Star Trek Generations

Critics Consensus

Generations stands as a mediocre changing of the guard for crews of the Enterprise, with a dull plot that sometimes seems like an expanded episode of the television series.

48%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 58

57%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 70,510

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Movie Info

In the 23rd century, the Starship Enterprise is dispatched to the scene of a giant energy field about to engulf two ships. Capt. Kirk (William Shatner) averts calamity, but is exposed to the field and presumed dead. Years later, the Enterprise's new commander, Capt. Picard (Patrick Stewart), learns that one of the disaster's survivors, Dr. Soran (Malcolm McDowell), plans to enter the field by destroying a neighboring star. Picard now must collaborate with an unlikely ally in order to stop him.

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Critic Reviews for Star Trek Generations

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (30)

  • Three things make the film worthwhile: [William] Shatner's performance; the sequence involving Data getting his "emotion chip" implant; and John Alonzo's crystalline cinematography, which makes Generations the most beautiful Trek ever.

    March 25, 2020 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It's well-plotted, cleanly staged and, on the whole, not badly acted.

    March 25, 2020 | Full Review…
  • "Star Trek Generations" never beams us down. It's good cornball mainstream sci-fi, as close to brand-name reliability as this genre gets.

    April 26, 2018 | Full Review…

    Jay Carr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • Fns of the series will no doubt be happy to see Kirk again under any circumstances, and if you hunger for the "Star Trek" experience, this will keep you nicely occupied.

    September 7, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    September 7, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • Star Trek Generations has enough verve, imagination and familiarity to satisfy three decades' worth of Trekkers raised on several incarnations of the television skein.

    May 19, 2008

    Leonard Klady

    Variety
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Star Trek Generations

