Spider-Man: Ranked

“With Great power, comes great responsibility.”

Now that Spider-Man: No Way Home is out and in theaters for the world to see and lose their collective minds, it’s that time again to rank the films, with a good enough sample size, subjectively of course. Though, objectively, the bottom of the list is notoriously unanimous with how they are ranked amongst the fan base and general audiences. There’s just no getting past the horrible disco gyration from Tobey’s emo Peter Parker phase no matter what argument is made for why that movie is somewhat decent. It’s not, stop trying.

For most of us fans, our first introduction to the character of Peter Parker, a nerdy loner who just wanted so desperately to find his place in the world was Tobey Maguire in 2002’s Spider-Man directed by Sam Raimi. Raimi would also go on to direct a trilogy that, after revisiting years later isn’t as bulletproof as we may remember – at least in my opinion (and a lot of others feel that way too). But at the time, Tobey was it, the gold standard and the films deservedly got the high praise mostly because of the outstanding writing of the villains. Peter and MJ – not so much.

Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy concentrated thematically on responsibility and greatness and forgiveness. Responsibility to use the power gifted to him for the good of others and not for selfish reasons like winning money to impress a girl. A girl with whom Tobey has zero chemistry within each installment Kirsten Dunst. Seriously, it can’t be just me who thinks they have the most uninspired and dull on-screen chemistry together. Add to that the excruciating dialogue between them and a disaster is inevitable. But overall, Spider-Man & Spider-Man 2 have excellent villains played by Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina. 

After Raimi’s trilogy ended, in swung director Marc Webb and his two efforts of rebooting the franchise. The Amazing Spider-Man was supposed to be Spider-Man 4 (what a relief it wasn’t after the abysmal Spider-Man 3). With a new origin comes a new actor in the leading role of Spidey. This time it’s Andrew Garfield, fresh off his brilliant performance in The Social Network. Where Tobey lacked with the character, Andrew made up – mostly once Peter put the suit on and fought crime. Andrew is a better Spider-Man, but Tobey is a better Peter. 

Webb’s two films concentrated thematically on grief and loss. Andrews Peter suffers from the loss of Uncle Ben (played by Martin Sheen) and his love interest Gwen Stacy (played by Emma Stone. Stone and Garfield’s chemistry on screen is easily more appealing than their predecessors mostly because they dated off screen. Their timing, body language and acting off one another is so much better making them more dynamic of a couple on screen. It’s because of that dynamic that makes Gwen’s death so shocking and heartbreaking. It broke Andrew’s Peter in The Amazing Spider-Man: 2.

With TASM2 failing to live up to the ambitious undertaking and expectations the first film built up, Sony and Marvel Studios decided to work together to bring Spider-Man into the MCU – starting off with an appearance in Captain America: Civil War. And the rest is history. Fresh faced actor Tom Holland (the best portrayal of Peter and Spider-Man) took up the mantle bring the character back to high school but skipping the Uncle Ben origin story (not like we haven’t seen it twice in 15 years). But with Peter’s integration into the MCU a mentor became attached by the likes of Tony Stark and Happy Hogan by association. The downside to this being Peter almost isn’t trusted to command a film solo though RDJ had a cameo role. “Iron Man Jr” is the nick name dubbed this Peter parker after the first two films.

Director Jon Watt’s trilogy focused on the enormous expectations placed on a high schooler’s shoulders. I mean, Peter went to space and fought Thanos, what other burdens could be placed on his plate? Jon Watt’s trilogy is among the best of any comic book property trilogy. And in some ways this trilogy is the entire origin for Peter Parker. No Way Home has blown away all expectations and concluded all three franchises’ perfectly in a neatly wrapped emotional bow. Tom Holland, with his MJ (played by Zendaya) and his best friend Ned (played by Jacob Batalon) are a perfect trio. I’m still in awe of this accomplishment. 

And who could forget possibly the best Spider-Man movie ever made Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. An argument can be made that No Way Home is and on any given day I can 100% agree but what Spiderverse accomplishes in one film took No Way Home 8 films. 

Centering on Miles Morales, Spiderverse is an animated beautiful work of art. There’s no way around it, it’s a perfect film. Led by an incredible ensemble, Spiderverse is full of charm, heart, emotion and most importantly laughs by Peter Porker (played by John Mulaney). I can’t exactly put into words what this film means but its special. From the score and soundtrack to the different animation styles that are crisp, clean, and dazzling on the eyes Spiderverse is brilliant. Thank you, Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

Forget recency bias, that shouldn’t matter with rankings. No singular person is right nor wrong with how these movies are ranked, it will always be subjective, unless it’s the bottom 2.

With all that down, take a peak at my subjective ranking of every Spider-Man film released. Keep in mind that numbers 1 & 2 can swap on any given day.

9) Spider-Man 3

8) The Amazing Spider-Man 2

7) Spider-Man 2

6) Spider-Man: Far From Home

5) The Amazing Spider-Man

4) Spider-Man

3) Spider-Man: Homecoming

2) Spider-Man: No Way Home

1) Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse

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