It truly is astonishing how many Spider-Man movies we’ve had since the wallcrawling crime fighter debuted in August of 1962. With 10 theatrical released films, in both live-action and animation, each entry has shown us that the friendly neighborhood webhead does whatever a spider can. Whether he (or she) is hailing from New York, India, or even a world where all the Marvel characters are anthropomorphic versions of themselves, each entry fantastic job of giving us a version of Spidey that each of us can hang onto.

Much like Batman and Superman, fans of Spider-Man are often quick to defend their favorite adaptation of New York’s favorite hero. While I can honestly say there isn’t a horrible Spider-Man movie, there are some I like more than others, and I want it to be known that this list is my honest thoughts on each entry at the end of the day.

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Far From Home

Tom Holland’s second full outing as Spider-Man gave us him and his friends going on a field trip as Peter tries to balance life as a student and hero, and impress a girl, all while trying to get out of the shadow of Tony Stark. Oh, and he faces a wronged Stark employee…again. Yeah, it’s the same plot as Homecoming.

Don’t get me wrong, Far From Home is a fine movie, but it’s certainly not a good Spider-Man movie as the MCU largely gets the character wrong on so many levels. Removing Ben Parker for Tony Stark completely butchers Peter’s motivation as a character and simply doesn’t make him interesting. Every iteration of Spider-Man has done things differently but at its core, the character and his motivation have never changed.

This movie’s only saving grace for me is Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio. From a filmmaking standpoint, I did like how the movie portrayed Mysterio and how he used his tech. Seeing all of that unfold was truly magical to watch. However, making Mysterio another Stark employee who got mad at Stark was not impressive.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2016)

Homecoming

Tom Holland’s first big outing as Spider-Man was a treat as he gave Peter Parker a brand-new youthfulness that we had never seen in the previous two entries. Holland, who was 19 when he first booked the role as Spidey is the youngest actor to portray the character on film. While Holland is a great actor starring in movies with very mature roles like The Impossible and In the Heart of The Sea, MCU’s first Spidey film was a huge miss for me.

Spider-Man: Homecoming often feels much more like a kid’s movie than its predecessors and while that is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s something that stood out the most with the MCU’s Spidey. It’s the first movie where we see these characters in high school often taking cues from John Hughes movies. Though my biggest complaint about this movie is the over-reliance on Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark helping Peter be Spider-Man, which also made this movie feel more like Iron Man: Featuring Spider-Man, I just wasn’t a fan.

Peter Parker is a broke kid from Queens, he struggles to get by and creates his technology to do his Spidey duty. That is what makes him relatable. He struggles. Throwing Stark in there takes away that struggle that makes Peter Parker who he is, the humble hero. Tony Stark is the last guy Peter would rely on or get help from as he has a fond distaste for characters like Stark.

Homecoming is an entertaining movie, but it’s one of the movies that doesn’t get who Spider-Man is as a character in the important places…and then does in others.

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Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Dual Identity

It’s wild to think that I can remember seeing trailers for this movie and getting so excited about it, and then I go to see it, and I’m just disappointed. There’s no denying that this movie was the weakest of the three Raimi Spider-Man movies, though most of the blame goes to the producers for overcrowding the script. Though I rewatched it recently, and it’s better than I remember.

Sure, Parker infected with the symbiote was dorkier than it was threatening, but there’s a lot about this movie that gets judged too harshly. Raimi’s trilogy has great character-driven scenes, scenes where the camera just stays or slowly lingers as it focuses on a certain character, which was pretty unheard of for comic book movies at the time. These are supposed to be “fun and dumb” flicks after all, but with the right director, they can be great character studies.

Thomas Haden Church’s Sandman is hauntingly sincere and the scene when his molecules are destabilized and he’s trying to re-solidify to grab his daughter’s necklace is so damn beautiful. Though it is the weakest of the three, there is a lot to enjoy in this one.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

TASM 2

I truly love this movie. With all of its negatives, I see something beautiful. The dynamic between Garfield and Stone as Peter and Gwen are unmatched to this day. Their chemistry is perfect for their characters.

Though, with its perfections, the movie does have its imperfections. Like Raimi’s third film, Marc Webb’s 2nd entry in his duology gave us an overstuffed feature that tried to cram the Sinister Six without really giving us a taste of the Sinister Six. However, I will say everyone wonderfully acts this movie. Foxx’s Electro is the typical nerd-turned-villain (thanks, Catwoman) and he works much better as Electro than he ever did as Max Dillon.

Built upon the grounds of Garfield’s first movie, TASM2 capitalized on the conspiracy theories behind Peter’s parents’ disappearance. Many fans thought Webb would go the route where Peter’s parents were SHIELD agents, though we may never know what happened as director Marc Webb never got a third outing for his Spider-Man to play in.

If fans want a good taste and tease at what could have been, look up the original ending to this movie and you’ll be surprised. I do want to add that I think this movie could benefit from a director’s cut since there are scenes of Peter meeting Mary Jane, played by Shailene Woodley, and several other scenes left out of the movie that add a lot of depth to the film.

Spider-Man (2002)

Maguire Spidey

Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man film gave us a hero who has become a household name. Everyone knows who Spider-Man is, and it’s mostly thanks to Sam Raimi. After being in development hell for decades and passing from one studio to another, James Cameron owned the rights at one point, the rights landed at Sony and they hired Sam Raimi to make a movie, and honestly he did a great job.

