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Spider-Man: Every Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

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Spider-Man: Every Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

There have been no less than eight Spider-Man movies over the last two decades, including two reboots and one animated adventure. While the wallcrawlers big-screen adventures might occasionally have been tainted by corporate overreach and the dazzling promise of Aunt May spinoff movies, the vast majority of Spidey flicks are, in fact, really rather good. Some of them are even excellent.

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So fill up those webshooters (none of that organic muck here) and join me as we rank every Spider-Man movie from the absolute worst to the very best.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 / Credit: Sony
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 / Credit: Sony
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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a prime example of what happens when a studio interferes too much with a movie. Sony was far too obsessed with setting up a handful of other spinoff movies and establishing its very own Spider-Man cinematic universe that it forgot to let director Marc Webb tell anything close to a coherent story.

Of course the silver lining to this disaster is that Sony screwed the pooch so hard that it ultimately struck a deal with Marvel to get Spider-Man into the MCU and breathe new life into the character. Still, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Jamie Foxx were utterly wasted in an overcrowded hard-to-follow mess. If only a previous Spider-Man film could have taught them less was more...

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

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Spider-Man 3 / Credit: Sony
Spider-Man 3 / Credit: Sony

The final film in Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man trilogy should have been great. The spectre of Willem Dafoe's Norman Osborn manipulates his son Harry into becoming the new Green Goblin, forcing Peter to battle with his oldest and dearest friend.

Except Sandman is also here for some reason. And look! It turns out he killed Uncle Ben in what can only be described as a horse pill-sized contrivance. Oh, and Venom (played by Topher Grace for reasons I'll never comprehend) is here too because Sony said it was time, I guess. Spider-Man 3 tries to do too much, and doesn't really do any of it well.

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The Amazing Spider-Man (2011)

The Amazing Spider-Man / Credit: Sony
The Amazing Spider-Man / Credit: Sony

In 2011 Sony decided on a new Spider-Man for a new generation. Dorky and shy Tobey Maguire Peter Parker was replaced with Andrew Garfield's edgy skateboarding asshole Peter Parker in a high school-focused reboot with added daddy issues.

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I maintain there's a lot to love about this film. Andrew Garfield was a great choice for Spider-Man, even if his cockier take on the character can be a little hard to swallow sometimes. Emma Stone is also wonderful as Gwen Stacey - though that's hardly a surprise given Emma Stone is wonderful in everything. But the little things grate after a while.

Uncle Ben literally dies because Peter is having a tantrum over chocolate milk. A supposed genius, Peter demonstrates his lack of critical thinking skills when he takes a camera that says "property of Peter Parker" with him on a Spider-Man mission. Oh, and he uses Bing. Nobody uses Bing, Sony.

Spider-Man (2002)

Spider-Man / Credit: Sony
Spider-Man / Credit: Sony

The original Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie hasn't aged brilliantly. Even so, it remains a sweet, funny, thrilling cinematic introduction to an iconic superhero. Tobey Maguire embodies Peter Parker within minutes: all full of nervous energy and wrestling with the reality of juggling great power and all the responsibility that comes with it. By the end of the movie, it's pretty clear: Spider-Man can win, but that means Peter Parker will almost always lose.

Elsewhere, Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin is let down by a power ranger suit and some batshit crazy monologues (that rooftop scene is awful), but damn if he isn't utterly terrifying as he speeds around on his glider cackling and blowing up rich people. Oh, and whoever cast J.K Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson needs a Nobel Prize.

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Spider-Man: Far From Home / Credit: Sony
Spider-Man: Far From Home / Credit: Sony

Taking Spider-Man out of New York always feels strange to me, but Far From Home ends up being a delightful holiday adventure with relatively low-stakes - a much-needed change of pace after Avengers: Endgame blew everything up and put it back together again. Peter and the gang hit the road in a movie where, for the most part, they're just allowed to be kids and have fun. I might not want that from every Spidey movie, but I loved it in this one.

And while anyone with a passing knowledge of Spider-Man comics will have been expecting the big Mysterio reveal, the way in which Jake Gyllenhall's fishbowl-headed fiend switches from brooding hero to hammy supervillain is an absolute delight. What's more, his psychedelic illusions make for some of the most visually arresting sequences in any live-action Spider-Man film to date. No doubt No Way Home will try and top that.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man: Homecoming / Credit: Sony
Spider-Man: Homecoming / Credit: Sony

Fresh from his MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland appeared in his very first solo outing as the webhead - proving in the process that he might just be the best fit for the character yet.

Maguire was a perfect Peter Parker, while I preferred Garfield when he had the mask on. Holland shines as both Peter and his spidery alter ego! He's an awkward nerd with a massive heart in and out of costume. But more importantly, Tom Holland's Spider-Man finally nails the one aspect of the character I feel the previous movies never got quite right: he never, ever, ever shuts up.

I know a lot of fans hate the fact that Homecoming paints Peter as too reliant on and in awe of Tony Stark, but in the context of the MCU? I kind of love it. This version of the character is still a kid figuring things out, after all, and I'm sure we'll see him grow into a more responsible and self-assured Spider-Man as time goes on.

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man 2 / Credit: Sony
Spider-Man 2 / Credit: Sony

Spider-Man 2 isn't just the greatest live-action Spider-Man movie of them all, it's one of the very best superhero movies of all time. Sam Raimi came out swinging (heh) with a sequel that took everything that made the first film so special by diving deep into the destructive nature of the relationship between Peter Parker and Spider-Man.

The end of Spider-Man established that for Spidey to thrive, Peter needs to lose. Sure enough, Spider-Man 2 delights on tipping multiple buckets of crap on the Parker kid's head as he struggles to balance life, relationships, and work with being a costumed crimefighter. More importantly, we get to see his reasons for being Spider-Man evolve in this film. By the end he's not just doing it out of guilt for letting his Uncle Ben die - he's doing it because it's the right thing to do.

Add Alfred Molina's heartbreaking Doctor Octopus into the mix, season with a phenomenal fight scene on a speeding train, and you have pure cinematic greatness.

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

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Sequel Is On Its Way
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Sequel Is On Its Way

It couldn't be anything else really, could it? If Spider-Man 2 is Peter Parker's movie, then Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is a love letter to the many incarnations of his wall-crawling alter-ego. It's a sharply written, beautifully animated and perfectly cast meditation on what it means to be Spider-Man - on what it means to stand up and do the right thing even when you're terrified. Especially when you're terrified. Because that's what Spider-Man does every day.

The film's genius is teaching us this all-important lesson through the eyes of Miles Morales as he struggles to become his own version of Spider-Man. It's a classic coming-of-age story, really, just with more Spider-Men and Women (and pigs) than we've ever seen on screen at once. It's also quite easily the funniest Spider-Man movie by some distance, and not just because Nicolas Cage plays a melodramatic black-and-white version of Spidey that's obsessed with pain and darkness.

In a world where toxic fans scream about "SJWs" ruining comic books and movies with political correctness, Into The Spider-Verse shows us that Spider-Man doesn't belong to them. He belongs to all of us. And he can be whatever we need him to be.

Featured Image Credit: Sony

Topics: Marvel, Spider-Man

Ewan Moore
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