Total Recall: Star Trek By Tomatometer

In anticipation of the new Trek film, we compare the scores of the old ones.

90%
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Fresh

2. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Sequels that expand upon their predecessors are exceedingly rare -- but then, 1982's Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is no ordinary sequel. After ponying up the then-princely sum of $46 million for the first Trek, Paramount was looking for two things: One, a scapegoat for the first film's $136 million global gross (which ended up being series creator Gene Roddenberry, who was exiled from the decision-making process for Khan), and two, someone who could head up a cheaper second installment. That someone was Harve Bennett, a Trek novice who quickly immersed himself in the original series in search of a compelling villain for the sequel -- and found him in Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban), a superhuman with a thing for mind-controlling eels. Khan's thrifty aesthetic may have inspired Bennett and director Nicholas Meyer to cut corners wherever possible -- including reusing sets from The Motion Picture -- but the movie didn't skimp on storyline, much to the delight of fans and critics, both of whom rank the series' second chapter at or near the top of the franchise. "Here comes a sequel that's worth its salt," wrote Janet Maslin of the New York Times, concluding "It's everything the first one should have been and wasn't."


92%
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Fresh

1. Star Trek: First Contact

After three decades, seven films, and four television series, most franchises would have long since exhausted their options -- but as 1996's First Contact proved, the creative horizons of the Star Trek universe were capable of expanding longer and wider than perhaps even Gene Roddenberry could have suspected. Now firmly in control of the franchise, the Next Generation crew -- both onscreen and off -- was able to expand upon themes and characters touched on during its own series, specifically the nature of the endlessly assimilative cybernetic Borg collective. Having already proven a worthy adversary during TNG's run -- particularly during the classic episode in which they assimilated Picard himself -- the Borg now propelled Trek to the best reviews (and some of the highest grosses) in its history. A sequel that both paid tribute to longstanding Trek traditions (TNG vet Jonathan Frakes directed, proving Leonard Nimoy wasn't the only member of the Enterprise crew who could successfully pull double duty) and broke them (Paramount ended decades of parsimony by breaking out $47 million for the budget), First Contact earned the praise of critics like Time's Richard Corliss, who wrote that "it stands proud and apart, accessible even to the Trek-deficient" before decreeing that "this old Star, it seems, has a lot of life in it."


For all our Star Trek coverage, go to Starfleet Command. Plus, don't forget to check out our Trekking with Tim series, as well as the rest of our Total Recall archives.

Finally, here's a special message to all you Trekkies from none other than Shatner himself:

Comments

Poor_Frisco

Christian Estabrook

Wow could Star Trek hold on and have the best reviews in the series while being a reboot??

May 7 - 09:07 AM

Patrick M.

Patrick McManus

Hmmmmm, Could be Doc!

May 8 - 05:38 PM

Patrick M.

Patrick McManus


The new "Star Trek" is a worthy successor to the Others in the series (both TV AND Movies. It is a well directed, well written and well acted film. It is a joy to behold, and very satisfying. There aren't enough superlitives that I can reasonably employ to describe it. My hat's off to J.J Abrams and the entire cast and crew. As the man of many hats I give the new "Star Trek" 41/2 hats (out of 5

Patrick McManus The Man of Many Hats.

May 8 - 05:39 PM

ostrigal o.

ostrigal ostrigal

Forgot to add this comment in the First Contact section during Tim's Trekking series...

Cut to Riker, La Forge, and Cochrane as they prepare for launch, and Steppenwolf's 'Magic Carpet Ride' comes blarring through the theater speakers... awesome movie-going moment.

May 7 - 09:17 AM

willywonkanobi

Evan Godbold

Gonna be hard to beat first contact's 91%. If any movie can do it, it is this one though... I think because the expectations weren't high for first contact, its reviews may be slightly better than deserved (though it is a great film, and my #1 as well).

With so much anticipation building for this new one, 91% seems like a tough goal. Our culture has so many contrarians out there. People may give it a negative review just because the expectations for this film are so astronomical.

May 7 - 09:33 AM

scifimark

scifi mark

its at 94 now with over 100 reviews, it might drop maybe to like 92 or 93 i think but i dont see it dropping below that

May 7 - 11:34 AM

Superzone

Link O'Fett

Oh wow. Looks like the new Star Trek is sitting at the top of this list with 94% and about 80 reviews!

May 7 - 09:36 AM

JUDGE DREDD

idle one kenobi

Well, I just got back from seeing it, and I have to agree, this Reboot is fantastic!!!!!! Easily the best in the series. My only 2 gripes,

1 coulda done with a bit more older Trek Music throughout the film, especially at emotional places.

2 After i finished watching it, i wanted to go back and watch more Trek, but of the same cast and crew etc, as the previous films rarely delivered to me, and the gap is even bigger now as this one blows them out the water. Hurry up JJ and get them sequels out!!! 9.5/10 from me.

I hope they give JJ a job doing Star Wars soon. He is awesome at sci-fi!

May 7 - 09:42 AM

Andrew W.

