Since his first appearance in 1962’s Amazing Fantasy #15. The Wall-Crawler has become one of the most recognizable and popular characters from the Marvel Universe. Starring in his first big screen debut in Sam Raimi’s 2002 film to his appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we will be taking a look at every live-action Spider-Man film from the worst to the best. While his first live-action debut was in the 1977 movie The Amazing Spider-Man, it is still considered a television film and won’t be considered on this list. Other films that will not be included are his side appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, his solo films will be included but others such as Captain America: Civil War and both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame will also be part of this list. We will be taking a look at only his solo films. Now let’s break down every theatrical Spider-Man film.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
The final Spider-Man film before his transfer to the MCU, Andrew Garfield returns as Spider-Man to face off against an ensemble of villains. The film continues to progress the story promised in the first movie about an untold story about to be unraveled, while also setting up an origin story for Jamie Foxx’s Electro and Dane DeHaan’s Green Goblin. However, this film doesn’t seem to have a cohesive story and instead meshes together other subplots from the characters by intertwining them. The film felt like there were so many things fans wanted, so the director and studio tried to fit as much of it as possible which ended up making this film too overwhelming. Trying to tell two origin stories, with another villain in Paul Giamatii’s Rhino. Attempting to set up the Sinister Six for future installments . And at also telling the story that unfolded in Amazing Spider-Man #121 turned this film into a giant mess and ended Andrew Garfield’s. At least they got a comic accurate Spider suit.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
The film that you might have though Sony might have learned from before progressing with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, More studio interference with the over use of villain origins stories and moments that weren’t necessary to tell this story. In this movie Peter is finally starting to feel like his life is finally together, but things begin to change when something attaches itself to Peters spider suit. Meanwhile, Harry blames Peter for the death of his father and dawns his own Goblin suit to take out Peter, but experiences an accident leading to amnesia. At the same time, it is revealed the person they believed to have killed Uncle Ben was the wrong person and the true killer is Flint Marco who has received a genetic mutation, turning him into the Sandman. Eddie Brock also makes an appearance in the film as a competitive work rival at the Daily Bugle, leading eventually to his transformation in the iconic villain Venom. If that sounds like a bunch of different stories for multiple films, that is basically what this film is. While many of the stories seem to fit for a singular film, the combine it all together to give us this movie. Complete with some of the cringiest moments of the series, to this day I cannot listen to People Get Up and Drive Your Funky Soul by James Brown.
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Not a completely terrible Spider-Man film, but one that felt unnecessary for its time. Exploring another origin story for Peter Parker and his transformation into Spider-Man, bringing in the first appearance of Andrew Garfield as Peter and using Gwen Stacy as a love interest instead of Mary Jane Watson. This time around, you get to know a little more about Peter Parker and his relationship with his parent before being left with Aunt May and Uncle Ben. But once again, he is bitten by a spider, gains incredible powers, Uncle Ben dies, and then he becomes Spider-Man. There was nothing different with the character that explored more than what we already know, despite the advertising promoting an untold story. The villain in the film is a fairly accurate origin story of Dr. Curt Conners and his transformation into the Lizard, however his motivations just never seem understood when he becomes the Lizard. Despite the problems of this film, it still manages to give us entertaining moments with Spider-Man and his quips that often felt removed from previous films.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
The fifth appearance of Tom Holland as Spider-Man and his second solo film, picks up after the events of Avengers: Endgame. In this film Peter isn’t quite sure if he can live up to be the hero that Tony Stark was and because of the amount of pressure he feels, he goes on a school trip to Europe with his friends. However, gets caught up with Nick Fury and their new ally Quentin Beck as Mysterio. They work together to face off against giant elemental monsters from another dimension, but is later revealed to be a something much more sinister happening by the hands of Mysterio. Tom Holland once again proves himself as the definitive Peter Parker/Spider-Man for the MCU, as well as accurate portrayals of Quentin Beck by Jake Gyllenhaal. This time around director Jon Watts feels much more ambitious and comfortable when directing this film, which adds to the excitement and flow of the movie.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
The second appearance of Spider-Man in the MCU and Tom Hollands first solo film in the universe. A major aspect of the film that got Spidey fans excited about this film was Peters time spent in High School. While the other films looked at more of the adult side of Peter, this one keeps it back in High School when he first gains his abilities and tries to balance his life as a student and superhero. Michael Keaton appears in the film as Adrian Toomes/The Vulture, adding as a worthy major villain in the film as Peter discovers the connection he has to Toomes. However, one of the stand out parts comes with the relationship between Peter and Tony Stark, as Stark acts a mentor to Peter and paving the way for Peter to become the hero he is meant to be. Jon Watts creates a superhero film that feels similar to a John Hughes movie from the 1980’s similar to Ferris Buller’s Day Off or The Breakfast Club. Something you never would have thought would work for a Spider-Man movie, let alone a comic book film.
The first feature film debut for the Wall-Crawler with Sam Raimi directing and Toby Maguire as Spider-Man. At the time Marvel did not have the greatest run of films, but this was part of their resurgence along with the first and second X-Men movies. Telling the first origin story for the films, as Peter is bitten by a spider and gains superhuman abilities. After a conversation with his Uncle Ben about great power and great responsibility, he is gunned down and Peter makes the decision to bring the killer to justice and accept his responsibility as the cities hero. Spider-Man faces off one of his archenemies from the comic books, the Green Goblin played by Willem Dafoe. The entire casting of the film is near flawless with James Franco as Harry Osborn, Kristen Dunst as Mary Jane, J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson and Cliff Robertson as Uncle Ben. However, the stand out role comes with Dafoe as Norman Osborn and the Green Goblin.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Raimi and Maguire return for the second installment in the Spider-Man trilogy, this time joined by Alfred Molina as Doctor Otto Octavius or Doc Ock. A massive upgrade from the first film, by giving its characters very real circumstances as they try to solve them. Peter Parker attempts keep up his life as Spider-Man and his personal life, leading to the demise of his relationships with those around him. Meanwhile, Dr. Octavius is attempting to create a new to sustainable energy for the whole world, leading to his transformation into Doc Ock. The aspects of this film that works is the rise of Spider-Man as Peter continues to be internally destroyed by the people around him. As Peter must make the decision to throw away the weight of his responsibilities and live a normal life, or accept it as the city needs. The film managed to be considered the greatest comic book film of its time, even garnering three Oscar nominations and winning one for Achievement in Visual Effects.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
The most unexpectedly amazing film that blew us all away. After an abundance of live-action Spidey movies, many were a bit turned off at the idea of an animated feature film. However, it turned out to be one of the greatest films of 2018 and even winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, beating out usual winners Pixar and Disney. Instead of putting Peter Parker at the forefront of the plot, we are introduced to Miles Morales and his ascension into Spider-Man. Setting up a multiverse that brings another Peter Parker, Spider-Gwen, Peni Parker, Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Ham as they help Miles become the new Spider-Man. The animation style was something we have never seen before in previous animated feature films. From the comic style design of the layout to the change in frame rate for character movements, made this one of the best looking Spider-Man films. It also acted as an amazing homage to the decades long lore of Spider-Man and what he represents.
With already a great deal of Spider-Man movies out, we are anticipating to see the future of this character in other feature film. Currently a third sequel is in works with Tom Holland returning to the role and bring along Jamie Foxx’s Electro and Benedict Cumberbatchs’s Dr. Strange for what is rumored to be a Spider-Verse movie. Speaking of Spider-Verse, the sequel to our top spot is also currently in development with Sony Animations with the hopes of bringing home another gold statue.