Every Spider-Man movie ranked from worst to best

Various Spider-Man movie posters
(Image credit: Sony)

First appearing in the hallowed pages of Marvel comics over sixty years ago, Spider-Man has become one of pop culture's most iconic and enduring superheroes. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, ol' Web Head quickly established himself as a foundational part of Marvel's world, making an eventual transfer into the movie world inevitable.

While Spidey made his feature-length debut in 1977 courtesy of a pilot for the 70s live action TV show, it was Sony's purchasing of the film rights to the character in 1999 that laid the foundation for his legacy on the Big Screen. Since then, we've had no fewer than ten Spider-Man movies across four entirely difference franchises, making his cinematic journey a rather convoluted one that ranges from the spectacular to the, quite frankly, slightly rubbish. 

With that in mind, here are all ten of those 'proper' film adaptations in reverse order of greatness. Note: we've elected to leave the TV pilot by the wayside for this one, and we're not including our friendly neighbourhood hero's numerous appearances in other Marvel outings. You only have so much time in the day.


10. Spider-Man 3 (2007)

When the first teaser poster for Spider-Man 3 revealed our titular hero in a black suit, fans went doolally with excitement over what that likely telegraphed. Sadly, Raimi's trilogy would end on the dampest of squibs, offering a messy plot, a bloated rogues gallery, a terrible take on Venom and one of the most cringe-inducing scenes in blockbuster history courtesy of that Toby Maguire dance segment. We'd later learn that studio pressure led to Venom being included in the film in the first place, which is doubly frustrating given that it took time away from Thomas Haden Church's brilliant, layered performance as Sandman. The special effects are magnificent and there are some great set pieces, but this felt like an almighty piss had been unleashed into the Spider-pool.

9. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Given one of the biggest issues with Spider-Man 3 was there being too many villains to make for a compelling, focused plot, it's baffling as to why Marc Webb's sequel to his own Spidey universe reboot fell into the exact same trap. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are both fantastic, arguably packing the best chemistry of any Spider-leads, but they're lost in a convoluted story that introduces Jamie Foxx's unconvincing Electro as chief antagonist while recycling Harry Osbourne's pseudo-Goblin arc from Spider-Man 3. Plus, we also get a clunkily realised Rhino, throwaway Norman Osbourne, Felicia Hardy and Alistair Smythe cameos and a Sinister Six tease that never went anywhere. Garfield's Spider-Man deserved better.

8. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

After a superb first full outing in Homecoming, Tom Holland's second solo flick had a high bar to grab at. Sadly, while it's by no means a bad movie, Far From Home falls short in having to cater so fullheartedly to the wider MCU, Tony Stark's death dominating too much of the film's emotional pull and Nick Fury's presence rendered flat by a fully phoned-in showing from Samuel L Jackson. There are also way too many rug-pulls, eroding the impact of any major plot twists to the extent that, by the time Jake Gyllenhaal's (admittedly very good) Mysterio meets his demise, you're left second-guessing yourself. Still, the core cast's chemistry fizzes wonderfully, and the segment involving a zombified Iron Man is amongst the MCU's most unique and visually impressive. 

7. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

With Raimi's franchise biting the dust due to the director not feeling compelled by any of the new ideas being put in front of him, it was up to Marc Webb to reboot the Spider-World. In Andrew Garfield, he found a pitch-perfect Peter Parker who perfectly embodied the character's geekiest, cheekiest and most arrestingly charming traits. Garfield would find the perfect romantic foil in Emma Stone, and while Rhys Ifans' Lizard just didn't feel as emotionally wedded to Parker's world as Doc Ock and Green Goblin had before him, the film's mixture of dazzling visuals and intimate emotional stakes made for a very solid first outing for Spidey's new era. 

6. Spider-Man (2002)

After languishing for years in development hell, Spider-Man finally made his big screen debut proper courtesy of Sam Raimi, and Hollywood would never be the same again. While X-Men had officially made superhero films a mainstream concern again two years prior, Raimi's eye for an unforgettable visual (the upside down kiss!) and an emotionally compelling narrative backbone gave Spider-Man the feel of both a true cinematic blockbuster and an adaptation in keeping with the spirit of its source material. Toby Maguire was easy to root for as the nerdy but determined Peter Parker, while Willem Dafoe's increasingly unhinged turn as Norman Osbourne/Green Goblin remains world class. Then there's J.K. Simmons' legendary portrayal of J. Jonah Jameson, so good that it'd survive well beyond the Raimi era. Some of the effects looked a little ropey even for the time, and Dafoe's Power Rangers-esque Goblin suit remains an absolute howler, but this is still a great first showing for the Webbed One.

5. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

After a show-stealing turn in Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland confirmed once and for all that he was another inspired casting choice as Peter Parker, his overawed, youthful enthusiasm providing the perfect emotional backbone for a more grassroots, very local friendly neighbourhood-centric take on the character. His cohorts, meanwhile, warmly brought to life by Zendaya and Jacob Batalon, offered a different dynamic to what we'd seen on screen to this point, while Michael Keaton's turn as Vulture is one of the MCU's most underrated villain portrayals. Breezy, funny as hell and action-packed, Homecoming gave us hope that we might finally have a Spider-Man franchise built to last. 

4. Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (2023)

Topping the visually astonishing and wonderfully original Into The Spider-Verse was a tall ask, and while Across The Spider-Verse doesn't quite manage that, it absolutely does its predecessor justice and is a fantastic, dazzling, breathless epic in its own right. Packed with so many stunning visual quirks and narrative flourishes that it requires repeat viewings to take everything in, Across The Spider-Verse very nearly comes off the rails thanks to its relentless pace and head-spinning array of new Spider-People, but manages to hold on thanks to the sheer charm of its voice cast and lovingly crafted characters, Hailee Steinfeld's Gwen Stacy stepping up magnificently to help hold the film together alongside Shameik Moore's conflicted Miles Morales. Once again, we find ourselves tantalisingly close to having a truly great Spider-Man trilogy. Will Sony finally pull it off?

3. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Even given the rumours that had been doing the rounds for months and despite the MCU finally toying with multiverses, the idea of Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield and Toby Maguire's Spider-Men all sharing the screen at once seemed too good to be true. That it happened and produced some of the most triumphantly exhilarating moments in blockbuster history is one thing, but the fact that John Watts managed to so deftly weave those three heroes, their accompanying villains, a bonus Doctor Strange and a major character death together is an amazing achievement. No Way Home isn't just the ultimate love letter to Spider-Man on the big screen; it's a riotously fun, hilarious and emotionally devastating ride, giving welcome second winds to Alfred Molina's Doc Ock and Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin, a nice new coat of paint to Jamie Foxx's Electro and a much-needed, satisfying moment of cathartis for Garfield's Spidey. 

2. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Having confirmed it was possible to bring Spider-Man to the Big Screen in style, Sam Raimi upped the stakes dramatically, producing not just an all-time great comic book movie, but one of the greatest blockbusters of the 2000s. Key to this is Alfred Molina, whose haunted, methodical and, eventually, maniacal Doctor Octopus arguably remains the greatest on-screen Spidey baddie, bringing an extra emotional weight to his dynamic with Maguire's Peter Parker that makes the stakes feel that much more tangible. Raimi also brings Doc Ock's battles with Spider-Man to life in astonishing fashion courtesy of some world class cinematography and brilliant set-pieces. Other great (and not so great) Spider-flicks would follow, but Spider-Man 2 perfected the simple supes formula of an easy to root for hero, a believable love interest and a compelling, memorable villain.

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

With Tom Holland's Peter Parker now bedded into the MCU, the idea of another new Spider-Man entering the chat seemed like overkill. That it could outdo the MCU's take on the character seemed impossible. With Into The Spider-Verse, however, directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman struck gold by shifting the focus to a different Spider-Man, going for broke with a wildly out-of-the-box plot and embracing the limitless possibilities of animation to produce something thrilling, surprising and completely new. Into `The Spider-Verse isn't just the best Spider-Man movie; it's the most accomplished piece of animation Hollywood has produced in a generation, every risk and strange flight of fancy paying off handsomely as we get to experience new visions of familiar characters and a near-unprecedented level of visual flair.

None of this would matter as much if the story itself wasn't convincing, however, and with Miles, Gwen and their increasingly ludicrous cast of Spider-buddies, Into The Spider-Verse becomes a film, more than any of its predecessors, that just gets what Spider-Man is all about. The moral of anyone potentially being under the mask wasn't just an easy catchphrase Stan Lee liked to throw out; it represented the potential for greatness that we all have within us, and this instant classic nails that idea to perfection. It took almost twenty years for us to get there, but Into The Spider-Verse finally gave us a perfect Spider-Man movie, and all without Peter Parker even being its central Spidey.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.