The tagline for next year’s much-anticipated CBS All Access Star Trek television series – “New Crews. New Villains. New Heroes. New Worlds.” – applies perfectly to STAR TREK BEYOND, the latest in a thirty-seven-year run of big screen Trek adventures, which arrives in theaters on July 22.

Directed by self-confessed “Star Trek kid” Justin Lin, who takes on his first science fiction motion picture after building Universal’s Fast and Furious franchise to staggering successBEYOND is an extremely satisfying deep-dive into five decades of Star Trek lore.

Director Justin Lin consults with Chris Pine on set. (Paramount Pictures)

The film quite literally soars beyond expectations, giving fans a taste of modern-day, adrenaline-fueled, summertime fun mixed with the deep layers associated with sci-fi’s most cerebral franchise.

The pillars that have supported Star Trek’s longevity across five decades are on full display in STAR TREK BEYOND – from complex character motivations and reveals to strong continuity, the exploration and discovery at the core of the franchise’s best episodes and films is featured throughout the two-hour feature.

New Crews

Well, maybe not a new crew, exactly, but for the first time in the Kelvin Timeline, we find James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and the rest of the Enterprise officers entrenched in their five-year mission of exploration.

Beginning nine hundred and sixty-six days into their mission (a cute reference to the September ’66 television debut of the Original Series), STAR TREK BEYOND is equal parts exciting and routine for the original seven – and in just a few short scenes, we get to see a slice of Starfleet life portrayed with a depth never before showcased in a Star Trek motion picture.

The Enterprise crew at their stations – but something dangerous is headed their way. (Paramount Pictures)

Lin is well known for working with ensembles, and he exceeds all expectations in BEYOND by giving each Original Series crew member a critical role to play. Along with screenwriters Simon Pegg (pulling double-duty, also appearing as Scotty) and Doug Jung, the trio has placed our heroes in interesting combinations to not only raise the stakes, but dig deeper into their psyche.

We see Kirk mentoring Chekov (the late Anton Yelchin) extensively, hearkening back to original series episodes like “The Gamesters of Triskelion” and “The Apple,” and the film teams up Sulu (John Cho) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana) to face adversity together in dark, revealing ways.

In more than mere homage to the classic McCoy-Spock shenanigans from the Original Series, the paring of Bones (Karl Urban) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) – verbally sparring with each other in one film-stealing scene after another – is the heart and soul of BEYOND, providing a backbone for all of Kirk and Spock’s personal motivation.

Anton Yelchin and John Cho share a fun moment of friendship on set. (Paramount Pictures)

The tragic loss of Anton Yelchin, who was sadly killed in June, is felt whenever he appears on screen interacting with his bridge mates – but thankfully, that twinge of sadness is often overshadowed by a role that ultimately is a celebration of the man and his craft.

While the entire ensemble continues to be a strength in these new Star Trek films, it is Pine who stands out in a way he hasn’t previously. Captain Kirk is in full hero mode throughout the movie: leading, cajoling, inspiring. His emotions run the gamut, but his internal crisis never approaches unsympathetic self-loathing.

Kirk learns of a new mission for the Enterprise, in one of several new uniform designs. (Paramount Pictures)

Pine can thank Pegg and Jung for that – they have written a film that matches Lin’s frenetic direction and pacing with humor, action and reverence. While including poignant callbacks to “The Cage” and “The Wrath of Khan,” Pegg and Jung have enabled Pine, Quinto, and Urban to easily slip back into their original trinity roles by scrutinizing their core personality traits – with both heart and humor.

Callbacks to Trek’s past are layered throughout the prose and are too numerous to count – everything from names of obscure TOS redshirts to one particularly cheeky reference to the original crew’s adventures on Pollux IV – and if you’re a fan of the four-season Star Trek: Enterprise prequel series, you’ll definitely be pleased with the ingenious way that show has been infused throughout the film.

New Villains, New Heroes

Without giving too much away, it’s easy for us to tell you that Krall, played by multiple-Emmy Award nominee Idris Elba, is a villain for the ages.

Explaining the complexity of Krall’s backstory has been described by both Pegg and Jung as their biggest challenge in bringing this story to the screen. They are mostly successful, keeping heavy, exposition-laden dialogue to a minimum – just enough for audiences to connect the pieces – but understanding the full scope of just what he’s up to will likely take a second viewing for those not deeply versed in Trek lore… or some online research when you leave the theater.

Long-time fans of Star Trek, however, will be catching their breath once his mysterious motivations come into satisfying focus.

