More reviews for Star Trek Into Darkness are popping up. While the majority of US reviewers haven’t yet weighed in, there continues to be a positive pattern although there are also some dissenters. Once again TrekMovie takes a look at the buzz for the movie with a summary overview and some extracts (spoiler free).
Reviews for Into Darkness Remain Generally Positive
The review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes is tracking 37 Star Trek Into Darkness reviews with a 87% Fresh rating (and an average of 7.6 out of 10 rating). But it is still early, RT aggregated 296 reviews for the 2009 Star Trek film (at 95% Fresh/8.1 avg). The Metacritic aggregation site is tracking 8 reviews of Into Darkness for an average score of 74/out of 100 (the 2009 movie had an 83 based on 37 reviews).
Below is an overview of some of the main reviews .
Enjoyable Summer Movie For Fans and non-fans alike
As more reviews become available a pattern is emerging regarding the things that work and don’t work in the film. Drew McWeeny writing for Hitfix put his finger on the issues most concerning long-time Trek fans:
"I feel badly for the hardcore “Star Trek” fans who don’t like this new version, because I know what it’s been like for them in the years where there were no new “Trek” movies in the works, now that it’s finally become part of the Nerd World Order in this new age of the Geek, the most devoted of the “Trek” fans seem irritated by the whole thing."
As to his opinion of Star Trek into Darkness, McWeeny says,
"What lies ahead for “Star Trek” is unwritten and exciting, and this cast is primed to do amazing things if the material is there. I want more of these movies. I want more of these characters. “Star Trek Into Darkness” is a sober, aggressively-entertaining exploration of some of the richest characters in all of pop science-fiction, and it should cement this as one of the most potentially thrilling series running."
The characters have been largely extolled by critics. For instance, Craig Mathieson writing for The Sydney Morning Herald in his 4-star review says:
"Revered characters, especially in a film concerned with accepting your mortality, rarely get such enjoyable second lives. â€˜I’m expressing multiple attitudes simultaneously,’ declares Mr Spock, and J. J. Abrams knows exactly what he means."
– Sydney Morning Herald (review contains some spoilers)
The Hollywood News agrees, at least as far as the characters go. Reviewer Emma Thrower awards Into Darkness 4-stars and says,
"Though its strong ensemble work keeps it afloat until the concluding near perfect assault that will set audiences to stun, it is fun, but rarely thrilling. Cumberbatch may provide a villain for the ages, but we’ve not quite reached big summer blockbuster territory just yet."
– HollywoodNews (mild spoilers)
Variety agrees, saying
"The film builds particularly well on the burgeoning Kirk-Spock friendship, with Pine showing reserves of vulnerability and doubt beneath his cocksure exterior, while Quinto adds gravitas to Spock’s eternal inner conflict â€” and his deepening romance with Lt. Uhura (Zoe Saldana). But make no mistake: The action, when it comes, is superbly executed, whether it’s giant vessels making mincemeat of one another, or the simpler excitements of old-fashioned hand-to-hand combat and foot chases through crowded promenades."
Reviewer Scott Foundass concludes:
"J.J. Abrams sets his filmmaking to ‘stun’ with a sequel in every respect equal or even superior to its splendid 2009 predecessor."
Incidentally, Variety’s offers a poll asking viewers to vote what summer movie they most want to see. In a choice between Earth, Elysium, Pacific Rim and Star Trek into Darkness, the Trek film has currently won 81.54% of the votes.
In addition to the returning characters, the films villain has also won approval with Benedict Cumberbatch receiving almost universal praise. Most effusive is Scott Davis of Flickering Myth who (in his 4-stars review) proclaims…
"Benedict Cumberbatch arrives as John Harrison, ex-Starfleet member with a grudge, and the true baton-receiver of Heath Ledger’s mould-breaking Joker; as cunning, conniving and controlled as said King of the Clowns, but with the same combat brilliance as any of our super heroes. He’s a thunderbolt of both energy and malevolence, and like the film’s thunderous story, he is simply breathtaking. So breathtaking that it wouldn’t be too much of stretch to predict big things come awards season, as he is that astounding here. Ably supported by the superb double-act of Pine and Quinto and the comic brilliance of Simon Pegg (accent spot on this time), Star Trek Into Darkness is a blockbuster that has acting of the highest level."
Martin Hoscik of Seen It (4-stars) adds
" the script offers Cumberbatch the opportunity to transcend the one-dimensional bad guy role which blighted the later Trek films and offer audiences possibly the franchise’s most sympathetic and multi-layered villain to date. The returning cast remain utterly watchable, deploying familiar traits of the original characters without ever straying into caricature, with Chris Pine (Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (Spock) so assured in their roles that it’s almost possible to forget their legendary forerunners."
