With the release of the highly anticipated “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” it’s time to rank all 9 Spider-Man movies from worst to best! Warning: this post contains spoilers for “Spider-Man No Way Home.”
9. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Calling this “film” a mess is beyond an understatement. The film was doomed from the beginning once Alex Kurtzman — the worst writer in the history of fiction — was hired to write the screenplay. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” feels more like a collection of boring and melodramatic short films than a real movie. The film is convoluted, incoherent, and filled with boring subplots, as the studio cared more about setting up a Sinister Six movie than making an actually enjoyable film. Plus, the villains of this film are the worst in all of the Spider-Man movies. Electro was an atrocious character who looked as laughably bad as Mr. Freeze from “Batman & Robin” — possibly even worse. Dane DeHaan’s version of Harry Osborn/Green Goblin was cringe-inducing and looked like a teenager somehow proud of his bad acne. Add to that Andrew Garfield’s terrible Brooklyn accent, the obnoxious CGI, aggressively long runtime, & corporate feel, and you get one of the worst blockbuster films in recent memory.
8. The Amazing Spider-Man
The best word to describe this movie is miserable. At its core, “The Amazing Spider-Man” is a dark, melancholy revenge film starring a man dressed as a red & blue basketball. The film’s main problem is its tone; this Spider-Man movie is one of the most depressing comic book films ever made. The film is incredibly boring as well. The plot is generic, the action scenes — which there are very few of — are forgettable, and the subplot about Peter’s parents makes this film uninteresting from the start. Also, this is the worst version of Peter Parker out of all the Spider-Man movies. His skateboarding and brooding make him seem more like a goth, edgy teenager than the lovable nerd he was created as. Peter is supposed to be an underdog who we can relate to; this film’s version is literally the opposite of everything Peter should be. People always praise the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, and while it’s definitely present in the film, it’s far too cutesy and annoying to make me care about their relationship. Overall, this is a terrible movie which is only slightly better than its sequel.
7. Spider-Man 3
While “Spider-Man 3” isn’t nearly as bad as people say, it still has a lot of problems. Starting with the positives, the action sequences are great and Sam Raimi’s direction is just as strong here as it was in the first two films. Sandman was a really compelling character who, despite the overwhelming amount of plot points, was given plenty of dramatic moments. I also love how Harry Osborn’s arc was handled; his death was satisfying and deeply emotional. Tobey Maguire was still great in the role and the chemistry between the 3 main cast members remained strong. Unfortunately, the film’s flaws overpowered its merits. Venom is one of the worst comic book movie villains of all time; Topher Grace was horribly miscast in the role and the design of Venom was unbelievably bad. It’s blatantly obvious that the symbiote plotline was forced on Raimi by the studio. Like “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” this film is convoluted and incoherent. The film has far too many subplots going on, causing the ones that are actually good to be forgotten. Upon rewatch, though, I found that this film’s most significant issue was the relationship troubles between Peter and Mary Jane. It was so forced, as both of them had to act out of character in order to push that plotline forward. The film’s main focus is really about them, and all of their scenes were insufferable and completely unsatisfying, as they undid the actually satisfying ending of “Spider-Man 2.” Again, this is not a terrible film by any means, but it’s a deeply flawed & disappointing end to Raimi’s trilogy.
6. Spider-Man: Far From Home
This is an extremely overrated movie; I’ve never understood why so many people adore it. Firstly, the film’s plot is moronic. It’s basically about some super sunglasses which Tony Stark gave to Peter, a reckless teenager who has been dead for 5 years. First of all, it’s completely out of character for Tony to have made the glasses after the events of “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Plus, it made for an incredibly boring & disappointing plot. Another issue was Mysterio, who was a completely wasted villain. He’s such an interesting and unique character in the comics, and when it was announced that world-class actor Jake Gyllenhaal was playing him, I was hyped. But in the film, he was so goofy and out-of-place, and the fact that the main villain of a movie about the most iconic Marvel character was essentially a VFX artist was ridiculous. With all that said, this film does do a lot of good. Tom Holland was once again great as Spider-Man/Peter Parker, the action sequences were riveting, most of the jokes landed, and after seeing how the MCU shows & movies after this film have handled the Blip so poorly, I appreciate that this film actually put effort into explaining things. To be honest, I find this movie to be on the same level as “Spider-Man 3,” but the critic in me knows this is technically the better film.
