To date, there are 13 films of the Star Trek franchise, and Star Trek: First Contact is the 8th. It also is one of my favorites out of the 13 (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home being the other), and it aired 30 years ago. Sheesh, was 22 Nov 2016 that long ago? I was in high school back then and remember seeing it in theaters when movie tickets were like $6 - $8 a head.
The main reason why I liked First Contact is because it had a bit of everything: action, humor, sci-fi (obviously), horror (even though I don't usually go for that), great SFX, and a contemporary message. That last aspect is key since Star Trek is all about social commentary, but presented in a sci-fi setting. For First Contact, the theme was that humanity will eventually better itself and have an optimistic future, even after catastrophic events such as a Third World War, which I hope will never happen.
In All Her Glory: the Enterprise-E makes her debut
I also see First Contact as special since the Star Trek franchise turned 30 in 1996. At that time, there were four TV series throughout its history, and First Contact had "elements" if you will from each of the series (the Zefram Cochran character from The Original Series, the entire cast from The Next Generation; the USS Defiant starship from Deep Space 9, and The Doctor character from Voyager).
The Doctor character from Voyager makes a brief cameo
Plus, the main villains of the film were The Borg. They were bad @$$ in The Next Generation TV series, and were even more so in First Contact.
Back in my freshman year in high school, my history teacher showed a clip from Star Wars. He liked to make teaching history fun (which is what got me into history) and used a scene of the Rebels vs the Death Star as a visual allegory of good vs evil. Now, me being more of a Trekkie, I was like, "Psssh.... use the space battle scene from First Contact! It has that whole good vs evil allegory down, AND it has better special effects (1996 vs 1977, when Star Wars came out)." But I didn't say anything because some guys in the class were all about Star Wars. These guys liked to tease me too. But in retrospect, my history teacher probably didn't watch Star Trek: First Contact. Besides, as Gio once said.... "Star Wars is for kids. Star Trek is for grown-ups." Those guys in my class would probably be too stupid to comprehend the latter. =P
Short but epic space battle scene from STrek: First Contact (all practical SFX with models and no CGI)
A recent article came out commemorating the 30th anniversary of First Contact's release. The one thing I find most interesting (and touching) about it is at the article's end, when Star Trek director/actor Jonathan Frakes said he received a call from the late-DeForest Kelley, who played the beloved Original Series character Doctor "Bones" McCoy. DeForest congratulated Frakes on how wonderful the movie was and its success. That's VERY cool.