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

2 stars

I remember when this was released many people thought it was the old crews final film due to the title. Then once people had seen it most thought that maybe it would be best if it was their final film. This fifth adventure starts off on a good note with some nice sequences. A short intro with the main antagonist on the sandy world of Nimbus III which looks good (sandy desert like worlds always seem to look good in sci-fi films) and then a few good humoured sequences with 'Kirk' 'Spock' and 'Bones' enjoying their leave in Yosemite. Add to that a brief intro back onto the i]Enterprise/i] where everything is in the process of being fixed and not working too well which gives 'Scotty' his usual opportunity to huff n puff, this also makes you smile. After this pleasant start which all point towards the beginning of a good fun film things take a bit of a nosedive. Basically there is no real plot here and little explanation for anything. Renegade Vulcan 'Sybok' isn't really explained a tall unless you count 'Spock's' brief flashback where we are given more big news that he and 'Spock' are half brothers. We have no reason for his 'religious' crusade, where he came from or how he ended up on Nimbus III. There is also no explanation for Nimbus III, its inhabitants, its name (the planet of galactic peace?), why there are earth horses on it and why exactly everyone is on 'Sybok's' side. Of course the main issue here is the fact they all run off looking for God in the centre of the galaxy. Personally I really can't think of a more risky idea than this! apart from possibly alienating a huge amount of the audience who will have their own religious views and beliefs that are sure to conflict. The flip side is you know straight away they won't actually find God as how could a sci-fi film proclaim what God would look, sound or behave like. How could the film makers preach or force their own beliefs and ideals of God on a world where there is such religious diversity. So obviously you know the plots outcome and thus the film becomes pointless. On top of that the obvious alien creature/power, that isn't God, which they do come across is not explained. No idea what it may have been or what it wanted or how it lead them to believe it was the one true God etc... Another issue that bewilders me with the Trek film franchise is how or why the special effects seem to have gotten worse as the sequels progressed. The first film really did have a slightly epic feel to it with some sweeping model work but this fifth entry really does look dire. As usual we get some dodgy looking bluescreen and shaky sets which I have come to accept (sign of the times) but the model shots look so poor in this. The actual models are sound and are clearly well made but it just looks as though the act of putting them on film has been cheap and quick. From what I've read it does appear things were done as cheaply as possible and without the best folk available. To be honest you expect more from a huge franchise and its fifth sequel. So a very silly choice of plot which could of completely back fired (amazed it didn't), plus it has too many similarities to the first Trek film with the 'V'Ger' story, dull pacing, poor effects and the rather creepy and definitely un-sexy fan dance by the aged 'Uhura' was a bit eww. Not much really happens in this film after the events on Nimbus III in my humble opinion. Its a very mediocre outing throughout with a very predictable anti climactic finale which almost killed off anymore adventures for the original cast for good.

- phubbs1, Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4 stars

Ok, ok, yeah, you can see my rating, and I can't even begin to really defend it in any way. Having never seen Star Trek V: The Final Frontier before, I had been led to believe that it was an unwatchable pile of crap. Of course, the same was said of Star Trek: Generations, but I still managed to enjoy that... even though I know it's not a highlight of the series. I think the problem with this entry is that it can't make up its mind what its underlying theme is, and I think it throws people. I think if it had a more concrete understanding of itself, it might fare better with people. I personally enjoyed it, and liked the ideas it was brought up, but I can still understand that it's not the best of the series and enjoy it anyway.

- FilmFanatik, Tuesday, November 15, 2011

2 stars

I agree with everyone who says that this is the worst Trek film, but I didn't end up hating it nearly as much as I was led to believe I would. Don't get me wrong, the film isn't good, but it wasn't an awful heap of poo either. It is a mediocre mess, but it is a bit entertaining, and does have its moments. The story revolves around a renegade Vulcan who captures the Enterprise (any ship would do, but it's the one that he ends up with) and uses it to go on a quest to discover the deepest secrets of the universe, primarily the existence of God. The film actually does have some neat ideas, concepts, and themes, but the way it is handled and presented is where the film falters. I don't think Shatner had the skills as a director, and they should have gone with someone else. Also, the script is a shambling mess that's uneven, all over the place, and doesn't really present or do anything all that exciting and unique. There's humor, which is fine, but it goes overboard, and most of the jokes fall flat, and there's a ton of silly and ridiculous crap all over. DeForest Kelley actually saves it as far as the zingers go, but aside from him, all of it falls flat. I get that this film had re-writes and all sorts of issues during production, so maybe some of this could be excused, but even then, the film is just really nutty and overblown, and it felt like a lot of this was incomplete and put together poorly and hastily. The presence of David Warner helps things a bit, but sadly he's underused and barely seen, so it's more of a waste than anything. I wasn't bored, but I didn't really care. It was hard for me to take a lot of this seriously, because it was obvious that there was a lack of care and passion behind it all. Like I said though, it had some good ideas, it just comes up really, really short. The cinematograhy is nice, and the music is really good, and, like I said, Kelley is funny, but the reast just stinks. Unless you feel obligated to see this one, just skip it.

- cosmo313, Saturday, October 29, 2011