Waiting for the Dawn

Following the Star Wars prequels, Star Trek: Nemesis takes the worst lessons from those films. Expanded visual effects technology removes limitations, leading to an absurd desert chase that sees Picard (Patrick Stewart) stunt jumping a buggy into a ship’s cargo hold. Nemesis stretches credibility while chasing trends.

It’s not all negative as a crash between the Enterprise and a Romulan ship ranks among the most spectacular sights in the movie series, original Star Trek or otherwise. Space battles dazzle in their scale, backed by glowing nebulae, lasers cutting through space’s blackness.

Hardy’s sniveling performance is Star Trek: Nemesis’ greatest attribute

Star Trek: Nemesis avoids the deeper thematic approach, becoming a more direct tale of good and evil, in this case Picard staring down his clone Shinzon (Tom Hardy). Still early in his career, Hardy instills Shinzon with no empathetic traits, out to kill for his own purposes, with Hardy’s sniveling performance Star Trek: Nemesis’ greatest attribute.

Credit to Picard’s storyline as well, forced to stare down someone who is himself, genetically. His scenes with Shinzon, dialog or action driven, are worth waiting for. It’s the rest of the Enterprise crew left abandoned, the sole exception being Data (Brent Spiner) also staring down his clone, albeit mechanically so. Their parallel development instills these heroes with proper gravitas, aiding the simplistic photon torpedoes being slung around them.

Prior to Star Trek: Nemesis, the franchise filled a void left behind post-Star Wars. In engaging directly with that sort of rival, Nemesis leaves behind the intellectual superiority for something appealing to a wide audience caught up in the post-prequels fever. The angles taken by Star Trek: Nemesis weaken the allegorical potency, leaving little room to explore characters or expand their continuing storyline(s).

At least the showmanship survives through the years, a few middling and hopelessly dated computer generated shots aside. One of the earliest, showing the Romulan capitol, mimics Star Wars almost shot-for-shot, but with less luster or scope. Before release, Star Trek: Nemesis found itself victim to aggressive editing to thin the runtime. Whether that additional material adds or detracts from an uneven finale might never be known, but what’s left doesn’t show any franchise enthusiasm.


The first shot in Star Trek: Nemesis reveals banding, a rather tough start for this Dolby Vision master. For whatever reason, digital effects in Nemesis struggle in modern definition, even if Insurrection’s transfer didn’t suffer the same despite being an earlier production. Aliasing and softness mar nearly every digital composite, and even some all-digital images.

Cinematography veers softer overall, appearing less like a fresh modern scan than a recent(ish) one. Grain suffers depreciation from the encode that leaves chroma noise in places. This further erodes the finest textures, making this a struggle to eclipse the Blu-ray’s HD presentation, at least in terms of raw definition.

Luckily, the Dolby Vision’s boost to black levels – sensationally deep – and the by-design blown out contrast in spots works miracles to create the needed dimensionality. That’s where Star Trek: Nemesis earns its value on UHD, and that’s apparently quickly when the Enterprise crew drops to the planet surface for the first time.


As the most modern Star Trek in this box set, the TrueHD 7.1 mix benefits from contemporary mixing the most, thick in deep, rumbling LFE, dead-on accurate channel separation, and satisfying dynamic range. The way ships pass the screen, their engines roaring and stereos/surrounds suggesting motion, is flawless. Any action scene earns a reference stamp whether in space or on the ground. Gunfire and lasers effortlessly fill the available channels. When the Enterprise’s bridge window goes out, the rushing air sounds wholly convincing.

Explosions add their weight and power. There’s never a moment where Star Trek: Nemesis disappoints when using the subwoofer, especially as two ships collide, selling the scale through bass alone.


Four commentary tracks reside on the UHD, the first with director Stuart Baird. The next is producer Rick Berman solo, followed by an audio AND text commentary from Michael and Denise Okuda.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Star Trek: Nemesis
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras


While providing the best villain of the Next Generation movies, Star Trek: Nemesis fails to produce the nuance of its predecessors.

User Review
3 (1 vote)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 51 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:

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