Top Ten Star Trek Movies With the Best Musical Scores

The Star Trek franchise may be more famous for its movies than it is for its television shows these days, and one of the elements that helped skyrocket the series into cinematic success is the music. This list compiles the movies in the Star Trek series that feature the best musical scores.
The Top Ten
1 Star Trek: The Motion Picture

The first movie was gifted with a magnificent score that included what is probably the second-most well-known Star Trek theme in existence (after the original T.V. series theme). The composer, Jerry Goldsmith, would return to the series for its fifth installment and provide us, yet again, with many of the same themes. He would also return for 'First Contact'. Although, he would not reuse the same themes used in movies, I and V.

Movie was too long, but the score is pretty good.

2 Star Trek: First Contact

The only entry in the 'Next Generation' movies to see true critical success, 'First Contact' may, partially at least, have its musical score to thank (provided by the late, great Jerry Goldsmith - along with help from his son, the recently deceased Joel Goldsmith) for its success. The melodic opening music remains one of the series' most memorable themes. Jerry Goldsmith would return to score the next two films, as well.

3 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

James Horner, who recently died in a single-plane crash in June of 2015, was only 28 years old when he was given the task to take over for Jerry Goldsmith as the composer for the second film. The reduced budget was the primary reason for his hiring, and I don't think anybody considers it to be a downgrade once they hear the final product. He would go on to score the third film, as well.

One of the greatest movie scores of all time!

4 Star Trek (2009)

Michael Giacchino was entrusted with composing the music for 2009's Star Trek reboot film. From the result's we're given, I'd say that was a fine choice. There are likely many modern-day fans that consider the themes from this film to be the definitive 'Star Trek' theme. The original theme from the 60's television series is respectfully used during the closing credits.

5 Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Jerry Goldsmith, composer of the first film (who would go on to also co-compose the music for the eighth, ninth, and tenth films), brought back many of his now-classic musical themes from 'The Motion Picture', including the main theme. It might just have been the only brilliant choice William Shatner made as the director for this movie.

6 Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Two-time Oscar-winning composer, Leonard Rosenman, would take the reigns for movie #4, replacing James Horner (who had scored the previous two installments). His work was made a little bit more difficult considering the very different atmosphere used throughout the majority of the film, but he pulled through and did a very satisfactory job.

7 Star Trek: Generations

I cannot believe this is not on this list. Dennis McCarthy did a fantastic job making one of THE BEST Star Trek scores; it has such a sense of wonder, excitement, and emotion that I could just sit and listen to it all day. It drives the action, the plot, and the characters, with a spectacular fanfare that just screams Star Trek. The Enterprise crashing, Kirk jumping the gorge, and his death, are all amazing example of this not just underrated, but truly award-worthy material. It saddens me to hear that the theme that whisks me away to the Star Tre world is so maligned by others.

8 Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

28-year-old James Horner was very lucky to get the opportunity to score the second film (having almost no professional experience). His work was well-received, so they brought him back for a second round.

9 Star Trek Into Darkness

Michael Giacchino returned after scoring the 2009 film, to compose the score for 'Into Darkness'. While reusing most of what he did last time around, his work remained fresh and exciting.

10 Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Cliff Eidelman, whose career has basically been made up of movies like 'Free Willy 3' and 'The Lizzie Maguire Movie' can at least say that he had ONE good shot at success when he was given the chance to score the sixth film in the Star Trek series of films. The score was serviceable, but he was not asked to return for movie #7.

The Contenders
11 Star Trek: Nemesis

Jerry Goldsmith, previously the composer for Star Trek I, V, VIII, and IX, made his final Star Trek score for installment number X. Too bad the movie wasn't the critical success it could have been. At least we can all enjoy the music, though.

12 Star Trek: Insurrection
13 Star Trek Beyond
BAdd New Item