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Star Trek III - The Search for Spock

Star Trek III - The Search for Spock (1984)

tomatometer

78

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 40
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 9

Though it may be short on dazzling special effects, The Search for Spock is still a strong Star Trek installment, thanks to affecting performances by its iconic cast.

86

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 1

Though it may be short on dazzling special effects, The Search for Spock is still a strong Star Trek installment, thanks to affecting performances by its iconic cast.

audience

61

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 63,205

My Rating

Movie Info

When last we left the crew of the star ship Enterprise, they were heading home following a skirmish with the despotic Khan. The unpleasant incident had cost the life of Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy)--or so it seemed. Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) is informed by Spock's father Sarek (Mark Lenard) that his son is being kept alive in the thoughts of one of the crew members. It now becomes necessary to search for Spock's body, so that flesh and soul can be rejoined on Vulcan. It turns out that Spock's

Apr 18, 2000

Paramount Pictures

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All Critics (40) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (9) | DVD (33)

These are classic directorial occasions, and Nimoy rises to them with fervor, in effect beaming his film up onto a higher pictorial plane than either of its predecessors.

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

An emotionally satisfying science fiction adventure.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This 1984 film's few and unimpressive special effects evidently qualify it as science fiction, but the genre it really belongs to is the male weepie: there hasn't been a gooier buddy romance on the screen since Joe Buck took Ratso Rizzo to Miami.

June 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (5)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Decent SFX, but a little more action wouldn't have gone amiss.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a good but not great Star Trek movie, a sort of compromise between the first two.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The humanity of the Star Trek series, unexpected as it is in a sci-fi setting, remains the series' best feature.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Almost certainly the best of the "bad" Star Trek films... and for the first 30 or 40 minutes, it's not really even bad, to speak of.

May 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Stirring but sad science-fiction enterprise.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

...a somber, mournful installment of the Star Trek franchise. And when the defining trait of your series is dullness, this isn't exactly the best strategy.

March 25, 2009 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm | Comments (2)
LarsenOnFilm

christopher lloyd!

July 5, 2008 | Comment (1)

Not bad, but the series would boldly go to better places.

May 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

It's reasonably entertaining fare for non-fans.

June 4, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

One of the best of the series.

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

It has the physique and will of a bold adventurer, but it's afflicted with acute brain-stem damage. Mixed in among some of Trekdom's best moments are some of the canon's sloppiest choices...

April 8, 2006 Full Review Source: DVDJournal.com
DVDJournal.com

May be the unappreciated middle child of the Trek franchise, but it's still one of better and more indispensable episodes.

February 11, 2006 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide | Comment (1)
Decent Films Guide

Contrived but involving.

June 12, 2004
Shadows on the Wall

Offers a thiought-provoking treatment of the mind-body problem.

July 23, 2003 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

If Wrath of Khan is the 'action' entry and Voyage Home is the 'comedy' installment, then Search for Spock is the 'drama' - and it's a damn good entry overall.

March 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide | Comments (2)
Apollo Guide

Cheesy but cool, especially when Spock gets his space burial by being ejected into space in a giant sunglasses case.

February 13, 2003
Sunday Times (Australia)

Something of a let-down, a longwinded paean to the grandeur of Leonard Nimoy's famous Vulcan character, which shouldn't come as much surprise since Nimoy himself directed it.

November 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk | Comment (1)
Q Network Film Desk

Audience Reviews for Star Trek III - The Search for Spock

Going back to the original roots of slow pacing and a basic story, "Star Trek III - The Search for Spock" is a little more layered that the first Star Trek film, but I enjoyed it just as much, meaning it needs work. All the idea of this film was kind of an excuse to throw in tons of backstory for new characters while the audience awaits the return of Spock. This film does a fine job of keeping me interested in what was going on, but it felt very very slow. It is the shortest of all the films, and in my opinion, it's the least exciting so far. This third instalment boasts great visuals, great acting, and a solid story, which is everything you could ask for from a Star Trek picture, but compared to the standards sent by it's predecessor, it fell flat on it's face a few times!
March 30, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Much like the second Star Trek film the immediate follow-up may cause nostalgic feelings among those fans who saw it when it originally came out, but from today's point of view it is not much to write home about. The story fits on a beer coaster, most of the characters remain underused and uninteresting and the final fight between Kirk and his enemy is a joke. Even the special effects look rather lousy compared to some pretty decent films from that era. Hardcore fans might wipe away a tear when Spock finally returns in the last act, everyone else is looking forward to the next films, that ended up much more entertaining.
December 28, 2012
ironclad1609

Super Reviewer

To this day it still seems a funny choice to have cast Chris Lloyd as a 'Klingon'. Such a wiry guy with a weak parched voice and definitely more of a comedic actor. I'm not sure he pulled it off really, I can see his his other amusing film characters shining through every time he's in shot hehe and he's not really very threatening. There isn't really any reason for him to be involved either, he's just there, in space, for no reason and decides to go after the 'Genesis' data, no background a tall.

