Ranking the Star Trek Films

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.

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%)

Author: djwudi

Enthusiastic ambivert. Geeky, liberal, friendly, curious, feminist ally; trying to be a good person. (he/him)

0 thoughts on “Ranking the Star Trek Films”

  1. Nerd fight! Here’s my ranking. I’ll spare you the rationale since it’s all subjective, but I was shocked to see First Contact so far down your list. Zephram Cochrane, the borg, and Alfre Woodard beat out whales and bad 80s hairdos any day of the week.

    1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
    2. Star Trek: First Contact
    3. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
    4. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
    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
  2. …I was shocked to see First Contact so far down your list.

    I think that it’s because of two things:

    First, at heart, I’m a TOS Trekkie. Not that I don’t like post-TOS Trek (DS9 is actually my favorite of the series, though I’ve not watched VOY and only some of ENT), but having grown up on TOS and immersing my young imagination in that universe for so many years, Kirk & Co. get the nod.

    Secondly, while FC is by far the best of the TNG films, I’m not a big fan of the Borg Queen idea (though I do love Alice Krige as the Borg Queen). For me, the Borg were more frightening in their original incarnation as a faceless alien hive — personalizing them by giving them a central Queen figure made them less threatening. Suddenly you have a very obvious way to kill, or at least seriously disrupt, a Borg colony, instead of being faced with a truly alien, apparently unstoppable entity.

    Plus, it was all so vague as just what role the Queen actually played. Is there one Queen for all of the Borg? That would seem to be what the movie implied, but then why would she be on the cube attacking the Federation? Did she control or direct the Borg (either in entirety or within the single cube), or is she merely a spokesperson, similar to how they attempted to use Picard in creating Locutus? What happened to the Borg not involved in the assault on the Federation when she died?

    Some of these questions are probably answered (or at least addressed) in VOY — I know that Borg Queens were seen again (and apparently Krige reprised her role for the end of VOY after a different actress played the Queen earlier in the series, which raises even more questions) — but as stated above, I haven’t watched VOY yet.

    And yes…thinking about things like this are a huge part of why I always have been, and always will be, a geek. :)

  3. I think I’m the only Trek fan that didn’t like FC at all. Well, it had it’s moments, but I HATED what they did with the Borg. One of the greatest sci-fi “villains” and they felt like such bad satire in that movie. Maybe I’ll try watching it again, but I remember being turned off about 5 minutes into it.

    I actually enjoyed Generations, but that’s about it. Insurrection I remember being “fun” while Nemesis was confusing. I loved TNG, but it just never worked on the big screen.

    And you’ll get no argument here regarding TWOK vs TUC. I think those top two spots are pretty interchangeable. TWOK is probably the better Trek movie while TUC is probably the better movie.

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