VIDEO: Ranking the Star Trek films (part 2 of 2)

Part two of a two part ranking of all 12 Star Trek films, from worst to first.

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Tag: The Star Trek Movies
Tag: Tom's Retrophilia: Ranking the Star Trek Films

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  • Gearóid

    Wrath of Kahn is awesome, trilling, fun and sad.
    The space battles were always my favourite.
    And his last line “from hells heart I stab at thee, for hates sake I spit my last breath at thee” all bloody and injured is just the most crazy cool thing.
    It won’t be bested.
    Nice list.
    “Kahn, I’m laughing at your superior intellect”

    • Thomas Stockel

      Thanks. I think one of the most impressive things regarding the TOS movies is an honest attempt to make them all different, where JJ Abrams’ two outings feel a little too much alike. I’m afraid I don’t have a whole lot of hope for Beyond, I’m afraid, and I won’t be wasting my money seeing it in the theater.

    • Hal_10000

      My favorite moment is in a deleted scene where Kirk laments to McCoy that they only survived the battle because he knew something about the ships that Khan didn’t. It’s a wonderful moment of vulnerability and played very well by Shatner.

  • danbreunig

    Not surprising to me and so so many others familiar with the major Trek films that all but one of TOS films and the one good TNG film would make the top six in the list. Maybe your video could’ve been titled “Star Trek Movies: The List Worth Having Vs. The List Worth Missing”?

    • Thomas Stockel

      Perhaps you’re right. Then I could have just had the three best and three worst? Then again, maybe I’m paid by the minute. ;)

  • Hal_10000

    Thank you so much for defending TMP. It is severely under-rated by most people. I understand the criticisms. But more than any other picture it is infused with Roddenberry’s sense of wonder and adventure and optimism. And I never realized what you said about the ending: it does resolve things the way Trek always did at its best: without resorting to just shooting things.

    • Thomas Stockel

      I’m glad I’m not the only person who appreciates the film. It came pretty close to being #1 with me, but I think it just has too many flaws for it to quite make it to the top of the list.
      A friend of mine also pointed out after I had finished the video how no one ever called the movie on it’s irony. During TOS’ run Kirk was often confronted by officials and superior officers that would in some way, shape or form thwart him or be a colossal pain in his ass. And what happens in TMP? He does the exact same thing to Captain Decker. I think if anyone would have called out Kirk’s behavior it would have been McCoy. :)

    • 333: SC

      I agree 100% (and I’ve said so). It’s really the only actual science fiction movie in the franchise.

  • K

    I have to disagree with you re: TMP. It’s missing the thing that really made “Star Trek: special: humanity. Everyone seems stiff and formal, with interactions sounding forced. In the rest of the TOS movies (including the much-maligned “Star Trek V”), there’s more real emotion and comradeship. There’s an unfortunate sense in TMP that everyone is behaving like “Turnabout Intruder” only happened yesterday (as opposed to the later movies’ acknowledgement that time had, indeed, passed). The uniforms look very bland (and were roundly hated by the whole cast). And, while Kirk is indeed a jerk for much of the movie, that doesn’t justify Shatner’s performance. He comes across as not so much playing Kirk, as doing an impersonation of Shatner playing Kirk. (“Itismyintention…tobeonthatship…followingthatmeeting.”) And Kirk doesn’t really show anywhere near the character development we see in any of the other TOS movies.
    Yes, the VFX are great and Jerry Goldsmith’s score is one of his best. And there is a sense of optimism. But the basic plot was done much better in “Star Trek IV”. TMP is not a terrible film, by any means, but I don’t believe it’s as good a “Star Trek” movie as you do.

    • Thomas Stockel

      I understand what you are saying, but I guess I didn’t see the same thing you did in regards to the performances. And I happen to love those uniforms. Bland? Sure. So are the US Navy’s. :) I understand how TMP is not for everyone.

  • Toby Clark

    My own rankings, part 2
    6: The Voyage Home (8/10)
    5: Star Trek (2009) (9/10)
    4: Into Darkness (9/10)
    3: The Undiscovered Country (10/10, somewhere in my top 100)
    2: The Wrath of Khan (10/10, ditto)
    1: First Contact (10/10, my favourite film of all time).

  • Spocksbro

    You’re spot on with the top 3 but I do have one minor quibble with a comment you made regarding “Search for Spock” – there is one thing wrong with it, terribly wrong – ROBIN CURTIS.

    I know they couldn’t get Alley back but they could have at least gotten someone who could act.

  • muddlewait

    Thanks for the defense of TMP. (And for pointing out how Kirk becomes the exact kind of jerk flag officer who used to get in his way. Never thought of that before.)

    My favorite thing about the film is that it resolves the major conflict at the heart of TOS, and maybe even of science fiction itself, with Spock’s “Is this all that I am?” speech. Spock completes his character arc, finally learning to accept and appreciate the value of his dual nature, setting the stage for his spiritual centeredness in II (and unfortunately necessitating his death and mind-wipe to keep him interesting in later films, but still). Seriously, watch him in II. This is the Spock who’d figured it out.

    They honestly wouldn’t have had to make another Star Trek film after TMP: it finished TOS beautifully. The rest of the films are dessert.

    Incidentally, this is one reason Data in TNG never worked as well for me. Data never felt to me like he’d ever figure it out: he was yearning to be something (emotionally aware) that he wasn’t, but might be, and I never felt like he’d be able to make peace with a choice to be one thing or another or some mixture of both.

    Thanks again.

  • I honestly think if you like TMP then TWOK is an enormous disappointment. TMP has a lot of the characters out of whack and the whole movie is their struggle to get back to themselves. At the end we’re incredibly relieved that everything is in the same place it was when TOS was on the air. You’re ready… no! You’ve EARNED a standard Trek adventure after two hours of all this soul searching mishegas. Then TWOK rolls in and you get… more soul searching with none of the crew comfortable just being themselves. Kirk practically killed a guy in TMP to get his ship back. In TWOK he has to be convinced to want it at all. The Enterprise is launched AGAIN. Kirk finds himself AGAIN. Someone else saves the day (Decker/Spock) AGAIN. Plus, worst of all, the Enterprise is an old, worn out brute of a ship now. She was sparkling new in TMP. By TSFS she’s mothballed and blown to bits. How can you design something as amazing as the TMP Refit and then call it outdated two years later?

    I would have liked to see what happened right after TMP. Kirk at his best, the crew in one piece, and the Enterprise a model of modern gorgeousness. It’s what we deserved. TWOK is a total let down.