Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 43
  2. Negative: 1 out of 43
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    May 15, 2013
    90
    Star Trek Into Darkness is a giddy homage to what’s come before it, but it also at least tries to go boldly where ... well, you know.
  2. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    May 15, 2013
    78
    Screenwriters Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and fanboys’ favorite whipping boy, Damon Lindelof, keep the film moving at a quippy clip; there’s really no fat here until the film feints a climax only to lurch the coaster-car back up the hill again.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    May 14, 2013
    88
    All Abrams wants to do is give us a great ride while holding firm to our longstanding emotional investment in these characters.
  4. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    May 17, 2013
    75
    Is it too much to ask that he take a risk next time and kill somebody off, however much we’re used to having them in the “Trek” universe?
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    May 15, 2013
    75
    Yet with all the futuristic splendor and the suitably majestic score and the fine performances, “Into Darkness” only occasionally soars, mostly settling for being a solid but unspectacular effort that sets the stage for the next chapter(s).
  6. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    May 14, 2013
    88
    The new film works. It's rousing.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 16, 2013
    75
    Since 9/11-style terrorism is very much on display here, I suppose it’s fair to say that Star Trek Into Darkness is a sci-fi blow-out with overtones of the real. Series founder Gene Roddenberry would, I think, approve.
  8. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    May 2, 2013
    80
    In some sense, the title is misleading. Into Darkness is a blast, fun, funny, spectacular and exhilarating. The rule of great even-numbered Trek movies continues.
  9. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    May 15, 2013
    100
    Into Darkness is a sleek, thrilling epic that's also a triumphantly witty popcorn morality play. It's everything you could want in a Star Trek movie.
  10. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    May 16, 2013
    80
    So many things are done right that even with the bombast, "Into Darkness" is the best of this summer's biggies thus far. It's a great deal of brash fun.
  11. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    May 14, 2013
    88
    Star Trek Into Darkness gives you an exhilarating, tingle-inducing rush — that rare feeling that comes when a gigantic entertainment is firing on all fronts, exceeding your expectations.
  12. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    May 14, 2013
    63
    As our old friend Ricardo Montalban said thirty years ago in “The Wrath of Khan,” still the best of the “Star Treks” — “It is veeery coooooold in space.” “Into Darkness,” for all its dense textures and epic scale, left me cold.
  13. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    May 16, 2013
    80
    What's more -- and here's where Abrams' brilliance is on full display -- you don't need to know a Class M planet from a hole in the ground to enjoy it all.
  14. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    May 14, 2013
    100
    The result is a stunningly nervy sequel that vaporizes any worries that Abrams’ terrific 2009 reboot was a fluke.
  15. 70
    Is the movie good? It’s hard to be objective. The plotting is clunky and nonsensical, but Abrams and crew bombarded me into happiness. More than that, they made me feel so special for getting the in-jokes.
  16. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    May 14, 2013
    38
    The only darkness here — besides the dingy-looking images dimmed by 3-D glasses — is the murky plot, which is as silly as it is arbitrary.
  17. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    May 14, 2013
    88
    The action is exhilarating, the visual effects spectacular - and spectacularly realized.
  18. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    May 15, 2013
    75
    The special effects are first rate - not always the case with Star Trek movies, although Abrams has been given a budget the likes of which directors Nicholas Meyer, Leonard Nimoy, and William Shatner would have salivated over.
  19. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Jun 11, 2013
    63
    Abrams and his screenwriters (Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof) are so obsessed with acknowledging and then futzing around with what we already know about Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Scotty and company that the movie doesn’t breathe.
  20. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    May 16, 2013
    88
    Kudos to Abrams for going bigger without going stupid. His set pieces, from an erupting volcano to the hell unleashed over London and Frisco Bay, are doozies. So's the movie. It's crazy good.
  21. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    May 15, 2013
    70
    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Star Trek Into Darkness – once you understand it as a generic comic-book-style summer flick faintly inspired by some half-forgotten boomer culture thing. (Here’s something to appreciate about Abrams: This is a classic PG-13 picture, with little or no sex or swearing, but one that never condescends.)
  22. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    May 14, 2013
    75
    Full of humor, some exciting scenes and some intelligent parallels between the world of the film and the political and moral issues facing us today.
  23. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    May 14, 2013
    75
    The film is densely plotted, occasionally bordering on the convoluted, but the clarity and inventiveness of the direction keeps the drama and the action constantly percolating.
  24. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    May 16, 2013
    70
    He’s (Abrams) caught some of the spark of the first Star Trek without either mimicking or desecrating the original.
  25. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    May 15, 2013
    88
    Star Trek Into Darkness offers much of what the fans expect and not much of what they don't. This character-driven vehicle is a supercharged example of cinematic craftsmanship.
  26. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    May 15, 2013
    100
    Yes, this one is even better: funnier, brawnier and ingeniously constructed for appeal to both devoted fans and reluctant converts.
  27. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    May 16, 2013
    75
    Rip-roaring set-pieces aside, the biggest pleasure here is still the yin-yang chemistry between Kirk and Spock, even as the writers sand down the barbed edges of the characters’ interactions.
  28. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    May 14, 2013
    63
    For those who enjoyed J.J. Abrams’s frisky relaunch of Star Trek back in 2009, the good news is that the new Star Trek Into Darkness is more of the same. The bad news is that Star Trek Into Darkness is, well, a bit too familiar.
  29. Reviewed by: Andrew Pulver
    May 1, 2013
    80
    People are unlikely to charge out of the cinema with quite the same level of glee as they did in 2009; but this is certainly an astute, exhilarating concoction.
