Spider-Man is one of the greatest and most iconic superheroes of all time; this is not a debate. But even characters of his stature can have their share of highs and lows on the big screen.
Here’s every Spider-Man film ranked from worst to best.
9. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
With the peak of the MCU craze, Sony was (and still is) anxious to start their own cinematic universe that they decided to cram five movies worth of ideas into one film. What’s left is a movie with way too many villains, a messy plot, terrible attempts at humor and romance, and so many setups that would never get any payoff.
8. Spider-Man 3
“Spider-Man 3” was nothing short of a tragic ending to the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy.
The first two Spider-Man films were monumental breakthroughs for the comic book movie genre. They single-handedly kick-started what comic book movies are today; which makes it all the more tragic just how far “Spider-Man 3” fell.
Everyone has seen the memes and the GIFs at this point, because this movie in itself is a meme. Emo Peter Parker is an embarrassment, Venom is wasted, Hobgoblin is underused and the film suffers the exact same problems as “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”
Only the heartfelt performance from Thomas Haden Church as Sandman was worth watching in this dumpster fire.
Now some may argue whether “Venom” is a Spider-Man movie or not. But with the recent news of the Sony/Disney deal, and the cameo of Vulture in the “Morbius” trailer, it’s safe to say that Tom Holland Spider-Man will be crossing over. That is reason enough to include “Venom.”
That being said, “Venom” is a terrible film.
With an under-cooked villain, flat direction and generic plot, “Venom” is a 1995 comic book film that got lost in an alleyway for 23 years before finally finding its way to theaters in 2018. Honestly, you could view this film as a “so bad it’s good” type of film. But even if you can’t, Tom Hardy’s campy and ridiculous performance as the title character is worth at least one watch if nothing else.
Here’s to hoping that “Venom 2” delivers what this film could not.
6. Spider-Man Far From Home
This placement won’t make anyone angry at all. Sorry but “Far From Home” is just so painfully average, both as a Spider-Man film and an MCU film.
The biggest problem with this film and “Homecoming” to a lesser extent, are the supporting characters.
Characters like Aunt May, Flash Thompson, etc are completely played for comedy. None of them feel like actual characters just walking punch lines. But the one character who’s been done the most disrespect is Uncle Ben. It’s understandable that people don’t need to see Uncle Ben dying again, but it’s the principles that he taught Peter that made him who he is; both as a hero and as a person. Nope, he’s just been pushed aside for “Mr Stark.”
On the plus side though, The MCU has seemingly fixed their villain problems. First with Vulture and here with Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio; easily the best parts of both films.
“Far From Home” is an entertaining but unmemorable film; a decent MCU flick but a bad Spider-Man film.
A decent attempt at a reboot.
After “Spider-Man 4” was tragically canceled, Sony decided to do a complete redo of the character entirely. In came Andrew Garfield as the web slinging hero; in a film that mostly succeeded in what it was trying to do.
“The Amazing Spider-Man” is basically a repeat of “Spider-Man 1.” It does everything good enough, like Uncle Ben dying, the principles he’s teaching and having Peter discover his powers. But it really doesn’t make any attempts to be original at all. Overall, you could say that this film is completely fine; even if Dr. Connors/The Lizard’s motivations as a villain are completely ridiculous and thoughtless.
Andrew Garfield is great as Spider-Man himself but as Peter Parker it feels somewhat of a miscast. Peter Parker is a nerd, not a hipster skater punk. That may succeed for some but it just didn’t 100% work here.
The MCU’s first crack at our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man ended up being a very good one.
After the cinematic disaster that was “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” Sony decided to finally give in and share the rights of Spider-Man with Disney; bringing in newcomer Tom Holland. Holland was born to play this character, perfectly embodying a teenage Peter Parker struggling to balance his newfound powers with his high school life.
The highlights of the film was anytime he’s at school with his friends or he’s just swinging around New York helping the cities residents. Those small character moments are what elevates this film above other adaptations. Not to mention Michael Keaton as Vulture is easily one of the best villains ever presented in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
But what holds this film back from cracking the Top 3 is the simple fact that this is an MCU film, not a Spider-Man film. Any scene with Tony Stark or any of the tie-ins to the larger MCU holds this film back tremendously. Tony Stark has essentially replaced Uncle Ben and everything happening is servicing the big picture; not by allowing Spider-Man to have a simple solo adventure.
“Spider-Man Homecoming” is a delightful film that, had it not been a part of the MCU, it very well could have been the greatest Spider-Man movie ever made.
3. Spider-Man 1
“X-Men” and “Blade” may have come first, but 2002s “Spider-Man” shaped the comic book movie genre into what it is today.
This was a watershed film that completely changed the landscape of cinema forever and surprisingly, after almost 20 years, it’s still holds up. Getting the negatives out of the way, some of the CGI does look a little wonky, Green Goblin looks like he got lost trying to find the next Power Rangers film and every single high school kid looks like they’re pushing 30 years of age. But outside of those complaints, this film is wonderful and a complete delight.
Tobey Maguire is absolutely fantastic as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man, Kirsten Dunst is perfect as Mary Jane and Willem Dafoe (outside of the suit) delivers one of the best villain performances of the century. Oh, and JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson? Cinematic perfection. And who could forget the upside down kiss? Easily one of the most iconic moments in all comic book movies.
“Spider-Man 1” is campy, corny and a completely heartwarming film that came out at just the right time. They just don’t make superhero films like this anymore.
The best Spider-Man film that Sony has made in a decade.
This hasn’t been said enough, the animation of this film is absolutely breathtaking and revolutionary. Every scene is just bursting with color and personality, every voice actor gave an incredible and memorable performance and overall, there’s just something so magical about watching this film unfold.
After the masterpiece that was “The Lego Movie” and getting unfairly fired from “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller set the animation world on fire. There’s no other way to say it; “Spider-Verse” is an animated masterpiece. Oh and Nicolas Cage as Spider-Man Noir? *Chef’s Kiss*
Had it not been for the depiction of Kingpin, “Spider-Verse” may have easily taken the number one spot.
1. Spider-Man 2
Was there any other choice? “Spider-Man 2” is not just the greatest Spider-Man film but one of the greatest comic book films ever made.
A film where everything went right. Perfect action, perfect character chemistry, iconic moments, this film has it all. But what’s extremely impressive about this film is how it was able to handle so many story beats and subplots and wrap them up in a perfect little bow.
Showing the struggles of living a normal life while balancing being a superhero. Peter trying to be with the woman he loves, though ultimately he knows his powers will put her in danger. Trying to come to terms with Aunt May over what happened with Uncle Ben. Attempting to reconcile with Harry Osborn over the death of his father.
Everything just works.
Filled with iconic moments, like The Train Scene, “Go get em tiger,” JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, Alfred Molina as Doc Ock and Harry/Mary Jane finding out who Peter really is. It’s all so perfect. This film is perfect.
“Spider-Man 2” not only holds up incredibly well today, but is just as amazing in 2020 as it was in 2004. A cinematic masterpiece.