The Definitive Ranking of the Spider-Man Movies, From Worst to Best
Come at me.
There comes a time in every Spider-Man fan’s life when we have to figure out which movie we love the best. It isn’t easy (or maybe it is—this wasn’t that hard for me) but it’s necessary because there’s always going to be that one person who asks you who your favorite Peter Parker is.
For me, it’s simple. Tom Holland found a way to merge my two favorite aspects of the character into one fully formed Peter Parker, and I thoroughly enjoy watching everything he chooses to do. So, when it came to ranking the current Spider-Man movies, it was simple: I knew my top three, and everything else was pretty much whatever I liked most at the time.
I will say that I have a love for the very first Spider-Man because it’s the reason I have my best friend and was the first midnight movie I ever went to. That being said, it isn’t anywhere near the top of my list, and I’m perfectly okay with that. I had seen plenty of these lists going around and thought to myself, “Why not?”
So, does your list match up with mine? Let’s see, going from worst to best.
10. Spider-Man 3
I lived in Southern California when this movie came out, and I remember meeting a stunt double for it while I was in Disneyland. My brother was talking to the man, and he said he was in a great new movie coming out called Spider-Man 3. I laughed because of course I knew what that movie was. It’s a Spider-Man movie. He told me this movie was going to be the best one yet. He told me that I’d love it.
Clearly, this man knew nothing.
The argument usually used in this movie’s favor is that it “knew it was campy,” and I say, “No.” It tried to be something it wasn’t and made me angry and hate that version of Peter Parker, and I will never forgive it!!!!
9. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Yeah, everyone hates this movie, but I liked Andrew Garfield more than I liked Tobey Maguire.
No offense to everyone who hates the treatment of Gwen Stacy (I get it, I do), but I can’t be too mad at it for preserving this part of the source material. The idea that Gwen Stacy would survive was never even on my radar.
To me, she’s always been like a Sirius Black figure—a character that was killed just to bring emotional trauma to someone else, never having much of a point otherwise. That’s not to say that I like her that way, and luckily, we ended up with Spider-Gwen, and her placement in the Spider-Verse world was made that much better.
Also, Dane Dehaan is a ghoulish boy and he’s fun! I liked his Harry Osborn!
8. The Amazing Spider-Man
Have you seen Andrew Garfield in his Spider-Man suit? Do I need to say anything else? Do you want more? FINE. I liked his Spider-Man. He understood the sass that Peter Parker had in both his real life and behind the mask and knew that, when he was shut away from the world by hiding in the mask, he could be even more outlandish in what he was saying.
He at least looked more like a teenager (even if he was still too old while playing Parker), and he was funny. No disrespect to Maguire, I just was way more interested in Garfield, which automatically lifts these movies above the worst of Maguire’s trilogy.
I have a soft spot in my heart for the first Spider-Man movie because it was the first movie my brother took me to when it was just us. In May of 2002, my ten-year-old self went to the midnight premiere, and thus my obsession with Peter Parker and the world he lived in began. Maybe it’s why I moved to New York years later. Maybe it’s why I got so into superheroes. Who knows? Whatever the case is, I loved this movie.
Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin? Iconic. J.K. Simmons tackling J. Jonah Jameson, editor of the Daily Bugle? Inspiring. It helped to set the foundation for the Peter Parker we would come to expect in our Spider-Man stories, and thus a love affair between an entire generation and the web-slinging boy from Queens was born.
6. Spider-Man 2
Before Tom Holland stepped into the shoes of Peter Parker, there was no better movie than Spider-Man 2. Doc Ock taking on Peter Parker in the streets of Manhattan? One of the best things we’ve ever seen as comic book fans. To be quite honest, I can’t remember why we loved it so much. Maybe because there were two villains and it didn’t feel like overkill? Or maybe because Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker were perfect and in love but also fully realized characters with flaws? Whatever the case is, we stan a legend.
5. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Look, this movie gave me everything I ever wanted out of a Spider-Man movie. I remember sitting in the theater sobbing because Peter Parker was actually a kid. Maybe it’s because I’m older than Tom Holland, or maybe it’s because he’s the youngest to take on the role yet, but seeing him try to get out of the concrete that the Vulture threw on him, fighting with all his might? I wanted nothing more than to jump into the line of fire and protect my son.
