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All of Marvel's Spider-Man movies (including animated!), ranked worst to best

Tobey, Andrew, or Tom? Peter Parker or Miles Morales? Which Spidey movie is the best Spidey movie?

Spider-Man Ranking Header
Image credit: Sony Pictures

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As one of the most high-profile of all of its characters, it’s no surprise that Spider-Man was the Marvel superhero who lead the way for the company to take over pop culture, with no less than three different live-action series, and an additional animated continuity, across a two decade span. With so many movies to pick from, there’s certainly some variance of quality, but that’s exactly what we want. After all, this is a ranking of the best Spider-Man movies.

Before we get into things, some ground rules: we’re including all Spider-Man movies that were intended for theatrical release, which means the re-edited 1970s TV episodes starring Nicholas Hammond don’t count, but the animated Spider-Verse movies do. Also, this is a subjective ranking, which I want to underscore right here because, well, I’m sure some people are going to be very unconvinced by the ranking. Thankfully, comments exist for a reason; tell me what your rankings are down below.

With those two things out of the way, it’s time to bite the web-shooter and leap into things — preferably off a tall building in Manhattan, just like Spidey would want us to.

Spider-Man: Ranked Worst to Best

10. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Image credit: Sony Pictures

For all that the Andrew Garfield movies did well — I think their casting choices were spot on, and still believe that Garfield might have been the best live-action Peter Parker performance we’ve ever seen, despite not having the writing to back that up — there’s just as much that just… well, isn’t particularly great. Case in point, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a movie that seems to have a vague idea of what it wants but no idea of how to get there.

Yes, we get the death of Gwen Stacy at the hands of the (not-Green) Goblin, but it’s a moment that feels particularly unearned in a movie that’s overstuffed with threats and lacking any clear through line in terms of plot. And what is going on with the hints about Peter’s parents and their suspicious death? Not to say anything about wasting Paul Giamatti as a Rhino who was nowhere near as fun as his comic book inspiration… Yeah, this one’s just a misfire. Shame; everyone involved deserved better.

9. Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Spider-Man 3
Image credit: Sony Pictures

Talking about overstuffed movies, there’s a couple of really good movies inside Spider-Man 3, but unfortunately they’re forced to share screen time with each other, and end up at war with each other. Thomas Haden Church makes for a surprisingly great Sandman, but the same can’t really be said for Topher Grace’s Eddie Brock, who feels as if he’s been half-heartedly shoehorned-in in an attempt to sell some more merchandise.

For all that Spider-Man 3 has featured some ironic reappraisal for the camp value of Peter Parker under the influence of the parasitic alien costume, the fact is that Spider-Man 3 pales in comparison to its two predecessors, and feels more like a contract fulfillment than a fun movie for most of its runtime.

8. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Image credit: Sony Animation

See, here’s where everyone is going to get mad, but… Across the Spider-Verse isn’t a particularly good movie. The problem for that is two-fold: firstly, it’s all-too-clearly half of a story, with little attempt to provide any sense of resolution to anything other than, potentially, Gwen feeling emotionally distanced from her dad… but it’s also shockingly long for half of a story, feeling as if there’s no shortage of filler (mostly in the shape of in-jokes and easter-eggs, which threaten to overload the actual narrative all-too-often) getting in the way of actually getting to the point.

Worse yet, it’s tonally uneven and lacks the attitude and pacing that made Into the Spider-Verse so special. It’s as if the movie itself felt the pressure of one-upping Into the Spider-Verse and just collapsed in flop sweat at the prospect. (I know, I know; you all disagree. Just go back and rewatch it and tell me that I’m wrong.)

7. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Amazing Spider-Man
Image credit: Sony Pictures

Not unlike its sequel, the screenplay is the weakest thing about The Amazing Spider-Man — although, compared with Sam Raimi’s trilogy, the directing also feels a little leaden; what wouldn’t, though? That said, look at the casting and performances in this: Andrew Garfield as a pitch-perfect Peter Parker, and a pretty great Spider-Man, to boot! Emma Stone as a Gwen Stacy that is spot-on, and Rhys Ifans as a creepy Curt Connors that is just a joy to watch! (Not only that, but the Lizard as the villain of the movie? Yes, please.)

Not only that, but there’s a wonderful melancholy to this movie — Peter’s promise to Captain Stacy! — that feels as if it gets what was at the heart of so many early Spidey comic book tales. I’d say it was a promising beginning that suggested good stuff lay ahead but… well, we already know that wasn’t the case.

6. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man: Homecoming
Image credit: Sony Pictures

Would Spider-Man: Homecoming rank higher if it didn’t feel like it was trying too hard to ground the character in the MCU for the first time in six movies, making it feel more like the first in a series of Marvel Team-Up movies than a Spidey solo story? Probably, yeah. (For what it’s worth, The Marvels would obviously be the second Marvel Team-Up movie, and that’s not intended as an insult; I’d happily watch Marvel Team-Up movies — or a Disney+ series — if they actually ended to make one.)

The highlights of this one are clear, beyond seeing Tom Holland be charmingly graceless as Peter Parker: it’s essentially what happens when you make Brian Michael Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man comic book series into a movie, and considering USM is a great comic book series, you end up with a pretty fun movie… that just happens to have far too much Iron Man and his world in it, really.

5. Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

Spider-Man: Far From Home
Image credit: Sony Pictures

I’ll be honest: I’m probably ranking this higher than I should for two reasons — maybe it should swap places with Homecoming? — but they are, in my defense, two really good reasons. Firstly, I love the Mysterio fake-out, which understands the idea behind the character in such a manner that it translates into a really funny meta-joke on an audience already primed to expect a multiverse story thanks to the previous year’s Into the Spider-Verse. (Also, Jake Gyllenhaal is really fun in the role, and it’s fitting that he finally ends up in a Spidey movie having almost played Spider-Man himself a decade or so earlier.)

Secondly and most importantly: it brings back JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, and, really, that alone is enough to make it pretty high up there on any ranking in and of itself. You know I’m right.

4. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Spider-Man: No Way Home
Image credit: Sony Pictures

There’s a lot that doesn’t work about this movie, which feels as much as anything an attempt to grapple with some controversial early 21st century Spider-Man comic plots as anything else. (One More Day, anyone?) It arguably relies too heavily on fan service for those really excited to see the previous Spider-Men back on screen, and I’m unconvinced we really needed the death of Aunt May… and yet…

…Maybe I’m just too sentimental in my old age, but there’s a kindness to this movie, and to Peter’s determination to help the displaced villains instead of let them die that really gets to me, and gets to the heart of who Peter Parker should be, considering the tragedy in his own life. I’m not sure I’m okay with the end of this movie — which feels like a cliffhanger, instead of a conclusion — but, I’ll be honest: the guest-stars and the kindness do it for me. I’m a sucker that way.

3. Spider-Man (2002)

Image credit: Sony Pictures

Whoever thought Sam Raimi was the right guy to bring Spider-Man to the big screen for the first time deserves a raise. The director immediately keys in on the appeal of those first Amazing Spider-Man comics, presenting something that’s over-the-top, outrageous, and uncanny — in the literal sense, not the X-Men series — and, as a result, as captivating as those early comic books were themselves.

Sure, there’s things we could (and will) quibble with — that Green Goblin design is terrible — and, heresy of heresies, I’ll admit that I never really bought Tobey Maguire or Kirsten Dunst as Peter and Mary-Jane, but give me Raimi’s manic energy as a director being matched by Willem Dafoe throwing himself into the role as Norman Osborn and what you have is a really great time in the theater.

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

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Image credit: Sony Animation

To this day, Into The Spider-Verse is a dizzying experience: a bold movie that feels entirely confident in its approach to remixing and reimagining all elements of the Spider-Man mythos, appreciating and respecting everything that came before but not feeling overly beholden to it — and, most of all, a movie that manages to be playful, fun, and meaningful in such a way that feels almost effortless.

Is it a perfect Spider-Man movie? That possibly depends on what you want from a Spider-Man movie — for my tastes, it’s a little too cosmic/multiversal to feel truly core to the Spider-Man mythos (Could this movie have been made about a different superhero and his multiversal opposites and still be as good…? Arguably, which might be the point), but there’s no denying that it’s one of the finest superhero movies ever made, regardless.

1. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man 2
Image credit: Sony Pictures

What makes this the best Spider-Man movie? Two words: Alfred Molina. Okay, five more: as the best Doctor Octopus. Sam Raimi’s second outing with the franchise takes everything that worked about the first one and ups the ante with Molina chewing the scenery just the right amount as what remains the finest Spider-Man movie villain. It doesn’t hurt that we have more J. Jonah Jameson involvement with the plot, and some interesting developments between Peter and Harry Osborn that feel entirely in keeping with the soap opera that has always been central to Spider-Man as a concept.

In many ways, it feels like a 1960s Amazing Spider-Man issue translated onto the screen — and I mean that as the finest compliment imaginable. Most superhero movies would kill to be this good.

What’s that? You think I’m wrong about the best Spider-Man movie of all time? Perhaps you should vote in our poll about that very topic. Of course, if you want to rewatch all of Spidey’s big-screen appearances, we’ll tell you how. And you can join us in wondering when we’re ever going to get to see Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, as well. Everything’s coming up Spidey… talk about the Parker Luck.