Spider-Man Movies Ranked Worst to Best
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With the launch of Spider-Man: Far From Home, we will have 8 Spider-Man movies, 3 different actors playing Spider-Man (not including all of the great voice actors from Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse), and 6 different directors (3 directors for Spider-Verse). It has been almost 20 years of Spider-Man swinging from the big screen into our lives, and now it is time to rank them from the worst versions of Spider-Man to the best.
8. Spider-Man 3
When you buy a ticket for a Spider-Man movie, what are you expecting to happen during the film? If you said “Kirsten Dunst singing on Broadway, Tobey McGuire scatting and dancing to jazz, and the scrawny character from That 70’s Show playing the largest and most terrifying villain in comic book history unsuccessfully”, then this movie is right up your alley.
For the rest of us, Spider-Man 3 is the reason that we got the first Spider-Man reboot. The film is bogged down by too many villains, too many musicals, and not enough heart. The Peter Parker that we fell in love with in Spider-Man 1 and 2 just doesn’t show up at all. He is brooding, egotistical, and unlikable in all of the wrong ways. Nothing about the characters or the story redeems this movie in any way or form. This movie was shockingly bad, especially since we had seen this crew create two of the best superhero movies to date just a few years back.
This is the film that ended the trilogy right before the big finale. The entire reason that this movie exists in the Spider-Man cannon is to set up a Sinister Six film which would have been the third movie in this trilogy. The problem with this movie is that there is so much going on with the story that you lose track of the things that make a movie great. There was so many origin stories that had to be set up that by the time anything happens in the film, we as the audience are ready for it all to be over.
This movie actually received a lower rating on Rotten Tomatoes than Spider-Man 3 did. The reason this one is just a notch above Spider-Man 3 in my book is that I wasn’t as let down by this film as I was with Spider-Man 3. The Amazing Spider-Man movies are a darker and moodier Spider-Man, which was less fun and in turn less watchable. Spider-Man 3 was riding high on the Spider-Man 2 coattails and fell hard from grace. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 just felt like it was destined to be a miss from the get go.
We are getting to the part of the list where I begin to like the films. The Amazing Spider-Man is definitely a darker and moodier version of Spider-Man than the other two forms of him. It does not have the humor of the Sam Raimi movies or the popcorn feel of Homecoming which can be a little bit of a downer for a summer blockbuster. The reason this one does not make the top half of the list is because it retells the origin stories that we have already heard. It spends an inordinate amount of time going through the Uncle Ben story line, even though the viewing public have seen this done before. It was the same gripe people had about Batman v Superman. Hey, guess what? Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered! Spoiler alert! We know what motivates these heroes, so lets see some action!
Here we have the superhero movie that helped pull comic book movies out of the dark ages and into the mainstream. We have a great director in Sam Raimi who brings his strange sense of humor to the film, a rising star in Tobey McGuire, and the first telling of a really great origin story. We see him go from being bitten by a radioactive spider to wrestling for cash to saving the world from an evil megalomaniac.
There are a few gripes about this film, such as what are his webs attaching to when he is swinging through New York and why is the webbing coming from him naturally and not a synthetic creation. I can overlook these a little because the story is engaging and the character’s struggles are real. This movie made it possible for studios to dream about superhero movies and it forever changed the summer blockbuster.
Endgame left a crater behind in its wake, leaving giant holes in the Marvel Universe. Spider-Man: Far from Home is the first Marvel film since Endgame and it has some work to do. It explains away as many of the continuity and existential issues as possible and it does so in a fun tongue in cheek way. This movie did a good job of keeping things light and fun while moving the Peter Parker story along.
With that being said, I had more fun during Homecoming and the emotional angst in Spider-Man 2 is far superior than the levels reach in Far from Home. This is a good Spider-Man movie, but their are those that had more fun and more heart.
Spider-Man: Homecoming does an excellent job of avoiding all of the pitfalls of its predecessors. The movie has a singular villain and is not focused on the next film, it deals in the physics of the real world, and this Spider-Man matches all of the comic book descriptions to a “T”. Homecoming was one of my favorite films of that summer and it was due largely to the amazing performance by Tom Holland as the youngest Spider-Man to date and a menacing showing from Michael Keaton. They not only got the superhero elements right in this film, but this movie feels like the teen comedies of the 80’s. It’s got a little John Hughes touch to it. Spider-Man: Homecoming does everything really well and almost made it to the top of the list.
2. Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2 does what a lot of comic book movies forget to do: include real emotions and pathos. Inside of this well done action film is a film that dives deeper into the pains of being extraordinary. Peter Parker wrestles with all of his failures while still learning how to be something that no one can teach him how to be. He doesn’t have Iron Man as a mentor in this series. He is alone in his struggles and the only person who could potentially help him, Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock, turns out to be not so helpful. Their epic train battle and final scenes really cements this film’s place close to the top of the list.
The emotional angst in this one is far superior to Far from Home because in Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker is all alone. The weight of the world is squarely on his shoulders alone. He has no Nick Fury or Happy Hogan to guide him through the treachery of existence. This is the loneliest we may ever see Peter Parker on screen again but also the most emotional growth we will see.
When the trailers for this one came out, I will be honest with you, I was experiencing a little bit of Spider-Man fatigue. I could not believe that we were getting a fourth cinematic reincarnation of this same character. I went into the film not really knowing what to expect, and what I discovered was my favorite Spider-Man movie of all time.
This film juggled so many time lines, villains, and convoluted ideas so well and turned them all into a masterpiece that satisfied my 13 year old self and the 33 year old me. It was truly impressive to have so many versions of the same character on screen doing wildly different takes of him (I will admit that I pulled my phone out during the screening just to confirm that it was Nic Cage as Spider-Man Noir) and have them all only add to an amazing Spider-Man tale. They took all of our preconceived notions of Spider-Man, turned them all on their heads, and blew us away with a great take on an already over saturated superhero. I was thoroughly impressed with them and I am looking forward to the next one.