Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy changed the superhero game. It brought countless geeks’ dreams come true, as superhero came to the forefront of cinema. And look where it is today. Granted, there were Batman movies and a Superman series starring Christopher Reeves, but Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man was what turned fans heads.
In the last 17 years, we have seen the web-slinger appear in 11 movies, including the upcoming Far From Home. And out of those, 8 of them have been standalone movies. With great power comes great responsibility. Some of these films have handled this great responsibility of representing one of the greatest and most popular superheroes in history. Some of these, not so much. So, in light of the upcoming sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, and also a sort of spiritual epilogue to Avengers: Endgame, we decided to rank the 7 best Spider Man movies till date.
7. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
I remember someone once saying that the Spider-Man trilogy was the Godfather trilogy of superhero films; the first two were great, the third, not so much. While The Godfather 3 was in no way, shape or form a disaster, it was considered so due to the astronomical heights reached by its predecessors. Spider-Man 3 unfortunately was. It doesn’t help that Spider-Man 3 had the most expensive budget in the series.
That Saturday Night Fever sequence was enough to keep this movie in bottom place. God, that was horrible. Add to that the over-abundance of characters and villains in the film, a lazy plot and the butchery of the Venom character, let’s just say that it didn’t help much. The huge flop of Spider-Man 3 was a major factor for the cancellation of Spider-Man 4. Emo Parker will forever live on, unfortunately.
6. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
After the reboot of the Spider-Man franchise, bringing in Andrew Garfield, and its subsequent success, Garfield and Emma Stone were set to return and hope was renewed again that we’d have good Spidey films in post-Tobey Maguire. But things don’t always go as planned, do they? Jamie Foxx is a fantastic actor, but the writing for the Electro character was utterly ridiculous. ‘The Death of Gwen Stacy’ moment, though sad, was executed horribly. This movie was supposed to be a launching pad for a bigger Spider-Man universe, as well as an introduction to the Sinister Six, but nothing went right.
What went bad for Sony was good for Marvel. The Amazing Spider-Man series was over before it could even get off the ground. Everything went haywire. And Marvel swooped in to pick up the pieces. To be fair, I liked and respected Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Peter Parker, and I absolutely loved his dynamic with Emma Stone, but things weren’t meant to be. But hey, today we get to see Spidey fight alongside the Avengers, so things worked out in the end.
5. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
For most of us, and especially the 90s kids, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy was our childhood. So when it ended and Sony announced a whole other guy to take the helm, it felt weird. And it was a completely different take on the character as well. Peter wasn’t a shy and awkward nerd. He was a cool, good-looking, smart skater guy. But Marvel still managed to make it work in this light as well.
What made the movie so good was the excellent chemistry shared by Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, who played Gwen Stacy. And to cap it all off, it included a lot of the same elements that made Spider-Man who he was. The origin story was in line, thematically, with the comic books. Sadly, this franchise will remain a mere footnote in the Spider-Man legacy, as it was so short-lived.
4. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Marvel and Sony struck a deal to bring Spidey to the MCU, and everyone went batshit. Even me. Finally. The prodigal son came home. Iron Man might’ve been the alpha dog in the MCU, but Spidey was the unspoken name which ruled all. I still remember the reactions when the second trailer of Captain America: Civil War came out, and Spidey swooped in at the very end. Everyone, including me, went absolutely crazy.
We might have loved the Raimi series, but this was what everyone was waiting for. For Spidey to rub shoulders with his fellow Marvel compatriots and share quips. When Tom Holland was announced as the successor to Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire, people were confused. I, for one, was excited. Finally, taking Peter Parker back to his roots. A 15 year old kid trying to balance high school with superhero work. A coming-of-age superhero movie, if you like. It was exactly how it was meant to be. It was a good movie which didn’t become an unnecessary origin story which we’ve seen plenty of times. However, it wasn’t the best either. It was very satisfactory, I can say that.
3. Spider-Man (2002)
Spider-Man redefined the superhero blockbuster scene. Superheroes were in now. Everyone wanted to watch those kinds of movies. It wasn’t considered childish to watch those kinds of movies anymore. It was the first film to break $100 million in a single weekend, it quickly became one of the highest grossing films of all time. Today, it may not seem like much, but it paved the way for future superhero films. And that’s why it’s so significant.
Apart from financial success, it made us realize why we loved the character so much. It was relatable, it was fun and it was inspiring. “With great power comes great responsibility.” That’s a phrase very few of us are unaware of today. It gave the superhero genre a new leash on life. Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker was VERY dorky, and his Spider-Man was VERY badass.
2. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
The best live action Spider-Man film till date. It’s still one of the best superhero films out there. It gave the superhero genre a more humane look. It gave it emotion. It represented all the qualities of Peter Parker, and why he became Spider-Man. It showed us the adult responsibilities of Peter, and his struggles to balance superhero life along with it.
It also gave us a more introspective look on the relationship between Peter Parker and Mary Jane. In a nutshell, it showed us why the character of Spider-Man is more popular than almost every other character out there. He was just like us. He was trying to make it as well. He was so relatable. And he also inspired us to get back up when all seemed lost. Spider-Man 2 set new standards for the superhero genre, and all superhero movies aspire to reach that bar.
1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
I’ve been reading comic books ever since I was a little kid, especially Spider-Man comics. Up till 2018, there never really was a movie that captured the complete essence of Spider-Man. Not Peter Parker. Spider-Man. The closest movie that lived up to those standards was Spider-Man 2. That was, until Sony released Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
There have been numerous titles and adjectives used for the various Spider-Man issues written by Marvel Comics. Amazing, Spectacular, Sensational, Superior, Ultimate and so on. All these adjectives could be used to describe this movie. Directors Bob Persichetti and Peter Ramsey, writer-director Rodney Rothman, and writer Phil Lord gave us the perfect Spider-Man movie, complete with fantastic writing, comic book callbacks, and a kickass soundtrack. And if that wasn’t enough, Sony managed to bring together a bunch of diverse characters with completely outlandish character settings and managed to band them together with fantastic chemistry. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has managed to become the definitive Spider-Man movie, and ultimately one of the best comic book movies ever made.
Your turn! Which are your favourite Spider Man Movies?
I'm an engineering graduate trying to make the most out of what life throws at me. Currently working as a Brand Strategist at Mitsogo Inc, Chennai. Outside work, you can find me on a football pitch, a basketball court, or in front of a tea stall - still trying to make the most out of what I get.