  • Jul 13, 2016
    Sometimes a franchise and its characters have run its course to a point where new faces and fresh ideas are needed. Though the Star Trek franchise as a whole was at a high in 1994 with two acclaimed TV series airing and the films coming off a great finale in 'The Undiscovered Country', to me, 'Generations' wasn't the proper next step to take. Sure, it's hard to let go of beloved characters, but 'The Undiscovered Country' felt like the perfect send off for all of the original cast members, including Captain Kirk. Nonetheless he was brought back to past the torch to the next crew to man the Enterprise. Of course, that group being the cast from The Next Generation. Which is exactly where the film has most of its problems. Attempting to balance both timelines, Kirks being 75 years or so earlier, and Captain Picard's (Patrick Stewart) being present day, sometimes the film feels jumbled and bunched together. In other words, there's plenty of set up with the main antagonist played by Malcom McDowell, but the pay-off takes a great deal of time and exposition to get to. It's a much different universe, but Star Wars did an impeccable job blending both casts into The Force Awakens, so that's more along the lines of what I was hoping for. With all that being said, the new cast from the TV series definitely deserve their own individual film (which is obviously what they got a few years later). It's impossible to top the original crew, but there's enough personalities and likable characters, including Stewart's stern but sympathetic Picard. As far as the actual plot itself goes, it pretty much follows the same Star Trek formula, except for the trippy Nexus sequence where Picard and Kirk are stuck in a time loop. It's the most talked about and controversial scenes from the film, and for good reason. I don't necessarily think the sequence works the way it supposed to, but it is where we end up getting the most emotional pay off. So overall, Generations is a middle of the road Star Trek adventure, but at the very least, it gives the new crew some time to shine. +Picard & Kirk +Nexus +Beautiful score -Choppy first half -Formulaic 6.3/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Jun 22, 2016
    While it was nice to see both original cast members and Next Generation cast members in the same film, the film's action, story, and dialogue really dragged for most of the film. Action scenes were sporadic and the storyline as a whole was very weak and uninteresting.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • May 06, 2014
    With an all new cast of actors, the Star Trek franchise take a new turn and reinvents the series by introducing a new crew. With Generations we get a highly entertaining and thrilling story, mixed with some worthwhile performances. I really enjoyed the film, thought it was a fine mix of thrills, a bit of action and everything else that make for an effective Star Trek film. The film is a very good entry, one that brings new ideas to the table, and I really enjoyed the direction that the film took with its ideas and concept. This is an accomplished Science Fiction film, and ranks among the finest in the series. With the cast at hand, and good script, Generations is an engaging picture that is worth seeing if you enjoy the genre. An aspect that really stood out for me was the performance of Malcolm McDowell, which made the film that much better. He really delivered one of the film's strongest performances, and it more than makes up for the film's shortcomings. With that being said, Generations is a well crafted picture, one that at times shows part where it could have been improved upon, but considering some of the performances we get on-screen, it's easy to forget the film's weaker points. Overall, this is a pleasant Science Fiction film, one that definitely stands out among other genre films. If you've enjoyed the previous film, you're sure to enjoy this one, and it's a refreshing due to a new cast from the Star Trek: The Next Generations being the new cast in this film. This film has flaws, but it's nonetheless an enjoyable affair that is an engaging film from start to finish.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Jun 03, 2013
    In 2293, the newly built USS Enterprise B is undertaking its maiden voyage with Kirk (Shatner), Scott (Doohan) and Chekhov (Koenig) aboard for the ride. The initial celebrations are interrupted when a distress signal is received from two refugee ships caught in a lethal energy ribbon. Taking Kirk's advice, the Enterprise crew beam aboard the passengers of one ship, but are unable to save the second. The Enterprise itself becomes caught in the ribbon, and Kirk is presumably killed while freeing the ship by altering the deflector shields. 78 years later, the USS Enterprise D receives a similar distress call. By the time of 'The Undiscovered Country', the original Trek cast had become one of pop culture's biggest jokes, their advanced ages fueling many a chat show host's opening monologue. The decision was made to put them to pasture and pass the baton to the 'Next Generation'. Originally it had been intended for Kirk, Spock and McCoy to make a final appearance but Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley were uninterested in making a return. Instead, the script was rewritten for Chekhov and Scott. If Kelley and Nimoy had read said script, it's hard to criticize their decision. Chekhov and Scott are given short shrift and Kirk, though having a decent amount of screen time, departs the franchise in something of an undignified manner. His "death" is particularly underwhelming, though it does tie in with his 'Final Frontier' prophecy of dying alone. When he returns later in the film, courtesy of a plot device known as "The Nexus", he's become a rambling, somewhat senile old man. Hardly a fitting end for one of cinema and TV's most legendary figures. 'Generations' is the first Trek film to resemble a TV series two-parter. Director Carson had never worked outside TV and this is all too evident in this film's lack of scale, particularly noticeable as it follows Nicholas Meyer's great work on the previous film. It's telling that Carson would never helm a theatrical feature after this one, returning immediately to the world of episodic TV. The Next-Gen cast themselves simply aren't suited to big-screen adventures, with only Stewart possessing any real gravitas among the bunch. While Frakes, Spiner et al are perfectly fine on the small screen, they lack the charisma of Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley. This would become even more evident in later films. The most irritating aspect of this film is the treatment of Data (Spiner), transformed into a comic figure through a cheesy and groan-inducing subplot involving an emotion chip. The movie descends into the sort of cheap comedy the TV show wisely, and thankfully, avoided. There's a touch of the Jar-Jar about all this, as though the producers wanted to capture the kiddie market. As a result, a character who was at times fascinating on TV becomes merely an annoyance here. Aside from Picard, Data gets the most screen time, as does Geordi La Forge (Burton), ironic given he was the character most neglected on the small screen. Worf (Dorn), Riker (Frakes), Crusher (McFadden) and Troi (Sirtis) are barely represented. Most of the film is crushingly dull but things do pick up somewhat for the conclusion, which sees Shatner, Stewart and McDowell face off in a clash of, (wildly different in style), acting greats. For the most part, 'Generations' is a disappointing farewell to Kirk and an uninspiring big-screen debut for the Next-Gen crew.
    The Movie W Super Reviewer

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