Michael Pell for MTV UK also awards the film 4/5 stars and says…
"From the volcanic opening to the devastating climax, Star Trek Into Darkness is as enjoyable and accessible for those new to the franchise as it delightful for die hard Trekkies."
FilmInk Australia has an unusual grading system: out of $20 how much is a film worth. In the case of "Star Trek into Darkness" they suggest $17 is fair. Writing for them, James Fletcher says…
"Star Trek Into Darkness is a big film, building on the foundations of its predecessor and holding true to the nature of the franchise. Combining humour, action and drama, Abrams once again delivers an original experience that feels nostalgic without any hint of being either stagnant nor stale. It’s an impressive feat, and one worth catching on the big screen."
– FilmInk (some spoiler)
The film’s most enthusiastic response comes from Ireland’s Movies.ie. Reviewer Paul Byrne gives the film its first 5-star review and says
"Star Trek into Darkness might just be one of the year’s finest films. J.J. Abrams once again sets his phaser to stun. And he does. Magnificently."
Siobhan Synnot for the Scotsman awarded the film 4 stars, and concludes…
"Star Trek Into Darkness remains great fun for non-fans, but especially the faithful, with nods to some of their favourite tropes, and a wholesale flip -revision of one particularly successful old storyline."
– Scotsman (This review contains spoilers)
However Synot did also echo something from other reviewers in noting that the shot of Alice Eve in her underwear was "astonishingly gratuitous" adding "It occurs to you that maybe things haven’t moved that far from the anodyne dolly nurses in Sickbay 50 years ago."
Not as good as Star Trek 2009?
The film has some negative (or at least less than positive reviews) with a number of reviewers feeling that the Into Darkness didn’t live up to the promise of the 2009 feature. For example Scott Munro of What Culture gave the film 3.5 stars, noting…
"A perfectly functional sequel that nevertheless falls rather short of 2009’s water-tight reboot."
Todd McCarthy of Hollywood Reporter (in a non-rating review) goes further, writing…
"after impressing well enough in his previous big-screen directorial outings, Abrams works in a narrower, less imaginative mode here; there’s little sense of style, no grace notes or flights of imagination."….
"professionally capable but creatively humdrum outing."
– HollywoodReporter (spoilers)
Indiewire agrees and finds the film lacking in depth. Critic Oliver Lyttleton awards a C+, noting…
"For the first hour or so, it’s just as enjoyable as the original, but by the time the credits roll, there’s a sense that you’re undernourished and unsatisfied; you’ve been on a decent ride, but not one that really adds up to anything by the time you’re done. Star Trek Into Darkness is a long, long way from a disaster, but it’s hard not to feel that Abrams’ mystery box turned out to be a bit empty this time out."
Some just don’t like it
One of the most negative reviews comes from Brad Brevit of Rope of Silicon. Giving the film a C- and finding virtually nothing in the film to like he says,
"Into Darkness is effective only as an amusement ride with truly awful 3D. I could have left 30 minutes in and returned for the final 15 and never missed a beat. Or I could have just watched a trailer and never shown up at all."
And the most scathing review of all came from Silas Lesnick of Coming Soon who awarded the film 4 out of 10, even comparing the film to one of Trek’s least admired films…
"Although the film is directed with the fervor and intensity of a tie-in theme park ride, the script, sadly, has precisely the same narrative aspirations. Offering a nonsensical mess of conspiracy theory, "Into Darkness" ends up becoming something stuck midway between a muddled Truther metaphor and a nearly beat-for-beat remake of the identically-plotted "Star Trek: Nemesis," widely regarded as the franchise’s worst entry."
TrekMovie will continue to monitor reviews for Into Darkness. Look for another update next week once the majority of US reviews get posted.
LOL! Silas Lesnick needs to be shipped a copy of STV pronto!
Also, a copy of Nemesis and Into Darkness, because he clearly hasn’t see either!
For those of you who have seen it, is Silas Lesnick correct in any way. Its a pretty bad review, and it gets me wondering.
And Brad Bevit or Rope of Silicon “awful 3D” They have been hyping the 3D for this movie, but sometimes the hype is to make up for something that is lacking. Again, for those of you who have seen it, how is the 3D?
……Since I will not be able to see it till Saturday the 18th, I am going by the poll on Trekmovie, and so far its looking promising.
The 3D is fine, a little bit of blur here or there, but generally it is solid.
As for the movie…. it depends. If you watched the Trailer #3, and then started thinking, “hmm, all that looks familiar, I’m not sure about this now”, then expect the movie to fulfil that feeling.
