‘Spider-Man’ movie rankings that no one asked for

Some are opinions, a few are straight up facts.

words by: Alee Kwong
Dec 27, 2021

Now that Spider-Man: No Way Home has arrived, many of us are rewatching the previous Spider-Man movies to reacquaint ourselves with Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man. While rewatching the older films will not give us any major insight, it’s still pretty fun to see all the villains that are set to appear in the Homecoming finale. A lot of us probably have the same rankings, but let’s talk about each one, worst to best.


Spider-Man 3 (2007) – WORST


This one feels very obvious. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 was a disaster. One of the main complaints from Spider-Man fans was that there were too many villains in this film. A villain in particular that didn’t do well with audiences was Eddie Brock/Venom (played by Topher Grace).


Sam Raimi had originally planned for Sir Ben Kingsley to play the Vulture, the studio was worried that Raimi was choosing his own personal villain favorites, instead of the more modern ones that audiences wanted to see on-screen.


Raimi has been very honest about his feelings for the character over the years, stating that he didn’t like Venom’s “lack of humanity” and didn’t understand him, which was evident in the villain’s subpar portrayal.


Time has been kind to the third installment of Raimi’s Spider-Man films by way of memes — specifically Emo Peter and Peter “I’m gonna put some dirt in your eye” Parker (also known as Bully Peter).


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)


This wasn’t a horrible movie but I stand by the opinion that Andrew Garfield is too cool to be Peter Parker. While many fans took issue with the villains in Sam Raimi’s third film, I took issue with the two villains in Marc Webb’s sequel.


The Green Goblin (played by Dane DeHaan) and Electro (played by Jamie Foxx) had some of the worst character designs that I’ve ever seen. A bold claim, but true nonetheless.


I loved the relationship between Garfield’s Peter Parker and DeHaan’s Harry Osborn, but as soon as Harry Osborn became the Green Goblin — with a villainous face that looked like he was literally rotting — I was out.


This movie also imparted a great sadness that I am still working through (almost eight years after its release) — the death of Gwen Stacy (played by Emma Stone).


The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)


Again, Andrew Garfield is just way too cool to be Peter Parker. The only reason this movie ranks one step higher than its sequel is that I am a sucker for franchise reboots — I give them a fair chance.


A franchise reboot gives the director a chance to introduce us to the person behind the mask before we get to know them as a superhero. Learning more about Peter Parker’s parents and his connection to Dr. Curt Conners (who eventually transforms into the Lizard after a regeneration serum gone wrong) really anchored the movie.


In short, Andrew Garfield is a great Spider-Man but not a great Peter Parker.


Spider-Man (2002)


While I give the first movie of a franchise a fair chance, this movie had some ups and downs. I think that Tobey Maguire is an amazing Peter Parker. Despite his short screen time with Uncle Ben, I was fully invested in their relationship and felt the pain that Parker felt when his uncle was murdered.


When he rose to the responsibility of protecting New York City, it was clear that the weight of his guilt was what drove him. This film also gave us one of the scariest Marvel villains — Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin.


While he was extremely over the top in his performance, there’s no denying that Dafoe’s Green Goblin cackle still sends chills down our spines.


Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)


Overall, I enjoyed this movie a lot. It showed us that Spider-Man is not just a hero — but he’s also a teenager. Set in a post-Blip world, Spider-Man: Far from Home gives us a chance to learn more about Peter Parker as he navigates his friendship with Ned Leeds (played by Jacob Batalon) and his awkward crush on MJ (played by Zendaya).


One thing I was not a fan of was Tom Holland’s Peter Parker relying on yet another mentor. I understood his reliance on Tony Stark in Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming, but I thought that he would rise to the challenge of standing on his own two feet after the tragic events of Avengers: Endgame.


I can’t be too mad at this movie just because it is setting up an epic finale to the Homecoming trilogy.


Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)


I’m not sure if this is an unpopular opinion or not, but I think Tom Holland does a great job of portraying both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. I think that’s why he has garnered more popularity than Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire.


Sure, Holland’s character has received the MCU treatment (all funded by that big Disney money) but he does a great job of making it clear that Peter Parker is just your average high schooler. While there has been a point of concern about the omission of Parker’s financial struggles, Holland has done a great job at building a solid foundation for his secret identity as well as his heroic identity.


Spider-Man 2 (2004)


This is one of the few films that tops the introductory film. I think we can all agree that Doc Ock stands right next to the Green Goblin as one of the greatest Spider-Man villains of all time, right?


Alfred Molina’s performance as the infamous Dr. Otto Octavius is something to stand up and applaud. Not only does Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man sequel riff on the classic Spider-Man No More comic storyline almost to perfection, but it’s in this film that we see New York City’s love for Spider-Man in the iconic subway fight scene.


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) – BEST


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse being #1 is not an opinion, it’s a fact. This is the best Spider-Man film that we’ve been offered (so far, not including Spider-Man: No Way Home in the rankings). I would even argue that this film is damn-near flawless.


The cast, the art style, the script, the story, the soundtrack, and the post-credit scene. This has been the only rewatchable film that is a joy to watch every single time.


My favorite thing about this film, above all else, is the art style. While many animated movies and television shows are entertaining to watch, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Batman: The Animated Series are the only two that I appreciate artistically.


We need a live-action Miles Morales, now!


Speaking of Spider-Man content, here are some Spidey variants you may not have known that could potentially show up someday.


Photos via Pocket-Lint, Marvel and Sony Pictures