Star Trek: Insurrection Movie Poster Image

Star Trek: Insurrection

(i)

 

Like a long episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • Review Date: December 11, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1998
  • Running Time: 103 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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.

Violence

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

Sex

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.

Language

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

Consumerism

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.

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.

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?

QUALITY

The reasonably engaging STAR TREK: INSURRECTION 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 it's 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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:December 12, 1998
DVD release date:June 7, 2005
Cast:Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn
Director:Jonathan Frakes
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Adventures, Space and aliens
Run time:103 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:sci-fi action violence, mild language and sensuality.

This review of Star Trek: Insurrection was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 12, 14, and 15 year old Written bycashed12 August 18, 2010

A Very Good Star Trek Adventure...

Heroes call for fans,Star trek fans that is!,Star Trek:Insurrection is the next chapter in the PG-rated Star Trek Movies
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 2 year old Written bygerbowski October 29, 2012

Typical Trek movie, nothing new here

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Parent of a 14 year old Written byTsion September 24, 2009

A Very Good Star Trek Adventure...

This movie is tons of fun, and I highly recommend it to any fans of Star Trek. From a person who has seen, now, every Star Trek film but one, I can say that this is one of the best. I am partial to the old Spock/Kirk crew as opposed to Next Generation crew, and this one feels much more like a Kirk/Spock adventure than the good, but threatening, FIRST CONTACT. The story is average Star Trek fare: Picard and his crew must save a utopian planet from a disastrous union between the Federation and a violent race bent on vengeance. There really isn't anything too bad in this PG adventure. Some people are shot, and one man burns alive (off-screen) but none of it's graphic. There is some mild, harmless sexual innuendo between Riker and Deanna, and later they are shown together in a bathtub (no nudity at all). There is also one "d**n" and three "h*ll"s.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?