Today’s Prayer Focus
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Star Trek Beyond

also known as “Star Trek: Beyond,” “Star Trek 3,” “Star Trek: Além do Universo,” “Star Trek: Izvan granica,” See more »
MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for sequences of sci-fi action and violence.

Reviewed by: Raphael Vera

Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Sci-Fi Action Adventure Sequel IMAX
2 hr. 0 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
July 22, 2016 (wide—3,500+ theaters)
DVD: November 1, 2016
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Relevant Issues
Aliens (extraterrestrials)

What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer

Are we alone in the universe? Answer

Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer

questions and answers about the origin of life


GAY—What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone’s business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?

What about gays needs to change? Answer
It may not be what you think.

Read stories about those who have struggled with homosexuality

Featuring Chris PineCaptain James T. Kirk
Zachary QuintoCommander Spock
Karl UrbanDoctor “Bones” McCoy
Zoe SaldanaLieutenant Uhura
Simon PeggMontgomery “Scotty” Scott
John ChoSulu
Anton YelchinChekov
Idris ElbaKrall
Sofia Boutella … Jaylah
Joe Taslim … Manas
Lydia Wilson … Kalara
See all »
Director Justin Lin—“Fast and Furious 6” (2013), “Fast Five” (2011), “Fast and Furious” (2009)
Producer Paramount Pictures
Bad Robot
See all »
Distributor Paramount Pictures

Prequel: “Star Trek” (2009)
Star Trek Into Darkness” (2013)

The Starship Enterprise is now three years into its 5-year mission. Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) has adjusted to his role as both Captain and frontier ambassador to the stars. Upon a regular stop at the mammoth Federation outpost Yorktown, an escape pod arrives carrying one occupant begging for aid to save her crew stranded somewhere in a nearby nebula.

Kirk soon takes his ship on what should be a routine rescue mission, but, instead, turns into anything but that. A galactic armada commanded by an alien named Krall (Idris Elba) will soon present the Enterprise and her crew with their most formidable threat yet, as the ensuing battle eventually forces Kirk and his bridge crew to seek refuge on an uncharted planet.

The planet is sparsely inhabited by alien races that have also been stranded there over the years by Krall. A new alliance will be needed, if the crew of the Enterprise are ever to return to space again and take the fight to the war monger Krall, who has discovered an ancient weapon capable of consuming all life. He intends to sweep the galaxy away with it, beginning with the Federation.

“Star Trek Beyond” brings back the crew from “Star Trek Into Darkness” (2013) and, in a touching scene, pays tribute to the passing of Ambassador Spock (Prime) as portrayed by the late Leonard Nimoy who famously originated the role in the original series. McCoy “Bones” (Karl Urban) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) get plenty of screen time together in an adventure that seems more earthbound than one would expect for a Star Trek film. Briskly paced and always interesting, it is not without flaws, including some areas of concern.

Violence: Heavy. Although a mostly bloodless film, people are killed in a variety of ways, both seen and implied. The Enterprise herself is impaled by dagger like alien ships. The crew is electrocuted, blasted by energy weapons and some are turned into corpse-like husks of their former selves. Krall feeds directly from the ‘life-force’ of his enemies, leaving their bodies grossly desiccated shells. The most prominent scene of blood shows someone who has been impaled by a piece of metal, and the scream that follows its removal assures viewers of its severity. A man plummets to his death, and two people are eaten alive by a dark ethereal force. This is a film neither for the squeamish nor the young.

Language: Moderate. Beginning with the taking of the Lord’s name in vain, “My God” (5x) is Doctor McCoy’s signature exclamation, followed by Scotty’s “Lordy” (1) and “Oh my good Lord” (1), which bares mentioning simply because it is that too rare instance of God’s name used in a secular film that feels somewhat respectful. Other off-color words include: d*mn (5), h*ll (5), b*stards (3), a** (1) and horse-sh** (2). The only two instances of sh** just cited were said first by McCoy and then mimicked by Spock. The language is inappropriate for children, who should already be dissuaded from seeing this film based on the violence alone.

Sex/Nudity: Minor. The Enterprise female ensign uniforms, in general, as well as that of Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), the alien who helps them, are skin tight, yet not revealing. Early on, Captain Kirk discusses life aboard the ship, which includes romances, and we briefly see one beginning, as evidenced by impassioned kissing, and one ending simultaneously, as an underwear clad Orion female crew member throws out her former paramour.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that homosexuality is promoted briefly, when Sulu (John Cho) is greeted at Yorktown Base by his daughter and his husband and revisited later when they are in peril from Krall’s attack.

