The Spider-Man Movies, Ranked
It seems unlikely that a character could be rebooted and re-imagined on the big screen as many times as Spider-Man has in less than twenty years, but it's a testament to the hero's popularity that people never get tired of seeing him crawl walls and sling webs. The internet has been ablaze today with fans ranking, re-ranking, and just picking their favorites out of the eight theatrically released Spider-Man solo movies, so we're dipping our toes into the water once again with a fresh ranking of every Spider-Man movie. You can read our picks below and don't forget to sound off with your thoughts in the comments!
Though movie and TV productions are mostly on pause right now Spider-Man will return to the big screen in due time. Sony Pictures have a July 2021 release date still set for the third Spider-Man movie they're producing with Marvel Studios which will see Tom Holland return to the role. Though no formal announcement has been made, it seems like that film has also been delayed in the production phase which could see the film's theatrical debut also pushed back.
In any event, once that movie comes out we'll be here with a fresh and spicy take on where it stacks up to the others.
#8 The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Even though this film came out just two years after Marvel's The Avengers, it feels like something ripped out of time from the era of Joel Schumacher's Batman movies (which somehow feel more restrained than this sequel). Corny, over-the-top, and nonsensical from the starting beat, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 lacks any kind of soul as story and is overstuffed with villains and cinematic universe bread crumbs.
"Want to find out what this means? We're not telling until the next movie or perhaps the movie after that" is a loathsome filmmaking tactic, and one clearly mandated by the studio that ironically killed their franchise.prevnext
#7 The Amazing Spider-Man
The circumstances that lead to this movie being made still raise eye brows but overall it's a fine film. Andrew Garfield's ability to weave the nerdy, introverted side of Peter with his heroism and selflessness makes him an objectively great version of the titular hero; plus The Lizard as its antagonist earns it points.
Despite a well conceived mirror blending of the hero and villain's stories, the movie is rushing to get to the finish line before the gun has even been fired to start the race. Director Marc Webb's knack for the quiet moments can only carry the movies so far since the spectacle is what the studio wanted to sell, sadly they didn't offer much here that can't be found better somewhere else.prevnext
#6 Spider-Man: Far From Home
There is a great rom-com playing at the center of this movie, but it must sadly be caked under the layers of Avengers: Endgame mop-up duty, unnecessary Iron Man conclusions, and backwards politics (an MCU staple). Far From Home also does the almost unforgivable sin of taking Spider-Man out of the neighborhood for most of the movie and the film suffers for it.
That said, Tom Holland still fully embodies the needed pathos of Peter Parker for a Spider-Man movie, let alone one with as expansive a reach as one in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Zendaya is stellar as MJ and Jake Gyllenhaal's Quentin Beck has chaotic levels of energy that are seldom felt on the big screen.prevnext
#5 Spider-Man 3
It's not novel to point out the hands of overlords were clearly at work in this movie but Raimi was still able to tap into what makes Spider-Man work as a character based on how he functioned in classic silver age comics. The problem of course is that there is a diametrically opposed force in the movie working against that ethos which is the character of Venom. Raimi almost makes it work but can't quite stick the landing thanks to clumsy retcons and goofball line readings. Even then it still has the wit, charm, and love of a longtime Spider-Man fan at the helm who just gets it.prevnext
Raimi's first movie took the superhero blueprint put together by its predecessors and made its improvements in ink, setting a foundation for all that would follow. Unlike previous comic book hits like X-Men and Batman, there's a fundamental understanding of Spider-Man as a character by Raimi that is fully in focus for the entire film.
Certain elements of the movie haven't aged as well; but like all good Spider-Man comic book stories, this Spider-Man story was a product of its time and was able to illustrate his built in relatability to all viewers. Plus, things don't get much better than J. K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson and Willem Dafoe chewing as much scenery as he's allowed.prevnext
#3 Spider-Man: Homecoming
Marvel Studios first official Spider-Man movie very clearly has a love for the character that gives it an extra layer of charm. Since the company had always sort of assumed they would never get the character back you can feel the care being put into the movie throughout its runtime. Many Spider-Man movies before Homecoming (the title itself a nod to what was being done with it) espoused the talking point of putting Peter back in high school, but only this film is able to really tap into that very specific style of story for the hero.
Homecoming also balances his personal and heroic life like all great Spider-Man stories and fits it into the larger MCU with ease. Not to mention the genuine surprises it offers in those connections and how it brings Peter as close to his villain as ever.prevnext
#2 Spider-Man 2
It's old hat to talk about how Hollywood always makes sequels "go bigger and better" than the success that came before them, but Sony and Sam Raimi were able to do that with their 2004 follow-up. Spider-Man's love life? More complicated. Spider-Man's personal trials? Somehow worse. Spider-Man's superhero woes? Made even more threatening thanks to a made-for-this portrayal by Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus.
Some current audience members might balk at the film's "sappy" emotions, and the memification of sections of the movie don't help, but its overall earnestness makes it one of the most endearing live-action superhero movies of all time.prevnext
#1 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is not only the best Spider-Man movie it has a right to claim the title as the best comic book movie. While the other movies featuring the wallcrawler earn points for "getting" Peter Parker, Into the Spider-Verse gets Peter, it gets Miles, and it gets Gwen. It juggles every possible emotion and hat you can imagine from something based on as many comic books as it is and it does them all with ease and appreciation. Plus we can't forget the visual style of the film itself which eats, sleeps, and breaths comic book layers and stylings in a way live action cannot.
Anyone can wear the mask, but this movie wears the crown.prev