Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s most popular and most frequently adapted characters for the big screen, having numerous stand-alone movies as well as numerous more where he appears. Some Spider-Man movies were critically acclaimed and well-received from the audience, while others were disappointments.
While we wait for two new Spidey flicks, Spider-Man: No Way Home and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2, let’s revisit the character’s awesome movie history. Here’s a list of all eight Spider-Man movies so far, ranked from worst to best.
Spider-Man Movies Ranked
The list you’re about to read is ranked according to both the critics and the audience’s opinions, based on the movies’ IMDb ratings and critic scores.
9. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
After the first two movies with Tobey Maguire portraying Spider-Man were great hits, the trilogy’s final chapter came as a huge blunder. While Spider-Man 3 (2007) isn’t the worst-rated Spidey film with its 63% critical score, it’s the worst-rated Spidey film, according to the audience, having a pretty bad 6.2 IMDb rating.
It’s not terrible for movies generally, but it is compared to other Spider-Man films. As it turns out, one of the biggest problems with the movie was the watered-down plot with too many villains.
Instead of focusing on a single-villain narrative that worked so well in the first two movies, the director Sam Raimi opted for a different approach in the second film, introducing Harry Osborn as the new Green Goblin, Eddie Brock as Venom, and Flint Marko as Sandman.
In the end, fans got a big mess that felt totally out of touch with what the first two movies were doing, and for me personally, absolutely destroyed Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of Peter Parker.
The plot: The story followed up on the previous two films where Parker defeated Norman Osborn’s Green Goblin and Otto Octavius’s Doctor Octopus. In this film, a mysterious extraterrestrial entity merges with Parker (we learn that it’s Venom), causing a lot of inner turmoil and dark thoughts for Spider-Man.
At the same time, he has to deal with Harry Osborn seeking revenge from his father, and also Sandman getting his introduction to the movie because, well… yeah. Too many dialogues that have no purpose, too many cliche romantic twists, and an overall lack of plot fluidity is what made this movie one of the worst finishes to a movie trilogy ever.
8. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
I think that Andrew Garfield’s run as Spider-Man is heavily underappreciated, mainly because the movies weren’t that great. Especially The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), the audience didn’t receive all that well, but not as badly as the critics.
It got a 6.5 IMDb rating, which is about average, but it got the worst critic score of all Spider-Man movies ever, standing at a horrible 51%. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not as bad as, for instance, Venom, standing at a miserable 30%, but no other Spidey flick ever went under 61%. Only Spider-Man 3 (61%) and The Amazing Spider-Man (72%) are under a 90% critic score.
Again, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 lacks a proper narrative. The plot is everywhere and nowhere simultaneously, watered-down with too many villains and too many sub-storylines that never get properly explored or fleshed out.
Also, as much as I liked Garfield’s version of Peter Parker, many found him way too over-confident, sometimes even borderline arrogant. It seems like he enjoys toying with criminals and being mean, which is not something that you would usually connect with Spider-Man’s comic book character.
The plot: Oscorp terrorizes New Your City, And Spider-Man is asked to step up and protect its citizens as a true hero would. However, he is too distracted with Gwen Stacy, a girl he falls madly in love with. As the danger rises and new villains emerge, Parker struggles to protect both the city and his loved ones, and he’s forced to choose between the two.
Again, we get two big villains, and although the visual effects were awesome, both Jamie Foxx’s Electro and Dane DeHaan’s Green Goblin lacked purpose and character depth. After the film, it was obvious that most of the movie’s problems stemmed from too much interference from Sony, which eventually led to the third part of Garfield’s trilogy being canceled.
7. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
While I honestly enjoyed both Andrew Garfield-led Spider-Man movies, one can’t argue with the audience and critic scores and reviews, placing both films among the worst Spidey flicks to date. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) had better reviews than its sequel, but still not that good. The audience gave it a 6.9 IMDb rating, while the critic score stands at 72%.
Garfield’s portrayal of Spider-Man itself is the first thing that stands out as polarizing, dividing the audience and the reviews in half. While he did simply follow the script, his Peter Parker is a bit too mature, cool, composed, and overall feels too adult.
That works for new fans, but for those who have loved Spidey for decades and followed his adventures in the comics, it just doesn’t work. Peter Parker should be a semi-socially-awkward teenager that still has that boyish personality – the contrast between his character and his powers is what makes him such an awesome character.
That doesn’t mean that Garfield had done a bad job – but for me, I couldn’t quite perceive him as Spider-Man. He was cool but seemed way too mature. However, his chemistry with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy was awesome and made the film at least a level better, even though it seemed that the movie was more focused on their relationship than Spidey’s heroics.
The plot: Peter Parker learns how to deal with his new powers after getting bitten by a genetically altered, radioactive spider. He battles with his feelings towards Gwen Stacy, but when he finds a briefcase that belonged to his father, Peter sets on a quest to find out what happened to his parents.
