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Star Trek: The Motion Picture Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    Time Richard Schickel

    Star Trek is, finally, nothing but a long day's journey into ennui.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    Watching Star Trek — the Motion like attending your high-school class's 10th reunion at Caesar's Palace. Most of the faces are familiar, but the décor has little relationship to anything you've ever seen before.

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  • 50

    out of 100


    No matter how important teamwork is on a job of industrialized entertainment like these ostensibly visionary films, the vision itself has to come from a single inspired sensibility. Despite some intriguing ideas, episodes and effects, that isn't the case with "Star Trek." [17 Dec. 1979, p.110]

  • 63

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Perhaps the greatest strength of Star Trek: The Motion Picture is that, despite a badly-paced middle, it boasts a strong beginning and end.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Star Trek: The Motion Picture is probably about as good as we could have expected. It lacks the dazzling brilliance and originality of 2001 (which was an extraordinary one-of-a-kind film). But on its own terms it's a very well-made piece of work, with an interesting premise.

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  • 80

    out of 100


    Producer Gene Roddenberry and director Robert Wise have corralled an enormous technical crew, and the result is state-of-the-art screen magic.

  • See all Star Trek: The Motion Picture reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

The Enterprise's first feature, with smarts outdoing guns.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the Star Trek: The Motion Picture features sci-fi violence, including the implication of death, and some intense moments amped up by music. When released theatrically, the movie received a G rating by the MPAA, which was revised to PG in the director's cut. There are allusions to sexual activity, but nothing onscreen. Some aspects of the story involve spiritual/moral questions. Like all Star Trek offerings, this one reflects a multicultural universe largely concerned with peace and the well being of all people (and aliens).

  • Families can talk about sci-fi violence. How realistic is the violence seen in this movie? Does it make the same impact if violence is in a sci-fi setting?
  • How does Star Trek compare to other science fiction franchises?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true0

    Educational value: Intended to entertain, not educate.

  • message true4

    Messages: Intellect and good judgment save the day, instead of warfare. The United Federation of Planets is famously multicultural, multi-ethnic, even multi-species. The ethos of Star Trek is one of exploration and non-interference, though the crew inevitably gets involved in protecting the vulnerable and fighting evil.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: While the crew of the Enterprise demonstrate some basic human foibles (Kirk is too eager to regain command, McCoy suspects Spock's motives), they still function well as a unit of people who care about one another. Some commentators have pointed to the main trio of Star Trek as summing up aspects of a well-rounded, complete person: Kirk for decisive action and passion, Spock for cold logic and intellect, Dr. McCoy for emotion and altruistic kindness.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Space vessels are disintegrated into nothingness. A few crew are knocked around and scorched by energy bolts. A Vulcan nerve pinch. Minor characters perish in a transporter malfunction, but the horrific result is left to the imagination.

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: Mention that Decker formerly had intimate relations with a comely alien. She spends a lot of the movie in a robe with a very short hemline, and there is generalized talk about her species having a powerful psychic sexual allure.

  • language false2

    Language: Scotty says "hell."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Nothing onscreen, but Star Trek, as a marketing franchise, has toys and products in "infinite diversity in infinite combinations," to quote a favorite Gene Roddenberry saying.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue