Ranking the Spider-Man Films

 After watching Spider-Man: No Way Home I felt compelled to rank all of the Spider-Man films, and it took a few tries to finally be satisfied with my list. I had a lot of thoughts after seeing Spider-Man: No Way Home and making this list helped me put things into perspective. One of the main things I realized is that Andrew Garfield is the best actor to play Peter Parker/Spider-Man; Garfield is a legit acting phenom and we were so lucky to have him put on the tights one more time. Despite not liking Tobey Maguire both as a person and an actor I still was happy to see him play Spider-Man again. I think Tom Holland did a great job, but I find his Spider-Man to be too whiney, he is no Steve Rogers. I really liked No Way Home, and I can't wait to see it again and again once it is available to stream, but I will spoil my ranking now and say it is not number 1. Spider-Man is one of the most known characters in the world, and it is a shame that Marvel/Disney does not own the rights to the character. In my mind the best film version of Spider-Man has been the Marvel and Sony collaboration starring Tom Holland. The Tobey Maguire films were good, but I felt Maguire was too old and not charismatic enough for the role of Spider-Man. I thought the Garfield films had potential, but Sony ruined the second film by throwing in too many villains. The outlier right now is Into the Spider-Verse, with the sequel due out in 2022 I think I will get a better handle on that franchise. Before I ramble on too long and spoil the rankings let us begin.

11. SPIDER-MAN 3 (2007)

This was the easiest choice on the entire list for me, this film has the worst villains (a lame Venom and a boring Sandman) in the entire Spider-Man franchise. I thought the decision to make Peter become a jerk was bad, and the execution was poorly done. The beginning fight scene between Peter and Harry was great, but the villain never again captured that level of excitement. I think Sam Raimi (the film's director) was unhappy with Sony forcing him to include Venom, so he basically did what they asked and kind of phoned in his effort. I know some people appreciate the campy element, but I have never been a fan of that in a non-comedic film. I kind of hate this film, I find it a chore to watch; I wish that this was not the last solo Tobey Maguire Spider-Man film. This movie plays like a comedy at times and I do find some of those parts funny, but the movie is not supposed to be a comedy and some of the comedy in unintentional. 


I was really excited going into seeing this film and I came out utterly flummoxed by the decisions made in this film. I really enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man, and I thought there was so much potential to the franchise especially with the strong chemistry between Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield. The shocking ending featuring Gwen meeting the same fate as her comic book inspiration was done okay in the scene. My main issue was the after effect of that scene, Garfield is such an amazing (pun intended) actor that we should have spent more time with him dealing with his grief before the film ended. Instead, we were treated to yet another poor decision to rush the ending to a happier place and once of the dumbest reveals (the Rhino) I have ever seen. This film was ruined because of creative choices by Sony, they were pushing the franchise to reveal a movie version of the Sinister Six. If Tom Holland can learn anything from the past it should be to make sure you go out on a high note. Garfield and Maguire unfortunately had their final performances ruined by bad films ruined by studio interference. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has some really good moments (Peter and Gwen) that were made inert by some truly awful moments (Rhino). 


I really wish I could have liked this film as much as some people did, but I had such a hard time enjoying myself while watching. I heard a take that this film was like Natural Born Killers, if you removed all of the killing and I think that was spot on. I do not know why Michelle Williams is even in these movies if they do not bother giving her anything to do, she is an enormously skilled performer who is being wasted. I think if the film had been rated R I might have enjoyed it more, having a serial killer villain bond with a vicious symbiote should be more interesting than it was. Tom Hardy and his performance is the best thing about this film, his take on Venom is great and he brings so much energy and weirdness to the role. I will be more curious to see what they do with the character moving forward, using Carnage like they did took one of the more interesting villains off the board. The film is also too short for my liking, I would have wanted a fight with Carnage earlier in the film and more time with the violent, crazy, chaotic and mayhem inducing psychopath. 

8. VENOM (2018)

Even though a lot of people think Let There Be Carnage is the better film, I find Venom to be the better film. To me, Venom should be a darker character in a darker film, and I think Venom delivers on the darkness. Riz Ahmed is great as the villain, and the overall tone of the film feels edgier to me, but the humor in this film is also quite good. The lobster tank scene is still the best scene in both of the films, Tom Hardy goes big with his performance, and it works for me. When the post-credits scene teases Carnage I was so excited, I was thinking the sequel would be a riff on Natural Born Killers, and I was way off. Venom is only higher because of how disappointed I was in Let There Be Carnage, Venom just worked better for me with them embracing the darker tone. There should be a better Venom coming at some point, but the first two fall short of what I had hoped they world be. 


This might have been the hardest choice for me, I have a really big soft spot in my heart for The Amazing Spider-Man. Andrew Garfield gives one of my favourite Spider-Man performances in this film, the plot while not great is brought to life with his performance. Garfield and Emma Stone had the best chemistry in the entire series of films, they are magnetic together and I wish Gwen's arc did not have to end in tragedy. Dennis Leary gives a good performance as Gwen's father and the captain of the police force. This film had some innovative camera shots, and it felt like the series had new life breathed into it. There were some choices (specifically Peter's parents) that did not work at all, I know they were trying something different with his origin story, but they made the wrong choice. I did think that Rhys Ifans gave a good performance as Dr. Curt Conners, he made us care about the villain.


