All Spider-Man movies, from worst to best

It doesn’t matter that you are already an established professional, a freshly graduated student, a girl who is learning to drive a car, one of those who call Milf while pushing the stroller. A millennial, a boomer, a Gen Z, Y, whatever. When it comes to Spider-Man, there’s no age or social standing he holds. Whether our affection for the character started flipping through the pages of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s comic, or the spark struck during Tobey Maguire’s first stunts on the big screen, the result is the same: we all love the friendly Spider-Man. Neighborhood guy. And from the last Spider-Man: No Way Home of 2021 we are still at the mercy of emotion, continuing to wonder what to expect for the future of our Peter Parker. To pass the time and be prepared for the next chapter (or the next trilogy?), we have compiled a list of all the films from 2002 to today, from worst to best. Which, just like Spider-Man, gives us the impression that he has great power. But also a great responsibility.

9The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – The power of Electro (2014) by Marc Webb

With all due respect to fans of Jamie Foxx (whom we adore too, of course), The power of Electro can only be in last place. In the second and last chapter of the Amazing by Andrew Garfield, there is everything and there is nothing: an overdose of plots and subplots, three bad guys to fight (Electro, then the Goblin, then Rhino) and, massì, let’s assume that Gwen (Emma Stone) dies, so we don’t miss anything. Arriving at the end of the (almost) two and a half hours of film, one breathes a sigh of relief and at the same time asks oneself: «Where was Marc Webb going with this?». Only one answer: «Dunno». The excellent special effects are enough, the delicious feeling between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, and perhaps the best Spider suit cinematic, to make it a memorable film? Unfortunately no, that’s not enough.

8Spider Man 3 (2007) by Sam Raimi

It could have been a worthy closure for Sam Raimi’s films starring Tobey Maguire instead Spider Man 3 it ended up being the ugly brother of the trilogy. As in the second chapter of the Amazing, here too the problem is that there are too many villains: even putting them together, they are still less strong (and interesting) than just one Doctor Octopus. One above all, precisely that Venom (aka the evil alter ego of Spider-Man, aka Topher Grace) who looks almost like a speck, so scary as to give life to a series of ridiculous memes about Tobey Maguire and the emo tuft of he. Yet, the critics are divided between those who speak of an absolute masterpiece and those of a jumble of characters and storylines. To close the question comes Raimi himself, who in 2014 defines Spider Man 3 with only one adjective: «Terrible».

7The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) by Marc Webb

Like, yes, but not passionate. This could be, in a nutshell, the tepid result of The Amazing Spider-Man, which opens the diptych with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey. Applause to the interpretation, which makes Spider-Man still marginalized but shrewd (and worthy of an early enrollment at the Normale di Pisa) and Gwen the fiancée who does not make MJ regret, but nothing can do against the lack of magic touch by Sam Raimi, who had combined perfectly (except in Spider Man 3, see above) the story and the action, the man and the superhero. Marc Webb tries without overdoing it, leaving the Lizard (Rhys Ifans) and Spider-Man’s crime-fighting along the way, and taking home only a perfect characterization of the protagonists and a good dose of emotion. Which, however, does not excite. Crushed as it is between the desire to differentiate itself at all costs from the previous trilogy and that of riding the rising wave of Marvel, the result is neither fish nor fowl. Or, rather, sea bass (cit.).

6Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019) by Jon Watts

Marvel as Marvel as you can get, in Far from Home we are in the second chapter of Tom Holland’s trilogy, and in full growth parable of Peter Parker. Spider-Man finds himself battling Jake Gyllenhaal’s cunning Mysterio, but again one wonders just how far Holland’s Spidey is able to fight (and win) without his friends to help him. or Tony Stark’s suit to make him stronger. Does it convince? It convinces. Does it entertain? Entertains. Does it teach anything? Yes: to distrust everyone, even those with a Jake-like killer smile. But what a bitterness: afterwards Endgame we needed everything but more low blows.

5Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) by Jon Watts

Oh! Finally a film where the kids really look like kids who just happen to act like kids; although one of them has superpowers and goes by the name of Spider-Man in his spare time. In Homecoming, the watchword is freshness: like that of the dynamics between friends, of youth, of first love. Then there’s the bad guy (and what a bad guy, that Michael Keaton), who this time has left aside diabolical plans with dubious motivations to devote himself to a more down-to-earth type of crime, in the final confirmation that we are facing a film where the protagonists could be us, for better or for worse. All very nice, in Homecomingbut there is only one flaw: the continued presence of Tony Stark/Iron Man. A move by Marvel to launch the new Spider-Man character, of course: but up, even less.

4Spider Man 2 (2004) by Sam Raimi

And speaking of super villains, here’s that in Spider Man 2 we are faced with a textbook one: the Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina). The former professor, now a villain with robotic arms, who demonstrates that it is possible to square the comic nature of a character with the Shakespearean drama of the man who is the architect of his own evil. And while the Doc damns himself almost as if he were a modern Frankenstein, Peter Parker increasingly embodies the figure of the hero who remains in all respects human, so much so that he loses his powers in a moment of existential crisis. In short, among the directorial virtuosity of Sam Raimi, we are faced with a film that is literature. It’s a pity that the dialogues between Peter and MJ (Kirsten Dunst) sometimes end in Harmony.

3Spider-Man – A new universe (2018) by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman

Some say that A new universe it is an animated film and, as such, has nothing to do with this ranking, and whoever is a true Spidey fan and knows that this title is still essential. Not only that: he also deserves the podium. Because Into the Spider-Verse is an extraordinary homage to the comic book character (primarily) but also to cinema, TV series and even video games. Dotted with references and quotations, this animated film also introduces new elements, such as the emergence of multiple Spider-Man identities (Spider-Gwen, Spider-Pork and Spider-Man Noir) and the relationship between Miles Morales and Peter Parker. Chapeau to the visual effects, color palette and graphics, which give the impression of having stepped into a comic book. Which, combined with the excellent screenplay (by Phil Lord) and the splendid work of references to the past and present novelties, earned him the Oscar for best animated film in 2019.

2Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) by Jon Watts

Let’s face it: this chapter deserves a separate discussion. If only for the fact that No Way Home he succeeded in the (truly heroic) feat of recalling the actors of twenty years ago to the set, in the greatest tribute to what was, what was and what is, today, the Spider-Man of the big screen. What a surprise to see Doctor Octopus, Goblin, Sandman, Lizard, Electro appear again. And what a thrill to see Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man begin to show signs of passing time; that of Andrew Garfield being able to save MJ (Zendaya) as he could not with Gwen; Tom Holland’s to really discover, for the first time, what it means to suffer, make important (and painful) decisions, grow up. No Way Home is the demonstration that Spider-Man can do what many superheroes, however loved, have not yet succeeded: excite generations of fans who, for twenty years now, have grown up and are growing up with Peter Parker. And this, in itself, is something truly extraordinary.

1Spider-Man (2002) by Sam Raimi

The gold medal can only be awarded to the first chapter that starts the franchise, and it does all in in a superhero movie: Spider-Man. And not just because it’s a crazy film, with highly respected insiders and special effects capable of making the most extraordinary scenes believable. But also (and above all) because it has the great merit of being the first, true cinecomic proud of it: with the Goblin (Willem Dafoe) dressed in green who rides his glider with a comic pose, and Spider-Man wearing the suit he sewed himself badly in his bedroom. We know what you’re thinking, and it’s true: there have been other superhero movies before. But it was still Batman and Superman, i.e. a billionaire and an alien, i.e. two characters who remained there, in an inaccessible point. With Spider-Man, on the other hand, one finally gets the impression of being faced with a guy with superhuman powers, yes, but who, beyond the heroic deeds, is still that simple boy (even bullied) called Peter Parker. And that, like all of us, he lives his life swinging between affection and love, doubts and crises, only that he also does it between one building and another. On the other hand, beyond everything, we are still talking about Spider-Man.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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