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Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)



Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 64,420

My Rating

Movie Info

When a destructive space entity is spotted approaching Earth, Admiral Kirk resumes command of the Starship Enterprise in order to intercept, examine and hopefully stop it.

Nov 6, 2001

Paramount Home Video

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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (18) | DVD (29)

Nothing but a long day's journey into ennui.

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

The expensive effects (under supervision of Douglas Trumbull) are the secret of this film, and the amazing wizardry throughout would appear to justify the whopping budget.

May 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This 1979 movie adaptation of the cult TV series is blandness raised to an epic scale.

May 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For non-addicts, the smart plot and effects go some way towards compensating for the plastic characters and costumes.

August 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comment (1)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[It's] like attending your high-school class's 10th reunion at Caesar's Palace. Most of the faces are familiar, but the décor has little relationship to anything you've ever seen before.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Star Trek - The Motion Picture: Director's Edition is no 2001 (its obvious inspiration -- a fact that is more evident here than ever before), but it represents thought-provoking, well constructed science fiction.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews | Comment (1)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Merely a weak, inapt Star Trek movie, not a completely awful one.

May 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

The Enterprise's first feature, with smarts outdoing guns.

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

Star Trek's freshman big screen effort was crippled by a plodding pace and a somber tone.

June 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

More of an event than a movie...more flash than content.

May 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

If the endless interstellar vistas of 2001: A Space Odyssey tested your patience, Star Trek: The Motion Picture will make you cry like a little star child.

March 22, 2009 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm | Comment (1)

a little too boring

July 5, 2008

As an exploration of the loneliness of a unique machine consciousness, great! As an exciting SF experience, maybe not.

May 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Director Robert Wise has no feeling for Trek's pop insouciance, and the movie unfolds ponderously.

May 19, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The long, majestic scene in which Scotty (James Doohan) takes Kirk in a shuttle toward the refurbished Enterprise is still breathtaking.

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

A disappointing segement of the series

July 23, 2005

Often unfairly maligned because it's slow and contemplative, but has some real ideas behind it.

October 28, 2004
New Times

Ponderously long, yes; but it was and still is a true movie event.

October 15, 2004

Star Trek-The Motion Picture is a smart sc-fi thriller whose fascinating characters and thought-provoking plot are emphasized more than special effects.

January 29, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

You've heard the about the curse of the odd-numbered Star Trek films. It REALLY applies to this one.

May 7, 2003
Nitrate Online

The result is intriguing as far as the sci-fi genre goes, but not exactly something I'd consider to be Star Trek.

December 17, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Star Trek: The Motion Picture

The first in the long running movie franchise was a huge departure from the ethos of the series it was based upon, and as such disappointed the majority of fans who were expecting more of the same kitsch hi-jinx and polystyrene sets that endeared themselves to so many. The Motion Picture prefers to take its cues from more grandiose, epic sci-fi tales such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and although its inspirations are very obvious, it does very well in capturing a sense of awe and wonder that space exploration (at least used to) conjures up. The stars of the show are most certainly the pairing of SFX legends Trumbull and Dykstra and the visuals of this film are still astonishing to this day, and the addition of Jerry Goldsmith's suitably operatic score makes the original Trek film an audio-visual feast. The ponderous pace of the film will certainly put a lot of the Abrams generation off, but it is littered with many lovely character moments that are done with a lot more subtlety and sophistication than the increasingly silly and kitsch sequels, and Leonard Nimoy's Spock once more dominates the proceedings as his inner struggle with his emotions is echoed by the mysterious machine that threatens them. The plot is simple but clever and effective and the art design alone makes this film well worth the watch. It won't be to the taste of action junkies but those with a penchant for cerebral sci-fi can't fail to enjoy what for me is still amongst the very best of the Star Trek franchise.
March 11, 2014
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

I have to admit, I've never really been a "Star Trek" fan. It's always seemed boring to me, and over my head. Heck, most sci-fi is, except the big alien invasion movies. Not sure what it is, the just don't really do much for me. However, when the J.J. Abrams reboot came out a few years back, I gave it a chance and loved it. With the sequel coming up, I figured I would go back and watch some of the old movies to get a grasp on "Star Trek" as a whole and see if I missed something and missed out, or if it's still just not for me. I was told by a true Trekkie to just start with the second movie, and he was probably right. But, my OCD prevailed and I started with number one. This first movie is horrible. If I were a Trek fan when this was released(1979) I would have been furious and may have given up altogether. It's long(just over 2 hours) and very boring. I understand "Trek" is more hardcore sci-fi than other movies/shows, but this is ridiculous. It's pretty much everyone on the enterprise sitting and talking the entire movie. At some point you need action, and this movie fails to deliver it. As for the acting, it's not all bad, because the characters are interesting and Kirk(William Shatner) is pretty funny. Shatner is easily the best thing about the movie, and if not for him and his charisma, this would be a complete waste. Also, this movie is very dated, and time has not been kind to it at all. I plan on watching more because I've heard it gets a lot better, but this is a horrible first movie for any franchise
May 14, 2013
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

A very underrated film that sparked decades of Star Trek features, in which has spectacular visuals for it's time, and a score that will definitely remain in every fan's hearts. I love myself a good Sci-fi flick, and there are many reasons to say this film does not qualify, but to me, it's just good ol' fashion entertainment from start to finish. Sure it's a little slow and it doesn't need to be as long as it is, but it serves a purpose and opens a whole new Universe for the series to continue. There is not much character development here, but that is okay by me, because I want bigger and better films to come. "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" is a very slow, but very enjoyable sci-fi adventure, even though I may be alone in saying that!
March 30, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

When this came out in 1979, it was a big deal. It was the first piece of new Trek in almost a decade. Then, as now, this is a baffling movie, and back then, probably not what people expected. I kind of liked it though. It basically is something like the Star Trek version of 2001: A Space Odyssey. That's cool, because it shows Trek really going for art, but at the same time, the film is lengthy, slow, a bit boring, and doesn't have much rewatch value. 2001 actually does have more rewatch value than this, but not greatly so.

Even though this film is getting up there in years, the visual effects still look really cool. They were really impressive back in the day, and now have the distinction of having a cool datedness to them that doesn't actually work against the film. Aside from the drab uniforms (and no explanation for why they have the drab clothes), the art direction, set design, visual and sound designs, hell, all the technical stuff, is awesome. The music is damn phenomenal, too.

All in all, a mixed but decent movie. It's definitely striving for something unique and good, even if it doesn't quite get there all the way. If you are in the mood for atypical Trek, then perhaps you should give this a watch.
November 13, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. James T. Kirk: What it needs in order to evolve is a human quality. Our capacity to leap beyond logic.
    – Submitted by Stefan G (11 months ago)
    1. Leonard "Bones" McCoy: Spock, this 'child' is about to wipe out every living thing on Earth. Now, what do you suggest we do? Spank it?
    – Submitted by Brandon K (21 months ago)
    1. James T. Kirk: Warp drive, Mister Scott!
    – Submitted by Blair S (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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