Spider-Man movies ranked

Arda Inegol, Webmaster

Warning: Spoilers Ahead




9 – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Andrew Garfield’s second appearance on screen as Spider-Man was in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”. It includes a plethora of characters, such as Electro (Jaime Foxx), Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and Norman Osborn (Dane Dehaan), who later becomes Green Goblin. The movie is jam-packed with random ideas and characters — which is not a good thing. The multitude of plot points overcrowd the story, as they become lost in the movie. The film’s standout is the exhilarating chemistry between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and her death is one of the most unforgettable moments in the entire franchise.


8 – Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

The final installment in the original Spider-Man trilogy, “Spider-Man 3” suffers from the same problem as “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”. With the introduction of new heroes, villains and villains-turned-heroes, the movie has too much going on. The ending is unsatisfying, as Harry Osborn’s (James Franco) death is not given enough attention. In addition, Eddie Brock (Topher Grace), who becomes Venom, does not receive enough screen time and lacks depth. However, Peter Parker’s (Tobey Maguire) and M.J. (Kirsten Dunst) do a fantastic job displaying their characters on screen and bringing their relationship to life.


7 – Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Tom Holland’s second standalone Spider-Man movie, “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” features Peter’s school trip across Europe in cities like London, Venice and Prague. In the movie, Peter, who is still developing his abilities as Spider-Man, fights against Mysterio (Jake Gylenhall). The movie’s biggest downside is that it does not depict Peter as an individual who can make his own decisions, but rather as someone who relies on devices and suits given to him by heroes like Iron Man. Otherwise, the film successfully expands the relationship between Peter and M.J. (Zendaya), and their interest in one another is carried on and off the screen.


6 – Spider-Man: Homecoming (2016)

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) first Spider-Man movie, “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, gives the franchise a fresh look by incorporating the teenage angle more than ever before. Director Jon Watts includes jokes and sequences that resemble 1980s teen comedy movies and does a great job in portraying Peter (Tom Holland) as an average high school student. Peter also undergoes mental and emotional growth, and his struggles with relationships are relatable. Additionally, M.J. (Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Batalon) are satisfying additions to the franchise, since they add more substance to the plot and offer refreshing humor and teenage awkwardness. Nevertheless, the film fails to be as exciting as other films in the series, and Peter does not get the opportunity to act as a mature Spider-Man. He is more so depicted as a sidekick for Iron Man rather than a superhero, making it difficult to see the movie as a top-tier Spider-Man film.


5 – The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Photo credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

The revamp of the original Spider-Man series arrives with Andrew Garfield in “The Amazing Spider-Man”. Offering a modernized version of the hero, the movie benefits from a good cast and an enjoyable story. Garfield plays Peter with charisma and emotional depth, and his relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) is very fun to watch. The two actors have good chemistry and it shows on screen, along with the close relationship Peter has with Aunt May and Uncle Ben. The antagonist, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), who later becomes Lizard, has a well-developed storyline and everything seems to fall into place at the end of the movie. Though the film was not praised by critics, it offered a brand new look into the world of Spider-Man, and the incorporation of new elements like Oscorp helped inspire another generation of superhero fans.


4 – Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (2017)

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

“Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” is the first Spider-Man movie to use animation to its complete potential, and it successfully creates a spectacle of a movie. Its use of a wide array of colors, drawings and characters, as well as its exceptional storyline about a different world existing below New York, is so imaginative that it amazed both children and movie critics. The movie does not include the traditional character of Peter Parker, but takes on a different approach with Miles Morales (Shamelik Moore), who is the first person of color to be featured as Spider-Man. The movie is funny, exciting and emotional, and Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) is a great antagonist who balances cruelty and humor. The film also portrays family relationships nicely and has a few plot twists that turn the story upside down. Nevertheless, the animation holds the emotions back from reaching their full potential and prevents the film from becoming the best of the best.


3 – Spider-Man (2002)

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Even after 20 years, Sam Reimi’s 2002 film “Spider-Man” proves to be a timeless work. It brought arguably one of the most iconic comic book characters of all time to the big screen and introduced Tobey Maguire’s version of Peter Parker. It features a nerdy kid from Queens who eventually becomes the hero of the Big Apple, but not without challenges along the way. When his uncle dies, Peter becomes a vigilante, wanting to hunt down the man who killed the person he was closest to. He uses his newly-discovered powers to eventually get revenge, and similar to the comics, he presents a darker side to his otherwise cheery personality.


Supporting actors James Franco (Harry Osborn), Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane Watson) and Willem Dafoe (Norman Osborn, Green Goblin) deliver stunning performances in “Spider-Man,” which was ultimately an outstanding introduction to what would become one of the most successful franchises in history. 


2 – Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Photo Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

The latest entry in the Spider-Man franchise, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” has had immense success in the box office and has officially become the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time in the U.S. It finally displays Spider-Man (Tom Holland) as a mature and emotionally capable person who not only cares about himself, but also others around him. This movie features the return of past Spider-Man villains, such as Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Doc Ock (Alfred Molina). The reveal of Peter’s identity is gut-wrenching, and the movie captures the emotions fairly well. Despite the expansion into his superhero life, the film accurately portrays him as a regular high-schooler who is trying to get through college applications. His stress about the process adds exciting tension into the film and shows how he is, in fact, a regular teenager too.


The movie also features some very fan-pleasing content, with the inclusion of both of the two previous Spider-Men — Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Their appearance on-screen beside Holland is well-executed, as the movie saves moments for the characters to interact with each other. Garfield’s overall performance on-screen is phenomenal, and he compensates for his failed attempt to catch Gwen Stacy in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” by successfully catching M.J. Finally, Maguire delivers a stunning performance, despite his older age, and puts a smile on everyone’s face, thus making this movie second best in the whole franchise.


1 – Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Tobey Maguire’s second time wearing the Spidey suit is undoubtedly his best performance as the hero; “Spider-Man 2” is the best Spider-Man movie. It has everything a superhero fan could ask for — good acting, deep emotions, a cool, bad guy and of course, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. It explores every possible aspect of Peter’s life, ranging from his relationship with Aunt May (Rosemary Harris), whom he has to confess to that he was the reason Uncle Ben died, to M.J. (Kirsten Dunst), whom he confesses his love for. The film features Doctor Otto Octavious (Alfred Molina) as the antagonist who tries to destroy New York City with a fusion reactor, and his four mechanical arms look awesome. Spider-Man actually loses a few of the battles he has with Dock Ock, and this weaker side allows him to seem more human and real. Peter also has a job as a pizza delivery man but gets fired because of a late delivery, showing that even in Spider-Man’s life, not everything is perfect. 


The problem with some of the other movies in this list is that they try too hard to make Peter’s life look flawless, with trips to Europe and job opportunities in Oscorp. “Spider-Man 2” embraces Peter’s imperfections and depicts him as someone who is struggling with daily life as he tries to be a student and a superhero simultaneously. This once again proves that not everything great has to be perfect and qualifies this stunning movie as one of the best superhero movies ever made.


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