The Captains - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Captains Reviews

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½ September 12, 2016
4 1/2 out of 5 stars! I LOVE this doc. Probably the best Trek doc. It's an in depth look in to the lives and motivations of the 6 actors who have played Star Trek lead captains. It's a fun, touching, and insightful piece of work. Very interesting and a must see for all Trekkies!
Super Reviewer
½ November 1, 2015
Not being a die hard Trekkie but being a casual fan of the original series and the theatrical films I approached this cautiously. It turned out to be quite fascinating though since it deals with a singular experience experienced by these six people and the challenges and joys derived from it by them.
September 5, 2015
instead of concentrating on the Captains, it is kinda William Shatner-centric,
Super Reviewer
½ January 19, 2015
Or as I refer to it...the William Shatner marathon of self indulgent memories, OK OK I jest. Directed, produced and written by the Shat himself, a one man army exploring the difficulties, struggles, stigmas and sacrifices that accompany the huge responsibility of playing the captain of the starship Enterprise. But as you can guess from the title Shatner travels around the globe (kinda) to seek out the other captains where ever they may be and natter about the past.

So as all Trekkies will know the other captains interviewed in this documentary are Patrick Stewart, Scott Bakula, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew and Chris Pine. Obviously this being a Star Trek feature you can't ignore other cast members from the TV shows and movies so you also get to see and hear from people like Christopher Plummer, Johnathan Frakes, Robert Picardo, Rene Auberjonois etc...Its an across the board (across the ages) feature that delves deep...or does it?

One by one Shatner meets up with his fellow acting colleagues to discuss all things Star Trek and portraying the various captains...but actually they don't! To my surprise much of the conversations to begin with tend to revolve around their past work, previous jobs and gigs, how they started in acting etc...One or two of them even chat about their other skills and interests such as singing and playing instruments (Bakula and Brooks). Now don't get me wrong this is all quite interesting for the most part (I never knew Bakula was a singer), but I kinda wanted to hear about all things Star Trek, not their personal lives or backgrounds before hand.

The whole point to this documentary was for Shatner to express how he and his fellow colleagues coped with the daily pressures of playing the captain in a hit show. The long slog of making many episodes with long hours over many years and then the inevitable typecasting that would follow afterwards. We do get this but it takes a bit of time for the cast to get onto this subject. Like I said at first its mostly about what they did before Star Trek which I personally wasn't too bothered about. Eventually all the stars talk about their own personal demons and hindrances along the way with Stewart mentioning how hard it was to follow on from the original series and the character of Kirk, to Mulgrew talking about how tough it was trying to raise her kids whilst making the show.

You do learn some interesting tit bits but nothing overly earth shattering or that you haven't heard before. Its cool to see all the cast members (although this was four years ago now). Bakula still has a youthful energetic persona and looks, Mulgrew is still the same but a little rounder in the face, Stewart never really seems to change, Pine is of course still young so no change there, but the most surprising thing was Brooks coming across as a tad eccentric in his old age...but pleasantly so. He seemed a bit lost in his own world, not really concentrating, distant and as though he was unaware of what was going on, but happy at least.

The odd interviews with other stars briefly cover what they experienced on the TV show or movie, depending, again its not all Star Trek as they do touch on their past careers. There is also some convention footage with Shatner which is cool, we hear how Shatner never used to like the conventions and avoided them, but over time realised how important they were and how much attention he got (yep we all the Shat by now). Even though the feature is suppose to be about all the ex-captains it naturally tends to focus more on Shatner and his issues but I guess it is his production.
I did get the impression Shatner was kinda fishing for compliments from the other cast members, almost looking for a shoulder to cry at some points. At the end he reveals how much he disliked the character of Kirk but has now come to accept him and enjoy the notion that he will forever be remembered as Kirk. Did Shatner really need to make an entire documentary supposedly about all the Star Trek captains just to show us this revelation? Well I'll let you decide that one.

