Star Trekkin’ Across the Universe

This summer, I’m going to blog my way through all of the Star Trek movies, from The Motion Picture through Into Darkness. I watched them all recently, so I thought it might be fun to review them. I’m not sure I have anything new to add to what’s no doubt already been said about these movies. I’m a Star Trek fan, but I’ve always felt it worked better on TV than it did on the big screen. The movies that work well, for example The Wrath of Khan, are the ones that most closely follow the TV incarnation. Nevertheless, the ones that depart from the TV formula are also interesting for that very reason.

I suppose it’s standard practice for blog projects like this to rank the movies from best to worst. So before I start my reviews proper, I’ll offer my own ranking.

The Wrath of Khan

The Search for Spock

First Contact

The Undiscovered Country

The Final Frontier


Star Trek (2009)


Into Darkness

The Voyage Home

The Motion Picture


I think I’m solidly with the consensus on The Wrath of Khan being the best of the Star Trek films. More controversial, perhaps, is my relatively high ranking of V and VI and relatively low ranking of the rebooted franchise. In my reviews, I’ll say more about why I’ve ordered the list this way. In the meantime, I’ll reiterate my rule of thumb: the films that most closely capture the spirit of the TV shows  (e.g. Wrath of Khan and First Contact) are better than those that depart from the source material (e.g. Voyage Home and Insurrection) or lean in the direction of self-referential parody (e.g. Into Darkness).

In my next post, I’ll examine Star Trek: The Motion Picture and attempt to justify my second to last ranking. Until then, enjoy this video:


4 thoughts on “Star Trekkin’ Across the Universe

  1. An interesting ranking!! I admit I enjoyed ‘Generations’ a lot, probably this is my favorite… though I cannot quite explain it.
    I am a bad movie critic though – I can’t disentangle my opinion on a movie from nostalgic feelings related to the time I watched it first. I watched Generations together with a group of colleagues some months before I finished my PhD.

    • I’m nostalgic about certain movies too, and can’t judge them too harshly. As for Generations, I was excited to see Kirk back, but, like many fans, was disappointed with how they ended his arc. I’ll say more about it when I eventually review that movie.

  2. This sounds fun! I haven’t seen all the Star Trek films yet, but I’m trying to work my way through them. I just watched Generations recently. The first of Trek I ever saw was actually First Contact, and that’s how I became a fan. But I agree with you that the TV shows are better than the movies. Looking forward to your reviews.

    • Thanks! I’ve been lax about actually finishing the Star Trek review series. I really need to come back to that project. Thanks for the gentle nudge.

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