  30. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    May 2, 2013
    60
    After impressing well enough in his previous big screen directorial outings, Abrams works in a narrower, less imaginative mode here; there's little sense of style, no grace notes or flights of imagination. One feels the dedication of a young musician at a recital determined not to make any mistakes, but there's no hint of creative interpretation, personal feelings or the spreading of artistic wings.
  31. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    May 15, 2013
    40
    It’s hard to emerge from “Into Darkness” without a feeling of disappointment, even betrayal.
  32. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    May 21, 2013
    40
    You wind up feeling doubly bullied -- first by the brutal enormity of the set pieces, and then by the emotional arm-twisting of the downtimes. [20 May 2013, p.122]
  33. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    May 6, 2013
    58
    Star Trek Into Darkness is a long, long way from a disaster, but it's hard not to feel that Abrams' mystery box turned out to be a bit empty this time out.
  34. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    May 2, 2013
    60
    A large portion of Star Trek’s audience may well be satisfied by a film that amounts to not much more than an incredibly pretty and sporadically funny in-joke. But think back to the corny romance of that original mission statement, recited by William Shatner on many a rainy school night. Strange new worlds. New life. New civilisations. Boldly going where no man has gone before. That pioneer spirit? It’s gone.
  35. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    May 14, 2013
    70
    This series will survive as well, until 2016 — when, you can bet, there will be a third Star Trek to celebrate the TV show’s 50th anniversary. Here’s hoping that those three years will bestow a measure of maturity on all concerned: Kirk and his bright curators too.
  36. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    May 1, 2013
    80
    A stop-gap tale that’s modest, fun and briefly amusing rather than one that breaks new ground or offers hugely memorable set pieces.
  37. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    May 14, 2013
    40
    At least the Abrams-helmed Star Trek from 2009 had a pretzel-logic playfulness; the portentously subtitled Into Darkness is attempting like hell to be a Trek for our troubled times. The franchise has been thoroughly Christopher Nolan–ized.
  38. Reviewed by: Matthew Leyland
    Apr 26, 2013
    80
    Mostly, this is fantastic fun: a two-hours-plus blockbuster that doesn’t bog down in exposition or sag in the middle. There are reversals and rug-pulls galore, most of them executed with whiplash skill.
  39. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    May 14, 2013
    88
    Spectacular special effects, superbly crafted action sequences, plenty of humor and terrific performances render it a cut above most summer blockbusters.
  40. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    May 2, 2013
    90
    Markedly grander in scale, although never at the expense of its richly human (and half-human) characters, “Into Darkness” may not boldly go where no “Trek” adventure has gone before, but getting there is such a well-crafted, immensely pleasurable ride that it would be positively Vulcan to nitpick.
  41. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    May 14, 2013
    70
    Cumberbatch, a tweedy Brit with an M.A. in Classical Acting and a face like a monstrous Timothy Dalton, has beefed up to become a convincing killer. He's brutal and bold, and the film around him isn't bad either.
  42. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    May 16, 2013
    70
    Noisy, frenetic, grandiose and essentially a soap opera, director J.J. Abrams's second contribution to the franchise has everything, including romance: Never before have Capt. James T. Kirk and his Vulcan antagonist, Mr. Spock, seemed so very much in love.
  43. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    May 14, 2013
    75
    The casting coup here is Benedict Cumberbatch, who exudes steely resolve and silken savagery as a villain on the cusp of becoming a legendary nemesis.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1248 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 336
  1. May 18, 2013
    10
    As a big Trek fan, I truly enjoyed this alternate timeline's second installment. There was never a slow moment. I was certainly surprised by several developments but ultimately a very satisfying experience. I look forward to more adventures with this crew. Full Review »
  2. May 16, 2013
    3
    If you're a fan of past Star Trek movies and TV series, save yourself $11. Instead, (re)rent Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan. Abrams' re-imagining lacks any of the philosophical and ethical dilemmas of earlier Star Trek, or the clever battle of the wits between Kirk and his nemesis. Instead you have many characters who act in ways very different from the philosophy of Starfleet, unnecessarily (and poorly) reimagined species like the Klingons, inexplicable plot points, excessive fight scenes, and way too many lens flares. The intriguing backstory of the villain explored in earlier Trek is glossed over here resulting in a two dimensional baddie, despite Benedict Cumberbatch's otherwise excellent acting. If you're looking for an intellectually stimulating space adventure, look elsewhere. If you're looking for over the top action, eye numbing visual effects, and goosestepping-inspired uniforms, then it might be just what you're looking for. Full Review »
  3. May 17, 2013
    8
    When I saw the reviews that were coming in for Star Trek Into Darkness, I rolled my eyes. The first one got good reviews and in my opinion, that movie was a mess. So my expectations were low going into this film; "just another stupid popcorn movie that will sully the name of Star Trek". I was even ready to go get a refund and go watch Iron Man 3 if need be. Boy was I wrong. This outing was thoroughly entertaining, flowed logically (a huge issue with the last film), and even had some good character moments. People also acted like people in this film, and Kirk was less of an idiot this time around and actually grew as a character. Story was pretty solid; some of technical details were off but I can't complain. Reveals were well paced and the action was handled well. There was one moment near the end that had me rolling my eyes and wondering what the hell the writers were thinking (hint: it isn't very original). However, upon reflection it made sense, and the reactions of the characters was believable. Though, one will have to accept that time has passed between this movie and the last, so the non-nonsensical character dynamics in the last film have evolved and been fine tuned into something sane and rational. Also, the main villain has been given a lot more menace and demonstrates why he's a major threat (you'll see what I mean when you watch the film). Overall, 8/10. A lot better than the first. Full Review »