Idris Elba (as Krall) takes direction from Justin Lin. (Paramount Pictures)

Elba’s performance is emphatic and unrelenting, and is matched only by his amazing makeup and creature design from Joel Harlow, who has created a number of remarkable aliens and makeups throughout the film. As part of the fifty-year celebration of Trek, the producers tasked themselves with creating 50 different alien makeups for the film, and many of them are showcased prominently.

Just one of dozens of stunning new creature designs in the film. (Paramount Pictures).

At the top of that list are the sleek, cat-like black-and-white lines of Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), a mysterious alien who matches wits with Scotty and the rest of the crew in their battle with Krall.

If you’ve been following the film’s promotional path the last month and were worried that your expectations for Jaylah might be too high, you can rest easy: Jaylah is a character with purpose and very real emotional depth. None of her screen time is wasted as she seamlessly integrates herself into the crew dynamic.

Jaylah lounges about in her favorite chair. (Paramount Pictures)

In fact, so successful is her presence, that if and when development starts on a fourth film in the Kelvin Timeline, you’d be hard-pressed not to include her in some capacity moving forward.

New Worlds

The visual effects in STAR TREK BEYOND quite simply set a new standard for Star Trek films. Double Negative, the effects house responsible for the award-winning work seen in Interstellar and Ex Machina, has created a new world in the Yorktown space station that rivals anything ever seen on screen.

Its expansive environment is well thought out and practical – clearly designed to take advantage of every bit of living space inside an artificial gravity sphere in the middle of space. The concept is grand and the visuals are a match. It’s an amazing achievement.

Approaching Yorktown, floating in the void. (Paramount Pictures)

Of course, the Yorktown station is more than just a shiny, pretty object to look at. The filmmakers have superbly made it feel like home, making it an essential catalyst to much of the film’s plot development, including the much-discussed personal revolutions for Cho’s Sulu – where the station is home to his family.

Care and detail have also been given to the Enterprise makeover, with some sleeker lines in the nacelles and a clever new warp bubble effect we glimpsed in the trailers. The effect is mesmerizing and sets a new standard when compared to the oft-repeated “stretched lights, flashing into the distance” effect – not that there’s anything wrong with that classic effect!

The new warp effect is an impressive standout among the film’s stunning visuals. (Paramount Pictures)

As he has done in the two previous incarnations of the Kelvin Timeline, master composer Michael Giacchino has infused the film with both the familiar and the foreign, creating a score that opens with a tonal nod to Alexander Courage’s original Star Trek theme, and only gets bigger and more majestic from there.

While his work on the previous films certainly hasn’t been overlooked, this third film score will likely be the one that garners the most attention (and is available for preorder now).

Technically-adept allies Jaylah and Scotty work together. (Paramount Pictures)

All that being said, Lin’s take on the Trek universe doesn’t breezily move past the dark tones that permeated STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS – as Krall has more than a few dark moments to match anything seen previously in Trek – but there is certainly a different feel to this incarnation.

Replacing the ubiquitous JJ Abrams’ lens flares are a number of new visual flourishes, including several uses of twisty, long-range camera movements layered between fast-paced cuts and quick camera pans that will rocket viewers around at warp speed.

In addition, Lin’s inclusion of some modern story-telling beats may not be to everyone’s liking – including the much-discussed use of a motorcycle in a pivotal action sequence – but the director’s style clearly jumps off the screen in critical ways… in both sound and fury.

Kirk finds a new set of wheels. (Paramount Pictures)

At its heart, though, STAR TREK BEYOND is about the core relationships that have bound the crew of the Enterprise in tales spanning half a century.

The film integrates and honors the passing of Leonard Nimoy in a number of emotional scenes, while never ignoring the critical backstory laid out in the previous two films surrounding the destruction of Vulcan.

Nimoy’s loss is felt throughout the film. His absence resonates emotionally and powerfully, but is also celebrated in a tear-inducing scene that is more than worthy of this franchise benchmark.

Uhura stands her ground while the Enterprise falls under attack. (Paramount Pictures)

In the simplest terms, the humor, action and pacing of this film will satisfy both summer movie aficionados and hardcore Trek purists alike. The film is epic and balanced, kinetic and thoughtful, and connects Trek across 50 years of continuity in ways that could never have been expected.

It’s an exceptionally worthy mic drop for Star Trek’s golden anniversary.

Be sure to check out our BEYOND review, from Rob Heyman.

"Star Trek Beyond"
  • New Horizon

    I thought reviews couldn’t go up until next week?

    • Eric Cheung

      Paramount’s confidence in the early buzz convinced them to lift the embargo.

      • Charlie Oakes

        I’m just relieved that since May 20 – they’ve been promoting the hell out of it.

