Tobey Maguire swung into theaters back in 2002 as Spider-Man and helped to kick off what would later become the comic book movie craze. 10 years after Sam Raimi’s take on the character, the web-slinger was rebooted with Andrew Garfield at the helm. This reboot resulted in two mediocre entries into Spider-Man cinematic history. It was after the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, that Sony started to open the door to conversations about having the character revert partial to Marvel Studios. A deal was brokered that allowed Sony and Marvel to work together and the result was Tom Holland in Captain America: Civil War.
With that history lesson out of the way and after completing a rewatch of the films, the following are my rankings for the worst to best Spider-Man feature films. Do you agree with this list? Comment below and join in the conversation or tweet @LewisChelsea21.
6. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a lesson in what happens when studios want to have a heavy hand in production, to build out an entire cinematic universe. The entire film featured ridiculous villains, over-bloated storylines, and a Razzie worthy-level performance from Jamie Foxx as Electro. Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a movie made by a committee to advance future films.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did have its positive moments, thanks to its two leads. The on-screen chemistry between Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker/Spider-Man) and Emma Stone (Gwen Stacey) felt real and was intoxicating to watch. Watching Garfield realize that he is unable to save the love of his life is one of the strongest yet tragic moments in the film. If the focus had been more on the characters and less on universe building, this movie could’ve been one of the best.
5. Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man 3, where to even begin? Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 jumps the shark. If emo Spider-Man wasn’t enough, this movie has a full dance sequence, a love story that audiences are tempted to root against and Topher Grace as Venom. Grace’s Venom was over-the-top, silly and a distraction. Tobey Maguire still delivers a strong performance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, but the passion that was behind Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man couldn’t be found within this movie.
4. The Amazing Spider-Man
Spider-Man rebooted with Andrew Garfield in the starring role back in 2012. It felt soon to be relaunching a character that had already had a successful trilogy, but Sony moved away with a new cinematic universe. Garfield was a great Spider-Man but didn’t fit as Peter Parker. The movie felt like it was conflicting with what it was and what it wanted to be. The Amazing Spider-Man laid the groundwork for a successful franchise going forward, but as stated above, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 derailed any hopes of that.
X-Men (2000) helped to introduce movie-going audiences into the world of comic books, and Sam Raimi took that introduction a step further with Spider-Man in 2002. Without X-Men and Spider-Man, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) wouldn’t be where it is today. Sam Raimi captured the excitement and adventure that is found on the pages within a Spider-Man comic. Raimi brilliantly directed massive action sequences and developed the relationship between Peter Parker and Mary Jane. Spider-Man quickly became the standard for comic book origin stories.
2. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Sony and Marvel teamed up with a historic partnership and have revitalized Spider-Man with Tom Holland and Spider-Man: Homecoming. They have made the character feel refreshingly new again. Spider-Man: Homecoming is a coming of age, John Hughes-inspired movie, with a superhero cinematic backdrop. This movie embraces the fun, light-hearted tone that the Spider-Man comics have become known for. Director Jon Watts delivers an entertaining thrill ride throughout the film. He manages to balance action, large set-pieces and intimate character moments.
This is a large scale Marvel movie with a neighborhood feel. Peter Parker has to save the day and still complete his homework. Watts successfully captures the spirit of Spider-Man by allowing the character to be who he is, a fun-loving kid from Queens who is learning just how powerful he can become.
- Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2 is widely considered one of the best comic book movies to date. This movie had action, conflict and allowed Tobey Maguire to become the character of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Maguire was surrounded by a supporting cast that helped to amplify the stakes of the story. The standout of Spider-Man 2 was Alfred Molina as Doc Ock/Dr. Otto Octavius. His villain has many similarities to Michael Keaton as the Vulture in Homecoming. Molina’s Doc Ock was humanized, and his confliction with evil felt personal. Spider-Man 2 remains one of the most beloved comic book movies of all time and tops this list.