Here we go, the Silas Lesnick bashing will begin despite the majority of people here not having seen the film for themselves..
“A perfectly functional sequel that nevertheless falls rather short of 2009′s water-tight reboot.”
Water-tight? Um, WHAT? There were plot holes as big as starships and plot conveniences as abundant as stars in the night sky in the last movie. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy ST09, but it was anything but water-tight. That reviewer sounds like an idiot.
“Into Darkness is effective only as an amusement ride with truly awful 3D.”
What the hell is wrong with this guy?
The 3D was the best i have seen so far(and i have seen a lot 3D Movies) And the Movie wasn’t even shot in 3D
I hope it ends up having at least 80% rating in RT.
And cross-fingers for $90M (or better) opening weekend!
And great world-wide box office! Any news on that, btw?
Have any of our foreign friends heard anything about how the box office is doing?
there are no box office numbers yet. The film literally had its first midnight shows hours ago. TrekMovie will report box office numbers once they are available, probably by this weekend. But bear in mind the film is only open in a handful of countries.
I’m scared to hear the 3D is awful. That was my immediate impression based on the Hobbit’s 9min clip — and now I really wish I hadn’t bought tickets for the 3D…
@ 5. Sir Wallace
@ 8. JohnRambo
Thats all I want to hear with regards to the 3D, ill trust your opinions.
With regards to the trailers Sir Wallace, I have seen them all, all the snippets, video interviews etc, and everything I have seen just gets me more and more excited. I have not seen anything that looks disappointing…..So I should expect the movie to fulfill that feeling…balls to the wall excited?
3D is nice in the volcano, for enhanced goosebumps at the warp acceleration effect, or for depth in space. All the interior scenes don’t need 3D at all.
Thanks to you and your team for doing all that you’ve done; you guys have a tough job. Since I know the ending of this film already, I do hope you guys still go in a direction where you can create your own universe rather than trying to adhere to canon. I am a true hard core Trek fan, enough to create my own fan film and get it seen around the world, so for me to say, I want Star Trek but brand new stories that aren’t based on anything TOS is hard for me to say but I think it would be an incredible bold move and truly show an original story that could very well have Trek fans on the edge of their seats.
Again, just $0.02 and thanks again for Into Darkness.
Silas Lesnick of Coming Soon
“like Nemesis in structure”
I gotta admit with the trailers I can kinda see that being a valid point, hell could reddit to look like it really with the trailer.
should be interesting to see what Sfdebris says, see if theres any similarity with the others, along with brad jones.
Just saw it in 2d. Really really really enjoyed it. Beautiful music, some lovely character scenes, great action. You’ll either appreciate what’s been done with the storyline or you’ll hate it. I thought it worked really well. One quibble — a lot of the early dialogue in the teaser sequence is badly handled, insofar as you can’t tell what the guys are saying. That peeves me a lot, but the rest of the film is fine. Special shout out to Simon Pegg, who does some fabulous work. Bottom line? It’s not always subtle, there’s a bit of useful handwaving plotwise, but on balance? I’ll be going again asap.
Just saw the new film and its action upon action.
The story is great, the characters have a lot more interactions than the first film.
Yes spoiler alert khan is back with a vengeance blowing up everything.
Cameo role for the old Spock was a fine touch to the film.
The enterprise was as good as she gets with new sets and flying in all sorts of places.
The finale well I leave that because it was not too originally for my taste.
The five year mission begins.
A job well done and worth the wait.
I only ask JJ to get the next film within three years.
Thanks Milan Adelaide south Australia
I’m pretty sure it’s not as terrible as Nemesis. That was a franchise killer that NOBODY cared for. This film, as much as it might piss fans off, is far away from a franchise killer…..just saying.
For reference: kingdom of the crystal skull is 78% fresh. My point is that all the love from critics has set me up for disappointment before. I’m so afraid to get too excited for Into Darkness. And I’m also afraid that some of the elements of this film that the critics are friendly to will ultimately be major sticking points for me and other serious fans.
I saw it today in 3D and will see it in 2D on Saturday. I’ve only seen one other 3D movie and that was the Hobbit. I thought both movies had cool 3 D effects. That said, I didn’t like Into Darkness as much as the first movie. I felt JJ was trying too hard to be a fanboy. He would have been better going with an original story idea than recycling an old idea and twisting it to suit his needs. There was a moment where it was supposed to be serious and I had to force myself not to laugh in embarrassment for the actor. The acting on the whole was very good. Benedict Cumberbatch did an excellent job and his character was wonderfully evil and sympathetic at the same time.
