Who's In It: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Leonard Nimoy
The Basics: The clock is turned back to the moment when the U.S.S. Enterprise crew was young and sexy and possessed of way better special effects. How can they do this and still call it Star Trek? Well, see, that is the beauty of science fiction, a genre where things like time travel and human-engineered super-black holes can actually exist and be used in the service of a story that combines the past and the present in an imaginative, funny, respectful and insanely entertaining way. Get ready for a new influx of fans, Trekkers.
What's The Deal: When you love movies and you're subjected to so much hype every summer about this or that "event" film, blockbusters that haven't yet earned that distinction, movies that rely on opening weekend curiosity/gotta-see-it marketing blitzes because they know they've got a piece of soul-withering crap on their hands, and every single one of them turns out to be mediocre, dull, compromised, dumbed-down and as bland as possible, you can start to feel demoralized and jaded about all the fake excitement. But this film has renewed my belief in the Big Hollywood Summer Movie. It's thrilling, smart, funny, well written and well acted, the effects are great, the surprises are actually surprising and, in the end, you wind up actually moved by how full of life it is. It's almost more than you could reasonably expect to ask from a corrupt film industry, but once in a while $160 million isn't blown on a two-hour waste of time.
Hardcore Fundamentalist Impossible To Please Star Trek Fan Alert: Look, I just don't know what to tell you. I have never watched a single episode of any "Star Trek" program. The only movie I've ever seen is the one with the whales. Correct, not even Wrath of Khan. When I told this to the Trek superfan I went to the press screening with, I thought his mind would melt and leak out his ears. Seriously, he was like, "OHMYGOD DAVE WHITE I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN WRATH OF KHAN. YOU SUCK!" But when the movie was over and I told him I loved what I'd just seen, he told me he did too. And then he started yelling at me about Wrath of Khan again.
Did You Watch That Clip On Lost With The Monster? And did you think it looked weird and cheap? Well, rest easy because on a huge screen it looks awesome and pretty terrifying. In fact, it's a testament to this film's powers of persuasion that it can make you fear, in genuine suspense, for the lives of characters you know darn well aren't going to be killed off.
Concession Tips: Get all your food before it starts. Don't think you're going to just get up in the middle when the line has died down. You won't get up. You won't want to. And do not, whatever you do, get the biggest bottle of water they sell. Because an hour in you're going to have a problem that has no solution. I speak from experience. And I held it like a man does, just for the record.