Box art for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

action & adventure, sci-fi & fantasy

Capt. Kirk and his crew must deal with Mr. Spock's half brother who hijacks the Enterprise for an obsessive search for God.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 9
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
0 out of 5
3 out of 5

Worst in series; some tricky religious content.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that some critics have interpreted an unsubtle anti-religious message here. The villain is a religious fanatic with a barbaric flock of pilgrims and a fondness for mind control. As for the vague, godlike being (perhaps even the God) he seeks, it comes across as a manipulative, power-crazed alien-monster menace. There is also drinking, mild curse words, and some fist-fighting and ray-gun violence. A brief subplot involves physician-assisted euthanasia (portraying it more or less with disfavor).

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the tone of this movie. Is it anti-religious? Producer Gene Roddenberry (not the only major contributor to Star Trek, but a leading figure) is often counted among celebrity atheists. Yet nonfiction books have also been written about the "spirituality" of Trek. How does sci-fi in general regard traditional religion? How do kid-favorites like The Golden Compass and Harry Potter regard religion?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Final Frontier is a warmly crafted picture only lacking a sophisticated technical and dramatic finesse the earlier features held in abundance. The film is never aggressively odious, just undernourished.

- Brian Orndorf,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rotten: Captain Kirk and his crew go where too many film makers have too often gone before.

- Caryn James, New York Times, Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Rotten: The whole point of the movie has something to do with the search for God and Eden, but the theme is presented in the most mundane fashion imaginable.

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

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Shatner gets his hand in directing and co-writing this one. It is therefore all over the top like you would expect of his personality. They take the humor way too far compared to the previous installment. It is not flattering. The effects and some melodramatic dialog take us back to 60's TV in a bad way. The Paradise planet and settlement with a dusty bar full of oddball aliens is a cheap rip-off of Star Wars. The Row, Row, Row Your Boat scenes are absolutely goofy. The Enterprise hardly functioning after being rebuilt is a big set back and makes for an inexcusable plot hole when Kirk, as the only experienced Captain in the quadrant, is sent to save some hostages anyways. And where did that wooden sailing ship's steering wheel in the one room where McCoy, Spock, and Kirk meet several times come from anyways? Scotty, Chekov, Uhura, and Sulu are pushed way into the background. I must admit Shatner gave himself the best lines when in confrontations with Sybok. I appreciated his questioning. Sybok is a Vulcan who has a way of taking people's pain away and thus getting them to join his quest to find Ultimate Knowledge, Sha Ka Ree, the mythical paradise that was the beginning of creation past the great barrier, or God. A kind of cult leader. This part of the movie was a throwback to the series as well. It was a common theme for the Enterprise to encounter god-like beings, or mysterious forces that appeared to have spiritual implications, until through scientific observation and some character questioning the validity of a god who seems to be beyond and above the physical laws of the universe, it is discovered that some smoke screen has been blocking the facts. I had no problem with the exploration of this theme of a fake "God," but as seems to be the case more lately, I was not satisfied with the way it was executed.

- hypathio7, Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2 stars

The crew of the Enterprise are sent to rescue three diplomats from the neutral zone, but their captor's true motive is to steal the ship to aid his quest to find God. The Final Frontier is widely regarded as the worst example, but Star Trek films are very much like the series; the ones you thought were brilliant at the time date really, REALLY quickly, yet the awful ones just seem to become more and more endearing! The laughable script, naive direction and iffy effects also echo the TV show, but somehow the likable cast, knockabout charm and sense of humour win through. William Shatner is clearly not an experienced director, but the pacing is fine and the enduring friendship between the central characters that forms the core of the film shines through. It does suffer for the fact that the actors are clearly refusing to grow old gracefully, the action scenes being more than a little embarrassing and watching a middle aged, portly Nichelle Nichols doing a fan dance still results in carrot chunks reappearing in my mouth. But just like Shatner himself, its sense of humour and fact that it doesn't take itself remotely seriously make for a lot of kitsch entertainment value and a few genuinely laugh out loud moments. Anyone who still laughs at "Double dumb ass on you!" cannot fail to like this too!

- garyX, Thursday, March 6, 2014

3 stars

This one is considered by many to be the worst of the Star Trek films. Although it does have a few problems, The Final Frontier is rather enjoyable and presents some memorable moments that just don't raise it to a higher level only on account of a lack of better polishing.

- blacksheepboy, Wednesday, April 7, 2010