Star Trek Beyond

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Star Trek Beyond Movie Poster Image
 Popular with kidsParents recommend
Violent but exciting adventure honors teamwork, diversity.
  • PG-13
  • 2016
  • 120 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 20 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 19 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie celebrates teamwork, as well as loyalty to each team member. Each member's strengths are used in a way that benefits the whole. The group provides encouragement and a positive atmosphere in which members can thrive. The movie also champions diversity. On the downside, revenge is also a major theme.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though the focus is on teamwork -- and no individual characters really stand out from the others -- they all go out of their way to protect their buddies, risking danger to save others. The cast is notably diverse.


Sci-fi/fantasy violence. Big battles in space, crashing, explosions. Hand-to-hand fighting, martial arts fighting. Laser-gun shooting. Character impaled with a small chunk of metal. Cauterizing wound with heated metal. Minor characters injured/dead. Bad guys torture good guys. Some bloody scratches. Frequent peril/danger.


Kiss on the cheek (two romantic leads spend the movie in a fight). Other brief scenes show a flirtation in a corridor and a shot of a woman throwing a shirtless man out of her cabin/quarters.


Infrequent language includes a few uses of "s--t" ("horses--t"), plus "damn," "hell," "crap," "bastard," and "my God" (as an exclamation).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink fancy scotch or alien brandy for enjoyment. A character drinks to "take the edge off"; she's seen with many empty glasses on a table in front of her.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Star Trek Beyond is the 13th Star Trek movie overall, the third installment since 2009's big-budget series reboot, and the first directed by Justin Lin (of the Fast & Furious franchise). There's plenty of big, boomy sci-fi/fantasy action violence, including space battles, crashes, explosions, minor characters being hurt or killed, hand-to-hand and martial arts fighting, and a mean, angry bad guy. A major character is injured, and there's a painful but comical scene involving his impalement wound. Language is infrequent but does include a couple of uses of "horses--t," as well as "damn," "hell," "bastard," and "my God." Two characters in a romantic relationship spend this movie in a fight, so only a kiss on the cheek is shown between them; there's also a brief scene of a woman throwing a shirtless man out of her cabin/quarters. Characters occasionally drink fine scotch or other spirits, but mainly for enjoyment, though one character does try to get drunk. Overall, the movie's good attitude and strong messages related to teamwork and diversity overcome its iffy material, making it a great pick for older tweens and up.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAziraphale July 23, 2016

Good Fun

We took the whole family to this one; the youngest is 8. This movie has great characters, good storytelling, an interesting villain, and good pacing. Everyone l... Continue reading
Adult Written byCameron lawing L. November 3, 2016


I think this movie is great for kids that like star wars.It is awesome
Kid, 12 years old July 23, 2016

AMAZING!!!!!!!!! :)

This movie is the best ever!!!!!!!! It is perfect for kids 11 and up!!!!!! This movie is action packed and awesome!!!!!
Teen, 14 years old Written byArwen Baggins September 3, 2020

Oh boy.

Oh boy. Where do I start?

OK, first of all, the cast.
I understand that the actors could never be identical to the original cast, but it's like they didn... Continue reading

What's the story?

Deep into their five-year mission to explore strange new worlds and seek out new life and civilizations, the crew of the starship Enterprise -- Sulu (John Cho), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Dr. "Bones" McCoy (Karl Urban), and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) -- is beginning to feel a bit restless and bored in STAR TREK BEYOND. Unfortunately, their next mission turns out to be a trap; the Enterprise is attacked by a swarm of man-sized ships, reducing it to smithereens and standing the crew on a nearby alien planet. There, they meet an alien named Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) and a vengeful creature known as Krall (Idris Elba). Can the team discover Krall's plan and stop him before it's too late?

Is it any good?

The 13th overall movie in the Star Trek franchise turns out to be good luck for everyone. It's a fresh, satisfying return to the beloved characters of the 1966-1969 TV series and to a rousing sense of teamwork. Director Justin Lin, who made four of the first seven Fast & Furious movies, somehow finds a balance between recklessness and entertainment. He provides several gargantuan action sequences that aren't exactly flawless but are exhilarating nonetheless.

It certainly helps that co-writers Pegg and Doug Jung bring nerdy goodness to the movie, with a story that's worthy of the old show and an emotionally satisfying equilibrium among the characters. Star Trek Beyond recalls Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in that it corrects the misguided slip-ups that came before it, erasing the showboating and awkwardness of the last few movies and remembering the essence of what made these characters great in the first place.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Star Trek Beyond's violence. How intense is it? Does the relative lack of blood affect its impact? What is the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How do the characters show teamwork? Why is that an important character strength? In what scenes do characters help each other?

  • There's quite a bit of diversity in the cast, both mirroring and improving on the original series. Why does having diverse media role models matter?

  • Talk about revenge, which is a major theme in the film. Is it ever justified to hurt others in the name of revenge? How much of the movie's violence can be traced back to that motivation?

  • Why does Star Trek have such an enduring appeal? What makes people become such faithful fans? How does this installment compare to the older movies and TV shows?

Movie details

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