KC in the Afternoon

KC in the Afternoon

KC in the Afternoon

Spider-Man has seen lots of time on the big screen. But which movies are the best?

Insomniac Games is set to release its newest video game, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, October 20 for the PlayStation 5. According to Forbes, this game has the potential to be Sony’s biggest release for the PS5 console. Fans of the Webbed Crusader have been eagerly awaiting this sequel since the release of Insomniac’s first Spidey game in 2018. Luckily there’s been no shortage of Spider-Man media to enjoy during the wait.

So while the fans – myself included – try to bide their time for the next week, let’s rank the films starring everyone’s favorite webhead!

I’ve gone on record with my adoration of Spider-Man. He’s without a doubt my all-time favorite superhero, so naturally, I’m on pins and needles about the new game. It’s basically the only reason I put a massive dent in my broadcaster budget to buy a PS5. After already replaying the first video game five times (along with the 2020 spin-off Spider-Man: Miles Morales), I thought I’d let my thumbs rest and watch the movies while I run out the clock until next Friday.

The quippy wall-crawler has undergone many iterations on the silver screen, with varying levels of commercial and cultural success. After a string of rewatches, I feel pretty confident about my rankings. I’ll go ahead and admit that I grew up during the Tobey Maguire era of Spider-Man films, and Tobey’s interpretation of Peter Parker holds a soft spot in my heart. However, I’ve made an honest effort to not let nostalgia override my assessment of these films. (And yes, I’m aware of how nerdy this all sounds. Don’t care!)

So before I become dead to society for the next few weeks by holing myself up in my room to play Spider-Man 2, I’m going to list every single Spider-Man movie from my least to most favorite. Let’s thwip into action!

  • 13. Spider-Man: Lotus (2023)


    As a fan-made and crowdfunded effort, Spider-Man: Lotus was being propped up as the purest, most comic book accurate portrayal of Spider-Man ever set to film. But upon its release earlier this year, fans were completely let down when the movie failed to tingle their Spidey senses.

    Taking inspiration from two iconic Spider-Man comic book stories, Lotus does manage to stay (mostly) true to the lore, though it unfortunately comes at the expense of creating an entertaining movie. It’s oddly-paced, broody for the sake of brood, and completely fumbles the spirit of what makes Spider-Man such a great character.

    All these issues, coupled with revelations of problematic behavior from the cast as well as the director, it seems Lotus was doomed from the start. It now serves as a harsh reminder that sometimes the fans don’t always know best.


  • 12. Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)


    I hesitated adding the Venom movies, mainly because they don’t actually feature Spider-Man beyond a few mentions in passing. But they do center around one of the most popular and memorable villains (or anti-hero if you wanna get picky) of the franchise. That said, it’s such a shame that both of Sony’s efforts to make a Venom movie fell short.

    I saw Let There Be Carnage in theaters and I still didn’t remember a single thing about it when I did my recent rewatch. It just falls completely flat for me. It’s clear they were trying to make Venom into a Deadpool-esque anti-hero, which is fine if you can balance it out with the menacing terror that the symbiote is known for, which this movie failed to accomplish. And the addition of Venom’s arch nemesis Carnage did little to curb my disappointment with this movie. With a doubt this Venom sequel is the worst anti-hero comic book movie of the 2020s not named Morbius.

  • 11. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

    It’s crazy how Sony can absolutely nail the Spider-Man ethos in video game form, while completely whiffing it on the silver screen, as you see quite a bit in this list. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is fun at times, and I’m actually a fan of Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Peter Parker as well as his spandex clad alter ego. Unfortunately, his performance is not enough to save this movie from the clunky dialogue, forgettable story, and an utterly disappointing waste of star power between Jamie Foxx, Sally Field and Paul Giamatti.

    It was clear they were setting up for a trilogy in this franchise, but this movie stopped those plans dead in its tracks. That might be for the best.

  • 10. Venom (2018)


    I did enjoy the first Venom movie more than the sequel, in the same away I enjoy wet socks more than stubbing my toe. I commend Tom Hardy’s efforts to give some kind of personality to Eddie Brock as he slowly morphs into the legendary Spider-Man villain. And to their credit the visual effects for Venom genuinely look amazing in my opinion.

