Star Trek: The Great Rewatching Marathon

I had an idea. In hindsight, a really bad idea. I thought it would be cool to rewatch all 13 Star Trek movies, in order, and rank them. To add to the misery excitement I enlisted my friend and fellow nerd Carolina, who had only seen a couple of the movies and a few episodes of The Next Generation.

A few months ago I had created a list, from memory/nostalgia. This was flawed, mostly because many of the movies I hadn’t seen in years.

This would be different. All the movies seen back to back, over the period of a few days. I’d watch them knowing where they were in the canon of the universe, Carolina would see them fresh. I’d get to experience them fresh through her eyes.

Turns out this was way harder than I expected. Some of these movies are terrible, and that’s coming from a HUGE Star Trek fan.

Here’s how it went.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 70356.8

We wanted to watch as many movies back to back as possible, but due to schedules and real life, we averaged 2-3 movies a night over the course of 2 weeks. We watched everything on Blu-ray, with this box set for everything except the reboots, this box set for the first two reboots, and then the newly released Beyond. While there are various Director’s Cuts for several of the movies, we went with the theatrical versions for an even playing field.

We watched on a 10-foot-wide 2.35:1 Stewart Filmscreen Studiotek 100 with an image provided by a BenQ W1070. The 5.1 audio was a hodgepodge of various gear.

Though our primary goal wasn’t to judge these on picture or audio quality, I’ll include notes throughout if there’s something that stood out. The short version is, the newer the movie, the better it looked, almost without exception.

You’ll get a sense of us and our nerdiness throughout this list, but here’s a short primer.

Geoff: Sci-fi nerd. Former tech editor at Home Theater, freelance writer/editor at S&V, Forbes, CNET, etc. My Star Trek is The Next Generation, having seen every episode multiple times. My introduction to Star Trek was actually the original movies. Outside of those two, I’ve seen some episodes of DS9, a few less of Voyager, and very little of the rolling disaster that was Enterprise.

Carolina: Film director and editor on multiple projects, movie reviewer, fantasy/comics nerd, Marvel and Harry Potter Universe expert. Seen Star Trek ‘09, Into Darkness, and as a kid, II and some episodes of The Next Generation.

We discussed and reviewed each movie after watching, each compiling a running ranking. Once we finished every movie, we discussed further and ranked all of them. Our lists were pretty similar, but not exactly the same. So to come up with our Master List, I averaged our rankings together. I also listed where we placed each movie, when that was different from the main list.

Lastly, it should go without saying, we’re assuming anyone reading this has seen the movies. If you haven’t, umm… spoilers. The exception is the most recent movie which reads more like a normal movie review.

OK, so here they are, in order from worst to best, all 13 Star Trek movies. What we rated worst will shock you!

Actually, it probably won’t…

hk2000's picture

You cannot lump the so-called reboot with the rest of 'em, so they are last and not necessarily 11th, 12th and 13th, but last to anything based on the original timeline upon which all of the series that followed are based.The so called parallel universe or whatever reasoning they use to change the timeline completely destroyed any chance of those movies to be legitimately considered "Star Trek' movies. So there are 10 movies, really That I would order as follows

10- The Motion Picture- I still don't get it.
9- Final frontier- The idea is ridiculous
8- Generations- A great idea that was wasted- on so many levels.
7- Nemesis- Another great poorly done.
6- The Undiscovered Country- Well made and entertaining, but I sort of agreed with the "Villains"!
5- First Contact- Using the Zefram Cochrane character from "Metamorphosis" just worked.
4- The Search for Spock- The hocus-pocus ending had to happen, I guess!
3- Insurrection- Very entertaining, and dare I say, deep.
2- The Journey Home- Lighthearted entertainment.
1- Wrath of Khan- Probably the best sequel to a TV episode ever.

I won't dignify any of the new movies by ranking them here.

mikem's picture

Only one question. Why on earth would you consciously submit yourself to such a fiasco? If you were able to sit through the worst acting performances ever, Hayden Christionsen being the worst, you are indeed a better than I 'Gunga Din.'

sleepyninja's picture

'Star Trek: Beyond' at the #2 & #4 position? Really? I found it too action-centric, and the humor, dialog, and aliens uninspired, and would place it along with the Shatner-directed 'Final Frontier' travesty near the bottom of the barrel. With that said, I'm certainly not optimisic for the next installment with Justin Lin at the helm again.

Geoffrey Morrison's picture
I think I was still suffering from a Nemesis hangover. The lighter tone was so welcome.
David Vaughn's picture
Geoff, I liked it as well. It's a fun movie and I loved all of the humor.
thehun's picture

I guess I'm the only one who likes S.T. 1 despite it's obvious flaws. The long musical scenes and V'ger's exploration is a clear [to me anyway]"wink" at 2001 ASO,in style not thematically, and how Hollywood used to make "epics". Anyway I never found those scenes boring, and in retrospect it fits for the first movie, and to [re]introduce the entire ST world to larger audiences.
As for Beyond, I agree with it's detractors, that is among the worst the franchise has given us so far.

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larrymartin's picture

Boldly went where no moviegoer has gone before. Your detailed setup for the marathon and the collaborative ranking process make this a fun read. I am curious which one took the bottom spot for you both.
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