        • Charlie Oakes

          Possibly even more than Into Darkness – which I thought had a ton of promo.

        • Credo

          I think they waited for Independence day Resurgence to come out because that movie was also heavily marketed and beyond.

    • MattR

      I think Paramount saw that all the initial reactions were positive so changed the embargo date to today. That’s a great sign.

    • Paramount lifted the embargo early – a sign of confidence in their product.

      • GIBBS v2

        They want to maximize buzz and attendance. They kill at the box office we get more Trek it’s as simple as that!

      • Bifash

        “The word is given…Warp Speed”.

  • pittrek

    We’ll see.

  • Eric Cheung

    Your review states that “understanding the full scope of just what he’s up to will likely take a second viewing for those not deeply versed in Trek lore… or some online research when you leave the theater.”

    Without giving too much away, can you let us know what pieces of canon might be important to remember, going in?

    • atexp80

      There’s nothing important to remember beforehand and saying anything will most definitely give too much away about Krall. You don’t need to know anything going in but if you’ve seen all episodes of Star Trek before (even once) then you might have a greater appreciation of Krall.

  • brermike

    Great review. Thank you!

  • Robert Dassler

    All this positivity suddenly makes that initial Beastie Boys trailer (and the resultant hostility) all the more maddening. Hopefully Paramount will have more faith next time.

    • Bifash

      John Campea suggests the Beastie Boys music makes sense once you’ve seen the film.

      • Eric Cheung

        It already does, as it’s something Kirk already liked.

        • Sykes

          It will make even more sense when you watch it. As someone who never really liked the BB scene in ST09, this movie kind of redeems it existing for me.

  • Credo

    Spoiler: you forgot mentioning there is a new incoming ship at the end 🙂 and btw, this is a great article, i’m going to read it again 🙂

    • This is a spoiler-free review.

      • Credo

        Sorry for that TrekCore Staff 🙂

    • Eric Cheung

      Whoops! Now I’ve been spoiled on that point.

      • kadajawi

        It was to be expected though…?

        • Eric Cheung

          Well, I was hoping there would be a reset button on just the ship. Otherwise, Starfleet regulations are such that the destruction of the Enterprise triggers a court-martial and cuts the five-year mission short.

          A friend of mine had a theory that this movie might be like The Cage, in that elements might be illusions, perhaps even the destruction of the ship.

  • GIBBS v2

    Yessssssss! I’ve read reviews like this across the web. Sound like we have an excellent Trek film on our hands.

  • Charlie Oakes

    I love the score in the new ” Shield’s Up ” clip. Plus that Interstellar style Saucer cam shot..MMMMMMM

    • Philip

      I swear I heard some nods to James Horner in that segment— totally awesome if that’s what Giacchino was going for.

  • Bifash

    I just watched John Campea’s review on youtube, and it was heartening. Can’t wait to see it!

    • Snap

      His explanation about the “Sulu revelation” and that is serves a dramatic purpose not just with Sulu but another character in the movie makes me feel better about it. As I mentioned in the article, my concern was that it was going to be a token “Sulu is gay: type of thing just for the sake of making him gay. In a movie with a 2 hour run time, it’s best to leave stuff like that out unless it serves the plot so, with the development serving the plot beyond Sulu, I no longer have any potential concerns about it.

      I’m really looking forward to seeing the movie.

      • Fctiger

        Me too. Can’t wait to see how they play it.

      • J Ascher

        The Sulu reveal is germane to the story. At that point in the movie, Kirk is narrating about the crew’s personal lives and how they’ve developed over an extended period on deep space.

        • Snap

          I just saw Beyond and, despite Leonard Nimoy’s involvement in Trek 09, it is my favourite installment of the Kelvin-timeline movies. The only regret, of course, is that Anton Yelchin will not be present in subsequent movies. I certainly appreciated the tribute the Leonard Nimoy as well as another related tribute.

          I think having Abrams in the producer role an Lin in the director’s chair is a good combination which they should consider retaining for the next movie.

  • Guest

    Not even the slightest ounce of criticism here. Makes it a bit hard to take seriously the objectivity of this review.

    • Bifash

      Why does a review have to be “objective”?

      • Harry M.

        Because the review wouldn’t be a review.

        • tomorrowville

          There is absolutely no such thing as an “objective review.” The Internet nerd obsession with such is baffling.

          • Bifash

            Exactly. It’s such a bizarre comment by the original poster.

          • Harry M.

            You certainly don’t want the review to be in favor of the film for reasons other than the film is good. If the author has ulterior motives, that is a concern. Not saying that’s the case here, but that’s what “objective” is referring.

