Spider-Man: No Way Home is not only a movie but a global phenomenon. Spider-Man: No Way Home is shattering all kinds of pandemic box office records, and single-handedly confirmed the movie theatre experience is back. As firm believers in Tobey and Andrew’s return for Spider-Man: No Way Home, we couldn’t be happier!
While there’s no question the movie was an epic event, where does it rank in comparison to the Spider-Man films of old? Nothing beats Tobey’s nostalgia factor. No one can compare to Andrew’s charm. Tom encapsulates the role of Spider-Man AND Peter Parker better than anyone else ever could. Here are all the live-action Spider-Man movies, ranked:
8. Spider-Man 3
Let me paint you a picture. You’re hanging out with your friends, life’s good. You’re playing a game. Maybe it’s beer pong, maybe it’s Monopoly, maybe even Settlers of Catan. You come out of the gate hot, you’re feeling really, really good about yourself. After a while, you start to get cocky. You’re trying to do too much, trying too hard to be funny, and go a little bit overboard. We’ve all been there, right? Just me? Well, me and Spider-Man 3.
While there were definitely some bright spots in the movie (Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy), there were far more missed shots, than makes. Harry Osborn assuming the mantle of the Green Goblin could be an incredible storyline. Venom and the Spider-Man black symbiote suit could be a phenomenal plot. Unfortunately, getting cocky and trying to do too much is what drops this movie to the bottom of the list.
7. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Trying to do too much you say? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…?
Unfortunately, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 never learned from the mistakes of its predecessor. The annoying part of TASM2 is that it could’ve been so much better. The movie has so many tear-jerking moments, and Emma Stone absolutely knocks the role of Gwen Stacy out of the park. The chemistry between Stone and Garfield carries beautifully into the sequel, making the finale even more heartbreaking.
Unfortunately, things fall tragically to their doom from there. The long-lost friendship between Peter and Harry Osborn never felt right. Jamie Foxx can play a great Max Dillon as we saw in Spider-Man: No Way Home, so why was he written as such a dweeb for this movie? The attempt to weave together a blue Electro with a dying Harry Osborn and a mechanical Rhino came was a big swing, and unfortunately a strike. Not only did the ball not make contact with the bat, but the home run cut pulled a muscle for the franchise, as their Sinister Six setup never came to light.
6. The Amazing Spider-Man
Although the The Amazing Spider-Man franchise ranks near the bottom of my list, Andrew Garfield is actually my second favorite Spider-Man. I’m a firm believer that if you swap Andrew and Tobey, the RaimiVerse improves while the TASM franchise regresses. Don’t get me wrong, I adore all the Spideys and I love all of these movies. The Peter and Gwen chemistry is the highlight of the movie along with Andrew’s portrayal with the mask on. His quips as Spider-Man brought newfound life to the role, energized by an actor longing to play the character his whole life.
While his performance as Spider-Man was remarkable, the story around Peter Parker was less believable. We all remember high school, right? If not, I can confirm that if Andrew Garfield was skateboarding through the halls in all his charming glory, he would not be getting picked on that much.
The film that gave birth to the superhero movie empire, 2002’s Spider-Man is a classic. Willem Dafoe gives one of the most memorable villain performances in a comic book flick, and Tobey Maguire brought our favorite cartoon character to life. While there is so much about this film I love, I have to admit I have some major qualms.
Being 9 years old at the theatre and seeing the webs coming directly out of Tobey’s wrists created a comic book accuracy snob monster inside of me I never wanted. Despite this and a bunch of 30-year-olds playing high schoolers, this movie will always have a soft spot in the hearts of many. Between the iconic upside-down kiss and the classic soundtrack, Spider-Man brought us so many iconic moments we won’t soon forget.
4. Spider-Man: Far From Home
Tell me you don’t want a Spider-Man movie set in Europe instead of New York and I’ll understand, but it won’t be enough to not make me love Spider-Man: Far From Home. From the subtle comic book easter egg references to Maurice Bench (HydroMan) to Jake Gyllenhaal’s electric performance as Mysterio, this movie is a masterpiece. Taking the Mysterio flashback all the way home to Iron Man was a nice touch, and my theatre full of non-comic book readers audibly gasping at the twist is one of my fondest theater memories.
What this movie does best, is put Peter Parker in over his head, and force him to use his brains to get out of it. While the teenager understandably mishandles the unfathomable power he’s been gifted, we see him grow into the hero he needs to be. The way the film portrayed the Peter-Tingle brought fans the Spidey-Sense action they were looking for, as Spider-Man: Far From Home delivered one of the strongest third-act action sequences in the MCU.
3. Spider-Man 2
Still at number one in the hearts of many, some may call me crazy for having Spider-Man 2 ranked third on my list. There is always one word I hear when people are ranking the original trilogy at the top of their Spider-List, nostalgia. To be fair, nostalgia is a heck of a drug. This movie set the precedent for superhero movies and deserves so much praise and respect. However, nostalgia won’t web-sling this movie into the top spot.
The lack of chemistry between the leads in this film is alarming. Mary Jane flips back and forth between Peter and Harry, however, it’s tough to understand where she is coming from. She often refers to Peter’s consistent inability to be there for her, but it’s tough to forget she didn’t know who he was just the movie prior. While some of the conversations are painful to watch, the film’s bright spots heavily outweigh the negatives.
Alfred Molina delivers an all-time antagonist performance. Doctor Octopus seemed like a risk at the time, however, the CGI of 2004 held up beautifully. The train sequence is one of the best action sequences in the history of superhero cinema, if you omit an actor the same age as Tobey Maguire saying “He’s just a kid, no older than my son”. The redemption arc of Octavius is a beautiful ending to the film. Spider-Man 2 is a classic, but only number 3 on the list of best Spider-Man movies of all time.
2. Spider-Man: Homecoming
With great power, comes great patience. This is an assignment that Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios understood. While it’s reasonable that Spider-Man fans are missing Uncle Ben in the MCU, no one needed to see another Spider-Man origin, with a new actor assuming the role only to get murdered within the first few minutes of the film. Iron Boy Jr. critics be darned, this movie provided some of the very best Spider-Man moments recorded in live-action.
The reveal of Adrian Toomes, AKA the Vulture being the father of Peter’s girlfriend was the perfect bow wrapped on an incredible performance by Michael Keaton. Tom Holland was able to strike an ideal balance of Peter Parker and Spider-Man, teetering between both an awkward kid and a quippy hero. Whether it’s leaving prom to save the day, or pushing a building off of himself, Holland’s performance in Spider-Man: Homecoming deservedly bolstered him to immediate stardom.
1. Spider-Man: No Way Home
This epic masterpiece of a film finally hit theatres this holiday season, and wow it didn’t disappoint. This movie was 20 years in the making, and it delivered everywhere that was necessary.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t perfect. Why was Electro even there? Max Dillon didn’t know that Peter Parker was Spider-Man, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense for him to be there. However, even with the plot holes, this film doesn’t have much to complain about. Seeing all three Spider-Men on-screen at the same time was surreal, and something many of us only thought we would see in our dreams.
Loaded with delightful fan service, Spider-Man: No Way Home did nearly everything right. We got to see Peter Parker fully develop into Spider-Man, and truly learn that with great power, must also come great responsibility. Grappling with the loss of his loved ones, Spider-Man is primed to step into the role of a true hero.
How does your ranking differ from ours? Let us know on our socials or in the comments below.