Rank the Star Trek TOS movies

"Great" tier:

1. Wrath of Khan - Filmmakers should study this as a textbook example of what a series upgraded to a movie should look like. Bonus: perfect example of how to why it isn't necessary for the hero and villain to ever be in the same scene.

2. Undiscovered Country - This is how TOS should have ended. Bonus points for the way it tied into TNG perfectly.

3. Voyage Home - Yes, it's good. I love it, too. I think it commonly gets rated highly for being the lightest, most humorous, and most accessible, but IMNSHO humor doesn't get you to #1 in Trek ratings. There's no shame at being #3 on this list.

"Good" tier:

4. - Search for Spock - The idea that the heroes can't actually die is overdone today, and I blame this movie a little bit for making it feel socially acceptable for series to do that. Other than that, a good movie, and great follow up to Wrath of Khan. I like Christopher Lloyd as a Klingon. I have mixed feelings about the destruction of the Enterprise.

5. - The Motion Picture - I actually like this movie quite a bit, despite the fact that I'm rating it #5. The story is very Star Trek. Others have already noted that the problem is really the execution; the cinematography, pacing, special effects, and so many other things just don't give off Star Trek vibes. Take the same story and shoot it like Wrath of Khan, and it would be much higher in everyone's ranking.

"Meh" tier:

6. - Final Frontier - Nothing really comes together here. I don't want to be too negative about it (it's not completely unwatchable), but it's hard to find anything positive to say.
 
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Vael

Legend
It always surprises me how well The Undiscovered Country is rated. It looks fine, but the script grates on me - I have no problem with Cold War allegories, but this isn't just allegory, it feels like half the dialogue is lifted verbatim from political speeches of the time. Given that much of the remaining dialogue consists of gratuitous Shakespeare quotes, that really doesn't leave much room for the cast to be actually speaking in-character as themselves.

And the final space battle is just dreary. There's no constant evasive maneuvers to make the Enterprise a harder target ("Back up, back up!" does not count), no speculative sweeps of phaser fire to try to get a lucky hit (phasers on starships don't exist in this movie), and once the Excelsior arrives there's no tactical coordination between the two vessels. It's basically just them sitting around getting shot at until Spock has his gas epiphany. Say what you like about Nemesis, they knew how to do an exciting battle against a cloaked ship.

I'd offer two counterpoints.

In-universe ... this demonstrates the advantage of the strip-style phaser arrays on the Enterprise-E, faster targetting and the ability to fire a spread of shots over the Enterprise-A. Second, the choreography of the battle shows that Chang's Bird of Prey is attacking from every angle, it's fast enough to fire at the Enterprise from the bow, and despite Enterprise reversing, one of the next shots is overtaking her from astern. It's probably better to just redirect energy from the phasers to reinforce the shields.

Out-universe ... I'll take the theatrics of Christopher Plummer spinning his chair shouting "Let slip the dogs of war" over the Nemesis battle, to be honest. It's more fun.
 

The Soloist

Adventurer
1- Star Trek The Motion Picture (1979). It was grandiose and glorious. The attack against the Klingons with the classic Warbirds charge soundtrack was awesome. It took itself seriously and I loved it. We had not seen the Enterprise for 10 years. The new model and camera work around it were astounding, for the time.

2- The Voyage Home (1986). Is the complete opposite and why I loved it. So refreshing.

I don't care for the rest, least of all the Santa Claus red-white costumes because the actors are fat and they need girdles to keep it in.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
1. TVH. 2. TWOK. 3. TUC. 4. TSFS. 5. TFF. 6. TMP.

TMP is easily the worst. I love epic sense of wonder sci-fi but TMP did not deliver like it was trying to. And besides the back-and-forth of “What does god need with a starship?” and “You don’t ask the almighty for his ID” is a fantastic exchange. Though McCoy sticking his tongue out and repeatedly trying to do the Vulcan nerve pinch easily elevates TSFS above the other two.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
So the common wisdom of course is that even numbered Trek movies are good and odd numbered are bad. I wonder if that holds out in this thread?

Here are the rankings in this thread from those who ranked all 6:


1 (The Motion Clouds) -- 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, 3, 5, 4, 5, 5, 6 = 52
2 (Khaaaaaan!) -- 2, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2 = 16
3 (Doc Brown) -- 3, 3, 4, 5, 3, 5, 4, 5, 4, 4, 4 = 44
4 (There Be Whales Here!) -- 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 4, 3, 2, 3, 3, 1 = 23
5 (Please Let This Be The Final Frontier) -- 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 5 = 65
6 (No Country For Old Men) -- 4, 4, 3, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3, 2, 2, 3 = 32

So the order is:

II: Wrath of Khan (16)
IV: Voyage Home (23)
VI: Undiscovered Country (32)
III: Search for Spock (44)
I: The Motion Picture (52)
V: Final Frontier (65)
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
So the common wisdom of course is that even numbered Trek movies are good and odd numbered are bad. I wonder if that holds out in this thread?

Here are the rankings in this thread from those who ranked all 6:


1 (The Motion Clouds) -- 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, 3, 5, 4, 5, 5, 6 = 52
2 (Khaaaaaan!) -- 2, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2 = 16
3 (Doc Brown) -- 3, 3, 4, 5, 3, 5, 4, 5, 4, 4, 4 = 44
4 (There Be Whales Here!) -- 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 4, 3, 2, 3, 3, 1 = 23
5 (Please Let This Be The Final Frontier) -- 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 5 = 65
6 (No Country For Old Men) -- 4, 4, 3, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3, 2, 2, 3 = 32

So the order is:

II: Wrath of Khan (16)
IV: Voyage Home (23)
VI: Undiscovered Country (32)
III: Search for Spock (44)
I: The Motion Picture (52)
V: Final Frontier (65)
Heh, yeah, seems fair.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
It always surprises me how well The Undiscovered Country is rated. It looks fine, but the script grates on me - I have no problem with Cold War allegories, but this isn't just allegory, it feels like half the dialogue is lifted verbatim from political speeches of the time. Given that much of the remaining dialogue consists of gratuitous Shakespeare quotes, that really doesn't leave much room for the cast to be actually speaking in-character as themselves.

And the final space battle is just dreary. There's no constant evasive maneuvers to make the Enterprise a harder target ("Back up, back up!" does not count), no speculative sweeps of phaser fire to try to get a lucky hit (phasers on starships don't exist in this movie), and once the Excelsior arrives there's no tactical coordination between the two vessels. It's basically just them sitting around getting shot at until Spock has his gas epiphany. Say what you like about Nemesis, they knew how to do an exciting battle against a cloaked ship.
Seeing this in theaters in grade school was my introduction to Shakespeare! That stuff was great, and it had me engaged and excited as a child, so I don't think the political shenanigans were overdone, which is a neat trick. Very Star Trek, IMO.

I barely remember Nemesis happened.
 



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