Dusknoir

Movies/TV Ranking the Star Trek films

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(edited)

I've seen threads for Star Wars and most recently for Spiderman films of this nature, feel like it's about time to make one for Star Trek. I remember sharing my rankings for each film back when for a status update, but I'd say here are mine:

 

  1. Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan. There's definitely a reason why this is the most popular film among the fanbase. Not only does it feature one of Star Trek's most iconic villains in his best portrayal to date, one of the most iconic character deaths in all of film, and a fundamental theme echoed several times during the film that can be described as no less than profound.
  2. Star Trek (2009). My dad actually hates this film. I guess I'm not surprised because he's the Star Trek equivalent of a genwunner, but this film does an EXCELLENT job of revamping the original series in a whole new universe, all complexly interwoven with the original universe in such a way as to make a very compelling movie. Also, Pine's Kirk is very underrated.
  3. Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country. I really like the concept of this film being a sort of sci-fi political thriller. I honestly think this film is a tiny bit underrated even if it's generally considered to be a top 5 film, though I think part of that is my personal bias. The murder mystery part of it could have been made a bit more of a whodunnit, but still a great film in my eyes.
  4. Star Trek IV: A Voyage Home. I understand that the popular opinion for this film is that it's second only to Wrath of Khan. I really do like the somewhat campy humor in parts of it and it's change of tone for the series as a whole being more light-hearted than usual even by Star Trek standards, but I have to admit the plot is a little ridiculous, so it's only fourth.
  5. Star Trek: First Contact. I think everyone can agree that this is by far The Next Generation's best outing movie-wise. A very solid plot setup with the Borg as the main villain, and an extremely great outing for Data (which is sorely missed in later films) make it a really good film even if it is a bit cheesy and doesn't utilize Worf all that much.
  6. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. This is the one time for the original 9 movies (yes not just the first 6, IMHO) you completely throw "it's odd so it's no good" out the window. This film has some weaknesses in its plot being a bit of a retcon of Wrath of Khan, but it's still definitely a story very worthy of a Trek movie considering that retcon is done in good faith.
  7. Star Trek Beyond. I'll admit I was on the fence about this one when I first watched it, but now I'd say it's a pretty solid Trek movie even with its distinct lack of personality. All the pairings in this movie work very well, even if in the end the film doesn't leave much of a mark on me, honestly. It's admittedly the worst of the good Trek films, though.
  8. Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I get what they were going for here, being a cinematic experience, but they failed to do anything but make a boring movie I didn't care much to watch. If HALF THE MOVIE is showing the ship off, that's a problem... Also I really don't like that they sideline the main characters in this movie... It's just disrespectful.
  9. Star Trek: Insurrection. This movie isn't BAD it's just mediocre. I really liked the premise of this film being about the Federation themselves being the actual villains, and the setup was done rather well. But it does go south after that in such a way as to make it a bit of a slog to go through. Also, there's nothing whatsoever memorable about this one.
  10. Star Trek: Into Darkness. They had so much going for this movie in the first half, it looked like a worthy sequel. But in the second half it quickly falls completely flat on its face. I wouldn't say this is the worst film, we're getting to that, but this film is pretty bad for all the wasted potential, Khan's re-use, and the fact Cumberbatch's Khan was absolutely awful...
  11. Star Trek: Generations. Star Trek Fan-service: The Movie is what this is. It's a pile of total garbage that has a plothole in its fundamental story so massive you could fit a Borg cube in it. I don't know if the fact that Kirk is somehow still alive after the beginning or the fact he's STILL alive in Picard's time is worse. It felt like a cash grab of humongous proportions.
  12. Star Trek V: Final Frontier. Let's address the elephant in the room with this travesty. YOU CAN'T TALK ABOUT GOD IN A SCI-FI MOVIE. Second thing to address this film makes Star Trek as a whole look like a complete joke...  I will give it a little credit for the "I need my pain!" line but other than that there is nothing else whatsoever about this movie that isn't awful.

I have never seen Nemesis, but from what I've heard I'm sure glad I haven't. How would you rank the Star Trek films? Would be interesting to see different opinions. :P

 

Edited by Furret ᐡ꒳ᐡ

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Films, as with any form of art, is highly subjective.  Upon watching a film any two given people will have a slightly different experience and will take something different away at the end, some may love a film because they relate so strongly with the protagonist, while another may find the same character altogether uninspiring but will watch the film due to its well choreographed fight scenes, yet another person might despise every aspect of the film and buys it on DVD only to enable them to hold a ritual burning.  None of these people's opinions are wrong because we are all unique people with our own experiences, priorities and preferences.  This rule is suspended on only one occasion, anyone that says the Wrath of Khan is not the best Star Trek film... is wrong.  Shit bust.

 

I would largely agree with your list, except I think Star Trek 2009 is placed too high.

1.  The Wrath of Khan

2.  The Undiscovered Country

3.  The Voyage Home

4.  First Contact

5.  The Search for Spock

6.  Star Trek 2009

7.  Nemesis

8.  Insurrection

9.  The Final Frontier

10.  Beyond

11.  Generations

12.  The Motion Picture

13.  Into Darkness

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(edited)

I have seen every Star Trek film save Beyond.  The rankings are:

 

1.)  The Wrath of Khan:  Pretty much an obligatory first place for any Star Trek fan, and it deserves the number 1 spot.  It combines a brilliant character driven plot with the best space battles seen in the series and is an excellent send-off for Spock (he gets better though).  Not much else to say here, other than a darn good movie.

