To celebrate the major success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, here are the Spider-Man movies ranked from worst to best.
It’s been a month since No Way Home was released, and people still can’t stop talking about it. It’s now the fifth highest-ranking film. People are campaigning for it to get nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, which would be interesting if Tom Holland ends up hosting the show. Many are calling No Way Home the best MCU film and the best Spider-Man movie ever.
You’re about to find out if I agree. Here are the Spider-Man films ranked.
9. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
You know that a movie is a mess when its own director hates it. After the success and praise for Sam Raimi’s first two Spider-Man movies, fans were eager to see the third entry, especially with the promise of Venom and seeing Spidey’s dark side under symbiote influence. Unfortunately, Peter’s dark side is a smug and irritating emo jerk, which is most evident during that bizarre strut and dance sequence. And Eddie Brock/Venom ends up being the worst thing about this film due to his horrific portrayal by Topher Grace. Raimi made it clear that he didn’t care for or want Venom in the film, and he only did so at fan insistence. His lack of belief in this character is painfully obvious. Too many villains and a weak story don’t help, and the film feels like a cartoonish let-down from its predecessors.
This film was such a disaster that despite having a completed script, Spider-Man 4 was canceled and the film series was rebooted. However, recent events could be bringing that canceled project back to life.
8. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Honestly, the movie is not that bad. Garfield and Emma Stone are remarkably talented and have great chemistry here. And there are amazing fight scenes and special effects. However, the film suffers from being too long with too many villains and subplots. Dane DeHaan’s performance as Harry Osborn/Green Goblin isn’t necessarily bad, but this version of Harry is void of depth and rushes into villainy out of nowhere. The iconic Sally Field does what she can as Aunt May, but the fact that she hated making these films is very clear in her performance. On the plus side, Jamie Foxx does a pretty good job as Electro, and the film does enough to make a tragic climax pretty gut-wrenching.
The film is entertaining and it could have been a setup for something great had the next film not been canceled. Although maybe it isn’t too late.
7. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
This movie doesn’t get enough love. Tobey Maguire fans were already prepared to pounce, unable to accept anyone other than Magure as Peter Parker. And that’s a shame considering that there are many ways Andrew Garfield’s version of Spider-Man is better than Maguire’s. This version is a lot funnier, incorporating the quips and jokes that are in line with the Spider-Man of the comics. Garfield also does a great job portraying Peter Parker as the brainy but still reckless teen, which is remarkable considering he was in his late 20s when he made this film. And his romance with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy is much more interesting and compelling than the romance between Peter and Mary Jane in Raimi’s trilogy. The story leaves a little to be desired, but it’s still very entertaining and it made me excited for what the reboot series had in store. Sadly the reboot was cut short. But again, there is a chance for it to receive new life.
6. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Far From Home was the first film to start off after the wild events of Avengers: Endgame, and that is definitely a hard one to follow. Yet the movie pulls it off. There are incredible special effects and fight scenes, Jake Gyllenhaal delivers as Mysterio, and Tom Holland continues to shine as the naive but heroic teenage version of Peter Parker. Would I have liked to see more of the characters adjusting to a post-blip world? Sure. Would I have liked to see more of Peter coping with losing his mentor Tony Stark? Yes. But the film is still fun and entertaining for what it is.
5. Spider-Man (2002)
The film that started the franchise(s) as we know it. The studio was initially skeptical about casting Tobey Maguire as the titular hero as he wasn’t known for starring in action films. But Raimi wanted him from the start, and we couldn’t be more grateful. While he doesn’t have as much of the classic Spidey humor as Garfield and Holland have, he does have a few funny moments. Maguire also does a great job showing Peter’s emotional side as he is scarred by the loss of his parents and then has to deal with his uncle’s murder. Willem Dafoe also does an amazing job portraying the internal battle Norman Osborn is dealing with as he battles the wicked alternate personality of the Green Goblin. While I am one of the many who felt that the film never really creates much chemistry between Peter and Mary Jane, this is still a solid superhero movie.
4. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Tom Holland’s first time as the center of attention was a great way for us to get to know this new version of Peter Parker. This stereotypically teenage version of the character is still overly excitable and not fully grasping the “great responsibility” part of his powers. This causes him to make a plethora of reckless choices that land him in hot water more than once. While that could make the character annoying, the reality is the character is more realistic and relatable. While he doesn’t always make the best choices, this young Peter is still well-intentioned and is slowly learning what it means to do the right thing. All-in-all though the film is just remarkably fun with great fight scenes and some great laugh-out-loud moments. Tom Holland truly showed his skill here, and this film was a good indicator of the greatness he continues to offer.
3. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
This Spider-Man movie ranked on the late Roger Ebert’s best films of 2004 list. He called this the best superhero film since 1978’s Superman and even found it worthy of the Best Picture nomination.
The 2002 film was fine, but this one took things to a whole new level. This movie features a more adult and mature Peter Parker truly having to deal with the toll of being Spider-Man while still managing his personal life. He also has to deal with the threat of Dr. Otto Octavius, a scientist who goes mad after a failed experiment fuses him to his mechanical tentacle-like arms. Alfred Molina is phenomenal as Octavius, managing to be both monstrous and menacing while still being human and sympathetic. But it’s Maguire who shines the most in this film, brilliantly portraying Peter’s struggle to want his own life while still accepting his responsibility as Spider-Man. Some still consider this to be the best of the Spider-Man movies, and they’ve got good reason to feel that way.
2. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
After having his life turned upside down by Mysterio exposing his identity, Peter Parker turns to Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to cast a spell to have his identity forgotten. But when Peter manages to cause a fluke in the spell, people from other universes who know Spider-Man’s identity start to show up and cause issues, including some previously mentioned villains and… well… some previously mentioned Spider-Men (at this point we all know).
There probably wasn’t a theater in the world where the audiences didn’t go wild when Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield showed up and reprised their versions of Peter Parker. Seeing the hilarious chemistry between the three Peters as they work together is entertainment you can only see to believe. Both former Spider-Men actors remind us what made them great and unique, with Garfield getting more honor here than he did in either of his previous Spider-Man movies. But it’s Tom Holland who really shines here more than he has before, portraying Peter as he finally begins to understand that with “great power comes great responsibility.” This film is the beginning of Holland leaving teenage Peter realizing what it actually means to be Spider-Man. All of this along with great supporting performances and stellar fight scenes make this the best live-action Spider-Man movies as well as one of the top five MCU films in our rank.
1. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)
No Way Home came close, but this animated film is tough to beat. In another storyline involving alternate universes, teenager Miles Morales is bitten by a radioactive spider and develops spider-like abilities similar to those of Spider-Man. When a tragedy motivates him to become the new Spider-Man, he ends up encountering parallel versions of Spider-Man (i.e. an overweight Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman, Spider-Man Noir, Peni Parker, and Spider-Ham). They all join forces to battle the villain Kingpin while simultaneously trying to return to their respective universes.
This is a plot that could have meant disaster, and yet it works perfectly. It’s a beautiful blend of action, emotion, and silly humor all perfectly delivered in a film with a beautiful mix of computer animation with a hand-drawn urban comic look. This Spider-Man movie ranked on may year-end top ten lists, won the Best Animated Feature Oscar, and has inspired a two-part sequel is on the way with part one coming on October 7, 2022. It’s the boldest and daring of the films on this list, and it’s absolutely the very best.
So that’s all the Spider-Man movies ranked. Do you agree with the list? Which Spider-Man movie is your favorite? Talk to us on The Nerd Stash page on Facebook or @TheNerdStash on Twitter.