Interestingly, when the original actor who played Sulu, George Takei, had been told that actor/writer Simon Pegg (Scotty) was planning this change for the character, Takei rejected the idea, suggesting that instead they introduce a new character to fulfill this role. His request was ignored. Make no mistake, there is a homosexual agenda promoted extensively by our media. As a result, the only other romantic male/female relationships shown in the film are either dysfunctional or lustful, while in contrast, Sulu’s is the only “loving” one presented in a positive light. The Creator’s way is always the best way and for our benefit.

“Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” —Leviticus 18:22

“In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” —Romans 1:27

Liquor is shown during a toast between McCoy and Kirk on the eve of the Captain’s birthday and, at a festive occasion later, large quantities are consumed by one ill-advised party goer.


Star Trek stories, always contain a battle between good vs. evil, often showcasing personal sacrifice, courage and friendship, and “Star Trek Beyond” certainly has its share of all of the above. However, perhaps the most noteworthy theme examined is the difference between how the heroes and villains treat or view death.

Spock, saddened by the news of Ambassador Spock’s death admits that he finds himself, “contemplating the nature of mortality.” The Word of God reveals how well our Lord understands our nature and that times of death make us more introspective.

“It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.” —Ecclesiastes 7:2

Spock adds, “When you’ve lived as many lives as he, fear of death is illogical.” The Apostle Paul came to a similar conclusion, though not in the same words, when he reasoned that with life eternal to consider, death was no longer to be feared.

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” —1 Corinthians 15:55

McCoy comes to his own epiphany when he thinks he is about to die, and he remarks, “At least I won’t die alone.” None of us, who call Jesus our Lord, will die alone, and we all can look forward to seeing our Lord on that day, just as the Church’s first martyr Stephen testified as they were stoning him to death.

“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” —Acts 7:55

Death may be the inevitable consequence of war, but the Word of God tells us we can look forward to the time when Jesus shall return, reign over us, and then there will be no more need for conflict.

“He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” —Isaiah 2:4

Replete with references to the original series (too many to cite here), “Star Trek Beyond” is a character-driven tour de force with performances by this generation’s Kirk, Spock and McCoy that truly evoke the camaraderie we came to love in the TV show and should be the most satisfying take away for its fans. Surprisingly, the shocking loss of one of the main Star Trek staples early on, coupled with an overly extended planetary sojourn gave this reviewer the feeling, for a time, that one was watching a really great TV episode, rather than a feature film. An exciting third act, with both a sentimental and emotional pay-off, helps make “Star Trek Beyond” a thrilling ride, if an occasionally uneven one. Overall, an enjoyable addition to the ‘Trekverse,’ over-shadowed by its two exceptional predecessors.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—This was a great installment of the Star Trek series. The character development was not as intense as in the others but you can still see the bond grow between them all. There were great lessons on unity, courage, and friendship. Objectionable content: one scene when they show Sulu with a wedding ring on, a daughter and then a male partner. They are seen walking off with their arms around one another. There is also a small several second scene at the beginning showing that because of their long time in space different members of the crew are having sexual relations. None of these actually show any sex or beginnings of it. Overall, it was action packed with funny moments throughout.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Miranda, age 41 (USA)
Positive—I enjoyed this movie a lot. Except for the totally unnecessary glimpse of the homosexual family and the insinuation of shipboard romances, the movie is pure Star Trek. The ideals of friendship, loyalty and commitment are very strong. The movie has lots of Star Trek references for the long term fans, but even a novice will enjoy the ride.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
C. Nelson, age 56 (USA)
Positive—I’m not a Trekkie by any means, but I have enjoyed the films in this latest Star Trek series, and this film is no different. I enjoyed the special effects, action sequences, and even the subplot about the impact and sacrifices involved in living aboard a space ship for prolonged periods of time. I think the reviewer’s comment about homosexuality being “promoted” is overly dramatic; it’s a brief glimpse of Lulu with his partner and daughter as they greet him upon the Enterprise’s return. That’s far from “promoting.” (We wouldn’t say that a glimpse of a man and wife with their child is “promoting” heterosexuality or is “anti-gay,” so let’s be fair.)

