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The best Spider-Man movies: Ranked from worst to best before No Way Home

ByASNF

Dec 16, 2021

Credit: Sony

Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters on Thursday night in most parts of the US. This latest entry in the Tom Holland-starring Spider-Man movie series brings back a lot of villains from previous film incarnations of Marvel’s web-slinger. So where can you stream, rent, or buy these older films, and which ones are the best? We have put the theatrically released Spider-Man movies in order of our personal rankings, from eight to one.

We have not ranked Spider-Man’s appearances in other films, like his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Captain America: Civil War and his appearances in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. For completion’s sake, you can stream all three of these movies over at Disney Plus. We also are not adding the two standalone movies featuring Spider-Man’s frequent enemy Venom.

Let’s get on with it! These are the best Spider-Man movies ranked from worst to best.

8. Spider-Man 3 (2007)

spider man 3

Oh boy. Even Sam Raimi has disavowed his third and final directing entry in the Spider-Man series. Honestly, a movie featuring battles between Harry Osborn and Peter Parker, along with the subplot of Peter and Mary Jane’s relationship, would have made for a solid third film. Instead, we get all sorts of other characters and subplots, from the introduction of the Sandman to the alien symbiote that finds Peter and turns him, briefly, into a self-absorbed jerk. Finally, the symbiote leaves Peter and attaches itself to rival Eddie Brock (Topher Grace), and that’s when this film just becomes a mess that cannot be cleaned up. That’s why it’s dead last in our ranking.

You can currently watch Spider-Man 3 on Peacock with a paid subscription. You can also buy or rent a digital copy at Amazon Prime Video.

7. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

amazing spider man 2

Credit: sony

The second of the “Amazing” movies tried to overcompensate from the first by throwing in lots of new characters. It didn’t work.

Related: The best Marvel movies and TV shows on Netflix

Jamie Foxx’s villainous turn as Electro is, ironically, not electric at all (let’s hope he gets better in No Way Home). The introduction of the Rhino (Paul Giamatti) could have also been left on the cutting room floor. Finally, Dane DeHaan’s Harry Osborn wants to be seen as sympathetic, but he acts like a stuck-up brat, and, later on, a psychotic one when he goes full Green Goblin. While this second Andrew Garfield-Marc Webb movie has its moments (particularly its comic book accurate ending), this film is strictly for die-hard Spider-Man/Marvel fans.

While The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is not available currently on any streaming service, you can buy or rent a digital copy at Amazon Prime Video.

6. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

andrew garfield

FX783G The amazing Spider Man Spider Man 4 2012 Real Marc Webb Andrew Garfield Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures / Collection Christophel / Collection Christophel
Credit: Sony

Just five years after Spider-Man 3, Sony completely rebooted the web-slinger with the first of two movies starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and directed by Marc Webb. While Garfield does a better job with portraying Spider-Man as a joke-spewing superhero as he is in the comics, his Peter Parker is more of a skateboarding cool kid than a science geek. Emma Stone does a good job playing Peter’s crush Gwen Stacey. However, Rhys Ifans is not a very compelling villain as The Lizard. Also, the small flashback subplot centering on Peter’s murdered parents could have gone missing and we wouldn’t have noticed. Ultimately this movie is watchable but very forgettable.

While The Amazing Spider-Man is not available currently on any streaming service, you can buy or rent a digital copy at Amazon Prime Video.

5. Spider-Man (2001)

spider man

The box-office success of the first Spider-Man live-action film helped to jump-start the entire superhero movie genre. Tobey Maguire doesn’t look like a teenager at all, but he does have the geekiness down pat in his first performance as Peter Parker. Willem Dafoe is perfectly cast as Norman Osborn, who is already pretty crazy before he takes the formula that turns him into Spider-Man’s best villain, the Green Gobin. Some of the visual effects are a little dated today, but overall director Sam Raimi delivered a solid origin story for Spider-Man.

You can currently watch Spider-Man on the Peacock service with a paid subscription. You can also buy or rent a digital copy at Amazon Prime Video.

4. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

 Homecoming

Credit: Frederick Blichert / Android Authority

The first of the Tom Holland Spider-Man movies in the MCU, Spider-Man: Homecoming sees Holland reprise his role as Peter Parker, as first seen in Captain America: Civil War. Letting Peter find his way as a neighborhood hero post-Civil War gives the movie a back-to-basics flavor. That’s very welcome within the complex and overlapping MCU. You still get to see how he fits into the bigger picture though. His connections to Tony Stark solidify into a touching mentorship.

See also: The best action movies on Netflix

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