Andrew Whitefield

bat-fink wrote: "I hope they give JJ a job doing Star Wars soon. He is awesome at sci-fi!"

No, no, no...let Lucas continue to ruin his own franchise. I like JJ were he is now working for Paramount. 20th Century Fox can just find something else to reboot.

But yeah, JJ and crew are good at SciFi, I think he's earned the right to do whatever project he wants to do.

May 7 - 11:22 AM

I_SurvivedOrder66

Aaron K

Agreed on the JJ Abrams doing Star Wars!

May 7 - 09:57 PM

Chris C.

Chris Cavalli

I'm seeing it tonight at the IMAX, can't wait.

May 7 - 09:52 AM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

Wow, a tv mogul takes a franchise from another tv mogul and earns the best reviews of the series, and will most definitely have the highest grosses in the series. Not only that, but he does it be recasting the most beloved cast in the history of cinema! In the words of Barney from How I Met Your Mother: This is going to be legendary!

May 7 - 10:56 AM

Andrew W.

Andrew Whitefield

bat-fink wrote: "I hope they give JJ a job doing Star Wars soon. He is awesome at sci-fi!"

No, no, no...let Lucas continue to ruin his own franchise. I like JJ were he is now working for Paramount. 20th Century Fox can just find something else to reboot.

But yeah, JJ and crew are good at SciFi, I think he's earned the right to do whatever project he wants to do.

May 7 - 11:22 AM

scifimark

scifi mark

its at 94 now with over 100 reviews, it might drop maybe to like 92 or 93 i think but i dont see it dropping below that

May 7 - 11:34 AM

RamALamADingDong

That Guy

You're wrong about one thing Jeff. Nimoy didn't have it in his contract to die in Wrath of Khan. Watch any interview or documentary about Search for Spock and they'll include that somewhere. He wasn't not going to return if Spock didn't die. There was no change of heart because he always loved Spock. Spock made him a household name. He would have returned anyways. It was simply a dramatic device.

That myth came about because of Nimoy's book "I Am Not Spock." People assumed that because of the title he hated the character and Star Trek. But he titled the book that because he was tired of always being called Spock in public.

May 7 - 12:51 PM

Funkmaster Flex

Phillip Martin

I find it amazing that Star Trek is about the only franchise where fan's opinions of which movies are so close to the critic's opinions.

May 7 - 01:16 PM

gibbyblaylock

gibby blaylock

I'm glad they gave Undiscovered Country its props. I just watched it again recently, SUCH a good movie. I liked it even better than Voyage OR Search!

I haven't seen the reboot yet but it looks great. If it's all that they say it is I'd like to see them hand the SUPERMAN franchise over to Abrams.

May 7 - 01:22 PM

JC Martel

JC Martel

The Voyage home third ? First contact in front of Wrath of Khan ? What a joke.

May 7 - 01:27 PM

Dingbat Charlie

Dingbat Charlie

You're a joke!

Fool

May 9 - 03:18 AM

frogleg

Josh Quarles

The reboot was absolutely fantastic. Much better than any of the other films in the series, and much better than any of the new Star Wars flicks. And I say that as a Star Wars nerd.

May 7 - 01:28 PM

Bob S.

Bob Saccomano

FIRST CONTACT is my favorite of the franchise, with WRATH OF KHAN a hair behind, so it's cool to see the T-meters reflect that. I can't wait for the latest, which I'm betting will have the best T-meter and make by far the most money. To me, this is THE movie of the summer; I think T4 is going to be a little disappointing, and while TRANSFORMERS 2 and HARRY POTTER 6 might make more money, I think this is the one I'm going to like the most.

May 7 - 01:43 PM

JinxSight

Nate Malecki

I've always been kind've a Star Wars guy and not much of a Star Trek fan but I ****ing loved First Contact and Wrath of Khan... Really great movies even for those who are not huge Star Trek fans.

May 7 - 02:20 PM

hig4s

Al Why?

The ratings are by the T-meter critics, not by the community ie: the fans!!!!

If you actually go to each movie's page and look at the rating by the fans, Wrath of Kahn is #1 with 91%, Voyage Home #2 with 87% and First Contact #3 with 84% !!! and personally that is the order I rate them in also.

May 7 - 02:26 PM

Shaun822

Shaun Hevey

I love that last rant by Shatner because we all know he just wants to actually yell that out every now and then. And, of course Nimoy wrote a book to that effect.

May 7 - 04:15 PM

willpower

will molinar

That SNL skit is hilarious.

May 7 - 04:42 PM

Sputnik99

sputnik 99

"Get a life, will you people?"

It's so funny, yet, it kind of hurts. I got tired of conventions after my sixth one. And no, I never dressed up as anybody.

May 7 - 05:05 PM

Dingbat Charlie

Dingbat Charlie

6 conventions?

Do you even know how to have sex?

May 9 - 03:20 AM

Eshto

Ryan Long

Shut up idiot. Leave him alone.

May 9 - 03:37 PM

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