If you ever had any doubts that Spider-Man is one of the most popular comic book characters of all time, this week's release of Spider-Man: Far From Home should be enough to change your mind. While it's just the second movie in the current, Tom Holland-starring series, Far From Home is the eighth Spider-Man film to get a theatrical release in the past 17 years. In that same span, Batman has been the title character in just four big-screen films.
People love Spider-Man, and because of that love we've been blessed with a ton of different movies over the last couple of decades. They've been made by different directors, starred different actors in the lead role, and included a vast array of different villains. There's truly something for everyone in the Spider-Man movies.
Of course, just because they're all different, doesn't mean we as fans won't compare them to one another. It's a fun exercise, especially with so many options to choose from!
So while we all probably have a very different list of Spider-Man rankings, here's how the eight Peter Parker adventures stack up in my mind:
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
This isn't much of a surprise to anyone, right?
From start to finish, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is pretty tough to watch. Garfield does a good job and the death of Gwen Stacy was done very well. Outside of that, it's a massive mess.
How do you put three major Spider-Man villains in one movie and make them all terrible? How do you waste the brilliant idea of Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn? I've lost sleep over this movie.prevnext
The Amazing Spider-Man
Yes, I know it seems like a cop out to put the two Andrew Garfield movies at the bottom of the list, but there's no other way to really go here.
At the end of the day, Marc Webb's movies just don't feel nearly as inspired as any of the other takes on the character.prevnext
Go ahead and call me a Sam Raimi stan, I don't care. Spider-Man 3 is so much better than it gets credit for.
Are there some downright bad things in this movie? Absolutely. The emo Peter Parker scenes, while they made sense from a narrative perspective, were totally absurd. The entire Venom storyline was as unnecessary as it was poorly designed. There are flaws abound. But no matter how silly this movie can be at times, Raimi never loses sight of who Spider-Man is at his core.
It's also worth noting that one of the best on-screen Spider-Man villains in history is in Spider-Man 3 and no one ever talks about it. While Venom might have taken the spotlight, Sandman is the soul of the film, and his tragic story is so thoughtfully developed that you can't help but sympathize with him.prevnext
Spider-Man: Far From Home
I love Spider-Man: Far From Home. It's a really fun movie with a fantastic performance from Tom Holland and a scene-stealing villain in the form of Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio. There's a lot to like about this flick from Jon Watts.
That said, this is a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie; an Avengers epilogue. It's not a Spider-Man movie, no matter how much Tom Holland did to change that.
There's a good chance I watch this movie an absurd amount of times over the next few years, but I can't put it above four other films that actually know they're about Spider-Man.prevnext
Spider-Man: Homecoming suffers from the same problem as its sequel, just not nearly as much. Too much focus on Iron Man takes away from Spider-Man's story, making it feel less like a kid trying to do right by his city and more about a young hero trying to live up to the expectations of his billionaire mentor.
Despite the off-putting dynamic, Holland shines through and quickly becomes the best version of Peter Parker anyone has ever seen on the big screen. He seriously couldn't be better at playing Spider-Man.
Homecoming also delivers the biggest twist of any MCU film, with the reveal that Michael Keaton's Vulture is the father of Peter's crush. That reveal, and the subsequent car ride, is absolutely mesmerizing.prevnext
Spider-Man is the movie that started it all, and it could not have been better. Raimi's direction, Tobey Maguire's performance, the upside-down kiss in the rain -- everything in this movie works.
The years could've been kinder to Spider-Man, though. Some bits didn't age too well, but the overwhelming amount of charm packed into this story and these characters rise above those things each and every time.
Let's also remember that this film gave us the eternal wonder that is J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, the greatest comic book movie casting decision in history.prevnext
I had a really hard time not putting Spider-Man 2 at the top of this list. More than a decade later, this remains a nearly flawless superhero movie.
This film perfectly represents what it means to be a hero, having Peter struggle with his responsibility to those he loves, to the people he believes he should protect, and his own personal issues. It's rare that a superhero film can achieve the kind of balance and poignancy that Raimi does here.
And let's not forget about Alfred Molina's turn as Otto Octavius. To this day, Molina's Doc Ock is still the best on-screen Marvel villain any of us has ever seen.prevnext
1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
I never thought in a million years that any Spider-Man movie could ever top Spider-Man 2. Ever. I still believe it's a nearly flawless representation of Peter Parker and of superheroes in general. It was going to be impossible to top Spider-Man 2 in my book.
That is, until Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse came along.2comments
There is so much to love about this movie. It's emotionally powerful, incorporates all of the best versions of Spider-Man, understands the meaning of the mask in the first place, and it's just so visually stunning. You can watch this movie over and over again and somehow fall even deeper in love with it every time.
Spider-Man has never been represented better or more thoughtfully than this. There's no question this is the best Spidey movie ever to grace the big screen, and it'll be a long time before we see anything like it again.prev