Star Trek: *** 1/4 (out of 4)
The newest Star Trek movie is very good. It was not better than II or VI, mind, and IV was an entirely different wavelength; otherwise, this eleventh movie in the Star Trek series was better than the rest, by a fairly substantial amount. I guess the even/odd curse has changed again.
Yes, that's a geeky review; and yes, it probably deserves better than that. But so what? This is still a Star Trek movie; as much as its creators have decided to divorce this movie from the back-closet geekiness that Star Trek fandom has lived in for so long, it can't escape its roots. Yes, the movie managed to go beyond its roots and make something new and interesting, but I still can't imagine writing a review like this without getting the important part out of the way first. At its heart, this is still a Star Trek movie. If you're into that thing, you need to know that.
And if you're not?
Star Trek is accessible. Prior knowledge is helpful; but it is not required. It is new. Its special effects are beautiful, if a bit too bogged down in lens flares, and for the most part were logical as well. It offers a somewhat refreshing view on time travel, which doesn't get us bogged down in minutiae and just lets the story go where it's going. Its story is a bit silly, but certainly acceptable and little bit shocking. And its science is certainly questionable, but it's not too bad to look past this and pay attention to the story instead.
Of course there are nits. My favorite was the opening chase scene, as shown during the trailers: a boy races towards a cliff while driving an antique car, and has to hold onto the edge at the last minute. This would be fine if it was the Southwest; instead it's in Iowa, a place that is not known for its chasms. This is silly, but hardly a deal-breaker... especially when you have the real nitpicks on the mind, the "you're messing up Trek science" ones. And yes, there were plenty of those too...
...but really? I just saw a Star Trek movie and enjoyed it every step of the way. I want to see a series of this. And for now, I can only recommend that it's a movie well worth watching for fans and civilians alike.