The search leads him to Oscorp and the laboratory of one Dr. Curt Connors, a semi-evil doctor with an alter-ego called the Lizard, who’s somewhat responsible for his parent’s disappearance but completely responsible for the havoc that’s going on in New York City.
Overall, it feels like the director Marc Webb found a great recipe to retell a story that’s already been told, but in a completely different, witty, and at times quite humorous way.
6. Spider-Man (2002)
Now we’re getting to the Spidey flicks that were both well-acclaimed critically and well-received from the audience. Spider-Man (2002) is not only the first such movie on this list, but it’s also the first Spider-Man movie ever. Tobey Maguire’s charismatic first portrayal of Peter Parker received a 7.3 IMDb rating and a fantastic 90% critic score.
What truly made the movie work is the singular narrative and a simplistic origin story of the character. Maguire’s Peter Parker just got his superhuman powers, so he doesn’t really know how to use them. Tobey portrayed Parker’s awkward high-school personality perfectly, and it’s only fitting that he’s better at being Peter than being Spider-Man.
Also, there was only one true villain in the movie – Norman Osborn’s Green Goblin, played by the spectacularly creepy Willem Dafoe. There’s also some romance, some friendship, betrayal, and enough misunderstanding to make the plot suspenseful but not irritable.
The plot: Peter Parker is a nerdy high-schooler who loves photography but regularly gets bullied at school. After a school trip where he gets bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter begins to experience physical and mental changes to his body, ultimately becoming Spider-Man.
After feeling guilty for not stopping a robber that later killed his Uncle Ben, Peter decides to embrace his superhero alter-ego, Spider-Man and fights a big, evil supervillain threat: the Green Goblin.
It turns out the Green Goblin is Norman Osborn, the father of Peter’s best friend, Harry, who’s in a relationship with Mary Jane Watson, a girl that Peter has a crush on for quite some time.
Overall, it was a worthy introduction of Spider-Man into the film world, and although it feels goofy for today’s standards, Sam Raimi had really done a nice job as a director.
5. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
The follow-up on Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire’s first Spider-Man film exceeded all expectations and became a gold standard for sequels. The story wasn’t that innovative, with Raimi repeating the recipe of a singular plot line with one major supervillain. Instead of Green Goblin, this time it was Doctor Octopus in an iconic portrayal by Alfred Molina.
The movie was incredibly well-acclaimed among film critics, having a spectacular 93% critic score. The audience seemed to enjoy the movie quite a bit, as it received a solid 7.3 IMDb rating, much like the first movie in the Raimi/Maguire trilogy.
Although the recipe was the same, there were some deeper problems that Raimi didn’t tackle in the first movie. For instance, Peter struggles with choosing what kind of a life he wants to live – the lonely but righteous life of a superhero or a regular life with his love, Mary Jane, neglecting his powers for good.
The inner battle is a major plot point in the film, but it doesn’t take away from the great action. Also, it felt like the movie was a bit more humorous, with awesome one-liners and jokes like “Eat your green vegetables.”
The plot: Peter battles his inner demons, trying to decide if he wants happiness with his love, Mary Jane, or continuing to be a superhero and putting his private life aside. However, when a new big threat in Doctor Octopus reveals itself, Parker is forced to act to protect the ones he loves.
Overall, it’s not that usual for me to enjoy a sequel more than the first film, but it was the case here. And, it seems the rest of the audience shared my opinion.
4. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Spider-Man: Far From Home was the second stand-alone Spider-Man movie in the MCU starring Tom Holland, and it was just as great as the first one. With a 7.4 IMDb rating and 90% critic score, the film lived up to the expectations set with its prequel from 2017.
Holland’s Peter Parker already went through a lot and grew as a character, but the loss of his mentor and father-figure, Tony Stark, left a mark on the young Avenger. He wants some rest from the superhero life and be a regular teenager madly in love with a girl from school. However, trouble seems to find him on another continent, too.
Apart from Holland’s phenomenal growth as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man, the film’s main villain, Mysterio, wowed the audience the most. The awesome Marvel supervillain finally got featured on the big screen, and Jake Gyllenhaal (as expected) killed the role. The special-effects team has done an amazing job with Mysterio’s illusions.
The entire movie had a simple yet very well-written storyline, culminating with Spidey’s identity reveal. Of course, it’s a fantastic climax that opens up limitless possibilities for the next movie in the franchise, Spider-Man: No Way Home, where Parker and Doctor Strange try to undo Mysterio’s actions.
The plot: Grieving Iron Man’s death, Peter Parker wants to take a break from being a superhero. He embarks on a European adventure with his class. Still, danger follows him as he encounters Mysterio, one of his nemeses from the comics capable of awesome tricks and life-like illusions.
Even in death, he manages to fool people into thinking he’s the good guy and Spidey the bad guy. Overall, it’s a great flick that has the world eager to see the next chapter coming out in December.
3. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
The first time we saw Tom Holland in the Spider-Man role was in Captain America: Civil War in 2016. After the audience and the critics gave Holland praise for his portrayal of Peter Parker, the first Spidey stand-alone film came the next year with Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Holland is probably the closest thing to Marvel comics Spidey: a bright, dorky high school kid with a strong moral compass and awesome skills he wants to use to do good. It was enough for a very nice 7.4 IMDb rating and a staggering 92% critic score.
Peter tasted real superhero action for the first time in Civil War, and after he returns to his normal high school life, he gets bored and eager for more action. However, he bites more than he can chew initially, realizing it’s never good to ask for trouble because trouble will find you if you do.
I have to say, I don’t think that Michael Keaton’s Vulture is among the best Spidey villains we’ve seen in the movies so far, but Keaton played a great role as a guy living a double life as a loving family guy and a super-criminal.
In the end, the character transformation that Parker goes through really sets up the following MCU films. He grew as a hero but kept his witty, funny personality, even while being stuck in a spaceship battling a magician “Squidward.”
The plot: Peter Parker is back home in Queens to go to school, eagerly waiting for a call to action from Tony or Happy. He wants to do more than catch petty criminals on the streets, and he gets what he asked for when the Vulture appears and causes chaos on the streets of New York.
When Parker realizes the guy is trying to steal from an Avengers shipment of high-tech weaponry, he tries to stop him, but it turns out the Vulture is a lot closer to him than he originally thought.
For me, the film already cemented Holland as the best Spidey so far, and I hope that No Way Home won’t be the last movie we see him in the role.
2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
It should come to nobody’s surprise that the only Spider-Man film ever awarded with an Academy Award would be number two on this list. While it’s not a live-action movie like the rest of this list, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a revolutionary film in the superhero genre and the world of animated movies.
The 8.4 IMDb rating and near-perfect 97% critic score should tell you all you need to know. It is the second-best Spider-Man film you can watch right now for many reasons.
First, the animation is revolutionary. It’s the closest thing you can get to a comic book-reading experience; it’s immersive, breathtaking, and phenomenally directed.
Second, the movie completely steers away from the already well-known Peter Parker story, focusing on another version of the web-slinger. This time, Miles Morales, Spidey from another universe, takes center stage as he learns about the multiverse and his spot within it.
I loved how the directing team phenomenally balanced in a great sense of humor and enough character-building for each character they introduced, even though there were so many of them to go through.
The plot: Miles Morales is a teenager who gains Spider-Man powers, only to learn he’s not the only one. The film introduces us to the Spider-Verse, and five more versions of Spidey emerge to stop a multi-versal threat.
We get Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham, Spider-Gwen, Peni Parker, and Peter Parker as one of the Spidey’s in the film, but Morales is at the center of everything.
It was a spectacular, revolutionary film that I had no expectations for when I first watched it, and it blew me away so much that I rewatched it the next day. I can’t wait for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2, which should premiere on October 7, 2022.
1. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
We waited so long for Spider-Man: No Way Home to hit the theaters – and it was all worth it. The third Spider-Man MCU film was the absolute best Spidey flick to date, and the early ratings prove that. No Way Home has a staggering 9.2 IMDb rating at the time of writing this article and an even more impressive 95% critic score.
And it’s no surprise – the film is everything a Spider-Man fan could ever ask for. I’ll try to keep this spoiler-free for all the fans who haven’t seen the film yet.
Holland’s Peter Parker experienced such a tremendous character growth throughout the franchise. After Mysterio revealed his identity in Spider-Man: Far From Home, not only his life but the lives of all the people who are close to him turned upside down.
Spidey deals with an emotional rollercoaster as he sees the crowds dividing into supporters and haters. All the controversy about him causes problems for those he loves, so he tries to solve it and make everybody forget that Spider-Man and Peter Parker are one and the same.
It only causes even more problems than force Peter to grow up in a heartbeat and decide what’s more important to him – his comfort or the safety of those he loves. Parker also needs to choose who he will be – the hero who does the right thing or a vigilante who lets rage take over and shatter everything he stands for.
You have to watch this film, even if you’re just a casual fan. But, even the most die-hard Spidey fans like myself will be pleased. It’s filled with emotion, action, nostalgia, character growth, and finally, it finishes just like every Spider-Man story in the comics ever. Being Spider-Man is cool but lonely.
The plot: After Mysterio reveals Spider-Man’s identity to the world, Peter Parker’s life turns upside down. It also affects the lives of the people around him, so he asks Doctor Strange for help to erase Mysterio’s reveal from everybody’s memory.
However, he disrupts Strange’s spell, causing it to change. Instead of everybody forgetting who Spidey is, it starts pulling others who know Peter Parker from different universes into this universe. Still, instead of wanting to destroy them, Spidey wants to help them, but the cost might prove a bit too much. Parker learns that being Spider-Man is more than wearing a suit.