According to metacritic, the trades give Star Trek two perfect scores of 100. When is the last time that happened — for any sort of movie? (These have been out a few days, but I only noticed them tonight.)
Variety, Todd McCarthy:
Blasting onto the screen at warp speed and remaining there for two hours, the new and improved Star Trek will transport fans to sci-fi nirvana. Faithful enough to the spirit and key particulars of Gene Roddenberry’s original conception to keep its torchbearers happy but, more crucially, exciting on its own terms in a way that makes familiarity with the franchise irrelevant, J.J. Abrams’ smart and breathless space adventure feels like a summer blockbuster that just couldn’t stay in the box another month.
Star Trek here joins the James Bond series as the long-term ’60s franchises that have been most successfully rebooted, although the current accomplishment is the more surprising since, after 10 films and a succession of TV series, Star Trek was widely thought to have exhausted itself. While respectfully handling the Roddenberry DNA, Abrams and longtime writing cohorts Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have transferred it to a trim new body that hums with youthful energy.
The Hollywood Reporter, Ray Bennett:
Paced at warp speed with spectacular action sequences rendered brilliantly and with a cast so expert that all the familiar characters are instantly identifiable, the film gives Paramount Pictures a new lease of life on its franchise.
Abrams and screenwriters Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman keep the plot simple but hit all the right notes and some phrases that will bring a smile of recognition. Industrial Light + Magic once again raises the bar on special effects, and Daniel Mindel’s cinematography and Scott Chambliss’ production design are top-notch.
15 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, and so far they’re all fresh. From trustworthy critics like these:
Facing tremendous challenges in reinvigorating the artistically stagnant franchise of “Star Trek,” the visionary and gifted J.J. Abrams has responded with a satisfying and enjoyable picture, which among other things impresses in energy, vigor, and speed.
As Christopher Nolan realized while trying to do the same in “Batman Begins,” origin stories are tough to pull off. Indeed, in his capacities as producer and director Abrams was expected to create magic, make a movie that will be enjoyable on its own terms and thus recruit a new generation of fans, revitalize the dwindling Paramount series (a cash machine for the studio for years) that will appeal to the old trekkies, and also suggests a potent vision for the future; after all, the film’s ads promise is “The Future Begins.” It’s a pleasure to report that Abrams has succeeded in all of the above levels.
CinemaBlend, Josh Tyler:
The new Star Trek movie is amazing- easily the best Trek movie since The Wrath of Khan, and a veritable feast of sight and sound: A captivating adventure that grabs you from the first and doesn’t let go. The effects are staggering, finally what the stories have deserved so richly. There are enough huge fireballs, shattering explosions and exciting fights to go around. The movie’s first 5-10 minutes are of note I feel: This sequence is brilliant and had me immediately on the edge of my seat.
The runtime flies by with very few lulls in the pacing, reinvigorating characters and a universe that had, lets be honest, grown stale and tired. More than anything else, the movie just feels so much more fun than any previous entry. There’s more humor, more thrills, far more energy and a much better movie here than anything I’ve seen from Star Trek* since the 80’s.