@11. Yeah, I understand. The folks over at Box Office Mojo do break it down by country, but they usually take 24 hours to process…
I suspect the folks at the studio are anxious to see if the work has paid off, too…..
in this Timeline the even numbered one’s suck.
Drew McWeeny (gotta love that name) pisses me off by suggesting that hardcore Trekkies aren’t going to like this movie. I going to bet that most hardcore Trekkies are going to love this movie. We may end up having some issues with certain parts (most movies do have some weak points) but overall, I suspect that fan reaction on this site will be at least on par with the last film.
The folks who are going to hate the sequel are the anti-JJ Talifans, those who worship TNG like its the New Testament or can’t stand seeing classic characters being played by new actors. Unfortunately, these zealots and nutjobs have given the rest of us Trekkies a bad name.
I had my ticket all ready to go to see STITD but work called and I had to go in. (good thing i love my job)
@ RDR…agreed. I’m a hardcore trek fan, I’ve read about this film and I have no doubt ill love it. It would have to suck at such depths that it makes Insurrection look like an oscar winner for me to hate it…
For those who like old style Trek, this film will seal the deal on it coming back for the 3rd film. I read an article today on Yahoo in which a rep from Paramount stated that, when surveyed, most in the overseas market wanted “more action/adventure, less talking on the bridge and less Trekkie scenes and feel”….the overseas market rules nowadays. Sad but true
Rope of Silicon? Seriously?
RT seems to have a pretty loose vetting system for bringing on ‘critics’.
I’m just glad Rick Berman didn’t have anything to do with this successful turnaround. Plus Thank God there won’t be any bashing from Roger Ebert.
Please find a way to get Shatner,Nimoy and the rest of survivong OC from this franchise plus Stewart,Brooks,Mulgrew and Backula. Just wishing a longsshot…
RT’s aggregation system is somewhat over the top. Any nerd with a PC and a clever blog name can get in a review.
I stick to the big ones: NY Times, Rolling Stone, Variety (mentioned here), Washington Post, IGN, Chicago Tribune, Guardian, etc.
Too bad the venerable Roger Ebert is no longer with us. His reviews were always events in themselves. Reading a review by Mark Ellis of “Schmoes Know” (one of the entries on RT) just doesn’t carry any weight with me.
By the way, ‘STID’ is up to 88%.
People like you are a joke! Honest to God. I hope you’re messing around.
I saw this last night in 3D and will go back to see it in 2D this weekend. I’m not a fan of 3D as it hurts my eyes and this was no different, but, OMG, it was worth it. Quinto was stunning, he and Pine make a great team and Cumberbatch was, as one of the reveiws said, so sympathetic that I almost wanted him to win. Stunning ending that pays hommage to the old movies (won’t say which, spoilers!) so that when one of the last scenes appear you’ll know how it’s gonna end but it still moves you to tears anyway. I don’t understand how quinto can pack so much emotion into such a staid face. I definitely recommend this 100%.
i dunno….trek fans may like some fan service in a movie but sounds like this one may be a bit too much even with jj orci twists n turns….obviously we probably wont mind but remember non fans probably wont git much of it it may just be confusing extraneous to em….guess we will see…i liked iron man 3 but nothin bout it was impressive nuff to justify the 175 mill opening….hope trek does better but know it wont..we saw iron man 3 sunday….if i woulda know that was the last day spent with our dying cockatiel bird i woulda stayed home with him…sigh
I feel a bit short changed by this film. It’s very nice to look at and the cast work together fantastically, but the story feels meh. Just don’t know why they had to go in this direction with such a vast universe to play with or something totally original. I might just have another little look later in the day.
I would like to know of those who have disliked the movies A) the writers like sci-fi or Start Trek and B) like 3D.
I would rather listen to what people who have seen the movie have to say cause they are the best critics.
I often think that people put too much faith in critics. After all one of the most sucessful musicals Les Miserable would never have gone on to gain the sucess that it has if people had believed what the critics had said as the reviews were awful.
I am going to see it on Saturday and I am as excited as I was for the first.
@Roboman007 I resent that as I am not only one of those from the overseas market I am also a dedicated trekkie and I have lived through all the incarnations. Alot of the episodes that I have enjoyed are the action adventure ones. So I am loveing the thought I may be getting more of that. Not only that it is also aimed at the non-trekkie so too much of the Trekkie Scenes and feels would not nesscarily be understood!
the variety of the changes shown here was the perfect out come and right now we are true expecting the movie to be rather cleaver and surely it does too. what a fantastic events of action made and director was hoping to have a fine goodwill over it.