          • Gary Smith

            What kind of ulterior motive could be in play here?
            to me that does not make sense.

    • Tuskin38

      They criticized a couple things.

  • Bifash

    I know there will be people complaining about the lack of emphasis on the villain, but for me that’s fine – these movies should always be focused on the crew, and the wonderful interplay between them. Villains need only be cyphers, and good/serviceable to the overall plot, and only used to enhance “the crew” ( look at Nero, not a great villain, but good enough to push forward the dynamics and story arcs of the terrific Enterprise characters ).

    Imo, that was one of STID’s missteps.

    • kadajawi

      And I fully disagree. An interesting villain can certainly enhance the story. One of the best bits of ID was the villain… not that he was Khan, but the character in general. That his motivation was understandable.That in the end, there were more than one villain. 2009 suffered badly from Nero… I kept wondering why he acted the way he did.

  • Eagle Vision

    Awesome! I’ve already bought the tickets for a pre-screening next Wednesday. I’m so looking forward to it.

    • Eagle Vision

      I’ve just seen it, yay! The use of the Beastie Boys music in this one was pretty inspired.
      There was also much more focus on character and thinking through situations.
      The Spock and Bones scenes played out differently than I would have expected though. I wonder how people who already didn’t like Spocks developement in these movies will take that.
      I also hope we’ll see Jaylah again, she fits in very well, much better than Carol Marcus fit into SSID.

  • Chris Tyler

    Just bought my ticket today for #july21

  • Locutus

    (skips straight to comment section) I have to resist reading this review for a whole week? I’ll never make it!

    • Bifash

      I know it’s hard – the official TREK podcast ENGAGE has a spoiler-filled discussion episoode up, but I trying my darndest to not click it!

  • Bifash

    Wonderful little new behind-the-scenes vid I saw ( non-spoilers ), and there’s more on that page:

  • kadajawi

    Sounds interesting, however people also reviewed 2009 well…

    Perhaps I will end up renting the Blu Ray… still sour grapes over the whole guidelines debacle.

    • Simon

      2009 was reviewed well because it was GOOD.

      • kadajawi

        Oh I wholeheartedly disagree. It was an ok action sci-fi film, and a terrible Star Trek film. Into Darkness overall may have been more flawed than 2009, but at least it had the heart of Star Trek. It did what Star Trek is supposed to do. It captured the soul of Star Trek. (And then completely ran it into a wall in the third act). But at least in the meantime it got closer to what Star Trek should be, to asking questions and showing a mirror to society in the most heavy-handed way possible, than even many of the other Star Trek movies.

        IMHO 2009 ranks behind ST:V. ST:V was Star Trek.

        • Simon

          Leonard Nimoy and others thought 2009 was STAR TREK in the best spirit of the original series. It doesn’t have to be a heavy handed reflection on society any more than THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES (one of the most popular episodes ever) was. STAR TREK V was just awful and an embarrassment that even the cast & writers want to forget.

    • tomorrowville

      Orci was the biggest flaw in the previous two movies. I’m glad we wound up with something that doesn’t involve him.

      • kadajawi

        The writing was the biggest flaw. However, Orci wasn’t the only writer. And I think Kurtzman and Lindelof were the problem. That’s why Orci, together with two Mormons (and we know they know a thing or two about Sci-Fi), may have been a good choice. I would not be surprised if their script was turned down because it was too cerebral, too Star Trek. That was their goal anyway, and IIRC Justin Lin himself said that you can’t make those kind of movies anymore. You can’t do a real Star Trek movie.

        • FrostUK

          He didn’t.

        • Fctiger

          Why so many of us miss Trek on TV. YOu could do those stories and do them often. These films are fun but its too much of the same thing: Villains is angry at Federation/Starfleet, spends the film trying to destroy it, a lot of crazy action/blow them up stuff ensues, Kirk is bound to get his butt kicked several times, Spock and Uhura make out, ship jumps to warp, the end.

          I like the fact this film is about actual exploration but sadly it still ends up with a supervillain who wants vengeance end of the day and not about going boldly.

      • Simon

        Um, no.

  • jackson roy kirk

    Geez.. what a review.. Did Paramount pay you to say all those positive things?… lol

  • deanomh

    Wow, this is great to hear. We’ve been waiting for a TOS-like big movie adventure for a long time.

  • “In fact, so successful is her presence, that if and when development starts on a fourth film in the Kelvin Timeline, you’d be hard-pressed not to include her in some capacity moving forward.”

    If they couldn’t manage to keep Carol Marcus, a character who was welcomed onboard the Enterprise as “family” in future movies, what kind of hope does Jaylah have? All it takes is a writer or director to conveniently say “She didn’t work for the story we were trying to tell.”

  • What a stunning review! I’m thrilled to hear that the 50th anniversary film was made with care and love by people who understand Star Trek.

  • Jor-L5150

    Having a motorcycle in it is DUMB- but im looking forward to the movie

  • Fred

    I’m happy the movie seemed to strike such a high note.

    …though, I’ll confess, there was one refrain running through my head throughout my read, and it was “What about the Enterprise? What about the Enterprise?”

    I mean, yeah sure, I read about how she was modernized… but we know she then gets broken into pieces, to the point where salvage or continuation of the 5 year mission seems pretty unlikely – DESPITE the hints at a 4th movie coming. But she just keeps being victimized and victimized in the reboot movie, mostly being given beauty shots as a way of valorizing her… and (based on the trailers) it kind of looks like the Franklin gets to do most of the cool stuff the Enterprise could have done but never got the occasion to in any of the reboot movies.

    I kind of wish the Enterprise had been given the hero treatment like it sounds Kirk got. The Enterprise has always been a character of a sort to me. 🙁

    • J Ascher

      The Enterprise does some heroics, even when it’s on the planet – going out in a blaze of glory as it were.

  • Cygnus-X1

    For those who’ve cited the RT score of a movie as proof that’s it’s a good or great movie, the actual content of those “fresh” reviews often tells a different story. Here’s the VARIETY (an RT Top Critic) review counted as “fresh” (good), and yet it has almost nothing good to say about STAR TREK BEYOND:

    ““Star Trek Beyond” might have been more accurately entitled “Star Trek Contained.” It’s got a very familiar, old-fangled, no-mystery structure, and that’s because it’s basically the “Star Trek” version of an interplanetary action film, with a plot that doesn’t take you to many new frontiers. … “Star Trek Beyond” is a somewhat diverting place holder, but one hopes that the next “Star Trek” movie will have what it takes to boldly go where no “Star Trek” movie has gone before.”


      The main criticism of this review seems to be that Beyond doesn’t offer much “new ground” and instead feels too much like the Star Trek of old. Which may not be bad in the eyes of many fans who’ve been complaining that the Bad Robot movies don’t have enough in common with the original show.

      • Cygnus-X1

        Well, the Bad Robot movies are nothing like TOS, but that doesn’t mean that I’m clamoring for them to be predictable and uninspiring!

        • zeeman1
          • Cygnus-X1

            They aren’t.

            You know that JJ Abrams is on record as saying that he never liked or “got” TOS, right?

          • zeeman1

            That doesn’t invalidate the link, which clearly destroys your argument. Besides, many of the writers/staff were big trek fans.

          • Cygnus-X1

            What invalidates the link is that I know the difference between superficial attributes, such as meaningless call-backs and references, and fundamental attributes, such as story form and dramatic structure. From the very beginning, TOS was was theme-driven show whose purpose was to explore issues and concepts in a meaningful way that entertained the audience and showed us something of the human condition. The Bad Robot movies are clearly not structured for that purpose. They spend so much time on meaningless action sequences that they leave themselves little time to dramatically explore anything. Both ST09 and STID (by all accounts STB) are bereft of a meaningful central theme driving the story, which was the fundamental formula for TOS episodes. Not all TOS episodes succeeded at what they attempted, but nearly all of them were structured around a central theme that tried to be meaningful. The Bad Robot movies have a different approach and purpose altogether. Their purpose is to be mindless action-spectacles.

          • zeeman1

            So you missed the entire sub plot and relevant modern political commentary running through all of ST:ID?

          • Cygnus-X1

            There is no commentary. There are themes introduced but never developed. The movie makes no statement about any of them.

          • zeeman1

            No, it just had an entire story revolve around them. Jesus, you’re hopeless.

          • Cygnus-X1

            Yes, a story bereft of any thematic statement.

            You cannot point to any scenes in the movie that develop anything resembling the story’s central theme. You probably aren’t even sure in your own mind what you think the central theme of the story is. In fact, the story is so poorly written that the writers resort to telling the audience, in Kirk’s epilogue, what they intended the overarching theme of the story to be. The problem is that the story hither to that point does not match up with what Kirk is telling the audience. Kirk tells the audience that the message/moral of the story is to not let yourself become as evil as your enemy. But that theme is never developed in the story. In fact, that theme is introduced and then immediately resolved without explanation 1/3 of the way into the story, before Kirk and the gang have even set out to confront Khan. So, how can the story’s overarching theme be something that gets resolved without explanation 1/3 of the way into the story? The answer is that it can’t be. The movie doesn’t have an overarching theme and makes no meaningful statement about any theme.

          • Trent

            Did you really just say the TOS Movies didn’t acknowledge the series ?
            KAHN you have forgotten Space Seed?
            You overlook the new stories in the Abramsshitverse are …..illogical.
            Getting from the shuttle bay to the bridge in 1/4 sec?The new films are icing without the cake .

    • Alan Light

      Cygnus, please, move on with your life. Your disdain for the reboots have been documented now for 7 years. Find a show you like and spend your time on those websites. The repetition of your posts showing reboot hate is really old. I pity you.

      • Cygnus-X1


      • Cygnus-X1

        Shows that I like? TOS, TNG, DS9, portions of VOY and ENT. Movies that I like: by and large the TOS movies. Do you have an intelligent comments to make about STB and the reviews, or only idiotic ad hominem remarks about me?

        • Keachick

          Fascistic you say? Really? Truly the pot calling the kettle black here.

          What intelligent comments can any of us have about a film we’ve not yet seen? The reviews are merely individuals’ opinions of a film they have managed to see and those opinions vary greatly.

          Yet more cliches from Cygnus in his use of words like “intelligence” and “big dumb action” movies. Seen it all before.

          • Cygnus-X1

            You don’t see me telling people what to say. Or telling people with opinions that I don’t agree with to go away. Keachick, have I ever told you to shut up and go away? I’m sure that I have not.

            And you can have opinions about common points of criticism, and how the rating or grade summing up a review sometimes belies the content of that review, as in the examples that I have provided. I had an exchange with someone here a few weeks ago about that very issue.

            Having listened to the Engage review of the movie, and read quite a few print reviews, I think that I have a pretty good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the movie.

            So, have you got anything to say about the aforementioned Star Trek issues, Keachick? Or just about me?

  • Cygnus-X1

    Here’s another review from a Top Critic counted as “fresh” by RT, and it, too, has almost nothing good to say about the movie:

    “Spectacular as it looks, this is a $150 million blockbuster aboutnothing. … With JJ Abrams passing the baton to Justin Lin, the latest entry plays like a CGI-heavy “Fast and the Furious” movie set in the future, with fancy gadgetry and fast-paced showdowns taking prominence over plot. … Much of the movie finds various members of the Starship roaming the planet trying to figure out ideas for escaping it. This kind
    of scenario often sustained single episodes of the original show, but struggles to congeal as a single 142 minute package.

    Nevertheless, this playful, meandering saga ultimately arrives at a bland third act finale featuring the so-called “Climbing Killer Syndrome” in which the antagonist must irrationally flee to an inescapable high elevation while explaining his entire motive. Toss in a tenuous connection to some earlier “Star Trek” entries to keep the series’ street cred in check and everybody gets to go home happy.

    Nothing about this polished movie suggests the slightest
    attempt to reinvent the wheel. If “Star Trek Beyond” existed outside thearena of reboots and sequels that mandated its existence, the movie’s casual air might be downright radical for such an extensive production. Instead, it’s just a sturdy riff on the same old routine.

    Grade: B-“ – Eric Kohn, indieWIRE


      The overall grade is B- which isn’t great but obviously not terrible either.

      Look, you’ve made it abundantly clear over and over again on several Star Trek websites that you hate this movie. You have even claimed that you will not watch it until it comes out on home video. That’s all fine and good. Go ahead and ignore the movie until you actually see it. But stop trying desperately to rain on everybody’s parade for those who are actually looking forward to this movie. Looks like the Trekcore reviewer loved the movie. Great! I mean that’s what we should all hope for when we go see any movie (because why even bother watching something if we’re sure we’re going to hate it?).

      Even Eric Kohn, who you claim has “almost nothing good to say” about Beyond must have liked something about the movie. Otherwise, his grade would have been much worse than B-, wouldn’t it?

      • Cygnus-X1

        Well, that’s what I find interesting. If you read the review, it really has almost nothing good to say about the movie. What little he says is good about the movie is paired with a downside. And after all of that, he gives the movie a B-, and the review is counted as “fresh” at RT. This is very clear evidence that a movie can get all mediocre and even sub-mediocre reviews in terms of content, and still present a very high RT score.

        • DIGINON

          You say: This is very clear evidence that a movie can get all mediocre and even
          sub-mediocre reviews in terms of content, and still present a very high
          RT score.

          Or maybe: Despite his criticism, the reviewer still enjoyed the movie overall and that’s why he gave it that grade. He has seen the movie. You haven’t. But you are determined to project your bad opinion of the movie onto his review.

          • Cygnus-X1

            I’m just going by what he says.

            “A $150 million blockbuster about nothing” is hardly high praise.

      • Cygnus-X1

        Also, if you read the reviews for STID, you’ll see the same thing. The Trek fan sites all thought it was great at first. Then, over the ensuing months, after people had a chance to see the movie a few times, talk and think about it, opinions started to change. This is a common quality in the BR Trek movies—they don’t hold up well over time, and frankly I think it’s kind of a rip-off.

        • Fctiger

          Seriously though did this movie steal your girlfriend in high school? You seem like someone on a mission trying to put down the film before it even comes out.

          • Cygnus-X1

            I’m referencing critical reviews. Are you an interested party to the movie? Is there some reason you don’t want people to know how lame it is?

        • DIGINON

          Even if I were to agree with you that the BR movies don’t hold up well over time (which I don’t) why shouldn’t I enjoy them before they supposedly age badly?
          The Trekcore reviewer enjoyed the movie. That’s why he wrote a very positive review. It doesn’t matter what he may or may not think about the movie in a few months time.
          Most people go to the movies to have a good time and be entertained. If Beyond does that how is it a rip-off?

          • Cygnus-X1

            Well, you obviously can do whatever you like. And you have your own values when it comes to Trek. As far as my values are concerned, I feel ripped-off when these Bad Robot movies turn out to be very poorly told, meaningless, un-Trek-like stories. When I see them in the theater, the 3D, fantastic visuals, loud music, and the whole theater experience makes it exciting. But, as soon as I see them at home, and start to pull at any thread in the story, the whole movie starts to unravel.

            It took me about a year to realize that ST09 had no overarching theme. The whole story is really just a contrivance to get all of the characters together (which Bob Orci has since admitted). And the villain (Nero) is one of the most poorly written characters in Trek history. Upon gaining his freedom, Nero decides to devote the rest of his life to seeking vengeance on one guy (Spock Prime) who tried to save Nero’s planet, but failed. And somehow, though it is never shown, Nero manages to convince a crew to likewise waste their lives along with him. I’m just giving a few broad strokes here. I could write you a paper by this point on the poor writing in ST09.

            At any rate, armed with the education of what I saw behind the curtain of ST09, it took me only a few months to realize that its sequel, STID, had all of the same problems as ST09, plus the new problem of an overly convoluted and ridiculous plot. I can enjoy specific scenes in STID, but not the entire movie, start to finish. In fact, as the second half (literally) of STID is entirely composed of action sequences (which I find boring because they’re ultimately not in service of any meaningful theme, and I don’t care about their outcome), I wouldn’t bother watching beyond that point, if I were to watch it at all.

            And now, in the dozen reviews of STB that I’ve read, plus the 1-hr-long “Engage” review at, it seems fairly clear to me that the new movie contains the same fundamental flaws as ST09 and STID. Even the good reviews say that it has a thin plot, and they support the reviews saying that it has a meaningless story. Neither do the good reviews tout or even mention any specific character development in the movie. I’ve yet to see any mention of a meaningful arc for any of the characters. And, again, even the good reviews say that the villain (Krall) is weakly motivated. The good reviews defend the thin plot and meaningless story on the grounds that it’s still fun to see Kirk, Spock and McCoy doing camaraderie and witty banter (this is the extent of “character” praise that I’ve seen). But, that’s just not enough for me, as I don’t enjoy the BR re-writes of the characters enough for them to carry the movie in lieu of a meaningful story. As for the TrekCore reviewer, all I can say is that bloggers tend to review the movie positively, especially initially. I’m not saying that the Trek Core reviewer (or the Trek Movie reviewers) didn’t genuinely enjoy the movie. But, they also want to keep getting press releases, news features and maybe an interview or two from the companies that make the movies.

            So, that’s why I feel the BR Trek movies are a rip-off. They use fast-pacing, bells and whistles to blow you away in the theater, such that you simply don’t have time to notice how weak and poorly written the story is. It’s a fleeting thrill, and a guilty pleasure in that it gives you no mind-nourishment, which is what Trek was meant to be about from the very beginning. TOS was a show about exploring issues and concepts and showing us a little something of the human condition while we were being entertained. Bad Robot Trek is about action-spectacle, superficial character moments and pandering to the audience’s emotions. It’s like eating birthday cake in lieu of a balanced meal. It tastes good, but you don’t feel nourished afterward. And even the good taste doesn’t last.