2.)  The Undiscovered Country:  In many ways this is my favorite, despite the superior Wrath of Khan.  It is a brilliant thesis on the nature of conflict, hatred and xenophobia wrapped up within a political thriller mystery, and provides excellent world building for the upcoming TNG era of Star Trek.  Also, this movie is the perfect rebuttal for anyone who insist that The Motion Picture is the only "true" Star Trek movie.  If overcoming your personal demons and fear of the future to make lasting peace with a bitter enemy doesn't count as a proper Star Trek plot, than what the heck does?  Also, this movie is the perfect send off for the TOS cast.

3.)  First Contact:  The only TNG movie that is actually worth watching.  It seamlessly combines a tense, action filled A plot with a fun world building B plot with a nice bit of character sketches thrown in for good measure.  It is a shame none of the other TNG movies would turn out this good.

4.)  The Voyage Home:  The one with the whales.  It combines a wacky time-travel plot with a somewhat ham-fisted environmental message.  It is a fun comedy nevertheless and makes good use of the setting, characters and pretty much anything else it had available to it.  

5.)  The Motion Picture:  One word: padding.  This movie is brutally padded beyond all reason.  That being said, what plot, character growth and concepts that lie within said padding are actually fairly solid.  It is just a shame it waste so much of the audiences time doing absolutely nothing.

6.) The Search for Spock:  This movie is a weird one.  For every movie listed below this, the flaws are kind of obvious, and the same can be said for The Motion Picture.  There aren't any such glaring flaws in this movie, but it still doesn't quite work.  I think at least some of it is wasted potential, there are so many momentous events in the movie, including the fact that Spock is raised from the dead, and yet it comes off as downright boring most of the time.  I think the major problem is that nothing is properly paid off in this movie, and that it is left to The Voyage Home and the Undiscovered Country to properly wrestle with the consequences of the things that happen in this film.

7.) Star Trek (2009):  This movie is just a generic action flick with a Star Trek skin stretched over it.  That being said, it is a competently executed action flick with young actors who can perform in the action scenes, as opposed to aging geriatrics trying to fake their way through the action scenes.  This is enough to put it well ahead of the remaining three TNG movies, which insist being action flicks despite the fact that action (outside of space ship combat) was never TNG's strength.

8.) Insurrection:  Mediocre action flick with a horribly botched aesop.  The Federation is tasked with harvesting some planetary rings for some medical miracle that will likely save the lives of billions, but they will have to displace a few hundred aliens known as the Ba'ku from the planet because the harvesting process will kill the Ba'ku otherwise.  Picard sides against the Federation because he believes displacing the Ba'ku is wrong.  The whole moral dilemma falls flat on its face when we discover that the Ba'ku are a bunch of condescending, selfish assholes who were unwilling to share the planet with their own brethren because their brethren refused to accept the Ba'ku's bullshit Amish lifestyle.  This led to the exile of the Ba'ku's brethren as the Son'a, who live in a perpetual state of body horror that requires constant medical treatment to prevent their faces from melting off while the Ba'ku get to live as immortals in a natural paradise.  Meanwhile, the Son'a only want to harvest the planet rings to end their body horror condition, and are trying to avoid killing the Ba'ku if possible.  Also, technically the planet with the rings doesn't even belong to the Ba'ku. 

 9.) Nemesis:  Weird plot centered around a terribly developed villian that leads to a dull, protracted space battle.  The actions of this movie's villian make no sense given the backstory and motivations provided, while the space battle involves four starships shooting at each other to no effect until the movie arbitrarily decides to make a given shot crippling.  Shinzon happens to be equipped with weapons, ships and technology that he utterly lacks the capacity to develop and acquire, and the movie never even bothers to try to explain it.  Also, Troi gets mind raped for no reason at all, because I guess the movie wasn't scummy enough as is.

10.)  Into Darkness:  Why is Khan in this movie at all?  He was apparently coerced into making advanced Star Fleet technology for a corrupt admiral, but much like Shinzon's technological acquisitions there is no reason why the 22nd century warlord Khan would know the first thing about developing state of the art 23rd century technology.  And honestly, Cumberbatch's character could be literally any other genetically augmented human and it wouldn't effect the plot at all.  Beyond that, the whole plot is just a succession of the movie pulling things out of its ass.  Transwarp beaming across the galaxy, check.  Weird long range torpedoes that are both highly destructive explosives and cryostatsis pods for augmented humans, check.  A section 13 super starship.  In for a penny in for a pound I guess.

11.)  Generations:  This is just a non-stop train wreck from start to finish.  Nothing in the plot makes sense, Picard makes non-stop stupid decisions, Riker loses the Enterprise to a single Bird of Prey, and Data's emotion chip antics are just downright painful.  And it finishes with one of the worst character deaths in cinema history.  Kirk had the perfect send off in Undiscovered Country, why did this movie bring him back only to bury him under a pile of loose rocks?

12.)  Final Frontier:  The less that is said about this movie, the better.

 

Edited by Twilight Dirac

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I have never really seen any but one or two movies, out of context as well. Meaning I cannot even rank them.

But if they have funny Data moments, or Q moments, I am sure i would rank them high!

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