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Star Trek - First Contact (1996)

tomatometer

92

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 53
Fresh: 49 | Rotten: 4

While fans of the series will surely appreciate it, First Contact is exciting, engaging, and visually appealing enough to entertain Star Trek novices.

86

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 2

While fans of the series will surely appreciate it, First Contact is exciting, engaging, and visually appealing enough to entertain Star Trek novices.

audience

89

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 98,814

My Rating

Movie Info

The first "Trek" film to feature the cast of the Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series without any of the members of the original series, this action-packed hit was well received at the box office. The Federation comes under attack by its ongoing enemy, the Borg, a cybernetics-enhanced race that once kidnapped Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), "assimilating" him into a drone. As a former prisoner of the Borg, Picard is ordered to stay out of the new battle, but he cannot resist and

Oct 6, 1998

Paramount Pictures

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All Critics (53) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (49) | Rotten (4) | DVD (38)

In zooming out from Picard's glinty eyeball, this eighth feature film from the Trek factory displays a zippy new energy and a sleek, confident style fully independent of its predecessors.

September 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

First Contact is no grab bag of camp gewgaws; it stands proud and apart, accessible even to the Trek-deficient. This old Star, it seems, has a lot of life in it.

May 3, 2009 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The elegance of the story is enhanced by the sure direction of Jonathan Frakes, who also plays Commander William Riker.

June 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A smashingly exciting sci-fi adventure that ranks among the very best in the long-running Paramount franchise.

June 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This makes little concession to non-initiates.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comments (2)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The series now lacks all of its original stars and much of its earlier determination. It has morphed into something less innocent and more derivative than it used to be, something the noncultist is ever less likely to enjoy.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comments (6)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If the film itself is a little bit generic, more of a popcorn sci-fi action film than a faithful adaptation of the characters from the series, that's probably all to the good.

May 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

The problem with most of the Next Generation Star Trek movies is that they feel like extended episodes of the television show. First Contact is the one time that it really feels like they made a Movie, with a capital M.

July 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

...a huge step beyond Generations.

September 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

It does a good job of serving up elements that will please the fans of the show, but it does not quite stand on its own as a memorable motion picture event.

May 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinefantastique
Cinefantastique

Star Trek finally gets imaginative, exciting and - dare I say it? - kinky.

April 16, 2009 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm | Comments (2)
LarsenOnFilm

Action-packed yet intelligent, this takes the very best of the TV show and gives it epic grandeur.

May 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

The historic first Trek movie entirely divorced from the original cast is no blot on the franchise.

June 5, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Among the two or three best of the Star Trek films.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

It robustly apes James Cameron's Aliens, even down to the head villain, played with kinky boo-hiss relish by Alice Krige, who appears to be channeling equal parts Cameron's Alien Queen and Marlene Dietrich.

April 5, 2006 Full Review Source: DVDJournal.com
DVDJournal.com

This film is going to have lots of return viewers and will be one of the more successful of the franchise.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

The best of the Next Generation entries.

March 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Compared to episodes before and those that followed, this eighth installment of the unkillable series is surprisingly watchable.

March 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

One of the better chapters in the long history of this prosperous franchise.

May 6, 2003 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

With its fascinating storyline and its adroit insights into human history, identity, and sexuality Star Trek: First Contact is a winner.

November 11, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Star Trek - First Contact

The greatest nemesis of the federation, the Borg attempt to assimilate Earth in this hugely enjoyable addition to the Trek franchise. There are some great effects, and director Frakes had obviously done his homework; the space battle is spectacular (if a little brief), and he cleverly chooses to transform the sterile, neon-lit corridors of the Enterprise into the kind of gloomy, atmospheric locations that would not look out of place on the Nostromo. The Borg are rightful favourites from the series, a seriously creepy race of "bionic zombies" who can assimilate their enemies through touch and render their weapons useless. It's also nice how the characters are given shades of grey, notably Picards almost pathological hatred of them and Data's "seduction" at the hands of the coldly fascistic Borg queen. It does have it's weak points; while all the best characters are battling robotic corpses through darkened corridors (cool), the crap ones are all planet side indulging in feeble comic relief (about as cool as Celine Dion covering "Achy breaky heart" in bri-nylon slacks and sewn-in mittens.) These sequences are brief enough to avoid wrecking it however, and James Cromwell is quite good fun as the boozy astronaut who bears little resemblance to the legendary figure the crew were all expecting. As a whole it cracks along at a fair old pace and with some knowingly self-referential lines and Trekkie-friendly cameos thrown in, it's a great slice of action-packed and fun family entertainment. Still the best Trek film by some way, and yes that includes the ill-advised "update" .
March 29, 2014
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

The film tries a little too hard to be serious when it wants to be, and turns out to be far too silly when being light hearted. I highly enjoyed this entry into the Star Trek franchise, but the Original Motion Picture Series is a far superior watch. I found myself checking my watch during the non-exciting portions of this film, but when it kicked in, boy did it ever. I had a blast watching the fantastic visuals and the interaction between characters in this is some of the best in the series. I'm not too fond of the second generation cast, but for what it is, it proves itself worthy. I am not sure how much more they can do with the series now though.
April 1, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Supposedly this is the best TNG-era film, and, while I can't confirm or disconfirm that personally (yet), I can say that this is a damn fine film on it's own, and in Trek overall.

