Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home

Critics Consensus

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is perhaps the lightest and most purely enjoyable entry of the long-running series, emphasizing the eccentricities of the Enterprise's crew.



Total Count: 41
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Movie Info

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) concludes the story arc begun with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) and continued in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), but on a wholly new, different, and upbeat note. As the movie opens, months have elapsed since the events in Star Trek III; Admiral Kirk (William Shatner), McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Scott (James Doohan), Sulu (George Takei), Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), and Chekhov (Walter Koenig) are marooned in self-imposed exile on Vulcan, along with the resurrected and regenerated Spock (Leonard Nimoy, who also directed). While Spock tries to sort out the Vulcan and human halves of his resurrected psyche, the others prepare to return to Earth to face a brace of charges by the Klingon Empire and Star Fleet over events on Genesis. Taking off in their commandeered, jerry-rigged Klingon ship, they head to Earth, not knowing that a new crisis could destroy their home world -- a huge, immensely powerful alien probe has entered the galaxy and established a position near Earth, disabling every vehicle and installation in its path with its energy and communication output, and has ionized the entire atmosphere and started vaporizing the oceans, leaving the planet only hours to survive. Spock determines that the probe is sending out signals to another intelligent terrestrial life form, humpbacked whales, which no longer exist. Using the gravity slingshot time-warp effect (established early in the original series) to travel back into Earth's 20th century, Kirk and company land in 1980s San Francisco to try and bring humpbacked whales to the 23rd century, to respond to the probe. Thus starts a surprisingly breezy, light-hearted, yet serious odyssey through the past (comparable to the best work of the original series), as the crew learns to deal with exact-change buses, angry drivers, punk-rock enthusiasts and other elements of '80s life, and Kirk tries to persuade a scientist (Catherine Hicks) of his good intentions for two whales in captivity. The screenplay, co-authored by Steve Meerson, Peter Krikes, Nicholas Meyer, and Harve Bennett (from a story by Nimoy and Bennett), is the cleverest and most sophisticated of all the Star Trek movie screenplays, recalling some of the elements of Meyer's earlier time-travel movie Time After Time and also anticipating the feel and tone of the series Star Trek: The Next Generation (which would be on the air not quite a year later). Nimoy's direction offers a combination of brisk pacing and a deep love of the characters and the actors, as well as a serious appreciation of the humorous aspects of the script, and Shatner gives his best performance of any of the movies. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

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DeForest Kelley
as Dr. McCoy
Jane Wyatt
as Amanda
Majel Barrett
as Dr. Christine Chapel
Robin Curtis
as Lt. Saavik
Robert Ellenstein
as Federation Council President
John Schuck
as Klingon Ambassador
Brock Peters
as Cartwright
Scott DeVenney
as Bob Briggs
Madge Sinclair
as Captain of the Saratoga
Michael Snyder
as Starfleet Communications Officer
Michael Berryman
as Starfleet Display Officer
Jane Wiedlin
as Trillya
Grace Lee Whitney
as Janice Rand
Vijay Amritraj
as Starship Captain
Nick Ramus
as Saratoga Helmsman
Martin Pistone
as Controller #2
Phil Rubenstein
as 1st Garbageman
John Miranda
as 2nd Garbageman
Eve Smith
as Elderly Patient
Greg Karas
as Intern #2
Raymond Singer
as Young Doctor
Judy Levitt
as Doctor #2
Jeff Lester
as FBI Agent
Joe Lando
as Shore Patrolman
Mike Timoney
as Electronics technician
Jeffrey Martin
as Electronics technician
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News & Interviews for Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home

Critic Reviews for Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (10)

  • If most movies today are doomed to be sure-fire, presold properties--with ideas leached from our recent TV or cinematic past--let's hope they're all as good at the game as "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home."

    Sep 7, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Latest excursion is warmer, wittier, more socially relevant and truer to its TV origins than prior odysseys.

    May 19, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • I suspect the unconverted will want to be beamed up pronto.

    Jun 6, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Kirk & Co return to present-day San Francisco to save the whales in the most enjoyable film of the series so far, also returning to the simplistic morality-play format that gave the original TV series its strength.

    Jan 26, 2006
  • Mr. Nimoy directed this Star Trek installment, and indeed he should probably direct all of them. His technical expertise leaves much to be desired. But his sincerity is unmistakable, and it counts for a lot.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • One of the series' strongest episodes.

    Sep 26, 2001 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Danny Graydon
    Top Critic

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