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Star Trek: Nemesis
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Star Trek: Nemesis, which stars the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, contains lots of sci-fi fantasy violence, including phaser fights, hand-to-hand combat, explosions, and even a fatal impalement. Only a few bloody wounds are visible, but a semi-gruesome mass death scene and the death of a main character may be too much for younger viewers. It also contains some sexual scenarios, including a brief love scene (no nudity) and some references to a telepathically initiated sexual violation. Social drinking is visible, and on one occasion gets a cast member drunk.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
STAR TREK: NEMESIS continues the adventures of the Next Generation crew and their captain, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). A clone of Picard's younger self, Shinzon, has somehow overtaken the Romulan senate and wants to make peace. Picard and his crew don't trust this sneaky "clone," and are suspicious of his origins and what they portend. Of course, treachery is afoot and the crew must stop the Romulans before they destroy or conquer, well, pretty much everything.
Is it any good?
This installment of the Star Trek franchise is not a bad film, but is one that will most likely only leave the ever-devoted Trekkies as the only completely-satisfied customers. For those who are not devotees of the series, the way the characters speak often needs to be decoded, causing the viewer to spend more time trying to figure out what the characters are saying rather then why. After a while, if the story doesn't make itself clear somehow, the viewer loses interest.
Star Trek films have had their up and down moments, and range from excellent, (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn), to overly silly (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier), but Star Trek: Nemesis is about average for the series. There's also an ongoing concern that there aren't any new ideas left, and this installment skirts the edges of that repetitive territory. There are a few good action sequences, and some solid acting from Stewart, Brett Spiner as the android Data, and Tom Hardy as Shinzon. Hardy's performance carries the movie in many of its otherwise sub-par scenes, and he and Stewart give the dialogue a lot of help. But the film is too muddled in "Trek talk" and way too overdramatic at times. Its conclusion is not just easy to predict, but laughable.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the many positive messages in the film. Star Trek has always been about making peace, and one gets the sense the crew tries to use the least amount of violence necessary to accomplish this mission. Parents may want to discuss why this is, and point out Picard's constant reluctance to fight. Is fighting ever an effective way to solve problems?
Discuss the idea of forgiveness as it is demonstrated in this film. Why does it bother Picard so that this clone reminds him of his former self?
How do the other characters handle the major character death in this film? Why do Picard and his crew toast their fallen comrade and hide their grief? How do we handle grief and death in our own lives?
- In theaters: December 13, 2002
- On DVD or streaming: May 20, 2003
- Cast: Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Patrick Stewart
- Director: Stuart Baird
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 116 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: for sci-fi action violence and peril and a scene of sexual content
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.