It also had Hot Dad Tony Stark yelling at Peter Parker for not listening to him, and when Peter tried to accuse him off not being there for him, Tony pulled the “What did you say to me?” card and walked right out of his Iron Man suit to confront him.
I remember thinking that no one could ever top Tobey Maguire’s portrayal (even if I was more attracted to Andrew Garfield), but then Tom Holland showed up and showed me how I really felt about Peter Parker. He’s my sweet son, and I’d die for him and will protect him at all costs—especially when he essentially blows up the Staten Island Ferry and Tony Stark has to save him.
4. Spider-Man: Far From Home
Yeah, sorry guys, I love Spider-Man: Far From Home so much that I wouldn’t stop talking about it for three days, and none of my friends had seen it yet, so I just shouted into the void of my apartment and texted the only other person I knew who went to an early screening. Based around Peter Parker wanting to just have one normal trip without having to be Spider-Man, the movie is pretty much in the same vein as Spider-Verse. The world needs a hero; it doesn’t really matter who it is behind the mask. They just need someone they can look up to.
The difference is that Peter Parker is alive and well, and the hero we all lost is Tony Stark.
Far From Home is a perfect conclusion to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3, but it’s more than that. It is, at its core, a perfect Spider-Man movie. I love it with my whole heart and will go see it 12 more times.
3. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Across the Spider-Verse nailed bringing in multiple Spider-people all at once just like its predecessor and while it might seem weird to be ranked third, that’s a hard spot to nab in the grand scheme of Spider-Man movies. This placement might very much shift throughout the years because right now, Beyond the Spider-Verse isn’t out yet and we don’t know what is going to happen with the future of the franchise.
For now though, third place in the wide ranging universe of movies about Spider-Man shows just how good this movie is. It’s still Miles Morales’ story and we’re seeing as he struggles to come to terms with the fact that he’s not exactly like the rest of the Spider-Men he’s met but it is setting up a lot of the next story.
2. Spider-Man: No Way Home
Spider-Man: No Way Home did what we all wanted and was a perfect look into how fan-service can work out for the best. Fans wanted all the Peter Parkers together again and that’s exactly what we got. The inclusion of Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire made it clear that all the Spider-Man stories we know and love still exist out there in the world. We can have Garfield’s Peter Parker fighting his Lizard while Maguire deals with his life with Mary Jane. All of that can still exist while stories from Tom Holland’s Peter Parker and even a future live-action Miles Morales are existing at the same time.
It’s just what fans wanted and they did an incredible job doing it. Having all the Peter Parkers together and fighting alongside one another? A dream and the movie did a great job of ending Holland’s “origin” story and kicking off the new era for his Spider-Man while still honoring what we loved about the other two Peters before him.
1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Is there a person out there who hates this movie? If there is, then like, they need to get their priorities in check, and I’m not even kidding. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is truly a perfect movie. Filled with all our favorite versions of Spider-Man, we get to see Peter Parker work with Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy, Spider-Ham, and more to take on Fisk, the Green Goblin, and the impending doom of what the beings from different universes will do if they can’t get back to their own dimensions.
The movie shows us all that what matters is the mask. Whoever is behind it and their life? That’s not what’s really important. Anyone can wear the mask; anyone can be the hero. The world just needs a Spider-Man. Even I could be Spider-Man.
Do you ever feel as if your entire life has been geared towards one thing? Well, that’s me with this ranking. From the time I was a kid until now, I’ve been obsessed with Peter Parker and his New York City, and so I have finally found some way to bring all that knowledge and joy into a giant list that’s just me yelling about the Spider-Man movies.
I said what I said, and if you have a problem with it, take it up with someone other than me, because I love Peter Parker with my whole heart and it was hard to write bad things about any one of these movies! With the exception of Spider-Man 3. I will always willingly trash Spider-Man 3.
The great thing about Peter Parker is that everyone can love him for different reasons, and so everyone’s list is going to be different, and guess what? That’s okay.
(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)
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