Since Brittany started reviewing movies, and since I've seen all of the Star Trek films on TV since Christmas, I shall, therefore, rank them accordingly.
#1: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
- On the cusp of universal peace, Klingons, Romulans and even Federation officials descend into treachery and sabotage. This Trek film has something most lack, legitimate political intrigue. The themes are appealing even to the non-sci-fi fan.
#2: Star Trek: First Contact
- I'll note for the record that I am a big Next Generation fan, and so these movies have a special place in my heart. It is hands down the best action thriller of the lot, but revisits stories you might have to be a long-time fan to appreciate.
#3: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
- Otherwise known as That Whale Movie, the plot is a bit ridiculous, but there is a big payoff in seeing Spock goof around in the '80s. DeForest Kelley is also great in most of these early films.
#4: Star Trek: Insurrection
- This one often receives little fanfare, but watching Picard and crew defy their superiors when their orders are morally dubious strikes me as more honest than some of the shoot-'em-ups done with this cast.
#5: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
- No disrespect to Ricardo Montalban here. He pulls off well what is a plot based on a very bad episode of the original Star Trek series. There are more positives than negatives here, but the hype is mostly over a couple of quotable moments.
#6: Star Trek Generations
- I wasn't crazy about this when it came out, because any plot device to get the two captains together from centuries apart seemed ridiculous. And it is, but it's forgivable, because it's great to see Shatner in action one last time here.
#7: Star Trek: The Motion Picture
- This movie can only be fairly assessed in 1979. The drawn-out, panning shots of model space ships and galactic phenomena seem really boring with today's special effects, but this is an honest-to-god sci-fi movie with an honest-to-god sci-fi plot, something that Star Trek fails to entertain more often than one might expect. The Motion Picture also features what is the best score of all the films.
#8: Star Trek
- Upon first viewing, as a long-time fan, I was mortified. Rewatching it over the break, being already prepared for the aspects I found displeasing, I was able to enjoy it. The number one thing you need for this film is suspension of disbelief, and ironically you don't need it as much for more zany, intricate alien stories.
#9: Star Trek Nemesis
- The weakest of the Next Generation films, Nemesis is tolerable when you've come to the realization that you've already watched every other Star Trek movie since Christmas. I am not really crazy about the plot, but it plays better than the worst episodes of the series, and there are some legitimate themes of introspection and sacrifice that stand out.
#10: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
- As a caveat, I've only seen this and Star Trek V once, and they're at the bottom of my list, so take that for what it's worth. The film shines when the crew is kicking butt on a Federation space station, defying orders and sneaking off to save Spock. However, even Christopher Lloyd can't make the dumb Klingon plot seem compelling. Oh, and they kill Kirk's son suddenly and without fanfare, after only briefly introducing him in the previous movie. No actor can compellingly portray grief after that dumb plot development.
#11: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
- My uncle told me that Shatner directed this movie and caught hell for it. I wanted to see for myself. Oh, it sucks. The highlight of the film would have been the opening camaraderie between Kelley, Shatner and Nimoy. Should have been. Instead, it's all really corny jokes. Furthermore, look forward to 60-year-old Uhura doing a striptease, an alien who wants to hijack the ship in order to meet God, and probably the worst special effects I've ever seen on film. Allegedly budget cuts were an issue. If this film has a high point, it is the very first scene with Sybok approaching a man in the desert, because it's filmed well, and because you haven't yet figured out that the movie is going to suck.
Thank you, and God bless America.