Rank the Star Trek TOS movies

Lidgar

Gongfarmer
First it’s hard for me to separate II, III, and IV. Taken as a trilogy, they are great together.

I’d then go with VI, followed by TMP. Last is V. Painful.

I personally enjoy III quite a bit. It has one of my favorite exchanges between Kirk and Bones as they watch the Enterprise burn up in the atmosphere of Genesis.

Kirk:
My God, Bones, what have I done?

McCoy:
What you had to do; what you always do: turn death into a fighting chance to live.
 

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Stormonu

Legend
1. Wrath of Khan (great action, and as I get older the subplot of age & the consequences of our past choices are more and more poignant)
2. The Undiscovered Country (Chang is a fun villain and "end of the cold war" vibes still resonate with me)
3. The Voyage Home ("Will you turn down that damn noise!" - nuff said)
4. The Motion Picture (Lovely visuals, the undercurrent of tension between Decker and Kirk for the latter being off his game, and after the Next Generation always wondered if the "robot civilization" V'ger encountered was actually the Borg*)
5. The Search For Spock (I've only ever watched this movie twice, though it was better the second time around knowing Doc Brown was the Klingon)
6. The Final Frontier (I want to like this so bad, there's some great ideas about redemption, "What is God" and other philosophical points that could have been elaborated on, but it's just schlock as done)

* Must have stuck in Shatner's mind too, as there's a Star Trek novel in which that is the case
 

jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
1. Wrath of Khan. The first TOS film that I saw in theaters with my dad. It both terrified and thrilled 5-year-old me.
2. The Undiscovered Country. A great send off for the original Enterprise crew. I enjoyed it very much.
3. The Motion Picture. Not a great Star Trek picture, IMO, but a very good sci-fi film. Like many episodes of TOS in that regard.*
4. The Search for Spock. I saw it but remember almost nothing of it. So, not memorable at all?
5. The Voyage Home. I dislike this movie. It brought a lot of humor which I think was out of place in Star Trek.
6. The Final Frontier. The worst of the lot. Like the Voyage Home, I actively dislike this film, but even Voyage had some redeemable qualities. This film had none.

*I might be asked to elaborate on this, so here it is: I feel that many TOS episodes don't really explore the Star Trek setting specifically but are, instead, like early pulp sci-fi novellas in that each episode is a great story that stands apart from a specific setting.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
TOS movies only (1-6)!

1. IV The Voyage Home
Wrath of Khan is maybe a better movie but this one is so much fun. It’s the most rewatchable for me. Plus a great soundtrack.

2. II Wrath of Khan
The usual choice, and probably the actual best movie. Probably don’t need to explain this one. Another awesome soundtrack (even if it is re-used in/from Aliens).

3. III Search for Spock
A controversial choice I know. The theft of the Enterprise is so good. I actually liked Doc Brown as a Klingon. It has some dire bits, sure, but there’s some decent character work in here too. Underrated I think. The middle part of a great trilogy.

4. VI Undiscovered Country
I guess it’s technically better than III. But I don’t enjoy it quite as much. Plus they’re all so old at this point! I find the ice prison planet section pretty weak, even a bit cringey.

5. I The Motion Picture
Anything is better than V, right? This one has its moments. And the premise is awesome. The execution maybe not so much. I don’t mind the slow Enterprise beauty shots, but the long glowy cloud sequences are pretty tedious.

6. V The Final Frontier
Oh my, as George Takei would say. This one is a hard watch. Plus since when did the Enterprise have 94 decks?
My order is...

2, 4, 6, 1, 3, 5
 

First I have to say that this is easily my favourite film franchise and I like every one of these films.

1. Wrath of Khan. There is a reason why basically everyone thinks this is the best. It simply is a perfect film.
2. The Undiscovered Country. This is very poignant film and even more so when it was released. The story has some beats that feel a bit clunky.
3. The Motion Picture. This is smart film and it is a bout exploring a space mystery which is the core of Star Trek. And I prefer these uniforms.
4. The Voyage Home. It is great fun even though the premise is ludicrous.
5. The Final Frontier. This is a film about something, so that makes it good. The execution has obvious flaws.
6. The Search for Spock. The execution is easily better than with FF, but ultimately the story is perfunctory and doesn't really make any sense.
 

GreyLord

Legend
Late to the party, but hey, I've been travelling over the Holidays...For me...

1. The Undiscovered Country - Best by far. For a Sci-Fi Mystery Thriller it's great...probably because there are not many of these out there. It's unique because of that and makes it so that it's an original take rather than a rehash of what we've seen in other science fiction films and such. It has a great send off and conclusion for the crew and ship, and you get to see the fulfillment of where and how many of them end up (Sulu as a Captain of his own ship, Spock as his own thing, the others vying for retirement, etc).

2. Wrath of Kahn - This one is many people's favorite for a reason (as shown in this thread). Among younger generations it doesn't have AS much appeal, though it still ranks at the top for many. There is a part of nostalgia that movtivates some to love this one so much while they miss a few of the more 'dated' flaws with it, or at least what some may assume are plot holes (tell me again...where was Chekov when they found Kahn in the original Space Seed???).

