All 10 'Spider-Man' Movies Ranked, From Worst to Best

With there now being 10 Spider-Man movies with 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,' Complex ranked them all from worst to best.

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No character in the history of Marvel has as much representation on the big screen as the iconic Spider-Man

With the recent release of Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse, we now have 10 iterations of Spidey that have been released since the year 2002 alone. Sam Raimi, Jon Watts, Marc Webb, and the trio of Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson have all left their own signature touches on one of the world’s most popular heroes. 

Easily one of the most revered characters who Stan Lee ever created, Spider-Man has been capturing the hearts and minds of comic books fans ever since the hero’s introduction in 1962. Spider-Man also has a different set of morals than most superheroes. Spidey is just a teenager and the character comes with a unique sense of charm and wit that aids in its popularity.

Throughout all the Spider-Man films, whether we are dealing with Peter Parker, Miles Morales, or even Gwen Stacy, we are constantly reminded that the role of Spider-Man is not just one singular person. It's a mantle to be passed down and protected. 

Four actors have taken on the role of Spider-Man so far, and each one of them has lent their own signature flair to the neighborhood hero. Tobey Maguire is the nostalgic nerd who got the first crack at playing the character on the modern day big screen. He brought a sense of emotion to Peter Parker that will never be forgotten.

Andrew Garfield brought along a new and cooler (while still awkward) version of Spider-Man, and his character will likely always be remembered for his incredible onscreen chemistry with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy. Tom Holland, the MCU’s Peter Parker, is perhaps the most comic-accurate rendition, as he is the closest in age to what the web slinger should be. And even Lee was fond of the actor, saying, “It’s as if we created a living being to be Spider-Man, and it turned out to be Tom.” 

Finally, Shameik Moore is the first actor with the opportunity to play Marvel’s Miles Morales on the big screen, a character first introduced to comics in 2011, and has brought a whole new sense of swagger and energy to the character. 

With there now being 10 Spider-Man movies after the release of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Complex felt it was time to rank them all from worst to best. [Ed. note: Spoiler warning ahead for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.]

10. Spider-Man 3 (2007)

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Spider-Man 3 gave us the now-iconic Tobey Maguire dancing meme, it gave us emo Tobey Maguire, and it gave us that incredible Tobey Maguire haircut, but honestly, it didn’t really give us too much else. It is hard not to walk away from this movie with a bit of a sour taste in your mouth, as it was a far from fitting end to one of the greatest superhero trilogies of all time. Topher Grace’s Venom has to be one of the worst villains I can think of from any comic book movie. It's no secret that Raimi was not a fan of the Venom character and was forced to include the extraterrestrial symbiote. In turn, this resulted in a half-baked attempt to bring to life one of the most important antagonists in all of Spider-Man lore.

Disappointment aside, it isn’t all bad for Raimi’s finale, as there are some more than solid action sequences in this film, particularly the one featuring a glider-bound New Goblin and Maguire slinging through alleys without his costume on. Another positive note for Spider-Man 3 is the conclusion that comes to Thomas Haden Church’s emotionally driven Sandman character as well as the incredibly convoluted relationship between Peter Parker and James Franco’s Harry Osborne. Osborne dies a hero, helping save both Spider-Man and Mary Jane, and Sandman receives forgiveness from Spider-Man for murdering Uncle Ben. An up-and-down movie for sure, but Spider-Man 3’s presence at the bottom of this list speaks more to the strength of what’s to come rather than its own weaknesses.

9. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

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Much like the first movie on this list, The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s biggest downfall is an attempt to force too many ideas and too many characters into one movie, leading to a bit of a jumbled mess. It was clear that Marc Webb was aiming to set up a Sinister Six movie with the inclusion of all the villains in this film (including Vulture and Doctor Octopus Easter eggs), but with that never materializing, it feels like a waste. On top of that, Dane DeHaan’s Green Goblin comes with one of the more terrible and nightmare-inducing supervillain get-ups of all time. 