There are some unnecessary swear words, but they are pretty much limited to scenes of extreme peril. While that’s not an excuse, as a Christian I can honestly say that when in extreme and sudden situations, my language hasn’t always been the most edifying. We’re all human. Overall, I like how this film doesn’t get lost in the special effects. The dialogue—while occasionally predicable—isn’t corny. The plot doesn’t get lost, and I actually like how they empathetically exposed the history of Krall (I won’t reveal any spoilers.) Overall, “Star Trek: Beyond” is a solid action flick that sufficiently tackles such relational topics as family, friendship, sacrifice, and legacy with strong messages about needing one another and leaving no man behind.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
Marin, age 37 (USA)
Positive—I’ve been a Trekkie for decades. I much prefer the variety of the “Star Trek” universe than “Star Wars” rehash about the force. So to be honest, I wanted to like this movie. I wasn’t disappointed. Great special effects, believable acting, and a solid story combined to make a very enjoyable time at the theater. One of the best aspects of the original series was the relationship between Kirk, Spock, and Bones, with a good dose of Scottie. Their interaction was featured in the movie and was delightfully done. The profanities were kept to a minimum. If you blinked you missed the part about Mr. Sulu being gay. It was completely unnecessary. Just someone fulfilling their agenda.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Kathy Cicotte, age 61 (USA)
Neutral— First I have always been a Trekker, so I would say that while Star Trek: Beyond was a decent film, it was not nearly as good as the 2009 “Star Trek” Film or the 2013 sequel “Star Trek: Into Darkness” still Beyond had it’s good moments and great special effects, but the plot/storyline could have been much better, Good Moral Values are presented in the film, such as Friendship, Loyalty, Teamwork, Cooperation, I hope the 4th film in the Kelvin Timeline is much better
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
Jeff Andrew Winters, age 38 (USA)
Negative—I really liked the two previous “Star Trek” movies and was looking forward to this one. However, it was so boring in the first 30 minutes and depressing, that I just didn’t want to waste my time watching it anymore. I also don’t like the constant showing of these evil looking demonic-like creatures that are dominating and killing everyone. It was just hopeless watching their ship get taken over by this unstoppable force, everyone fending for themselves. It just felt weird, so I asked my husband if we could leave.

I am an avid movie goer and see all kinds of action flicks and have only left a movie two times in my life! If you are struggling with depression in your life, certainly don’t see this movie, for its a real downer. I am not even dealing with that and felt that. Also, I cannot believe the demonic preview they showed for another totally evil movie, called the “Suicide Squad.” Beware of this movie, constant witchcraft, sorcery and demonic imagery in this movie. God help us!
Stephanie, age 41 (USA)
Negative—The particularly insidious part was the rewrite of Sulu’s character as a homosexual. I found it particularly hurtful that they involved an innocent little girl. I think promoting this is harmful to the most precious, innocent children that we are setting examples for. Boycott this film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
Christian, age 33 (USA)
Movie Critics
…“Star Trek Beyond” moves at warp speed, makes sure franchise will live long and prosper… [4/5]
Stephen Whitty, New York Daily News
…Welcome relief from a summer of stale popcorn. …
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
…brisk and fun…
Danny Leigh, The Financial Times [UK]
…the emphasis is on good, old-fashioned fun… [4]
Chris Hewitt, Empire [UK]
…brims with optimism and feels as if it could have been beamed right out of the original series (albeit, with a more stellar production budget and the inclusion of s-words). …
Bob Hoose, Plugged In
…designed to dazzle… a case study in interstellar race relations…
Stephanie Zacharek, Time
…The latest J.J. Abrams-era reboot keeps its crew scrambling and stressed… two minutes of humor, two hours of angst…
Tasha Robinson, The Verge
…“Star Trek Beyond” is no embarrassment to the franchise. Rather, it’s a proud addition to a canon… It may not boldly go where no “Star Trek” film has gone before, but it gets there at warp speed, and with a full tank of fresh ideas.
Michael O’Sullivan, The Washington Post
…Director Justin Lin brings his bravura action energy and a certain nostalgic flair to the “Star Trek” series, even as he unboldly goes where too many have gone before. …
Owen Gleiberman, Variety
…How’s this for boldly going where no one has gone before: The best character in “Star Trek Beyond” doesn't wear a Starfleet outfit, Bones is just as cool as Kirk and Spock, and hip-hop is used as a plot point. …
Brian Truitt, USA Today
…a watchable adventure still heavy on the bromance… Zachary Quinto’s Spock remains the real star of the latest instalment… [3/5]
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)

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