Every STAR TREK Movie Ranked in One Sentence or Less

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Before the internet gets swept up in The Rise of Skywalker tide later this week, we should all take a moment to commemorate an entry in that other important sci-fi space franchise, as Star Trek: The Motion Picture celebrates 40 years of life this month.  To that end, here is every theatrical outing in the seminal series, ranked, reviewed, and accompanied by an original theatrical trailer.


13. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) – 2/10
An occasionally tasteless and ultimately ridiculous attempt at skewering theism, The Final Frontier is a major blemish on the franchise and a disappointing effort from co-writer/director/star William Shatner.


12. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) – 5/10
An overly long, big-screen debut for the franchise that fails to live up to the heights of The Original Series and that other space movie with which it’s so obviously trying to compete.


11. Star Trek Beyond (2016) – 6/10
A generic, pop-corn auctioneer that inexplicably wastes the indomitable Idris Elba in the lead villain role; an abysmal capper to the Kelvin Trilogy.


10. Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) -7/10
A writer completely obsessed with the source material and a director totally detached from it—Nemesis oscillates between too much and not enough but is ultimately salvaged by a young Tom Hardy as Picard’s evil clone and a gut-punch ending.


9. Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) – 7/10
Heart, humor, intelligence, a formidable foe—Insurrection possesses many classic Trek elements and probably would have been stellar as two-part TNG episode, but as a big budget film, it’s a little flat.


8. Star Trek: Generations (1994) – 7/10
Though the writers were right when they said they should have saved the “Yesterday’s Enterprise” concept for the first Next Generation film, Generations is nevertheless an enjoyable installment, for the Kirk/Picard team-up if nothing else.


7. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) – 8/10
Suffering the most from an ethnical miscast in Benedict Cumberbatch as the primary antagonist, this Kelvin universe version of Wrath of Khan is an unfairly derided spin on a classic tale and a solid Trek flick in its own right.


6. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) – 9/10
The Enterprise crew goes rogue to get the mind of Spock out of Bones and into the former’s resurrected body, while fending off Christopher Loyd’s villainous Klingon captain in Leonard Nimoy’s wild and exceptional directorial debut.


5. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) – 9/10
An interstellar political thriller that deftly plays off the immediate post-Cold War era in which it was made.


4. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) – 9/10
In a daringly comedic entry, adroitly directed by returning Nimoy, Kirk and crew travel back to the 1980s to appropriate a pair of humpback whales to save the 23rd century from certain doom.


3. Star Trek (2009) – 10/10
Director J. J. Abrams updates the franchise for mainstream, 21st-century audiences, while maintaining most of the elements that made Trek great form its inception.


2. Star Trek: First Contact (1996) – 10/10
The Next Gen crew’s finest outing is a deep, dark venture that serves as a worthy sequel to one of Trek’s greatest stories, while proving beyond a doubt that Jonathan Frakes was born to direct.


1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) – 10/10
Nicholas Meyer’s script and direction are near flawless, but it’s Ricardo Montalban’s tour de force return as the titular villain that solidifies this film’s place in Trek canon.