So, for Christmas, I was given a bluray set of 10 Star Trek movies. Which is all of them, excluding the JJ Abrams Kelvin Timeline ones. Work has been completely ridiculous for, oh, about a year or so now, but I finally found the time to watch through them all again. It's been a while. So, I figured I'd post my Star Trek movie rankings. These are in order best to worst.
1.) Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan - Seems to be most everyone's favorite Star Trek movie. Probably because it's one of the best Sci-fi movies ever made, much less a great Star Trek movie. This movie is extremely tight. There is not a single wasted second in it. Every single frame of it serves a purpose to the plot or the characters. That's a very, very rare thing to find in a movie. It brings back a kind of silly villain of the week from the TV series and turns him into a nearly unstoppable force of vengeance that is one of the greatest threats that the Enterprise and her crew have ever faced, and delves deep into themes of aging, what it means to be human, and sacrifice. It's a lot deeper than you might expect from a Star Trek movie.
2.) Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country - This movie is basically the Berlin Wall going down as a Star Trek movie. I really like it. It's got some great villains, a really cool space battle, and a lot of political intrigue. A lot of the characters are forced to look at themselves in a new way, and to change for a better tomorrow. It was a really great sendoff for the original cast.
3.) Star Trek: First Contact - This one is BY FAR the best of the Next Generation movies. It also has some of the best acting out of any of the Star Trek movies. Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, and Patrick Stewart all give really, really good performances. A lot of people like to call this one the Wrath of Khan of the TNG movies, and it's not hard to see why. It's a great story, and brings back an old nemesis of Picard's as the villains, and forces Picard to face himself, and the fact that he is not above anger from having been hurt in the past. It also has one of the more memorable main music themes of the series.
4.) Star Trek: Nemesis - A lot of people will probably be surprised that this movie is so high up on my list. It doesn't have a very good reputation amongst fans. I don't really understand why. It's a really good movie. It's probably a lot better than you remember it being. People just seem to hate this one, and yeah, it's got a few parts that are kind of dumb in it, but what Star Trek movie doesn't? This one was trying to be another Wrath of Khan, but instead of bringing in a past villain for Picard to face off against, the villain is his clone. The plot parallels Khan pretty well also. Villain who wants revenge and has a superweapon that can destroy planets. Main cast crew member sacrificing himself at the end. Picard facing defeat for, really, the first time. If they had just cut out the B4 plotline and tightened it up a bit, and given Shinzon a bit more development as a character, this one might have been even better than First Contact.
5.) Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home - Normally I hate it when movies take the characters out of the setting that is a large part of what I like about the series, and put them in modern day Earth. I'm not watching Star Trek to see Star Trek Characters in 1980s San Fransisco. BUT this movie makes up for it by just being really, really entertaining. All of the character interactions and reactions to the 1980s are kind of hilarious. And Spock continuing to attempt to swear throughtout the entire movie, even up to the end, is kind of great. In the end, the filmmakers used a relatively low budget to get a lot of mileage out of what they had to produce a movie that I really should have hated, but kind of really like instead.
6.) Star Trek III: The Search for Spock - The Search For Spock is usually cited as one of the "bad" Star Trek movies. It's kind of a general rule that the even numbered ones are the good ones, and the odd numbered ones are the bad ones. While that holds true for most of them, it's not so much true for this one. This isn't a bad movie. It's just sandwiched between two much better movies. Coming off of Khan as probably the best villain Star Trek will ever have, the villain of this movie is pretty weak, and the stakes are considerably lower than those of the previous movie as well. But that doesn't make it a bad movie. There are just better movies in the series.
7.) Star Trek: The Motion Picture - This would have made an excellent episode of the original series. Unfortunately, they stretched a plot that would have fit snugly into a 45 min Star Trek episode into a more than 2 hour movie. There's a good hour of this movie that's just special effects, and the characters reacting to them. There's actually kind of a funny story behind that. Roddenberry didn't really know how to make a movie, and wasn't used to using movie grade special effects, so he commissioned just ridiculous numbers of effects shots and spent a crapton of money on them. And it turned out there were way more of them than were needed, but he spent so much money having them made, that he was damn well going to use them all whether they fit or not. And so, a good hour of the movie is characters reacting to special effects shots.
8.) Star Trek: Generations - This is not a very good movie. I was pretty hyped for this one, being the first of the TNG movies. The problem with it is that it just feels like a episode of the series, and the inclusion of Kirk was pretty unnecessary, even as a passing of the torch. They didn't really need to pass the torch, TNG ran for seven freaking years. It had already run it's series finale. It was over by the time this movie came out. No torch passing required here. We already know who the characters are. It's got a pretty weak villain with kind of weak motivations, the action is subpar, and the plot is pretty cluttered.
9.) Star Trek: Insurrection - Like Generations, this doesn't feel like a movie. It feels like an overlong episode of the series. And not a very good one at that. It has weak villains, literally NO stakes whatsoever, and it kind of goes against what Picard has chosen to do in similar situations earlier in the series. He's all full of righteous anger over moving 600 people for the greater good, when he has done that himself more than once in the past. Plus, sci-fi civilizations who choose to do away with their technology for a simpler life, and then lord it over others like they're so superior for the way they live their lives have ALWAYS annoyed me. Of all the freaking scripts they could have gone with for Star Trek 9, why this one? Surely there were better ideas for a freaking Star Trek movie lying around than this? It's a pretty nothing movie, and definitely the worst of the TNG movies.
10.) Star Trek V: The Final Frontier - This movie is basically Shatner's ego, arrogance, and hubris on full display. A vanity project that just sort of deflated with a sad farting noise. It doesn't make sense. It gets pretty much every character's personality wrong. The special effects were garbage. They used sets, props and even generic canned music from the TNG series because they ran out of money due to Shatner's mismanaging. It also breaks continuity with the rest of the series, creating some rather large plot holes. It pretty much treats everyone but Kirk like crap, and really shows how Shatner sees his costars. Definitely the worst of the Original Series movies, and also the single worst Star Trek movie ever made. It's not even entertaining to watch in a so bad it's good sort of way. It's just bad. With a lot of really cringe things in it.
Anyway, those are my Star Trek movie rankings, and a bit of what I thought of each movie.