All The Spider-Man Films RANKED from Worst to Best.
It’s no mistake that the character of Spider-Man has had his ups and downs on the silver screen. The original Sam Raimi Spider-Man could be argued to be the start of the superhero movie phenomena that has transpired in today’s massive market of the genre. With Spider-Man: Homecoming fresh in my mind, I wanted to go over all of the Spider-Man standalone movies thus far and share my thoughts on each one. This isn’t a definitive list by any means, just my pure, unbiased and subjective opinion on all six films based on my enjoyment, for better or worse.
#6 The Amazing Spider-Man
On its own, Marc Webb’s first The Amazing Spider-Man film is fairly decent, that is if the Sam Raimi trilogy wasn’t still so fresh in our subconscious. The first Amazing Spider-Man was more or less a scene-by-scene recreation of the Spider-Man film from 2002, only with very slight differences. The differences were few and far between, offer little backstory involving Peters’s parents, and their involvement in Oscorp and wasted talent in having Rhys Ifans play Curt Connors (The Lizard).
The best thing I can say about The Amazing Spider-Man is the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone (playing Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, respectfully). Mark Webb has proven he has a knack for romantic storytelling, which was apparent in his indie hit 500 Days of Summer. Peter and Gwen’s relationship, even though it did happen quite fast, came off as cute and real. Garfield and Stone do the best they can with the material they were given, making the best part of this unnecessary Spidey reboot.
#5 Spider-Man 3
We all knew this train wreck was coming, the abysmal letdown that was Spider-Man 3. Expectations were of course at an all-time high for the 3rd entry in the Sam Raimi trilogy. The promotion was exceptional, teasing a “darker” Spider-Man with an all-new black suit. While we did get that, (sort of) it was completely mishandled and rushed, much like the film itself. It’s hard to blame Raimi for the film’s faults really, considering how open he’s been about the studio interfering too much with the production of what would be his last Spider-Man movie.
What hasn’t already been said about Spider-Man 3? The tone is inconsistent, and there are way too many villains in an overstuffed plot that makes little sense, and of course, “Emo Peter Parker.” It’s a shame too because Thomas Haden Church’s “Sandman” was given an effective introduction and backstory, only to be foiled by comic book villain cliches. So much potential that was executed lazily, making this Spidey series come to my fortune end.
#4 The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Most would call The Amazing Spider-Man 2 the weakest entry out of the six Spidey movies, to which I respectfully disagree. Poorly written villains aside, there’s some stuff to enjoy in Mark Webb’s sequel. For one, this is the best onscreen Spider-Man suit that’s graced our cinematic presence so far. The action sequences are fun, especially the unique Times Square sequences showing off how Peters’s Spidey Senses work when necessary.
Also, the acting once again between Garfield and Stone is top notch, almost too good for this movie. Also, the Gwen Stacy death scene (spoilers) was handled extremely well, even though the death came to a movie too early, in my opinion, making the emotional weight of the scene less. However, there’s still Paul Giamatti running around with a terrible accent, and Jaime Foxx being laughably terrible as Electro.
#3 Spider-Man: Homecoming
With Spider-Man: Homecoming still so fresh in my mind, I can honestly say that its good, very good in fact. However, it falls just short of being great. If I had to describe Spider-Man: Homecoming in one word, it would be entertaining. This is not an insult to the film, rather a compliment, and a refreshing one at that. With the genre, even in the Marvel universe becoming quite dark, it’s quite nice to see one of these big tent-pole superhero blockbusters revolve around a sophomore in high school. And you know what? He spoke like a 15-year-old! Shocking, I know.
Tom Holland is pitch perfect as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. His awkwardness, arrogance and genuine desire to help others are executed superbly due to Holland’s natural portrayal of the title character. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 is still my favorite Spidey movie to date, but no one can argue that Tom Holland is Peter Parker through and through. There’s a pureness to watching him make tough decisions as in, ‘Should I go to the high school dance? Or ‘Stop at giant flying vulture thing.’ Yes, it may be a bit more of a homage to John Hughes than one would expect, but it worked for me.
The one that started it all, the first Spider-Man movie from director Sam Raimi. Not only was this the start of the Spider-Man franchise, but the superhero movie sensation that has all but taken over mainstream cinema. Tobey Maguire may not look like a high school student, but he acts as if Peter Parker is his true identity. His lack of charm, awkwardness and smarts are never overbearing, making his character likable from the start. The story points that are now tired out (Spider bite, Uncle Ben’s death etc.) were huge plot points that non-fans simply didn’t expect.
There’s also the iconic Green Goblin, portrayed here by the brilliant Willem Dafoe. His Harry Osborne is terrifying, insane and even empathetic, making for one of the best comic book movie villains to ever be portrayed on screen. The film also ends on a not so happy note, which was highly ambitious at the time. The stakes were real, the web slinging was incredibly fun and it has been cemented as “the beginning of an era.”
#1 Spider-Man 2
Not only is Spider-Man 2 the best Spider-Man film, it’s one of the best superhero movies of all time. Sam Raimi took everything that worked about its predecessor and improved on it tenfold. The story revolving around Peter Parker struggling to be or not to be Spider-Man is a perfect story arch for Peters development. Throw in some relationship problems with Mary Jane, as well as the great Alfred Molina playing Doctor Occtaviois in one of the best comic book movie performances of all time.
The emotional moments blended with some of the best superhero action to this day makes for a truly timeless experience. Also, how about that pitch-perfect train sequence, showcasing what acts of heroism Peter will go through to save innocent people. The reaction on the civilians faces, seeing that Spider-Man is actually “just a kid” is so powerful and touching you can’t help but feel the butterflies in your stomach. Spider-Man 2 is the definition of the perfect superhero movie.
Also, you know you love that Dashboard Confessional song.
What are your top Spider-Man films? Do you agree, disagree, indifferent? Start a discussion below!