The 10 Best Star Trek Movies (According To Metacritic)
The Star Trekmovies have had their ups and downs over the decades but most fans wouldn't trade any of them for anything. The overall franchise has such a wide, and still-ongoing, history, however, that new entrants can be left wondering what the best movies really are with so many long-standing debates surrounding so many of the movies.
With this in mind, let's look at the top 10 movies according to critical scores accumulated by review aggregate site Metacritic to hopefully provide a good jumping-off point for any prospective fans looking to get into the movie side of things.
10 Star Trek: Generations (55)
The first movie of the Next Generation crew was somewhat of a stumble but not enough to deter producers from making three more movies with the cast or to rank it with the lowest moments of the movie franchise.
The relatively straightforward story bridges the gap between the new Enterprise crew and the old one, specifically their captains, and, like most Star Trek movies, it's stood the test of time thanks to its emphasis on character.
9 Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (56)
Though not without its rough edges, Leonard Nimoy's movie debut as a director would prove to be a big success and enabled Star Trek movies to continue and grow into a still-existing franchise.
Full of its own big twists and turns in the story after the game-changing ending of the previous movie, Search for Spock not only expands the famous characters and their universe but views them through a new lens.
8 Star Trek: Insurrection (64)
Though often either maligned or forgotten by fans, its high critical score supports the notion that Star Trek: Insurrection is one of the franchise's hidden gems.
A relatively small scale, but heavily moral, story evokes some of the best qualities of Star Trek as an overall brand with the often unfinished-looking effects failing to subtract from the plot's most compelling, and fun, aspects.
7 Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (65)
The final movie of the original series crew took the beloved team out on a high note with this hugely relevant political conspiracy thriller centering on the imminent collapse of the antagonistic Klingon empire whilst drawing parallels with the dissolution of the USSR.
Christopher Plummer's memorable villain goes a long way in making Undisocvoered Country what it is but the direct influence of the movie's proficiency with satisfyingly tieing up narrative loose ends is something that can be clearly seen in blockbusters as big and recent as Avengers: Endgame.
6 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (67)
Often cited by movie fans in general as not just one of the best Star Trek sequels but one of the best sequels of any kind ever, Wrath of Khan provided a perfect ending for the core relationships of the original series crew.
Of course, the movie's success meant that it was more a new beginning than an ending but the fact that the emotional impact of the story isn't diminished by this or by time is the strongest indicator that it's undeniably one of the brand's finest accomplishments ever.
5 Star Trek Beyond (68)
Though not the financial success of the previous two entries in the latest movie incarnation of the original Enterprise crew, Star Trek Beyond is a fun and funny, romp that stays firmly in touch with the franchise's roots in social and political commentary.
Whatever is lost by J.J. Abrams jumping ship and taking his breathless plotting to the Star Warsfranchise is more than made up for by the return of the actual character traits of the classic crew members as well as a few new memorable faces.
4 Star Trek: First Contact (71)
Providing a satisfying confrontation and resolution to the long-running Borg plot from The Next Generation, First Contact is a more linear action movie than most Star Trek stories.
Despite old story threads and a common time travel element, the movie's 'ship in a bottle' battle for the Enterprise with the cybernetic foes, coupled with an origin story for the earliest days of Starfleet, makes for a widely-loved cocktail of the franchise's most unique qualities.
3 Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (71)
After a string of heavy emotional losses in the previous two movies, Leonard Nimoy's third part in the Star Trek trilogy arc lightens the mood to great effect.
Forcing the original series crew to travel back in time to the 1980s to literally save the whales, Voyage Home delivers the Star Trek movies' most direct and unabashed message in what may still be its most accessible adventure ever.
2 Star Trek Into Darkness (72)
Though certainly not without its detractors (the movie was once voted as the worst in the franchise by a group of Star Trek fans at a convention), J.J. Abrams' second movie in the so-called Kelvin timeline was a big success with both critics and general audiences at the box office.
Much of the controversy surrounding stems from the fact that, much like Abrams' following Star Wars movie, it's essentially a more hollow remake of a much older entry in the franchise–Wrath ofKhan,in this case–but the director's flair for quickly moving action plots was far from fatigued with sci-fi fans at this point.
1 Star Trek (82)
J.J. Abrams' reboot of the movie franchise uses the classic time travel plot device to weave an origin story for the original Enterprise crew that incorporates the history of the original show and its movies.
Its most distinguishing feat, however, is that it bases it around an original story for the series. It may not be much of an original plot compared to movies in general but its action-adventure tropes, in conjunction with a lack of any kind of idealism or philosophy at all, made it a huge hit with a much wider audience than the franchise is used to.