    That’s about where the positive points end for me. Venom’s menacing aura is absolutely wasted in the brutally boring plot with little in the way of intrigue. Were it not for its tenuous connection to Spider-Man, I doubt this movie would’ve even been greenlit.

  • 9. Spider-Man 3 (2007)


    Man, Venom really can NOT catch a break in the Spider-Man cinematic universe. Fortunately, the symbiote is far from being Spider-Man 3’s biggest flaw.

    As I mentioned before, I came up on the Tobey-led Spidey flicks, and 13 year old KC was stoked beyond belief to see the trilogy’s final entry in theaters. But even at a young age I could tell this movie wasn’t hitting the way the first two movies did.

    The stakes are upped in Spider-Man 3, with three villains for the webbed hero to fight in the form of New Goblin, Venom, and Sandman. On paper such a harrowing test of Spider-Man’s abilities sounds like an entertaining joyride to watch on screen. But what we got was so…not that.

    This movie has a way of moving so painfully slow for the first two-thirds, only to sprint at a breakneck speed to the finish line. Genuinely captivating storytelling and character development is traded for schlocky relationship melodrama and hammy performances from actors that we know can do better.

    When the most memorable part of your Spider-Man film is Peter Parker dancing like a doofus on a busy New York sidewalk, you’re doing something very, VERY wrong.

  • 8. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)


    This entry marks the start of the Spidey movies that I actively enjoy and will make a point to watch whenever I get the urge to enjoy some web-slinging action. I understand The Amazing Spider-Man certainly isn’t everyone’s favorite; it’s clearly far from my own. But as I stated earlier, I find Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Peter Parker charming, and the onscreen chemistry Peter had with Gwen Stacy (played by Garfield’s real life girlfriend at the time Emma Stone) felt sincere and infectious.

    This movie can come across as a little too try-hard at times, with a heavy reliance on grittiness and gloom. But it still manages to hit all the right notes for me. While I’m not too big on its sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man is my not-so-guilty pleasure of superhero cinema.

  • 7. Spider-Man (2002)


    I honestly feel a bit bad putting the movie that started it all this low on the list. Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man movie is a major accomplishment in its own right. It became the highest grossing superhero movie up to that point, showing Hollywood that comic books were a powerful source of inspiration for them to draw from. It can be argued that the success of the MCU wouldn’t have been possible had this movie never existed.

    Now, all that said, 2002’s Spider-Man hasn’t aged gracefully. It’s a bit cheesy and cliche in some parts, with some of the campiness from the comics not translating well on the big screen. But even still there’s no denying that there’s something special about this movie. Tobey Maguire IS Spider-Man to an entire generation of fans, and I think being able to make that kind of connection is special regardless of overall film quality.

    And I’d be doing this movie a major disservice if I didn’t mention its two greatest gifts to cinema: Willem Dafoe going goblin mode as Norman Osborne, and J.K. Simmons’ picture perfect performance as J. Jonah Jameson. Absolutely iconic.

  • 6. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)


    As the first post-Endgame MCU movie, Spider-Man: Far From Home had a tall task ahead of it. The movie had to immediately follow the culmination of 10 years of storytelling and worldbuilding, playing off the immediate after-effects of the Thanos’ defeat while building its own story to move the MCU forward for the next few phases to come. And Spidey had to do it without any assist from other Avengers.

    And, despite maybe a couple of odd story beats, FFH accomplishes all this with impressive flourish! I’ll speak more on Tom Holland’s acting talent in another upcoming entry (spoilers), but overall this movie does a great job getting everyone settled back in to the action. Trading in the New York skyline for the beautiful landscapes of Italy also provided a nice change of pace for a Spidey-centric story, and offered more in the way of uniquely gorgeous set pieces.

    Jake Gyllenhaal’s magnetic performance as the disturbingly unhinged Quentin Beck – aka Mysterio – was so much fun to watch. I only wish we got to see more of him in full bad guy mode. Nonetheless, Far From Home is a serviceable and engaging follow-up to the all encompassing spectacle that was Endgame.

  • 5. Spider-Man: No Way Home


    This was less of a movie and more of an experience for Spider-Man fans. Generations of fandom had paid off in such satisfying ways with Spider-Man: No Way Home.

