Ranking the Spider-Man Movies | From Spider-Man (2002) to No Way Home


Spider-Man: No Way Home has finally landed in theaters to much fanfare. Nabbing the second biggest opening weekend of all time, No Way Home has secured its rightful place as one of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters of all time. No less central to its success is its identity as a celebration of the some eight Spider-Man films that preceded it, borrowing elements from each feature. With its release being just over a week now, it is time to rank all nine Spider-Man films from 2002’s Spider-Man starring Tobey Maguire to 2018’s Oscar-winning animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and of course 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home. Note, for the sake of integrity, Spider-Man 3 will not be featured in this ranking as I have not screened the film yet.



 

8. Spider-Man: Far From Home

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Far From Home is far from (get it?) a bad Spider-Man film. In fact, it is mostly entertaining and one of the most extremely watchable of this entire list, thanks largely to its lightness and brevity. That said, it can often swing too light-hearted, coming across as too inconsequential in the grand scheme of Holland’s Peter Parker outside of a fantastic post credits scene. Compared to the rest of the MCU trilogy, Far From Home also is the most bound to the rest of the cinematic universe’s lore, spinning a narrative that cannot really stand on its own merits.


7. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is often a spectacular showing, particularly from Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. It is disappointing then that it often sinks under its pair of cartoonish villains: Dane DeHaan’s Green Goblin and Jamie Foxx’s Electro. However, director Marc Webb and company quickly make up for it with a more mature Spider-Man story that entangles themes of responsibility and true consequence. It is capitalized by its brilliant ending, perhaps the best finisher of any Spider-Man film outside of No Way Home. It has big heart and is a satisfying-if unexpected-send-off for Garfield’s Spider-Man.


6. Spider-Man

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Like Far From Home, Spider-Man is an insanely enjoyable ride that is an instant superhero classic. Everyone here-from Willem Dafoe to Maguire himself-turns in excellent work, making for a consistently fun watch.


5. The Amazing Spider-Man

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What the original Spider-Man lacked though was the personification of New York City as an actual character. Marc Webb’s first swing at the “webbed menace” as Jameson would label the hero contains just that. It is modern and a wildly different take on Spider-Man but is just as enjoyable if not more.


4. Spider-Man: Homecoming

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Like Far From Home, Spider-Man: Homecoming occasionally stumbles in its MCU connections and references, but fortunately, Watts does an apt job of meaningfully connecting them into the narrative. It is a fun flick, punctuated by Michael Keaton as the Vulture who ranks as possibly the best MCU villain.


3. Spider-Man 2

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Spider-Man 2 is not always the most “fun” movie to watch, particularly with how Peter Parker goes through the ringer. However, it is the most adult story of the franchise, bringing Spider-Man to narrative heights never before seen.


2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

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Into the Spider-Verse is objectively the best Spider-Man film. It is the most classy and stylish of the bunch, presented in an unashamedly brash animation style. The snappy, quippy screenplay consistently demands laughter and earns its powerhouse ending by the end.


1. Spider-Man: No Way Home

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But the top spot has to be reserved for No Way Home over Into the Spider-Verse. Not only is No Way Home entertaining and emotional in its own right, but it is a treasure trove for all Spider-Man fans. It is a singing celebration of everything that Sony Pictures has accomplished with this character and is-overall-the definitive Spider-Man film. Big heart. Fierce action set pieces. Tender story on responsibility and consequence. What more could you ask for?