Box art for Star Trek VIII: First Contact

Star Trek VIII: First Contact

sci-fi & fantasy

Capt. Picard and his crew pursue the Borg back in time to stop them from preventing Earth from initiating first contact with alien life.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 11
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
2 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
1 out of 5
4 out of 5

Intense, gory Starfleet adventure earns series' first PG-13.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this was the first Star Trek movie to Go Where No Star Trek Flick Had Gone Before, to a PG-13 rating. It has some pretty gruesome violence and a macabre threat in the menacing Borg, a zombie-like, infectious, cybernetic race who could give younger viewers nightmares. Humans and Borg alike die in battles, with some limbs severed, and a Borg commander can detach her head at will. There is some generalized dialog about sexuality, as well as mild swearing. A historical Starfleet hero is revealed as a misfit drunkard; while his alcoholism is perhaps meant as pathos, it comes across as mainly comical.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about why the Borg are standouts among all the alien menaces on Star Trek. What about the side-story about Zephraim Cochrane, the legendary inventor who turns out to be an extremely reluctant hero? Can you think of any real-life equivalents in human history? The theme of Moby Dick and obsessive vengeance arises, a reference that also came up in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. You could use the Starfleet connection to engender more enthusiasm for the hefty Melville novel, a frequent school assignment.

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: This makes little concession to non-initiates.

- Derek Adams, Time Out, Saturday, June 24, 2006

Fresh: A thoroughly enjoyable visit with the crew of TV's Star Trek: The Next Generation.

- Desson Thomson, Washington Post, Saturday, January 1, 2000


- Jack Garner, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Supposedly this is the best TNG-era film, and, while I can't confirm or disconfirm that personally (yet), I can say that this is a damn fine film on it's own, and in Trek overall. Frakes provides strong direction with great pacing, lots of action, some decent comedy (although it is the film only real weak point), amazing special effects, and excellent characters and character development. The film's plot isn't very original and the debt it owes to films such as Alien, Close Encounters, Moby Dick, and others is noted, but it doesn't fully rip all those off, either. Instead it combines bits and pieces from all of them and stitches them together with a story involving the Borg, who, I feel are some of the best Star Trek villains, and some of the most interesting sci-fi characters in general. Another cool thing about all of this is how fairly balanced it all is. There's a lot going on here: sci-fi yarn, time travel nuttiness, zombie space horror, etc, and it fits. This is a hard thing to pull off. The cast regulars are all great as usual (although some of the humor seemed a tad forced in laces), but the new players (Krige, Cromwell, and Woodard) are fantastic. Woodard is the weakest, but still does a good job. Cromwell is going against type, succeeds at it, and looks like he had a fun time with it. Krige is absolutely chilling as the creepily seductive Borg Queen-a pretty memorable villain. The music rocks and the visuals (the general look and especially the special effects) are outstanding. Like Wrath of Khan and The Voyage Home, this is a film where newbies and non-fans can come to it and find something to enjoy, but at the same time its not dumbed down so much that the die hards feel alienated. That's another one of those tricky things that's hard to pull off: trying to please the broadest audience possible-everyone. Watching this is a terrific way to spend a couple of hours, so, for that reason, and many others, I highly recommend this one.

- cosmo313, Tuesday, November 13, 2012

3 stars

First Contact, the eighth installment of the Star Trek films, presents incredible makeup and special effects in a surprisingly good, urgent plot that boasts a most sinister villain - and the subplot involving Data (Brent Spiner) captured by the Borg is definitely the highlight.

- blacksheepboy, Monday, April 12, 2010

3 stars

First Contact is Ok but the comedy element is not there anymore, neither is the homoerotica of the first crew! Oh well, you can?t have it all! It does explain a few historical issues within the Star Trek universe though, although they don?t quite match up with previous and subsequent time lines but that?s just me being an anal trekkie who should get out more.

- SirPant, Monday, September 21, 2009