    Ever since the concept of a multiverse was established in the MCU, Marvel fans were chomping at the bit to see Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield don the red and blue tights once more to share the screen with Tom Holland. And we got everything we could’ve asked for and then some! Words can’t describe the smile on my face when I saw not one, not two, but three of the Spider-Men I came to know and love over decades fighting side-by-side-by-side. I still get chills thinking about it!

    As entertaining as that moment was, on rewatch you’re kind of left just waiting for the good stuff at the end. It’s definitely hard to recapture the magic of the big reveal when you know it’s coming. But it’s still a good enough movie on its own to warrant a spot so high on the list.

  • 4. Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse


    I won’t lie to you, I spent an absurd amount of money seeing this movie in theaters 4 or 5 times earlier this summer. Apart from being a stunning feat of visual artistry, Across The Spider-Verse also tells a powerful story about defying the roles society expects of you. It also manages to open up the world of Spider-Man in ways that shouldn’t be possible, actually expanding the multiverse to include every other iteration of Spidey you’ve seen on this list so far.

    Across also expertly conveys the point that, despite the constant quips and jokes, Spider-Man is a deeply tragic character. Loss and grief seems to be a fixed point in the superhero’s existence despite who it is behind the mask. So when Miles Morales fights against all odds to subvert those expectations, you can’t help but root for him. The worldbuilding and themes of this movie are just stellar, and you can find new things to appreciate about it with every rewatch. Trust me, I know!

    The only reason I didn’t rate it higher is because it’s more or less a cliffhanger for a third Spider-Verse movie that, as of the time of this article, has yet to come out. I’m 99% sure they’ll stick the landing with it, but for now I’m giving Across a solid spot at #4.

  • 3. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)


    After Avengers: Civil War reintroduced Spider-Man to a whole new generation of young superhero fans, Tom Holland was given a chance to show what he could do as the titular wall-crawler in Spider-Man: Homecoming. And he delivered in spider spades!

    With a ton of heart and entertaining action mixed into an engaging story, the first solo outing of the MCU’s Spider-Man was just pure fun from start to finish. Holland’s performance tied it all together and managed to make audiences care about Peter Parker just as much as they care about Spidey. And pairing him with Tony Stark in a mentor/student relationship was a stroke of genius.

    Homecoming was a homerun of an introduction for Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

  • 2. Spider-Man 2 (2004)


    Considered the greatest of the Raimi-directed Spidey films, Spider-Man 2 delivers a timeless classic in every single aspect. It’s a major step up from Spider-Man 1, replacing the campiness of the first film with a more focused and grounded vision. The shift in tone allowed fans to connect with Peter, Mary Jane, Harry, and even the villainous Doctor Octopus on a deeply resonant level.

    And more than that, it’s just a great movie with plenty of quotable moments that have especially flourished in the modern age of internet meme culture. Nearly 20 years later, and Spider-Man 2 has truly stood the test of time. If it weren’t for a certain animated Spidey film that came out just a few years ago, this movie would be #1 by a vast margin. But alas…


  • 1. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)


    Was there ever any doubt? Into The Spider-Verse blew everyone away when it premiered in the fall of 2018. What initially looked like a fun and visually pretty superhero blockbuster actually turned out to be so much more. This movie got to the idea of the multiverse before the MCU did, opening fans up to whole new worlds of possibility with their favorite web-slinger.

    Miles Morales was still a somewhat new addition to the Spidey lore at the time this movie came out. Not many fans were even privy to his existence before it came out, but it didn’t take long for Miles to web zip to the top of many fans’ lists of favorite Spider-Man variants.

    Into The Spider-Verse is a superhero blockbuster, coming-of-age-movie, and emotional drama piece all in one, balancing every component with absolute perfection. Seeing so many different interpretations of the iconic Spider-Man hero helped to cement the film’s overlying message: anyone can be a hero. YOU could be Spider-Man. And more importantly to me, I could be Spider-Man!

    And much like I mentioned with its sequel above, this movie is slam packed with so many incredible art styles, making every character feel so authentically unique. And the comic book style illustrations paid homage to where it all started for a lot of fans.

    You know what? Forget everything bad I said about Sony earlier. They nailed it with this one, so much so that I’m willing to forgive them for both Venom movies. Time to go watch this movie for the 1,610th time!

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