It is safe to say that he is one of the most beloved members of the Marvel Comics Universe. The good news for Spider-man fans is that they never have to wait long for a new movie to come out. With Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse hitting the cinemas in June 2023, there’s no doubt this highly anticipated animated movie will be yet another hit – considering the success of the previous animated version.
The first of nine full-length Spider-Man films was released in 2002, after numerous attempts on small screens, both live-action and animated, during the 1970s and 80s. Despite several reboots, cast changes, and spinoffs, the Spider-Man franchise has produced some of the best superhero films ever made.
As fans eagerly await what is sure to be a summer blockbuster, we rank all of the previous nine Spider-Man films (not including the made-for-tv movies or spinoffs).
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Spider-Man 3 had the potential to be so positive but failed to do so. An alien symbiote, the Green Goblin, and the Sandman. If you are a fan of a darker, cockier side of Tobey McGuire with a lame haircut and even worse dance moves, then this movie is for you. Unfortunately, the final movie of the first trilogy ended on a negative note as various subplots and confusion overloaded Sam Raimi’s final film of the franchise.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
More isn’t always better when it comes to superheroes and their villains. While the intention behind having the Green Goblin, Electro, and Rhino all in the same movie was to build up to a Sinister Six spinoff, the overload of bad guys made the film seem campy. Whether you liked the Andrew Garfield/Emma Stone partnership or not, the pair seemed to generally enjoy working with each other, made easier considering they were dating in real life.
Sadly, this would be the last fans see of Garfield in a Spider-Man suit until 2021. Although the action sequences were on point, the number of quips from our favorite webhead seemed more than needed.
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Despite its pros and cons, Spider-Man 3 made a ton of money at the box office, leading to the obvious chatter of a fourth installment. With all of the main cast and crew set in place, director Sam Raimi would pull out of the project, leading others to follow. Enter Marc Webb, Andrew Garfield, and Emma Stone.
Webb’s reboot slightly remixed the story of how Parker became Spider-Man, as the tale had already been told by both the Marvel comics and Raimi. Unfortunately, this handcuffed Webb, making some of the film seem unfocused and a bit far-fetched for long-time Spidey fans. While some of the backstories may not have been appealing, the action sequences flowed amazingly. Unlike Raimi’s original version, Webb’s take on Spider-Man, especially when it came to Uncle Ben, seemed a little darker and edgier.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Unfortunately for Peter and his classmates, their trip to Europe would be disrupted by Nick Fury and Mysterio. Far From Home, which takes place following Avengers: Endgame, finds Parker taking on a group of interdimensional bad guys known as the Elementals without the guidance of his mentor, Tony Stark. Speaking of Iron Man, Marvel seems set on creating stories about Spider-Man, a traditional solo hero, as a component that relies on the assistance of the Avengers.
Juggling his superhero world with his teenage obligations and relationships, Far From Home takes fans on the roller coaster ride that Parker has to endure each and every day. Fun fact, Far From Home is the first live-action Spider-Man movie that takes place predominantly outside of New York City.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
In most people’s opinion, Tom Holland knocked it out of the park in his first Spider-Man flick. As a younger version of Peter Parker, Holland does well in the third version of the Spider-Man origin movie. Putting aside the fact that he is secretly Batman, Michael Keaton does a great job in his role as the Vulture, as does Zendaya in her part as MJ.
Younger than both Maguire and Garfield, Holland’s boyish, bubbly, over-eager take on Parker gives a more lighthearted feel. Whereas Maguire felt too old and Garfield too depressed, Holland seems to nail the role perfectly.
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Whether you are Team Maguire, Team Garfield, or Team Holland, the third installment of the most recent Spider-Man trilogy has something for everyone as it features all three leading actors playing their most famous role.
Filled with a who’s who of all previous Spider-Man movies, No Way Home was a movie that almost didn’t happen as Sony and Marvel squabbled about various issues. Thankfully, all of that drama was squashed as it would go on to become the sixth highest-grossing film of all time, raking in $1.92 billion at the box office.
Filled with all of the one-liners, relationships, and action sequences that one has come to expect from a Spider-Man movie, No Way Home takes fans on a trip through the multiverse and yet leaves fans to continue the friendly argument of which version of Spider-Man is better.
Arguably one of the most important superhero movies ever, the original Spider-Man movie tells the story of Peter Parker dealing with the loss of his uncle, juggling his friendships, balancing his academics, and getting bit by a radioactive spider. William Dafoe does a great job playing the Green Goblin / Norman Osborn, as does Tobey Maguire playing Parker.
From the infamous “spider-kiss” and J.K. Simmons’ portrayal of J. Jonah Jameson to Parker’s first web swing, there are so many things to love about Sam Raimi’s first crack at Spider-Man. Sure there are a few things that one might argue about, such as Spider-Man’s webbing or some of the extra corny one-liners, but those are just tiny, irrelevant points in the grand scheme of the superhero movie universe.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
It’s rare that a sequel is better than the original, unless you are talking about Star Wars New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. The same can be said for the second Spider-Man film. However, ranking the Spider-Man movies is similar to ranking the best online lottery sites – everyone has their own preference.
As good as Tobey Maguire was, Alfred Molina stole the show with his performance as Doctor Octopus. In one of the most iconic hero/villain fight scenes of all time, Spider-Man’s train battle with Doc Ock is filled with action, drama, and emotion, leaving the audience on the edge of their seat and cheering for the troubled hero.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Whereas Spider-Man might be the most important movie ever made, Into The Spider-Verse might be the best. Filled with the right amount of action, drama, and humor to keep fans of all ages entertained, the fast-paced animated flick might have been one of those movies you were skeptical about going to, but when you left the theatre, you wanted to watch it over and over again.
Capturing the true spirit of Spider-Man comics, Into The Spider-Verse introduces fans to Miles Morales and a universe full of other “Spiders”. If directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson can match the greatness that Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman created, with the 2023 and 2024 sequels around the corner, the Spider-Man fans are in for a real treat.
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