Star Trek: Insurrection

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
Star Trek: Insurrection Movie Poster Image
Like a long episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • PG
  • 1998
  • 103 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Starfleet is notably racially, gender, and species-integrated (with the addition of Mr. Data, even machine-integrated), and there is a strong sense of friendship and loyalty. Customary themes of military-style unfailing duty to Starfleet are replaced with the Enterprise crew rebelling when they sense injustice being committed.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Captain Picard stands up for a peaceful alien society against unjust, immortal attempts by Starfleet to take advantage of their resources. Picard and crew work together to rescue Data and fight injustice.


Spaceship explosions, ray-gun fire, hand-to-hand combat. Somewhat gruesome plastic-surgery procedures. One character killed in some sort of face-distorting machine.


Mostly flirty talk, as two longtime series characters, a former couple (as every fan knows) suddenly rekindle their sexual relationship, and are shown intimate (demurely) in a hot tub together.


"Hell," "bastard," and "boobs."


Star Trek itself is a space armada of products, toys, video games -- even a Las Vegas attraction.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking between an amorous couple. Brief mention of an addictive space narcotic that was a major plot point in one of the Star Trek TV shows.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Star Trek: Insurrection has two longtime characters from the Next Generation cast plunge into a playful sexual relationship under the aphrodisiac influence of an alien environment, and they cuddle in a hot tub with alcoholic beverages (by the next movie, Star Trek: Nemesis, they are married). No explicit sensuality or nudity, though. Ray-gun space battles, explosions, and perils include combatants taking fatal falls, and children and families fleeing from an ariel attack -- though rather than being killed the victims are beamed into captivity, making it more like "tag." There is some barely-PG-worthy profanity, and the villains are ugly aliens who undergo frequent plastic surgery. One uses a sort of facelift machine to kill a character.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAllAges August 13, 2020

The first skippable Trek movie.

You can skip this and Nemesis and head straight to Star Trek 2009.
Parent of a 2-year-old Written bygerbowski October 29, 2012
Kid, 9 years old June 20, 2020

Great movie has some sexual content.

This movie is great. However there is some sexual content that some parents might not want their young kids to see. It is also considerably violent.
Kid, 11 years old January 14, 2017

Well-made movie, but too mature for younger kids

I think this is a well-made movie. But it is still best for older kids. There is some fighting, as well as a bit of mild blood. There is a fairly disturbing per... Continue reading

What's the story?

Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) of the 24th-century starship Enterprise, receives an emergency summons to a remote, Eden-like planet to corral a member of his crew off on a mission. It's the intelligent android Data (Brent Spiner), gone beserk during some sort of secret surveillance of the planet's civilization, a small society of gentle, contented people who have renounced space travel and technology. Picard and the other crew members do some detective work and discover that behind Data's breakdown is an unethical deal between their commanders in Starfleet and some nasty local aliens to banish the innocent natives and exploit the planet's miraculous resources.

Is it any good?

This reasonably engaging movie seems uncommonly like a typical episode of the hit Star Trek: The Next Generation cast TV show. The budget for special effects is kicked up a notch, but otherwise Star Trek: Insurrection is a fairly routine escapade for the well-drawn, principled, and likeable space-traveling heroes. Early script drafts called for the famously bald Capt. Picard to find his hair growing back courtesy of alien rejuvenation, or Data getting killed. But these Very-Special-Episode gimmicks were ultimately excised, making Insurrection just an ordinary entry in an admittedly extraordinary and high-quality science-fiction franchise.

Even the big payoffs -- stalwart Picard revolts against an ignoble Starfleet and falls in love with an enticing alien -- carry little impact because much the same happened every week on the various TV shows (especially with Capt. Kirk at the helm). Conclusion: if your family loved the television program and considers the characters like old friends, enjoy the ride and the reunion, but don't expect the loftiness attained by earlier Trek theatrical features.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Picard's decision to defy Starfleet. Compare the attitudes in this movie with those in the original 1960s TV show, when Starfleet -- pretty much an idealized vision of the U.S. military -- was a righteous authority that simply never made any mistakes. What happens when authority figures make decisions that are unjust or immoral?

  •  What are some of the parallels between the events of Star Trek: Insurrection and real life historical events? What other sci-fi books and movies draw parallels to real history?

  • What's the difference between following the rules and doing the right thing? Is there a simple answer to this problem?

Movie details

For kids who love Star Trek

Themes & Topics

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