Sam Trenholme's webpage

On the Star Trek movies

There has been this meme on the internet that one has to order all Star Trek moveis by quality. Now, since I have seen every single one during its original theatrical release (except for Generations), it is very difficult for me to sort by quality movies which I saw over a period of three decades.

Some exceptions to the normal list:

  • Star Trek III is an excellent movie; it was a very significant event with Star Trek fandom at the time.

  • Star Trek IV is the most sucessful pre-Abrams movie: It had the biggest box office take of any of the movies until Star Trek 11. I will go so far as to say that the Star Trek franchise would no longer be around today if it was not for the incredible success of IV. Also, great fun unless you are one of those who takes Star Trek canon too seriously.

  • I really enjoyed both Abrams-directed movies (“Star Trek” and to a lesser extent “Into Darkness”), but some hard core fans didn’t care for them.

Basically, I found IV, “Star Trek” (the first Abrams one) and “Star Trek: Beyond” to be great fun. "First Contact" (8), “Into Darkness”, VI, III, and II were enjoyable action-packed Star Trek movies; I will not even attempt to sort these on quality. "Insurrection" (9) and "Generations" (7) were as good as a good episode of TNG. "Star Trek: TMP" (1) and "Nemesis" (10) were, too often, boring while watching; TMP benefits from having really good special effects for its time. Star Trek V was awful beyond words.

0 = 10; A = 11; B = 12 (Into Darkness); C = Star Trek: Beyond

Best to worst; [] indicates movies of roughly same quality


As I said before, I have almost always seen these movies when they first came out in the theaters; I have changed a great deal over those years and my perceptions of the world have changed greatly.

In terms of adjusted for inflation box office receipts, the order is: