Box art for Star Trek IV The Voyage Home

Star Trek IV The Voyage Home

action & adventure, sci-fi & fantasy

To save Earth from an alien probe, Kirk and his crew go back in time to retrieve the only beings who can communicate with it, humpback whales.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 10
Positive messages
3 out of 5
0 out of 5
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Buoyant, farcical time-travel Enterprise escapade.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Star Trek movie is the most farcical of the big-screen series. As much comedy as adventure derives from the journey of the Starfleet heroes to 1986 Earth, and the relative rudeness and local color they encounter in San Francisco. There are instances of comical swearing and drug references.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's emphasis on comedy, and the culture-shock of the future space travelers in (more or less) present-day Earth society. What aspects of this world do you think would bewilder visitors from tomorrow? Also, what eco-messages do you find in the movie?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: An effective and enjoyable sample of entertainment -- not good science fiction, but a lightweight piece of comic fantasy utilizing characters so familiar that they feel like old friends.

- James Berardinelli, ReelViews, Saturday, January 1, 2000

Fresh: 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.

- Janet Maslin, New York Times, Tuesday, May 20, 2003


- John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Taking a unique turn for the franchise, Kirk's team must go back in time to find Humpback Whales who can communicate with a found foreign species, causes for some belief issues among the human race and some hilarious understandings between Spock and humans. It was a very odd change of pace, sending them to earth for most of the film, exploring new languages and learning new thigs about the past, and I quite enjoyed that. "Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home" boasts very very strong visuals (they keep getting better) and a very talented cast who just seem to nail it every time. This franchise can go on and on, I haven't even had close to enough yet! A very solid entry!

- fb733768972, Saturday, March 30, 2013

3 stars

The most charming and funniest of the Star Trek films brings Kirk's crew to our San Francisco on a rescue mission for whales. As silly as it is that future earth is attacked by a gigantic cylinder who only speaks Whale, the film just goes with it and has fun with that premise. The culture shock jokes mostly work and even though things never get too awfully exciting, this is most certainly much better than the dull first Trek films, despite of the actors' receding hairlines.

- ironclad1609, Friday, June 14, 2013

3 stars

The crew of the Enterprise return to Earth to find it under siege from a mysterious probe trying to communicate with the now extinct humpback whale and so travel back in time to 1980s Los Angeles to find some whales and save Earth's atmosphere from destruction. As you can tell from the extremely hokey premise, The Voyage Home is Star Trek with tongue placed firmly in cheek and is the closest the series skirted to outright comedy. There are plenty of laughs to be had in the culture clash between our old favourites from the crew and 80s L.A. and each member of the team gets their moment in the sun with some affectionate fun-poking and knockabout farce with a heavy handed but sincere eco message attached. It works better as humour than drama as the plot has holes you could sail a nuclear wessel through and the story itself becomes overly drawn out and a little dull when the jokes are put on the back burner for the finale, but it's still an entertaining exercise in camp that fans of the original series cannot fail to enjoy. Very silly but lots of fun.

- garyX, Tuesday, February 25, 2014