RANKED: Star Trek

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Chris Luckett

Star Trek celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, with the original TV series having debuted in September 1966. Six — soon to be seven — series later, Star Trek is one of the most popular franchises in the world, thanks in no small part to its string of movies.

Over the 37 years since 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, there have been three different casts to helm the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise, who have each steered the property through movies notably excellent and notably not.

As the 13th movie, Star Trek Beyond, open in theatres today, it’s the perfect time to look back on the film franchise that boldly went where no one had gone before. These are the Star Trek movies, from worst to best.

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RANKED: Johnny Depp

Photo: Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

Photo: Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

Chris Luckett

It’s hip to trash Johnny Depp these days. His megastar status ended years ago (and his indie underdog status over a decade ago), leaving him either playing parodies of earlier hit characters or chasing paycheque movies for Disney. Clouded by bad memories of The Tourist and Mortedcai, though — to say nothing of his troubles over the last week — many nowadays forget all the impressive work Depp’s done in his 32-year film career.

Benny & Joon. Sleepy Hollow. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Platoon. Donnie Brasco. Edward Scissorhands. Finding Neverland. A Nightmare on Elm Street. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Ed Wood. Every one is a beloved title, and still only scratch the surface of Depp’s chameleonic abilities. Continue reading

RANKED: Ben Affleck

Photo: Warner Bros.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Chris Luckett

Ben Affleck has had a more tumultuous career than most. From the indie career he self-started with Matt Damon to his paycheque blockbusters of the early ‘00s, from the drought brought by post-Bennifer fatigue to his resurgence through adding “Director” to his job titles, Affleck’s seen his share of incredible highs and lows. And much like those extremes in his life — you could argue largely because of them, in fact — Affleck been in some impressive masterpieces and some rank bombs.  Continue reading

RANKED: Post-Renaissance Disney

Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Chris Luckett

There are some animated Disney movies that everyone agrees are modern classics. Movies like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King are universally considered irreproachable. Where the Disney Renaissance period gets fuzzy is after that. While some would say the era continued until Mulan or Tarzan, I would argue that The Lion King was the pinnacle of the period and 1995 marked the beginning of Disney’s Post-Renaissance period.

Firstly, there was Pocahontas, the first Walt Disney Animated Classic of the ‘90s that lost the perfect alchemical formula. Secondly, there was Toy Story; coincidental or not, when Walt Disney Animation Studios lost the magic touch, Pixar found it. Lastly, there was A Goofy Movie, which introduced contemporary humour and sarcasm into Disney’s animation, the ripples of which have continued through everything from The Emperor’s New Groove to Wreck-It Ralph. Continue reading

RANKED: Quentin Tarantino

Photo: Press Association 2014

Photo: Press Association 2014

“If you’re gonna compare a Hanzo sword, you compare it to every other sword ever made that wasn’t made by Hattori Hanzo.”

Chris Luckett

When Quentin Tarantino wrote the above line for Kill Bill (or what would eventually be bisected into Kill Bill, Vol. 2), it very eloquently summed up the problem with discussing Tarantino and his movies.

At that point in time, Tarantino had done what no writer-director had managed, be they Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, or Orson Welles: he’d made five perfect films in a row. Moreover, he’d only made five movies by that point, and they were all 5-star films.

Even today, after his streak has slipped and his career lacks the lustrous sheen it still had a decade ago, he’s one of the toughest directors to bring up in comparison to other directors (because he so boldly does his own thing every time, even when flopping), let along when discussing which Tarantino work is best.

When it comes to his worst, though, there’s a pretty unanimous consensus… Continue reading

RANKED: Pixar

Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Chris Luckett

Before Marvel Studios became the reigning king of releasing hit after hit, the master was Pixar. In the ‘00s, it seemed anything they touched was guaranteed to be brilliant. They may have lost the alchemical formula in recent years, but even the worst Pixar movies are still most watchable than many other modern animated movies. Continue reading