@Roboman007 There was nothing wrong with Nemesis, That movie happened because thats what Brent Spiner wanted to happen to Data. It was a really good movie and I for one really loved it!
It seems to me that no matter what happens you could put out the most amazing story ever but if it didnt do exactly what the ‘fans’ wanted then it wouldn’t be a good movie.
If you dont think you want to see it then dont. Wait till you can see it on telly then if you are dissapointed you can turn it off!
Saw it yesterday, the 3D effects were definitely much better than those in Iron Man 3. The audience (Stuttgart, Germany) enjoyed the movie and I heard some very positive comments from other cinema-goers.
It should be pointed out that the favorable reviews of Into Darkness can accurately be described as “mixed.” Many of the “Fresh” reviews are along the lines of these:
“A stop-gap tale that’s modest, fun and briefly amusing rather than one that breaks new ground or offers hugely memorable set pieces.” – Dave Calhoun, Time Out London.
“I’d say it ranks slightly below the 2009 reboot – it’s good, not great.” – Matthew Toomey, ABC Radio Brisbane.
Again, these are the GOOD reviews of the movie at RottenTomatoes.com.
Of the 35 critics who gave the movie a “Fresh” review, not a single one of them said that this movie is better than Star Trek ’09. Most or all of the critics who gave a favorable review focused their comments on the movie’s action, production values and JJ’s craftsmanship for achieving them. Some of the favorable reviews mention that the relationships between the characters were compelling, but none of them said that the movie is touching, emotionally memorable, mind-blowing or had anything to say about the value of the movie’s theme.
Simon Miraudo of Quickflix, in his favorable review, had this to say:
“I had begun to wonder if any of these big budget monstrosities could deliver something special; something that didn’t feel like a facsimile of previous successes, totally devoid of heart and humanity. Star Trek Into Darkness is… almost that. “
Metacritic is actually a better representation of critics, as it’s a “weighted average”. They assign more importance, or weight, to some critics and publications than others.
Rotten tomatoes actually has a review from clothesonfilm.com, so it’s technically a review of the costumes than the actually movie!
Alice Eve in her underwear……….
“That’s how I define unwarrented !”
Will Decker STTMP
God bless her little heart.
I have to disagree with Drew McWeeny. I don’t get it where this myth came from, that Abrams-Trek is not for the fans. Well indeed you can misunderstand JJ , as he frequently stated, that his films are not just for the fans but for everyone.
However that does not mean, that fans will not feel comfortable because there is a mainstream-audience in the cinema as well.
I have seen Into Darkness yesterday. And i also don’t think that it’s a perfect film, i’d give it a B, but there is enough fan-service (almost too much, but more when Spoilers are allowed) that fans could embrace it.
@41. No. Unwarranted is Deckers junk displayed through his pjs
#41. porthoses bitch – May 9, 2013
Maybe, but that’s sure not the way I’d spell it. ;-)
Based upon STID’s 3D preview after The Hobbit I thought it was the best 3D usage I have seen (although unlike #8 I have not seen a lot of 3D movies).
As for the movie itself I am trying to keep my expectations low so as not to be too disappointed if it fails to deliver as a truly Trek-perience.
I am, however, truly looking forward to Cumberbatch’s performance which I think will elevate the film above any plot holes or other weaknesses that might be present. In fact, I thought the brig scene in one of the clips showed this to be true while Pine’s Kirk was shown to be more of a whinny kid in contrast. :)
“Plus Thank God there won’t be any bashing from Roger Ebert.
Really have your priorities in order, don’t you?
I just saw it, and I tell ya what I have been waiting for the sequel to JJ’s Star Trek since I was wowed in 2009…..and it delivers. You know that sort of hollow feeling you got after Iron Man 3, well that ain’t here. Into Darkness is flat out excellent! Great twists and turns, the effects are amazing, especially the city shots of future San Fran (they were exceptionally well done for some reason) and a clever twist on a classic Trek story. Fantastic all round. Well done JJ, can’t wait for your next one…
Trust me…..Star Wars VII is in safe hands!
“Plus Thank God there won’t be any bashing from Roger Ebert.”
That sounds almost inappropriate.
I think the fact that the sequel is now tracking closer to 88% positive on RT is amazing. To expect it to match the 95% level of the last movie is nearly impossible. That kind of percentage is almost a statistical aberration. I’m avoiding most of the trailer and review sites for now until I see it next week, and I’m looking forward to it tremendously!
I’m going to see this in IMAX 3D on the 18th. Has anyone else seen this in IMAX 3D yet? I’m hopeful that the large format will make for amazing space scenes.