        • New Horizon

          I never thought STID was great. I almost walked out of it. lol

          ST 2009 however, I greatly enjoyed despite some minor issues.

          • Cygnus-X1

            I greatly enjoyed 2009 in the theater, but a year later it didn’t hold up so good. The story ultimately has no meaning as it is little more than a contrivance to get all of the characters together. Orci even admitted that Nero was written just for that purpose—a common enemy for Kirk and the gang to unite against. Kirk has no arc, learns nothing over the course of the story. Nero is a very poorly written villain with a weak motivation. Alt Spock is the only interesting character, and the only lesson that he learns is that he’s emotionally compromised—a relatively minor personal revelation, given the scope of the plot. And Kirk is only able to get Alt Spock to lose control because Spock Prime gave Kirk inside info. So Kirk doesn’t even learn anything that allows him to gain control of the Enterprise. All of these shallow characters combined with a story lacking meaningful central theme makes the movie boring after a few viewings. Some of the individual scenes are still entertaining, as the actors bail out the poor writing with their good performances.

      • Cygnus-X1

        P.S. This one and TrekMovie are the only Trek sites I’ve ever been to.

    • Harry M.

      “Almost nothing good to say about the movie”

      “Grade: B-“

    • Helen_Girly_Brown

      Goodness. You may wish to avoid the internet next Saturday between 2:45 and 3:00.

      • Cygnus-X1

        Why? What happens then?

      • robjoh

        Yeah,what happens then? Anything fun? lol

    • Charlie Oakes

      142 minutes ? I highly doubt it. That would be 2 hours 22 minutes.

      • Cygnus-X1

        IMDB has the movie at 120 minutes. Thought that’s obviously not an important point in the review.

  • Rene

    Please make Sofia Boutella a regular. Please…

    • Charlie Oakes

      Should she replace Chekov ?

      • A. T. Smith

        When did Chekov move on to the Reliant?

  • Jamey

    I seriously think Chris Pine is the better Kirk. Seriously.

    Come get me.

  • Gary Smith

    Does Rhiannas new song play at anytime during the climax?
    I mean, before the credits during the actual action itself.

    • Sykes

      Credits only.


      Rihanna is heard only during the credits. The song from the first trailer is actually in the movie in a scene that will probably cause some debates among fans.

  • The Chadwick

    That warp bubble effect is very cool, looking forward to seeing it. But that warp bubble effect is when the Enterprise is already at warp. I am really curious what the jump to warp effect looks like in Beyond. The simple BANG jump from 2009 or glowing light streaks as is common with previous Star Trek movies.

  • Neil Kesler

    Any fans in the Sacramento area? They’re having a special Thursday screening at the century 14 theater in Roseville

    Rumor has it, Mark S. Allen formally on Good day Sacramento now on ABC 10 Sacramento will tell viewers during the week how to score tickets

  • Ivan Ofitserov

    Just saw it, reviews don’t lie, truly fantastic movie! Really really really want Pegg, Jung and Lin for ST4.

    • Eagle Vision

      I agree! I think the direction was much better than in the previous movies, more interesting and dynamic.

      • Ivan Ofitserov

        It feels like an actual real movie this time, yeah.

  • Igor Marić

    I just watched it in cinema and can’t wait for fans to start commenting! I think it’s going to cause a gigantic difference between opinions 😀


      Also just came back from the cinema. I agree with you that opinions will probably differ quite a lot. It really depends on what you’re looking for. There’s great stuff in it, and there’s silly stuff.

      • Igor Marić

        You are 100% right! But I don’t know how am I going to live until BluRay comes out, there are so many things I wanna see in detail… One thing above all because it passed soooo f****** quickly 😉 😛

  • SFSeries&Movies

    Watched it today, is my favorite of the last 3 trek movies. Enjoyed it a lot!

  • I haven’t been a fan of the nuTrek movies but I loved this. Honestly the best Trek movie we’ve gotten in 20 years.

  • CaptainDonovin

    Saw it thismorning & absolutely love it. Plan to see it more after I get out of the hospital.

    • Charlie Oakes

      Get well soon ! 🙂

  • CoolGeek

    Saw it last night.Loved every minute and a certain photo brought a tear to my eye during the final few minutes…

    • Victorinox

      Ah, so it wasn’t just me 🙂

  • grandadmiralbinks

    As far as I’m concerned, half-way through the movie, I just wanted it to end. Plot holes beyond count, eye-rolling moments, unconvincing antagonist. We have seen all this before, we’ve just become so numbed that we think unoriginal things are original. For all it’s flaws and it being a complete copy of Wrath of Khan, I actually prefer Into Darkness.