5. Spider-Man: No Way Home
To be clear, there’s an enormous gap in quality between this film and “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” The dilemma with “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is the contrast of how I feel about it as a critic versus how I feel about it as a fan. The critic in me recognizes the lapses in logic that infest the setup of the film which make the rest of the movie less believable. However, the fan in me doesn’t care about the flaws in its setup because the payoff is so satisfying. Peter’s arc in which he finally transitions out of Iron Boy into becoming Spider-Man is phenomenal. The performances, villains, and return of Tobey Maguire & Andrew Garfield all make this film so satisfying & fun. Unfortunately, because of all the issues with the setup, I enjoyed the film less the second time I watched it, and I fear that I’ll start to like it less and less upon each rewatch in the future. That said, this is still a solid film that delivered quality fan service.
4. Spider-Man: Homecoming
The simplicity of this film is what makes it so rewatchable and enjoyable for me. I love seeing a beginner Spider-Man figuring out how to balance his two identities and struggling to battle even weak, low-threat villains. Tom Holland instantly knew what he was doing from the get-go with this film, and he gave a great performance as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. In my opinion, Michael Keaton’s Vulture is the second-best Spider-Man movie villain (after Norman Osborn/Green Goblin). He’s easily one of the MCU’s most compelling antagonists, as he’s relatable in his motivation to simply provide for his family, yet intimidating & unpredictable at the same time. Keaton gave a fantastic performance, especially in the masterfully executed car scene in which he figures out Peter Parker’s Spider-Man. This film’s main issue is that it has the MCU’s overbearing presence weighing it down. The film’s focus on Tony Stark as a father figure to Peter is simply less interesting than Uncle Ben, and the fact that the Spider-Man costume is essentially an Iron Man suit is distracting.
3. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
This is the most unique and visually stunning Spider-Man film. The animation is gorgeous and unlike any other film, as it was designed to look just like the comic books. The low frame rate, text boxes, and use of onomatopoeia make this film feel like a comic book come to life. It was also clear that the filmmakers went into this project with a ton of passion for the Spider-Man mythology, as the film is really an exploration of what it means to be Spider-Man, not just an origin story for Miles Morales. Miles and Peter B. Parker’s relationship and character arcs are what drive the story forward and make the film so enjoyable & rewatchable. Plus, the film has Nic Cage and a cartoon pig. My only problem with the film is that it slows down in the middle and the runtime could have been trimmed down a bit.
Sam Raimi went for a classic interpretation of the character that was straight out of the iconic 1960’s comics, and it worked brilliantly. From the very beginning of the film you relate to and feel bad for Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker, who I still feel is the best Spider-Man actor. His origin isn’t brushed over like the origins in other comic book movies; his arc is given time to breathe and develop. Despite the Power Rangers costume, Green Goblin is an amazing villain; Willem Dafoe is brilliant at quickly transitioning from the feeble scientist to the proudly evil Goblin just by using his eyes, smile, and voice. This film is possibly the most iconic of all the Spider-Man movies for good reason. It’s incredibly entertaining, rewatchable, and faithful to the character. The film’s main issue is that the effects don’t hold up as well as those of the other Spider-Man films, and the Green Goblin costume is laughable at times.
1. Spider-Man 2
This comes as no surprise to anyone, but “Spider-Man 2” easily earns the number one spot. Doctor Octopus is a terrific, complex villain who you feel bad for as you watch his descent into madness. The action sequences are the best out of all the Spider-Man films, especially the train fight, which is one of the best fight scenes in comic book movie history. What makes “Spider-Man 2” stand out amongst all the other Spider-Man films, however, is what it does with the Peter Parker character. The filmmakers understood that Peter’s struggles are the foundation of what makes Spider-Man relatable and compelling, so this film continuously pounds him into the ground. He loses his job, his best friend Harry hates his alter-ego, he & his aunt are having financial troubles, his powers start to wear off, and he sees MJ get whisked away by the son of his tyrannical boss. Therefore, when he finally gets together with MJ at the end and reveals his identity to her, the film hits you with this immense feeling of satisfaction. The stakes are high, the special effects hold up, and everything about the first film is improved upon here. This is one of the greatest comic book films of all time.