All the "Star Trek" Movies Ranked From Worst to Best

There have been twelve Star Trek movies so far with the thirteenth, Star Trek Beyond, on the way. Which movies are worth seeing and which are worthless? This is a rundown of all the movies in order of worst to best.

of 12

"Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" (1989)

Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Sybok
Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Sybok. Paramount Pictures

Spock's long-lost half-brother Sybok hijacks the Enterprise-A, and takes it to go to the center of the Galaxy to find God himself. While the concept for this movie was certainly ambitious, there are very few fans who would say this movie achieved its goals. The beloved and loyal crew turning against Kirk, the weak humor, and underdeveloped concept made this the weakest of the series so far.

of 12

"Star Trek: Nemesis" (2002)

The Enterprise crew on
The Enterprise crew on "Nemesis". Paramount Pictures

The Enterprise faces a new enemy when a previously unknown race, the Revans, take over the Romulan Empire. They are led by a clone of Captain Picard who's gone mad with revenge. Even under a fake nose and chin, Tom Hardy delivers a powerful performance as a younger version of Picard. But the whole story comes across as weak and repeats too many themes from previous movies.

of 12

"Star Trek: Generations" (1994)

Kirk meets Picard in
Kirk meets Picard in "Generations". Paramount Pictures

This movie makes the transition from the original series to the Next Generation. An interdimensional ribbon known as the Nexus moves through space, trapping anyone who contacts it in a timeless void, and a mad scientist plans to destroy a solar system to enter it. It's great to see the TNG cast on the big screen, and the return of Captain Kirk is a treat. But some fans were disappointed by the weak story, and Kirk's less-than-epic final appearance.

of 12

"Star Trek: Insurrection" (1998)

Picard and Data in
Picard and Data in "Insurrection". Paramount Pictures

In this episode - er, movie - the crew of the Enterprise tries to prevent a planet's population from being evicted. It turns out their world has youth-regenerating properties, and the Federation wants to exploit it. Some fans thought the story felt more than an episode of the show than a movie. Other fans criticise the poor action sequences and effects. But the biggest problem we have with this movie is that the villains are kind of right. I mean, why not move a few million people if it could save trillions of lives? When the audience is agreeing with the bad guys, you know you messed up.

of 12

"Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979)

Kirk, Scotty on
Kirk, Scotty on "The Motion Picture". Paramount Pictures

When a mysterious alien cloud threatens to destroy Earth, the Enterprise is sent to intercept it. Along the way, they discover an incredible force with a grudge against Mankind. This movie has been nicknamed "The Motionless Picture" by fans due to its extended and tedious scenes of outer space. While its epic scale and the cast from the original series are more than welcome, the special effects sequences drag on way too long, leaving little story behind.

of 12

"Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" (1984)

The crew reunited with Spock
The crew reunited with Spock. Paramount Pictures

When the Enterprise discover that Spock's body has been regenerated on the planet Genesis, the Enterprise has to fight a Klingon enemy to save him. The return of Spock and the rest of the cast is welcome, and the story has an emotional theme that resonates. But the weak special effects do take away from the overall movie.

of 12

"Star Trek Into Darkness" (2013)

Kirk, Spock, and Khan in prison
Kirk, Spock, and Khan in prison. Paramount Pictures

The new crew of the Enterprise encounters a mysterious and powerful figure who threatens to destroy the Federation. Along the way, they must infiltrate the Klingon homeworld, and uncover a dark conspiracy. The movie has incredible special effects and action sequences, and an epic scale. But some fans were disappointed by the references to Wrath of Khan instead of an original movie, and the focus on action over story.

of 12

"Star Trek" (2009)

Cast photo of Star Trek
Cast photo of "Star Trek" (2019). Paramount Pictures

The entire franchise was reborn with this epic film. When history is changed by a group of time-traveling Romulans, Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the crew take command of the Enterprise at a younger age. With its dazzling special effects, and thrilling action sequences, this movie brought a whole new generation of fans into the Trek fandom.

of 12

"Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986)

The Enterprise crew on 20th Center Earth
The Enterprise crew on 20th Center Earth. Paramount Pictures

An alien spacecraft threatens to destroy Earth, and only the song of a humpback whale can stop it. With whales extinct in the future, the Enterprise must travel back to 1986, and bring one home. This movie's clever story and light-hearted humor is what makes it a favorite among fans.

of 12

"Star Trek: First Contact" (1996)

Picard and Data hunt the Borg
Picard and Data hunt the Borg. Paramount Pictures

The Borg come to the big screen in a grand plot to prevent the Federation from coming into existence. When the Borg go back in time to try to prevent Earth from developing warp travel, the Enterprise travels back to stop them. This movie has incredible action sequences, and brings the fan-favorite villains to life in a way the TV show never could.

of 12

"Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" (1991)

Cast of
Cast of "The Undiscovered Country". Paramount

When a Klingon moon is destroyed, the Klingon Empire tries to form a truce with the Federation. But when the Enterprise is framed for an attack on a Klingon warship, Kirk and the rest of his crew must find a way to clear their name. The movie is regarded highly for its drama, emotion, humor, and resonant themes of alliance and political upheaval. It's truly one of the best Trek movies.

of 12

"Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982)

Crew of the Enterprise in
Crew of the Enterprise in "Wrath of Khan". Paramount

One of Kirk's oldest enemies returns in this, the undisputed favorite among Star Trek fans. The Enterprise encounters a group of genetically engineered warriors, led by the brilliant and powerful Khan Noonien Singh. Khan acquires a deadly terraforming weapon and seeks revenge on the Enterprise for abandoning him. With its unique blend of drama, action, and special effects, this movie is the gold standard all other Trek movies are compared to. "Khaaaaan!"

Final Thoughts

While the order might be debated, there's no doubt that all the Star Trek movies shine as a continuation of the franchise. Here's hoping Star Trek will continue to prosper at the box office.
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Your Citation
Mitchell, Nigel. "All the "Star Trek" Movies Ranked From Worst to Best." ThoughtCo, Aug. 23, 2016, Mitchell, Nigel. (2016, August 23). All the "Star Trek" Movies Ranked From Worst to Best. Retrieved from Mitchell, Nigel. "All the "Star Trek" Movies Ranked From Worst to Best." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 22, 2017).