Honesty there isn't much that is discussed that will blow you away, its pleasant listening and viewing but overall it feels a little bit unnecessary at times. I really dunno why Shatner didn't just call the doc 'The Captain' whilst including the other cast members as its really all about him. That's not a bad thing as Shatner is a strangely likeable guy despite his large ego. None the less its a must watch for any Trekkies and a solid watch for any sci-fi fanboys like myself. It will make you smile and maybe...just possibly bring a lump to your throat on the odd occasion.
August 17, 2014
Not what I expected. This is William Shatner the philosopher. There is quite a bit of an end-of-life philosophical focus (one of my favorite subjects, but not typical for a Star Trek documentary!). I loved it.
May 4, 2014
A really amazing documentary about all the actors who played captains in "Star Trek" and what they brought from and to their roles.
April 24, 2014
This is a great documentary. But, boy, is Avery Brooks a weird cat.
½ September 30, 2013
The Captains is William Shatner's pet project to investigate what it means to be a captain of the (fictional) U.S.S. Enterprise. He interviews each of the five other actors who have played the captain on a Star Trek series, and he attempts to determine what qualities they possess in common and how he connects with each of them. His journey begins as a slightly pompous exercise in egotism, but it ends with an unexpected revelation of vulnerability from Shatner and the others. His interviews with each of the other actors wind their ways through various topics such as leadership, the demands of filming a show like Star Trek on real life relationships (including several whose marriages failed as a direct result of their times on Star Trek), and ultimately meaning both in life and after death. Shatner begins to grapple with what it means to be known as Captain James T. Kirk, and he ultimately comes to peace with that reality. The Captains will be interesting for fans of the Star Trek franchise, as it does give some new insight into each of the actors who played a captain (except for Chris Pine - the movie does not really give him much screen time) and how their personalities affected their roles.
September 4, 2013
A little muddled and at times embarrassing, but it has heart, and it's clear that Trek was life-changing for all of the captains.
August 10, 2013
Pretty interesting and insightful documentary about each of the Star Trek captains. William Shatner's humor and charisma, of course, wins the show, which makes the other captains, he is interviewing, more relaxed and willing to answer questions about themselves.
May 23, 2013
Good concept. Each of the captains only gets about 20 minutes - an hour each should have been minimal. They talk about first public performances and the personal toll being a series lead takes.
½ May 14, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013

(2011) The Captains

A revealing insight and impact Star Trek has made throughout the world. This has actor William Shatner who's famously known as Captain Kirk interviewing and reflecting with other actors also played Captains on other Star Trek series including "Deep Space Nine", "Stargate", "Babylon 5" among others etc.... Verbally reflecting the influence and hardships regarding making Star Trek episodes. One can also get the sense of it's rewards as well as it's downfalls helming the role as Captain.

3 out of 4 stars
½ May 12, 2013
Its interesting if you are a Star Trek fan and want to know more about the people who played the characters and how it effected their lives.
½ March 30, 2013
I think I would've enjoyed it better if Avery Brooks wasn't so eccentric, but it's easy to see where his acting for Capt. Sisko came from. I think it would've been fun too to see an interview or two between two other Captains, not just with Shatner the whole time.
February 10, 2013
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
January 31, 2013
Shatner's interview style is probing and provocative - occasionally in a good way, but not always. He frequently interrupts his discussion partners, tries unsuccessfully to put words in their mouths, and shows surprising disrespect toward two of them. Somehow, he also gets to the core of what made these actors perfect for their roles, and bonds with them over the harsh realities of the job. Problems aside, The Captains is thought-provoking and emotional in the many moments it gets right.
½ January 22, 2013
This movie is about Shatner wanting everyone to know he loves Shatner, and all the reasons everyone else should, too. Every time he starts in on a good interview, it changes to him talking about himself, inflating his ego to no end. The only time he can't is when Avery Brooks sings at him or answers questions with his piano rather than words. While they are distressing as hell, these are the only moments that stand out.
December 11, 2012
A little choppy. Felt But I guess that's Shatner for you.
Super Reviewer
½ November 28, 2012
In the documentary "The Captains," William Shatner travels to talk to the other actors, Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula and Chris Pine, who have played captains in Star Trek over the years.(Missing is any mention of Genevieve Bujold who was originally cast as the lead in "Star Trek: Voyager" which would have been wild.) He also gets a chance to talk to old pal Christopher Plummer who played a Klingon in "Star Trek VI." The results are pleasant enough, and much less awkward than the first time Shatner and Stewart met onscreen in "Star Trek: Generations" in proving to Star Trek fans(for the record, I know just enough Klingon to get my face slapped) that these actors that they venerate have done other things in their lives and careers, not to mention the level of commitment involved.(And thanks for mentioning "Boston Legal" by the way.) What may surprise many is the fact that Stewart is not the only theater veteran amongst them with a couple being very much musically inclined.

Throughout, Shatner is seen enjoying himself by engaging with fans at a convention in Las Vegas and proves with his outgoing personality why he would make a good stand up comic. Not to take anything away from any of that, but Harlan Ellison(you know I was going to bring him up, right?) pointed out in his review of "Star Trek IV" that the series are as much about the crews as they are the captains.
October 6, 2012
I put this on for some company while I was painting my nails. It's kind of fun--basically just William Shatner talking about his life with some bizarre interviews and convention footage thrown in. I do want to talk about a few things, though.
1. Patrick Stewart seems super sweet and regular. Or is he just a really good actor?
2. All of Avery Brooks's scenes had me laughing out loud SO MUCH! It was as if he was doing slam poetry with every single word he said. It made both no sense and all the sense at once. I would buy a book of his poetry in less than a second.
3. When Shatner interviews Kate Mulgrew about the long work days filming, it is hilarious how much they do not connect. They are having totally separate conversations, in fact. All Shatner wants to say is that women should stay in the kitchen, and all Mulgrew wants to say is "Shove it, Shatner, and let me talk about how hard I worked!" Awkwardest. And so funny.
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