Star Trek: First Contact

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 56


Audience Score

User Ratings: 100,553
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Movie Info

Capt. Picard and his crew pursue the Borg back in time to stop them from preventing Earth from initiating first contact with alien life.


Patrick Stewart
as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes
as Cdr. William Riker
Brent Spiner
as Lt. Cdr Data
LeVar Burton
as Lt. Cdr. Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn
as Lt. Cdr. Worf
Gates McFadden
as Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis
as Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi
Alfre Woodard
as Lily Sloane
James Cromwell
as Zefram Cochrane
Alice Krige
as Borg Queen
Robert Picardo
as Holographic Doctor
Robert Picard
as Holographic Doctor
Dwight Schultz
as Lt. Barclay
Patti Yasutake
as Nurse Ogawa
Michael Horton
as Security Officer
Adam Scott
as Defiant Conn Officer
Jack Shearer
as Admiral Hayes
Scott Strozier
as Security Officer
C.J. Bau
as Bartender
Julie Morgan
as Singer in Nightclub
Don Stark
as Nicky the Noose
Tamara Lee Krinsky
as Townsperson
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Critic Reviews for Star Trek: First Contact

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (52) | Rotten (4)

  • It's easily one of the best in the series -- the best, in fact, since Leonard Nimoy and the old Enterprise crew saved the whales in "Star Trek IV."

    Apr 26, 2018 | Full Review…

    Jay Carr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Sep 7, 2011 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • 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…
  • The elegance of the story is enhanced by the sure direction of Jonathan Frakes, who also plays Commander William Riker.

    Jun 5, 2007 | Full Review…
  • A smashingly exciting sci-fi adventure that ranks among the very best in the long-running Paramount franchise.

    Jun 5, 2007

    Joe Leydon

    Top Critic
  • This makes little concession to non-initiates.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Star Trek: First Contact