3. The Voyage Home - and talking of plot holes...this one comes with them aplenty. That said...This is just a fun movie with a fun soundtrack. I just enjoy it.

4. Search for Spock - This one seems to repeat itself occasionally. I can understand why they have the repeat at the beginning because it was a few years between #2's release and this one, but if you had just seen #2 or saw it a lot, it's just repetition. Then, once again you have repetition occur when they replay the death of Spock. It seems to...devalue it in some way. It lessens the impact when you see it over...and over on rewind, etc. I think that's part of why it doesn't rank as highly as #2.

#5 - The Final Frontier - Yes, I rank it higher than the Motion Picture as I'll note below. This one is just fun if you don't think too hard about it. I'm not sure HOW it matches up to Star Trek Canon otherwise (isn't earth on the edge of the Milky Way? So getting to the center of the galaxy took how long? And then you have Voyager which was cast to the other side of the Galaxy. If it would take them 80 years at maximum warp...shouldn't that mean it took 40 years...or something like that for the Enterprise to get to the center of the galaxy???).

#6 - This has my favorite scene in all of the movies. The opening sequence with the Klingons is just...perfect. So why so low on this list? Have you ever seen this movie? Then watched the director's cut? This movie is BORING! They take so much pride in their special effects that it seems to take forever! Cut this movie down to about an hour and you'd have a GREAT film. As it is...they stretch out a 45 minute movie into over 2 hours.

PS: No, it's not in the original directive of 1-6, so...

4a - Star Trek: Generations - So, not fully a ToS movie...I know it, you know it...and yet...there it is. It has Kirk, Chekov, and Scotty...and A Sulu. The part with the old TOS crew is actually pretty decent. I'd rank it akin to Search for Spock. It's fun, witty, and exciting. Too short. The rest doesn't fall under the ToS though, so only that part can be talked about.
 
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delericho

Legend
4a - Star Trek: Generations - So, not fully a ToS movie...I know it, you know it...and yet...there it is. It has Kirk, Chekov, and Scotty...and A Sulu. The part with the old TOS crew is actually pretty decent. I'd rank it akin to Search for Spock. It's fun, witty, and exciting. Too short. The rest doesn't fall under the ToS though, so only that part can be talked about.
I find Generations extremely frustrating - there's a lot there that's good, right up until the point where Kirk reappears. But after that it just doesn't work for me at all.
 


TOS movies only (1-6)!

1. IV The Voyage Home
Wrath of Khan is maybe a better movie but this one is so much fun. It’s the most rewatchable for me. Plus a great soundtrack.

2. II Wrath of Khan
The usual choice, and probably the actual best movie. Probably don’t need to explain this one. Another awesome soundtrack (even if it is re-used in/from Aliens).

3. III Search for Spock
A controversial choice I know. The theft of the Enterprise is so good. I actually liked Doc Brown as a Klingon. It has some dire bits, sure, but there’s some decent character work in here too. Underrated I think. The middle part of a great trilogy.

4. VI Undiscovered Country
I guess it’s technically better than III. But I don’t enjoy it quite as much. Plus they’re all so old at this point! I find the ice prison planet section pretty weak, even a bit cringey.

5. I The Motion Picture
Anything is better than V, right? This one has its moments. And the premise is awesome. The execution maybe not so much. I don’t mind the slow Enterprise beauty shots, but the long glowy cloud sequences are pretty tedious.

6. V The Final Frontier
Oh my, as George Takei would say. This one is a hard watch. Plus since when did the Enterprise have 94 decks?
Already correctly ranked. I could see people swapping the first two, but I would agree with your approach here. The Voyage Home is a lovely movie on many levels.
I pirated Nemesis and still feel like I'm owed money for the time it took from me.
Despite being an enormous TNG and DS9-head at the time, I never watched Insurrection or Nemesis, not at the cinema, not on video/DVD, not on streaming, until literally a few months ago.

Insurrection was significantly less bad than I expected. It was dumb as hell and the plot had holes you could fly a Borg cube through, holes it held up for your inspection, even, but it was tolerable enough as a sort of extended TNG episode, with memorable characters, a plot you could follow (a bad plot, but one nonetheless), and some fun set-pieces.

Nemesis was just dreadful. It felt like awful Kelvin-era Trek had somehow gone back in time and ruined a couple of TNG episodes but not even brought the more modern action sequences with it. Which is interesting because it suggests maybe the time period in which it was made influenced it being completely terrible. It felt like was a very bad ersatz TNG episode, rather than just a forgotten one like Insurrection. Kind of hard to believe that immediately after this, Logan wrote the pretty-decent scripts for The Last Samurai (a ridiculous and Orientalist movie but not a bad one on a dramatic level) and The Aviator. But then it suddenly seems more plausible when you see he also wrote the utterly dire Alien Covenant and the pretty-bad Skyfall and Spectre (along with the usual Bond writing crew). Maybe he just needs to be kept away from SF or SF-adjacent material?
 
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