While the plot of this movie is far too jam-packed and feels like a bunch of movies rolled into one, it is well acted by its three leading roles—Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy, and Jamie Foxx’s Electro. Spider-Man and Electro have a complex and interesting relationship throughout the film and share a pretty awesome scene together in Times Square. Of course this movie will always be best known for the haunting—and heartbreaking—death of Gwen Stacy. Stone and Garfield’s chemistry (anchored by them dating in real life at the time) helped carry this story along and definitely distracts from its chaos at times. That moment will be one of the most memorable scenes throughout the entirety of Spider-Man’s film history, largely due in part to Garfield’s stellar performance. 

8. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

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After things fell apart between Sam Raimi and Sony in 2010, the studio opted to switch gears with Spider-Man and brought in Marc Webb to revitalize the franchise with the help of Andrew Garfield as its leading man. One of the main reasons that this movie (and its sequel) wasn’t successful is that it came far too soon after the conclusion of Spider-Man 3. Marvel fans were only two years removed from the breakup between Raimi, Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and Sony, so the introduction of a brand-new cast of characters felt too forced and too soon. Webb tried to do things his own way, opting for Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy as opposed to Mary Jane as Spidey’s love interest, and that is certainly one of the brighter spots of the film. 

That being said, this Spider-Man’s origin story simply didn’t offer anything new. It felt like we just did the whole Uncle Ben thing, we had just been introduced to this hero, and we really didn’t need it to happen again. Garfield certainly puts his own spin on the hero in this universe; he’s a cooler Spider-Man than the goofy but lovable Maguire, and that definitely set off some Spidey diehards. In comparison to the main villain in Raimi’s first Spider-Man (Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin), The Lizard is just not the best way to kickstart a new franchise. Strong acting from the aforementioned duo alongside a well-casted Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben are the clear anchors of this so-so entry into the Spider-Universe.  

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

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Spider-Man: Far From Home had the lofty expectations of being the first MCU project following Avengers: Endgame. Tony Stark just died, Thanos was just vanquished (for a second and final time), and all of the characters who disappeared during “The Snap'' are adjusting to a life on Earth after having just been gone for five years. This is all especially hard on the MCU’s Peter Parker, as he was one of the heroes that Thanos turned into dust and he had to watch his mentor die in order to save the entire universe. Unlike this movie’s predecessor, in Far From Home we are dealing with a Spider-Man who just wants to take a vacation with the girl he loves and take a break from being who he is (something fans of the character are far from used to). Where Far From Home re​​ally shines is in its action sequences and awe-inspiring visuals created by Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio. 

Jon Watts does a great job with Mysterio’s backstory in this film, tying it back to Stark, but it is the inclusion of Iron Man’s E.D.I.T.H. program that feels like the film’s only real major plot hole. For a standalone Spider-Man film, this is the first time we really see the hero step outside of neighborhood-level conflicts as Holland not only fights Gyllenhaal in Europe, but he is also dealing with universe-altering threats. As a package, Far From Home is a great entrant in the MCU world, but at times it feels more like an MCU movie than it does a Spider-Man movie. Watts had a ton on his plate with this movie, and for the most part he pulled it off, setting the stage for the multiverse as well as a Secret Invasion series that hasn’t even come out yet.      

6. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

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Off the bat, Spider-Man: Homecoming has what I view as an advantage: it avoids the typical Spider-Man origin story that we have seen time and time again. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker was previously introduced to us during 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. We start things off with a Peter Parker who is still riding the high of the iconic airport scene from Civil War. We even get to see some behind-the-scenes POV footage of the battle featuring the majority of the earth-based Avengers. The playbook was sitting right in front of director Jon Watts to use, but he chose to go in a completely different direction and truly refresh one of Marvel’s most iconic IPs. Uncle Ben’s death is not a major part of the story, Aunt May is played by Marisa Tomei, Zendaya plays MJ, and this version of Spider-Man utilizes Stark technology. 

A relatively simple storyline definitely plays in this movie’s favor along with Michael Keaton’s nearly flawless performance as Vulture. In one scene, Holland and Keaton share a car ride to the homecoming dance together that features palpable tension and is arguably the best-acted scene of the film. There is something about the way that Holland plays the character that feels more wholesome than Maguire or Garfield. Homecoming is packed with humor that feels natural and we really feel like we're becoming Spider-Man right alongside the protagonist himself. It feels like a more comic-accurate version of Spidey as well, with the actor being younger and rebellious as Tony Stark essentially tries to bench him, which of course does not go well. 