Frakes provides strong direction with great pacing, lots of action, some decent comedy (although it is the film only real weak point), amazing special effects, and excellent characters and character development. The film's plot isn't very original and the debt it owes to films such as Alien, Close Encounters, Moby Dick, and others is noted, but it doesn't fully rip all those off, either. Instead it combines bits and pieces from all of them and stitches them together with a story involving the Borg, who, I feel are some of the best Star Trek villains, and some of the most interesting sci-fi characters in general. Another cool thing about all of this is how fairly balanced it all is. There's a lot going on here: sci-fi yarn, time travel nuttiness, zombie space horror, etc, and it fits. This is a hard thing to pull off.

The cast regulars are all great as usual (although some of the humor seemed a tad forced in laces), but the new players (Krige, Cromwell, and Woodard) are fantastic. Woodard is the weakest, but still does a good job. Cromwell is going against type, succeeds at it, and looks like he had a fun time with it. Krige is absolutely chilling as the creepily seductive Borg Queen-a pretty memorable villain. The music rocks and the visuals (the general look and especially the special effects) are outstanding.

Like Wrath of Khan and The Voyage Home, this is a film where newbies and non-fans can come to it and find something to enjoy, but at the same time its not dumbed down so much that the die hards feel alienated. That's another one of those tricky things that's hard to pull off: trying to please the broadest audience possible-everyone.

Watching this is a terrific way to spend a couple of hours, so, for that reason, and many others, I highly recommend this one.
November 13, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Second film (or sequel?) for the next generation crew and this time there is no hint of the classic crew what so ever, its all new now baby.

So this next Trek rumble is a lot more straight forward plot wise and probably has the most action seen for awhile. Quite simply the 'Borg' are on the rampage and out to assimilate pretty much everyone they can, namely all of [i]Starfleet.[/i] This goes a little pair shaped for them so they jump through time to assimilate the entire Earth...the naughty rascals. Is time travel a regular function for everyone in the Trek universe? handy if so.

I liked this film for the simplicity of everything and the fact you get some basic action mixed with some genuine tension along with the insecurity of not knowing what may happen, seeing as its the Borg. Bottom line there are plenty of deaths or assimilation's (close enough), a decent baddie, some good back story to Earth's future and plenty of phaser action.
Its not exactly a top notch sci-fi action flick lets be honest here, this is no 'Die Hard in space'. Visually it still all appears like the TV show only on a slightly grander scale, everything looks a bit plastic amongst the obvious sets, still has the 'TV look'.

Effects again are more cgi based than models unfortunately. The space battle against the big Borg cube ship thing at the start actually looks like a videogame sequence, obvious cgi without weight or depth. I know this is still only 96 but geez you'd think they could do better, compare this to Star Wars!. The deadly Borg look quite decent with some good facial makeup but their cyborg body armour, weapons and general body attachments do look pretty rubbery and plastic.

I really don't know who decided to put silly little flashing lights all over the shop, it just makes everything look so childish and fake. 'Data' again suffers with this indignity, when his android under layers are revealed it just appears to be bare grey plastic with stupid flashing fairy lights all over, so very crap looking.

As for the bad guys I do like them, space zombies if you will, lets face it that's what they are really. Part robotic and part organic space zombies from the planet Romero. I do like the Borg as they do actually come across as creepy plus they manage to add real tension and dread to a Star Trek film. Can't really over look the fact they are a mixture of various ideas from various other sci-fi/horror films all pieced together ('Hellraiser' springs to mind). Plus the fact that they transform whole areas into cold dead robotic hives that visually appear the same as the Borg themselves kinda copies ideas used in 'Aliens' but hey ho.

Apart from that the Borg are quite a cool creation and do actually add a genuine threat to the Star Trek universe. Yet at the same time they kinda don't fit in the Trek universe, they're almost too cold, calculated and merciless for the family friendly franchise. Not sure I ever really liked the design of their ship (I guess its a ship), why is it merely a large cube? what's the deal with that? On a final note why are they called 'Borg'? it does sound Swedish hehe.

The 'Borg' queen is a nice touch to the faceless enemy that does come across as an interesting character, not just a cyborg on auto pilot. She also has some really good prosthetic makeup on the face and chest regions, looks that bit more realistic than the other drones.

A definite improvement over the last rather dull film, a basic story which is more savage and quite dark in places, although not too extreme of course. I did notice this is another film where actually having some knowledge of a previous TV episode/s is slightly required. They got away with it for 'Star Trek II' and I believe they got away with it for this film also, but seeing that particular episode would appear to help when watching this film.
July 8, 2012
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

    1. Lt. Cmdr. Data: I imagine I look worse than I... feel.
    – Submitted by Adam O (5 months ago)
    1. Capt. Jean-Luc Picard: Six years ago, they assimiated me into their collective. I had their cybernetic devices implanted throughout my body. I was linked to the hive mind. Every trace of individuality erased. I was one of them. So you can imagine, my dear, I have a somewhat unique perspective on the Borg, and I know how to fight them. Now if you'll excuse me, I have work to do.
    – Submitted by Adam O (5 months ago)
    1. Lily Sloane: Borg? Sounds Swedish.
    – Submitted by Adam O (5 months ago)
    1. Borg Queen: We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.
    – Submitted by Adam O (5 months ago)
    1. Capt. Jean-Luc Picard: Let's just say Starfleet has every confidence with the Enterprise and her crew - they're just not sure about her Captain. They believe that a man who was once captured and assimilated by the Borg should not be put in a situation where he would face them again. To do so would introduce "an unstable element to a critical situation."
    – Submitted by Adam O (5 months ago)
    1. Capt. Jean-Luc Picard: And he piled upon the whale's white hump, the sum of all the rage and hate felt by his whole race. If his chest had been a cannon, he would have shot his heart upon it.
    – Submitted by Adam O (5 months ago)
View all quotes (14)

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