Directed by: J.J. Abrams
The Skinny: A time-traveling Romulan (Eric Bana) with a venge-on for Spock (Zachary Quinto) forever alters the known history of the Star Trek universe when he destroys a vessel captained by the father of newborn James T. Kirk (Chris Pine). Twenty-five years later, his next act as retribution-seeking A-hole precipitates the maiden voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise, for which Kirk consequently never became captain.
The Good: All of it. Whether you think Star Trek is gay and stupid or you're a Trekkie currently being administered a wedgie by the former, you can forget what you know about the franchise. Abrams envisions a Trek that's cool, not kitschy, opening with-and maintaining throughout-a burning intensity previously absent from the series, while preserving the principles and characterizations that first seduced pudgy, hyperhidrotic social mutants decades ago. Pine and Quinto are nails as nemeses Kirk and Spock, selling, along with the rest of the cast, an adventure that's as much action as it is academic; that's complex, but easy to follow; and that's comic without being campy. Finally, a Star Trek movie that does the laughing at itself!
The Bad: Five stars means that the only bad part will be the cackling gaggle of giddy line campers in Starfleet uniforms flanking you on all sides opening weekend. You might want to save this for a mid-week matinee.
Theater, DVD, or TNT in five years? What do you think?