So despite a slightly weak villain the main plus point is that the continuity carries on nicely from the second film with everyone present and correct accept the character of 'Saavik' (no longer Alley), of course the plot carries on nicely also. It actually feels very much like a huge film cut in two (this and 'Khan') or back to back filming, not much difference between the two.

The story does feel rather contrived with a major U-turn, 'Spock' had been killed off in a grand heroic manner to end the film franchise. The second film did well (unexpectedly?) so they had to think of a way to bring him back to life so the franchise could be milked further haha. This does equal much spiritual 'Vulcan' jiggery pokery which is interesting but at the same time a bit heavy and tends to drag the sci-fi down into another realm or genre even. Personally I didn't like that side of the story, it just doesn't seem to work for me and its all too convenient.

I have always thought that the story behind 'David' being 'Kirk's' son was never really explored properly either. We discover this revelation in 'Khan' but its so subdued I would of thought we might get more in this third film, but no. Even in death 'kirk's' son gets no real epic send off, the whole thing from start to finish is glossed over pretty lazily really, oh well.

Everything else within the film is pretty much the standard look and feel of the second film simply carried on, nothing much to rave about really, its all quite average. Effects are still rather poor to be frank, the starship sequences look a touch neater this time but the planet surface of 'Genesis' has some nasty obvious set work accompanied by some even worse destruction effects as the planet disintegrates. 'Kirk' and company even remain in the same uniforms for this continuing adventure!. Both the second and third films have one other plus point in their favour and that was Horner and his instrumental score. The first film lacked a good score but this is fixed with gusto by Horner as he provides much needed emotion and vigor to the films. That was one reason the first film seemed a bit limp at times.

Its all a bit hokey in all honesty, almost like a young teens comicbook film. It does seem like this story idea could simply be a small chapter in the Trek universe that could of been explained within a TV episode, there really isn't any outstanding movie moments a tall. Speaking of hokey...don't you just love seeing Shatner in fist fights, the finale fight between 'Kirk' and 'Kruge' really was pretty dire to say the least haha. Talk about fluffy theatrical fisticuffs! never at any point does it look real or remotely intense, lets face it neither actors are the athletic fighting type. Absolutely terrible yet probably close to the real Star Trek of the mid 60's, I did enjoy that scene.

The whole film feels very much like a 'made for TV' movie and only slightly less cheaper looking than the second. The acting is wooden but that is part of the charm admittedly, we expect that, but the film just doesn't have any cinematic impact what so ever. Funnily enough this film does also feel closer to its TV origins than the semi serious sci-fi of the original (as did 'Khan'), I put that down to the low values of pretty much everything, 'cardboard effects'.

End of the day you just can't go wrong with a good old fashioned adventure with the old crew of the 'Enterprise'. This film is probably a bit worse than 'Khan' but it still manages to be fun in a very silly quirky way whilst remaining faithful to original source material. Can't deny its always a good romp.

Keep an eye out for the small cameo by Miguel Ferrer as a crew member onboard the 'Excelsior'.
June 30, 2012
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

This is a major improvement over the second film for me. Its pacing is much better, and the plot is much more detailed to me, but I do find it kind of cheap to kill Spock off just to bring him back in the next film, but overall this is a great entry in the film series, and to me this is my personal favorite of the films I've seen, and that mainly has to do with not just the plot, but with the characters, the character of Bones is much funnier in this film, but the best performance to me is Christopher Lloyd as the villain Klingon Leader, who is a very well pulled off ruthless villain character, that is a perfect enemy for Captain Kirk.
October 18, 2011
michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

    1. "Mr. Adventure": Well -- what are we going to do about it?!
    2. Uhura: I am going to do nothing about it. You are going to sit in the closet.
    – Submitted by Christian S (21 months ago)
    1. James T. Kirk: My God Bones, what have I done?
    2. Leonard "Bones" McCoy: What you had to do. What you always do. Turn death into a fighting chance to live.
    – Submitted by Dann M (2 years ago)
    1. Hikaru Sulu: The word sir?
    2. James T. Kirk: The word? Is no. I am therefore going anyway.
    – Submitted by Blair S (2 years ago)
    1. Capt. Styles Excelsior: Ah, Mister Scott... Calling it a night?
    2. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott: Ah, yes, sir.
    3. Capt. Styles Excelsior: Turning it in myself, looking forward to breaking some of the Enterprise's speed records tomorrow.
    4. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott: Ah, yes, sir... Good night.
    5. Elevator Voice: Level please.
    6. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott: Transporter room...
    7. Elevator Voice: Thank you.
    8. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott: Up your shaft...
    – Submitted by Blair S (2 years ago)
    1. Hikaru Sulu: Don't call me tiny.
    – Submitted by Kane S (2 years ago)
    1. James T. Kirk: You Klingon bastards, you've killed my son.
    – Submitted by Lord Diego John Tutweiller o (2 years ago)
View all quotes (6)

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