5. Spider-Man (2002)

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Perhaps the most influential film on this list, Raimi’s original Spider-Man laid the foundation for the modern-day superhero movie. It is the first contemporary telling of the hero’s origin story and helped introduce the larger world to one of the most iconic characters in the history of Marvel Comics. Tobey Maguire was the first choice to work alongside Raimi, as the director perfectly utilized the actor’s playfulness to create a character that is still revered 21 years later. When I think of Peter Parker, Maguire will always be the first person that comes to mind (even though I do think Tom Holland plays the role better). And when I think of Mary Jane Watson, Kirsten Dunst is the first face I think of. The same can be said for J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson as well as Rosemary Harris as Aunt May. 

Maybe it’s nostalgia doing a bit of the talking here, but it really doesn't get much better than those casting decisions. And that’s all being said without even mentioning Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin. It seems like people, for whatever reason, forgot how impactful of a villain Dafoe was in 2002. He finally seemed to get his flowers as he reprised the role in the MCU’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, with many now considering him to be one of the studio’s top villains. 

Dafoe’s Goblin gave the hero the toughest ass-kicking he’s ever gotten on the big screen in this particular film. The psychological war that this villain has with himself throughout the film used to give me legitimate nightmares as a kid, and the conclusion to his story is nearly perfect. Parker has to come to terms with the fact that he just murdered his best friend’s (James Franco) father in his very first villain confrontation since becoming a superhero. If that doesn’t make you question if you’re cut out for this gig, then I don’t know what will. 

4. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

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Following in the footsteps of the incredibly influential Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2 manages to impressively improve on the foundation laid before it. Peter Parker is just a teenager who is trying to balance the life of being a superhero with going to school, falling in love, and maintaining friendships. Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus can be stacked up against just about any comic book movie villain in history as he delicately toes the line between fear and sympathy throughout the film’s entirety. In many ways, Doc Ock is a reflection of Parker himself, he begins the movie as his mentor, and after many scenes of destruction and terror, he learns the error of his ways and attempts to right his wrongs. He truly embodies one of Parker’s core principles: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Throughout the movie, Maguire never gives up on Molina, even though he is battling him the entire time, knowing that deep down there is still a good person underneath his mechanical tentacles. There is a reason why their first interaction in No Way Home is one of the more special reunions in a movie jam-packed with returns. One of the better confrontations between the protagonist and antagonist during Spider-Man 2 is undoubtedly the iconic train scene, a moment where Spider-Man really shows New York just how strong he is.

The full extent of Spidey’s powers are a bit difficult to portray on the silver screen, as he is purposely small in stature, but in Marvel Comics, there is no arguing that he is one of the more powerful heroes out there, fully on display when he stops an entire subway from crashing. For my money, this is the best Maguire performance out of his three. He brings out the emotion of the character, the torment he faces, the responsibility he feels, and the lighthearted humor that helps make Spider-Man so lovable. 

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

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Grabbing the top live-action spot on this list, Spider-Man: No Way Home takes one of the biggest swings that any MCU-affiliated movie has ever taken. With a bounty of rumors swirling, this movie had about as much pressure to deliver as you can imagine. It was highly speculated that Garfield and Maguire were returning by way of the multiverse, and their arrival through Ned’s magic portals led to a topnotch in-person movie-viewing experience. 

Their inclusion in the film led to a number of moments that won’t soon be forgotten in Spider-Man lore. It featured the three Spideys swinging together atop the Statue of Liberty, a number of call-backs from each of their franchises, and an emotionally-charged moment that saw Garfield's Spidey avenging Gwen Stacy's death by saving Zendaya’s MJ from an eerily similar fall. Villains from Spider-Man movie’s past also returned, including the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Electro, The Lizard, and Sandman. In terms of the plot, it picks up right where the end credit scene in Far From Home leaves off, with Spider-Man’s identity being revealed, leading to one of the most challenging moments in Peter Parker’s life.

To remedy the issue, Holland calls upon Doctor Strange to cast a spell with hopes to reverse that identity reveal. Of course, things go sideways and the multiverse rips open, which leads to all of the chaos mentioned above. No Way Home can be a bit cluttered at times, but it takes a ton of home-run swings and it connects on most of them. 