Out of the three Tom Holland Spidey films for some reason Far From Home is the one that doesn't quite work for me. I can't even explain why I do not connect with the film, but maybe I felt the post Endgame story was not as strong. I liked that Peter was struggling without Tony, but I wish that story was given more exploration. I thought Jake Gyllenhaal gave a really good performance, but it felt similar to Iron Man 3 in that we were duped. The action was also less interesting and while the humor was done really well nothing about the film blew me away. The use of the drones to manufacture Mysterio's illusions was done really well, and I wish they did not kill of Gyllenhaal's character. The mid-credit reveal that Mysterio's final act was to reveals that Spider-Man was Peter Parker was huge and it definitely was a great choice to end the film on that. I think Far From Home is a lot of fun, and it is still one of the better Spider-Man films, I just think it did not reach the highs of Homecoming or No Way Home.

5. SPIDER-MAN (2002)

For a long time, I thought Spider-Man was a great film, it did so much right and despite me not liking Tobey Maguire as the lead of the film. Sam Raimi was a surprising choice to direct, but his direction was great, and the film took full advantage of his style. Willem Dafoe is so good in this film (as always) as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin; without Dafoe this movie would be a lot less interesting. I think the casting of Dafoe saved this film for me, I did not like a lot of the casting for the film, but they did nail Dafoe. There is a lot of iconic moments in this film, but for me it is the appearance of Green Goblin at the parade that does it for me. Despite not liking Tobey Maguire he is solid as Peter Parker, I believe that he is a good guy, and that he is having fun as Spider-Man. Without the success of this film, I doubt we would have gotten where we are today with superhero films.


This was the best animated film I have seen in years; not only does it look amazing, but the story is so interesting and heartfelt. There is a sequel due out this year and I can't wait for it, it beat the MCU to the multiverse, and is essential viewing for Spider-Man fans. The voice cast for this film was amazing, they were all great choices and they all delivered fantastic performances. The choice to be experimental with the animation was a bold choice that did not work for everyone, but it worked for me. There is so much heart in this film, and I hope the success of the film leads to an MCU take on Mile Morales. With the sequel due out this year, I am expecting them to do so more crazy stuff. This film should be higher on the list, but the films in the top three are all better (at least to me they are). The concept, the visuals and the heart of this film makes it one of the most balanced films in the entire Spider-Man catalogue.


I think this list will change by end of 2022, not only because I will watch No Way Home again and I will see the Spider-Verse sequel. I expect No Way Home to climb higher over repeat viewings, if I had seen it more than once I might have placed it higher than 3. The reveal of the 3 Spider-Men working together was fantastic, and the performances by Dafoe, Foxx, Maguire and Garfield all make the other two Spider-Man franchises better. Tom Holland gives an at times gut wrenching performance, and the emotional story is what I enjoy most about the film. No Way Home is easily the most emotional of all the films and it takes some chances on how the film gets wrapped up. The film is a fitting epic conclusion to the trilogy, and hopefully it is not Tom Holland's final Spider-Man film. This was the Spider-Man film of the Tom Holland series that was an origin story, the film ended setting up a Spidey that feels more like the comic book version of the character.

2. SPIDER-MAN 2 (2004)

The sequel to Spider-Man is like The Godfather Part II compared to The Godfather, it improved on an already really good film. Spider-Man 2 told a story that did a better job of blending the story of Peter Parker and Spider-Man together. I think it is the only film in the catalogue to properly convey the struggle of trying to balance being hero and having a personal life. Spider-Man 2 is so thematically rich, and every time I watch it, I appreciate the details in the film a little more. The villain played by Alfred Molina is still one of the better villains in any of the films, not only because he is tough to beat, but also because Peter views him as a father figure. The end scene where Peter jumps out of the window and MJ says her iconic line, but there is a touch of sadness to it that adds so much. I know a lot of people that as of right now still consider Spider-Man 2 the gold standard of Spider-Man films, for me as of right now it is more of the silver standard variety.


I know there will be some blow back on this choice, but I just find Homecoming so damn enjoyable to watch. I am not arguing that Homecoming is the best film in the catalogue, but it is my favourite film to watch. Tom Holland was such a different choice for the role, not only is he so young looking, but his films were all set during high school which is something the other films glossed over. The cast of Homecoming all did great work in the film, and the chemistry they all had with each other was outstanding. The lighter tone keeps everything very light and breezy, but when Michael Keaton is revealed as Liz's father the film starts get a lot more intense. The use of Robert Downey Jr. and how it ties to the MCU was a very good way for fans to connect with this new Spider-Man series. After watching No Way Home, there is something so comforting about seeing where everything started for Holland's Peter Parker. Homecoming is easily my favourite choice, the cool villain, the cast, the story and the pace of the film all make it a film I will never stop watching. 

That was my ranking of the Spider-Man films, thank you for reading and please let me know what your ranking of the films is.

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