After having spent much of the past few weeks working my way through the Star Trek film series, this is how I rank them, best to worst. Obviously, this is my personal ranking. Feel free to disagree.

  1. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  2. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  3. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  4. Star Trek: First Contact
  5. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  6. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  7. Star Trek: Generations
  8. Star Trek: Nemesis
  9. Star Trek: Insurrection
  10. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

The #1 and #2 spots are tough, very nearly a tie — and probably where I’ll get the most disagreement — but for me, that’s how they stack up. As good as TWoK is, the combination of the underlying theme of recognizing and overcoming racism and prejudice, and Christopher Plummer’s gleeful scenery chewing, Shakespeare-quoting, bolted-in-eyepatch General Chang (“Cry havoc! And let slip the dogs of war!”) make TUD work for me. Some of this may be that I saw TUD in theaters, which I was too young to do with TWoK, and I have very fond memories of the theater erupting in cheers watching the Enterprise and Excelsior hammer Chang’s Bird of Prey into oblivion — that scene still gets my blood pumping when I watch it.

(Plus, while I know he’s done something like six million other things, I love that General Chang and Captain Von Trapp from The Sound of Music are the same actor.)

Here’s how the rankings stand in popular opinion, as measured by Rotten Tomatoes (which, suprisingly, ends up placing First Contact just above The Wrath of Khan…I didn’t expect that):

  1. First Contact (91%)
  2. The Wrath of Khan (90%)
  3. The Voyage Home (84%)
  4. The Undiscovered Country (82%)
  5. The Search for Spock (no official rating, 80% unofficial from eight positive and two negative reviews)
  6. Insurrection (56%)
  7. The Motion Picture (52%)
  8. Generations (50%)
  9. Nemesis (37%)
  10. The Final Frontier (21%)