2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

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At the time of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s release, people were calling it the greatest animated movie of all time. Now, five years later, it is arguably the second greatest animated movie of all time, only being usurped by its sequel, Across the Spider-Verse. That being said, there would be no Across the Spider-Verse if it wasn’t for Into the Spider-Verse. The 2018 film laid the groundwork for what’s to come in the world of Miles Morales, giving the character his first full-length feature film since his Marvel comics introduction in 2011.

First, we meet Shameik Moore’s Miles Morales in a world where Peter Parker and Spider-Man already exist. After Parker dies and Morales is bitten by a radioactive spider, he is forced to take up the mantle and eventually save the multiverse. Morales is brand new to being Spider-Man, and Into the Spider-Verse cleverly calls upon heroes from other dimensions to teach him what it means to be a Spider-Hero. 

Included in that group is Jake Johnson’s hilarious Peter B. Parker, Hailee Steinfeld’s captivating Spider-Gwen, John Mulaney’s scene-stealing Peter Porker or Spider-Ham, and more. What sets this animated movie apart from all the films on this list is that it truly serves as a love letter to the comic books and all its fans. It feels like a comic book on the screen, featuring an abundance of animation styles, reflecting the different universes that each variant comes from. 

More importantly, an idea that the film encapsulates so well is the notion that Spider-Man is not just Peter Parker. Spider-Man is more of an idea, an alias, a set of morals, and a construct so much more than it is one individual person. Its final scene is as clear as can be; as Miles swings through Brooklyn, he breaks the fourth wall as he did earlier in the movie and tells us, “Anyone can wear the mask. You could wear the mask… If you didn’t know that before, I hope you do now.”

1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)

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Not only is Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse the greatest Spider-Man movie of all time, but it makes a serious case (probably along with The Dark Knight) for being the greatest superhero movie of all time. It built on a foundation laid out by its predecessor that completely shifted the animated film industry and opened the door for a bounty of possibilities for the adored genre. The things that its directors, Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson, were able to accomplish are nothing short of beautiful. The scene when Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy are web-swinging around Brooklyn and end up on top of the Williamsburg Bank Building is frankly jaw-dropping. Animated movies play by a different set of rules; they’re able to suspend reality more than live-action films are. Across the Spider-Verse takes full advantage of that and doesn’t miss a single opportunity. In 2023, superhero movie viewers are well-adjusted to the idea of the multiverse, as it is a major plot point in Phase 4 of the MCU.

It would be easy to grow tired of the concept, but the way it’s employed in this movie is unlike any other we’ve seen. Different characters from various realities come together with a mix of animation styles, costumes, and set of rules. We see a Lego Spider-Man, Spider-Punk, Spider-Man 2099, Spider-Rex, Manga Spider-Man, and countless more come together in a scene in Earth 928’s Nueva York that puts the Citadel of Ricks from Rick and Morty to shame. All of that aside, the plot in this Spider-Man film is unlike any other as well; it perfectly balances the moral compass we’ve gotten used to from the hero with a refreshed take that perfectly fits in with this version of Miles Morales’ personality. 

Spider-Man is always balancing the value of one life versus the value of many, but when Miles learns that it is his father’s life on the line (in a wildly self-aware scene that involves the idea of protecting Spider-Man canon), he rebels against an interdimensional army of his peers. It’s perfectly encapsulated by my favorite line in the movie when Miles is fighting off Oscar Isaac’s Miguel O’Hara: “Everyone keeps telling me how my story is supposed to go. Nah, I’mma do my own thing.” Additionally, the development of the film’s main antagonist is compelling, as The Spot starts off as a silly “villain of the week” trying to steal an ATM from a local bodega, and levels up to an interdimensional-level threat with a terrifying new look by the movie’s end. 

As Complex Sneakers’ senior social strategist, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the seamless and innovative integration of the Air Jordan 1 “Next Chapter” when Miles returns to a universe that we soon find out isn’t his. There’s so much more to say about this sequel, but I’ll finish this with how it ends: the head-to-head cliff-hanging encounter between our version of Miles Morales and Earth 42’s Prowler version set up a highly anticipated conclusion to this trilogy that has me counting the days until March 29. 

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