we don’t get as much of the two of them as I would like and the production design feels cheap
9. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home- I know this is a favorite of most fans and I do see the value to it. It has nice moments but is a little too silly for me to fully embrace. Scenes like when they are running away from the hospital feel inspired by a 3 Stooges skit more than Star Trek
8. Star Trek: Into Darkness- Benedict Cumberbatch is mesmerizing as Khan and the action is very entertaining. However, the attempts to copy Wrath of Khan I could do without. They feel wedged in and unnecessary.
7. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock- Woefully underrated film with an emotional arc for Kirk as he sees his son killed by the klingons and is mourning the loss of Spock. Some strange elements and Christopher Lloyd is a little over the top but it feels cinematic and fun.
6. Galaxy Quest- Hilarious comedy where particularly Alan Rickman shines as Alexander Dane the serious actor on the Star Trek-like show. Very well written and well made it takes on fandoms and Star Trek without being mean about it.
5. Star Trek (2009)- Very entertaining reboot with a whole new timeline. Great casting and action with a nice character arc for Kirk. I thought Zachary Quinto was a little flat as Spock (he grew on me) and the villain is very forgettable but still very engaging film.
4. Star Trek Beyond- Might be recency bias but I loved the way this film split off into little groups so you got to spend time with the crew in a way no other Star Trek film I’ve seen. The script was funny and it felt like a group of friends working together. I also loved the addition of Jaylah. The climax with the Beastie Boys is admittedly silly but I thought still entertaining.
3. Star Trek: First Contact- Basically a zombie movie in Star Trek. The borgs are a great alien spieces that is menacing and intimidating. The quest to stop events on earth are compelling and the acting is top notch. You get nice emotion from Lilly and Picard in particular.
2. Star Trek IV: Undiscovered Country- Probably the most entertaining Star Trek film. It has it all including a dinner scene where they quote Shakespeare that I loved. Christopher Plummer is in this and is fantastic. The trial of Kirk gives us some of his most emotional moments where he admits his anger over those who killed his son. It’s well made and we get a lovely sign off (literally) for this original series crew.
1.Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan- It’s a bit of a cliche for this to be my favorite but the guts they have to kill off Spock is what puts it over the edge. The scene where Spock sacrifices himself for the good of his friends is emotional and Shatner and Nimoy are so good in it. Also Khan is a tremendous villain and the rivalry between him and Kirk is great. It’s scary at times with horror elements like the bug going into Chekhov’s ear. When it came down to it I feel this is the most memorable of all 14 films and the most gutsy.
So there you have it. What would be your ranking? If you haven’t seen any of the Star Trek movies give at least Wrath of Khan a shot or maybe the new reboots. You just might be surprised. And if not Star Trek I challenge you to go out of your comfort zone. Try something new. Dip your toe in an unfamiliar genre. I have found when I do I am a better for the experiment!
Live long and prosper!
One thought on “Ranking Star Trek Movies”
Great ranking, and I’m glad you gave all the Star Trek films a try! I’ve seen all except Beyond and Final Frontier, the first because I plan to see it soon and the latter because I’ve heard too many awful things about it.
I’m more partial to the Next Gen movies than the original cast’s, but the 2009 Star Trek is probably my favorite just because I think it’s the most entertaining.
But First Contact, Into Darkness, The Undiscovered Country, and Generations are all in my Top 100 films. Yes, even Generations. I just love seeing Kirk and Picard together, and Malcolm McDowall plays such a great villain with lines like “Time is the fire in which we burn.” I enjoy it, even if I’m in the minority.