  • Jul 15, 2016
    Captain Jean-Luc Picard and crew were second fiddle to Captain Kirk in their first feature film together in 1994's 'Generations', but that wasn't at all the case in 'First Contact'. Putting a newfound focus on the new crew and a new real sci-fi adventure proved to be what was needed to make the best Star Trek film in years. Re-introducing the Borg was a good choice as the conflict with the Klingons seemed to be getting a bit tiresome. Plus, with improved 1996 special effects, the filmmakers were able to fully realize the Borg as terrifying science fiction species. And that brings me to my favorite elements to First Contact, it's true sci-fi aesthetic. Sure, you still get a classic Trek adventure, but I don't think the other films in the franchise capture the science fiction side to the series as well as First Contact does. The main crew are joined by now-prominent actors, James Cromwell, Alfre Woodard, and Neal McDonough. McDonough plays a throwaway crew mate on the bridge, but Woodard and Cromwell are given plenty to do. Unfortunately for Cromwel and other members of the Enterprise crew, their 21st century earth bound mission is not as compelling as what is going on in space. While Woodard spends most of the film attempting to understand what's going on, she serves as a great counterpart to Picard's spiraling emotion. With Picard's unfortunate Borg history, he has a tough time comprehending any other strategies besides what his own mind tells him. Woodard is the only one that can get to him. Their bond and blossoming relationship is the type of thing previous films have been missing. Or really any well-written female characters at all. After taking a few films off, Jerry Goldsmith returned to score First Contact. Goldsmith has always had a keen sense of when to hammer in that heroic side to the Star Trek theme at just the right moments, First Contact does so impeccably. The CGI is also surprisingly polished. The mixture of practical and digital is seamlessly handled. Though Star Trek films seem to have the same structure, First Contact steered away from some flaws of the previous entries. Keeping the fun tone while throwing in some homages to Alien and Terminator with the Borg's presence was a perfect way to kick off The Next Generation's own film without having to rely on old characters. Star Trek First Contact is easily one of the best instalments of the franchise to date. +Real sci-fi +Borg were a nice change up +Woodard and Cromwell +Focus on the team instead of the old crew +Score +Homages to classic sci-fi films -Earth bound material is a bore 8.3/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • May 06, 2014
    First Contact is a brilliant film that has highly entertaining from start to finish. This, for me, is yet another great sequel in the franchise, and one of the finest entries in the series in the 90's. The cast all bring some great to the film, and overall, this is the most ambitious, film in the series, only topped recently by Star Trek Into Darkness. This possesses everything you'd expect from a very well crafted Star Trek film, and it has a well crafted storyline, good action scenes, and enough thrills from start to finish to satisfy genre fans. What First Contact does well is to amp up the stakes in terms of scope, and it furthers the formula even more into new territory that delivers a terrific film going experience. This entry is one of the best Star Trek films I've seen, and it is a well directed affair, one that is thoroughly exciting from the first frame onwards. Even for non Star Trek fans, this is worth seeing because it's a film that has some well executed action scenes, and it's a fine example of genre cinema. Aside from the recent Star Trek films, this is one of my favorites, and the way that the story is told, mixed with engaging performances, makes this a must see film that will even appeal to genre skeptics. Even if you're not big into this particular genre, Star Trek First Contact is a strong picture that elevates the genre significantly. I enjoyed this film, even more so than other previous entries, and it ranks as one of the very best films in the Star Trek series. With a well crafted story, great effects, wonderful performances, this is a memorable and thrilling genre film that should be enjoyed by anyone that is looking for a highly entertaining Science Fiction film to watch.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Jun 19, 2013
    Against Starfleet orders, the USS Enterprise travels to Earth, where several Starfleet vessels are battling a Borg Cube. The Cube is destroyed but a small sphere escapes and heads towards a temporal vortex, travelling back in time. Realizing the Borg plan to use time travel to change Earth's history, the Enterprise enters the vortex and follows the sphere back in time. Checking the date, Picard (Stewart) discovers it to be April 4th, 2063, the day before Earth first makes contact with alien life. The Enterprise crew track down Zefram Cochrane (Cromwell), the inventor of the warp drive, to ensure his historic first warp flight goes ahead. With the Original Series' crew finally retired, it came time for the Next Gen bunch to step up. Would they be able to carry on the Trek franchise on the big screen? The evidence of the previous film, 'Generations', would suggest not. It had become evident that, of the cast, only Stewart possessed the gravitas to carry a major motion picture. Most fans' biggest gripe concerned the manner in which Data (Spiner) had been transformed into a highly irritating comic foil thanks to the implementation of an "emotion chip". Thankfully, both of these issues are addressed in 'First Contact'. Picard is pushed to the forefront, making it very much Stewart's movie. Data's emotion chip is disabled early on at his captain's request and the groan-inducing comic situations are cast aside. The decision to base the first all-TNG movie around a plot involving the Borg was a no-brainer. Ever since the TV series' pivotal two-parter, 'The Best of Both Worlds', they had become most Trek fans' favorite villains. With the Federation signing peace accords with seemingly every former aggressor, the unfeeling Borg became the perfect antagonists. In 'TBOBW', set six years prior to this film, Picard had been held captive by the Borg, who attempted to assimilate him. This element makes 'First Contact' essentially a revenge movie. Explicit reference is made to 'Moby Dick', (a sci-fi cliche at this point), with Picard cast in the role of Ahab. The captain, out of character, allows his personal vendetta to get the better of him, putting those under his command at risk. Stewart shows us just what a great actor he really is, blowing everyone else off the screen. Allowing cast members to direct had negatively effected the series in the past. The entries helmed by Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner lacked the class of those directed by the legendary Robert Wise and the talented Nicholas Meyer. Many groans were heard when Frakes was named as director but his detractors were left with egg on their faces. The actor does a fantastic job here, making his directorial debut. As Meyer did with 'Wrath of Khan', Frakes changed the entire visual aesthetic of the series, implementing a new, darker look, in keeping with the nature of the Borg plot. The color-coded uniforms are replaced by a more somber grey-toned outfit and the decks of the Enterprise appear as though Starfleet are attempting to cut down on the energy bill. Cromwell had just become a star thanks to the surprise hit 'Babe'. His character, a drunken genius, could have been the one element which brought the movie down, given the comic nature of the role. Had someone like Rob Schneider been cast in the part, (quite possible in the mid-nineties), the result would have been a horror show. Cromwell handles the comic element in just the right manner, keeping the film out of camp territory. 'First Contact' features one of the most impressive effects shots you'll see in any sci-fi movie. It occurs when we're first introduced to the Borg Queen (Krige), as her head and shoulders are lowered down onto a mechanical body which then walks across the set. Unlike today, when CG is over-used to an annoying degree, the effect was achieved by combining CG with practical FX and reportedly took a total of five months to complete. After the bumpy start of 'Generations', 'First Contact' inspired a fresh confidence in fans that Trek could continue successfully as a big screen franchise. Sadly, they would never have it so good again.
    The Movie W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 17, 2013
    Star Trek really isn't my thing, but this was a pretty cool film. I wish the story focused on one arc instead of splitting them, however. The main problem seemed to be with the Borg rather than with the astronaut, but they focused on them both even though the latter didn't have too many problems. As a result, both arcs were weaker than they would've been otherwise. A movie about First Contact alone, or about the Borg alone, would've been interesting-there was no need to combine them.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer

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