Spider-Man could be considered one of the survivors of the 2000 superhero movie era, having a full trilogy before Tony Stark announced “I am Iron Man” and having another in the works when the Avengers assembled on the silver screen. It was quite a big deal at a time when most Marvel superheroes had barely managed to get a sequel at all, let alone two that weren’t entirely a mess.
And then there was Andrew Garfield’s rendition of the character in not one, but two blockbusters, and later the MCU even gave us their take on Peter Parker. Let’s not forget 2018’s Into the Spider-Verse which put a whole new spin on the Marvel character.
Other than DC’s Batman, the web-crawler is after-all, one of the only superheroes to have several movies and a saga dedicated to him. But which one is best? And which film gets the thumbs down? Here’s our take on all 8 Spider-Man movies ranked from worst to best…
8. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
This was a rather sorry case of “what do we do next?” and Sony very clearly suffering from the need to hold on to the Spider-Man license. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 teased us with appearances of Rhino and Green Goblin, but the crux of the story unfortunately revolved around Electro.
The movie’s other issue was its focus on Peter Parker’s parents – something that didn’t feel right for a Spider-Man story, as Pete’s sense of place largely comes more from his aunt and uncle than any super-parentage. Like its prequel, the ‘parent’ storyline seemed a strange distraction from the main story, with this one interspersing the standard stuff with something out of James Bond or Mission Impossible. Unfortunately, we have no choice but to rank The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as the worst Spider-Man movie.
7. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Say what you will about the whole “Emo-Peter-acting-cool” section of Spider-Man 3, at least it was still “Peter Parker” to an extent. The Amazing Spider-Man gave us a Peter who’s a misunderstood nerdy outcast that looks and talks better than some male models.
The entire first act, where he becomes Spider-Man to hunt down the man responsible for Ben’s death was so out of character, we were unsure if there was someone completely different under the mask. To get Peter so wrong was inexcusable. One might’ve mistaken him for a bland pretty boy without the mask and a total jerk with it.
6. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
There must be a curse with the third part of trilogies. Coming off an impressive part two, Spider-Man 3 attempted not to crash, but unfortunately it very much collided – into 6th place in our ranking. While an effort was made to replicate the 1988 “Venom” arc (and the Spider-Man animated arc “The Alien Costume”), the uncertainty in where to go left us with a movie that ultimately, went nowhere.
We got Peter, possessed by an entity that feeds on his aggression, encouraging him to act how a stereotypical nerd thinks a cool person should – very cringe. Venom was one of the more hotly anticipated inclusions of the Web-Head’s rogues gallery, but what we got from this movie was rather underwhelming. A small thing that was worlds away from the Venom presented more recently by Tom Hardy.
5. Spider-Man (2002)
Coming out during the tail-end of the Dark Age of Superhero Movies, Sam Raimi created a decent beginner’s guide to Spider-Man with this one. With reflection from later years, it’s a shame they didn’t go with a more classic look for the Green Goblin as they got his personality just about right. But at the same time, it might have sent what was mostly a decent tone-down of superhero movies right back into 90’s absurdity.
It wasn’t quite perfect, although Tobey Maguire’s mannerisms were decent for the mild-mannered Peter Parker. It was after all, enjoyable to get a very timid and mild-mannered Spider.
4. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
It looked as though Spider-Man movies were starting to hit their stride with this one. Doctor Octopus was genuinely menacing and terrifying at times. His relationship with his tendrils provided an interesting beastmaster-vibe which added to the sense of a once-distinguished man falling from grace and into vice.
This instalment explored Peter’s character more than any other Spidey movie (until Homecoming). Peter had to juggle his work at the Bugle and his part-time delivery job with is demanding romantic, school and superhero life. The way Peter was “encouraged” to become Spider-Man again was very much something out of the comics. As Pete’s greatest weakness is sometimes his sense of responsibility, more often, it’s a very serious case of chronic bad luck. Only Peter Parker would be called just after getting his life back on track from dropping his Spidey responsibilities.
3. Spider-Man Homecoming (2017)
Tom Holland was able to manage what previous actors did not and that was get both Peter Parker and Spider-Man right. Peter is meek and shy while Spider-Man is brash, loud and sarcastic. Fans felt like they were truly watching their fave hero come straight out of the comic books.
While this entry did not include the Spider-Man staple of Uncle Ben’s death, this was to the movie’s benefit as it gave viewers far more time to see Peter live his dual life as a schoolboy by day and neighbourhood watch by night. And let’s not forget – Homecoming gave us an amazing Adrian Toomes, who was nothing short of chilling whenever he was the Vulture.
2. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
It’s not everyday a sequel is better than its predecessor – most follow-up films result in bad movie sequels – but that’s very much not the case with Far From Home. The high-grossing movie did well after having to pick up the pieces from the dramatic events of Infinity War and Endgame.
Though trying to keep up with the life of a teen (falling for girls, travelling the world and all), Spider-Man managed to maintain his superhero persona in this action-packed Marvel masterpiece. The humor was on point, more so than Homecoming, the visuals were spectacular and performances from the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal and Samuel L. Jackson have elevated this movie to second-best out of the web-crawler’s bunch.
1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
No matter how much live-action you have, sometimes an animation is all you need. No one expected Into the Spider-Verse to be the triumphant showpiece that it was. Mirroring comic books to a T with graphics that (were Oscar-winning) wowed the eyes, this animated blockbuster undoubtedly deserves top spot in our ranking of Spider-Man movies.
A breath of fresh air in the Marvel Universe, this touching, yet modern take on the iconic character will go down in history as the best Spider-Man movie to date.
It’s safe to say Spidey has had a few blockbuster stinkers. No wonder they say the MCU do it best. Is this a fair assessment? Where might you rank the Spider-Man movies? Until next time, True Believers!
Are you a huge fan of these Spidey-movies? Next time you binge through them, keep your eyes peeled for hidden Spider-Man Easter Eggs – they’re scattered in all 8 movies!