Spider-Man, along with Bryan Singer’s X-Men, helped put Marvel in the eyes of every household and showed that comic book movies don’t have to be corny or sell toys (looking at you, Batman & Robin). Raimi gave what felt like a filmmaker’s vision of Spider-Man.

As I mentioned earlier, throughout Raimi’s trilogy we see the camera stay on characters in certain scenes and lets us live in that scene before we move on to the next one. It’s not snappy like most films are made now, Raimi lets the camera breathe as we take in the moment to see what the characters are thinking. This movie also gave us the perfect J. Jonah Jameson and no one can play him better than J.K. Simmons.

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Spider-Pals!

For years, Spidey fans have been wanting Miles Morales to get his spotlight on the silver screen, and while it’s not exactly what fans have been wanting, Into the Spider-Verse is easily a fun movie that also acts as an origin story for Miles Morales and introduces him to the general audience.

Echoing more of a comic book art style than a typical animated feature, for its runtime Into the Spider-Verse breathes life into a new yet beautiful and creative way of telling animated features. Into the Spider-Verse tells an original story that gives us not just one or two Spider-Men, but six different Spider-pals.

This coming-of-age spider saga is one of the most touching tales in the webhead’s history on film and Shameik Moore as Miles Morales is a perfect casting as well as Jake Johnson as Peter B. Parker and the rest of the supporting cast does just as great job as the others.

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Thwip

Spider-Man 2 is arguably one of the best comic book movies ever made. It shows how miserable Peter is at being a superhero and he’s just not enjoying life as he’s barely making it by just as Peter Parker. Peter Parker is a young man with real-world problems, which is what makes Peter Parker so relatable to audiences in the first place.

His problems are real problems everyone faces in life. In Spider-Man 2, Peter goes through this dilemma of his powers working and not working and realizes he’s happier without them and puts the suit up. He quits, though after realizing there’s a new threat, he overcomes his anxiety and finds a new outlook on his life both as the man and the hero.

The chemistry between Maguire and Dunst as Peter and MJ is also at its most interesting here. Combine that with Harry, Peter’s best friend played by James Franco, introducing him to Dr. Otto Octavius and we get some of the best dialogue we’ll see in this trilogy as well as some of the most visceral fight scenes in a comic book movie.

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Tom Holland

As much disdain as I have for Tom Holland’s first two Spidey features, I thoroughly love No Way Home and it’s everything I wanted from his Peter Parker. After Disney and Sony split due to creative differences, they quickly made up and gave us this heartbreaking tale of Holland’s Spider-Man and it is hands down the best Spidey film the MCU has to offer.

I remember the months leading up to this movie, the entire advertising was just poorly handled. From actors poorly lying about their involvement to lazily edited trailers that showed our villains kicking at invisible characters. Even though we all knew what to expect, I was so pleased with this movie.

No Way Home took Pete to extremes he had never been to before. It takes a little while to get there, but once you get past the first half of the movie, we get some conflict and stakes that were pretty heavy for a franchise that I stated was too “kid-friendly” in its first two entries. We get some heavy emotional beats from not just Tom Holland but from Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as their versions of the character.

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The state of Spider-Man in the MCU is unknown, but if this is what we’ll get from here on out, I’ll be sure to be first in line to see it unfold.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Andrew Garfield

Garfield’s first entry into the Spider-World is easily one of my favorites. I know I’m in the minority on that, but you can’t have No Way Home without his Spider-Man just as much as you can’t have No Way Home without Maguire’s.

The Amazing Spider-Man promised to tell the tale we’ve never heard about Peter’s parents. As I mentioned earlier, many fans thought they would bring up that they were SHIELD agents, but nothing ever came of that. The movie was just a rehash of the typical origin story. Thanks to Nolan’s Batman trilogy, studios wanted to do their own “dark” take on characters and Spider-Man was one of them.

Garfield’s passion for the character bled on screen and it showed in every fiber of his being. His Spider-Man is the best live-action version of the character, I just wish he got a third film to spread his web wings in. What’s wild to think about, is Sony tried to make a deal with Disney to include the Avengers Tower in this movie and Disney backed out. So, this Spider-Man was almost included in the MCU, it would’ve been wild to see the acting caliber of Garfield amongst others in the MCU.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)

Across the Spider-Verse

It’s pretty often when sequels don’t live up to expectations, while Into the Spider-Verse was a great movie and very fun, many thought it would be hard to beat that movie. Well, along came a team of spider-pals, and we have what’s hands down the best Spider-Man film of all.

Across the Spider-Verse takes every idea introduced in its predecessor and doubles down on all of it. Stunning voice cast? Check. Great visuals? Check. Easter Egg Galore? Check. This movie is a treat to watch but also tells a wonderful story as Miles tries to balance his life while spending quality time with his family and Gwen Stacey with her father. We also get some great screen time with Spider-Man: India and a few teases from other Spider-Men that have shown up in other forms of media such as Insomniac Games Spider-Man voiced by Yuri Lowenthal and cartoons.

Sure, this movie abruptly ends and no one expected that. I remember sitting in the theater as the final minutes were unfolding and when the screen went to black and credits started to roll, I just thought “That’s it?!” Little did I know I was already in the theatre for nearly three hours. I wasn’t mad, I wanted more. I would have gladly stayed in the seat and watched another three hours for it to finish the trilogy.

That’s my ranking of the Spider-Man films! I am a huge Spider-Man fan and I can’t wait for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 to come out. I may just watch some of these movies all over again just to hold me over.

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