What are the best Spider-Man movies? It’s a good time to be a fan of Spider-Man. In the last two decades, the Wallcrawler swung his way through many films, and three different Spider-Man actors have donned the live-action webbed-onesie. We’ve even seen big-screen versions of Spidey’s most famous supporting characters, including Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen, in glorious animation.
Yet, not all Spider-Man movies are created equally. Embracing the wide range of Spider-Man villains, some are the best superhero movies, and some are close to the worst movies in the genre. We know it’s not easy to admit, but it’s not always been smooth swinging for the webslinger, and some Spider-Man actors get dealt a tougher hand than others. There have been goofy-looking villains, poor scripts, and a dizzying obsession with setting up spin-offs — and that’s just The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
To save you a spider-sense-induced headache, we’ve been through the MCU and animation to rewatch the Spider-Man movies in order in an attempt to rank them all and find the best Spider-Man movies. We’ve only included theatrically released films, which means the ‘70s TV movies are out, as is the 1978 Japanese Spider-Man film (don’t worry, we included them on our Spider-Man actors ranking). We’ve also not included the team-up films Peter Parker appears in (Avengers, Civil War, etc.) because they’re more ensemble pieces than Spidey films. With the rules out of the way: let the battle commence.
The best Spider-Man movies:
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2
- Spider-Man 3
- The Amazing Spider-Man
- Spider-Man: No Way Home
- Spider-Man: Far From Home
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
- Spider-Man 2
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
10. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Listen, we know it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but as much as we love Andrew Garfield as an actor, there’s a reason he’s Peter 3: he has the worst films in the series, on average. Despite their titles, neither of the Andrew Garfield movies lived up to their sobriquet, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is easily the worst film to feature the Wallcrawler.
Worst to best: MCU movies ranked
Poorly plotted and confusing, this movie was more obsessed with setting up several doomed spin-offs than telling a coherent story. To make matters worse, its take on Electro squandered both Jamie Foxx and one of the most intimidating Spider-Man villains, the Green Goblin.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s greatest sin, though, is that it’s just dull, wasting Garfield and Emma Stone’s superb chemistry in lieu of having Peter mope about like a sulky teen. At least Spider-Man’s suit looked pretty good, I guess…
9. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Venom is one of Spidey’s more complex foes, but Sam Raimi‘s final Spider-Man film did the character dirty. The horror veteran was quite open in his dislike for the Lethal Protector during production and made it clear his inclusion was a studio mandate, not an organic part of the story. So, not a recipe for success.
Raimi’s group! Where is the Spider-Man cast now?
This installment in the original trilogy feels the least like a Raimi outing and more like a marketing exercise. To make matters worse, the inclusion of Venom meant there was little space to develop the film’s more natural baddies, Harry Osborn and Sandman, leaving the whole thing underbaked.
Spider-Man 3’s only saving grace is an entertaining fight between Sandman and a more brutal Spider-Man. And, of course, it gave the world the Bully Maguire meme.
8. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
The Amazing Spider-Man’s not exactly bad; it’s more forgettable than anything else. You can see Sony trying to apply the Twilight model to Spider-Man, and for the most part, it works, thanks to Garfield and Stone’s staggering chemistry.
Creature feature: Best monster movies
Still, the Lizard is no one’s favorite Marvel villain, and his plot to turn the citizens of New York into reptiles is hokey. But it’s got some good moments, Garfield is generally great, and at least it’s more thought out than whatever was going on with Dane DeHaan’s Green Goblin.
7. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
When it comes to Spider-Man movies, they don’t come bigger than No Way Home, which is jam-packed with MCU characters. We wrote in our No Way Home review that the film was a thrilling and unabashed ode to the bombast of comic book movies while also a spectacular celebration of all things Spidey.
Across the multiverse! Best fantasy movies
Yet, as much as we love the film, it’s undeniable that it’s more tangled than a spider-web in a hurricane, basically requiring a degree in Web-Head history to understand. It also doesn’t stand up to scrutiny on a re-watch, when the hype has worn off, and can be blamed for the tedious obsession with the multiverse.
We get why people adore No Way Home, but it’s a little bit like having cake for dinner. It’s an absolute treat while you’re watching, but not really that nourishing and, to our mind, the worst of the MCU Spidey flicks so far.
6. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Taking Spidey out of his element and dropping him in Europe sounds like a potentially risky move for a Spider-Man film. Still, this globe-trotting adventure movie delivers plenty of thrills and some of the best action scenes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Mysterious! Best thriller movies
Far From Home’s greatest strength, however, is its villain. Jake Gyllenhaal is magnificent as the master of illusions, Mysterio. True, he’s chewing through the scenery like a termite coming off a diet, but if you’re not playing Quentin Beck with a certain theatricality, then you’re doing it wrong.
5. Spider-Man (2002)
The first is often the best, but not here. While we still love Raimi’s Spider-Man, it doesn’t quite live up to the heights of the sequel; there’s a stiffness to the performances, dialog, and action. It’s not bad, it just lacks the confidence of Spider-Man 2.
All that said, Raimi really did make you believe a man could swing (not in that way) and grounded the fantastical Spider-Man in something approaching a believable reality while keeping as much of the over-the-top comic book histrionics as he could.
We’ve also got Raimi to thank for one of the best bits of comic book movie casting in cinema history. Can you seriously imagine anyone but Willem Dafoe playing Spidey’s scariest villain, the Green Goblin? Us either.
4. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
A lot of the criticism leveled at the MCU’s Spider-Man is that he’s moved too far away from the grounded roots of the character and is essentially Iron Lad. While that’s a pretty superficial argument — in this writer’s not-so-humble opinion — we think the best MCU Spidey film, Homecoming, demonstrates why it’s not true.
Cool suit? Best science fiction movies
The entire film’s about Peter Parker’s resourcefulness and instinctive heroism regardless of the suit he wears. Credit has to be given for giving us the most well-rounded big-screen version of Spider-Man we’ve ever got in Tom Holland.
It also gave us another iconic bad guy in the form of Michael Keaton‘s Vulture. Who’d have thought that Adrian Toomes (who’s more of a nuisance than a nemesis in the comics) would become such a fan favorite? It probably helps that he’s Batman…
3. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)
Following Into the Spider-Verse was always going to be a hard thing to do, but the filmmakers behind this managed to pull it off. Across the Spider-Verse is a magnificent movie that manages to be both a love letter to Spider-Man fans as well as a gripping and thrilling story in its own right.
It’s not quite as tight as the first film (middle chapters often have this issue), but we love how it allows Miles to fully step out of the shadows of his predecessors and fully take on the mantle of the Wallcrawler. Shout out to Shameik Moore and the rest of the Spider-Verse 2 cast for all their great work. And yes, if you’re wondering, we are counting down the days to the Beyond the Spider-Verse release date.
2. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
The best live-action Spidey movie to date, Spider-Man 2, is a bonafide masterpiece and ranks among the greatest Marvel movies ever made. The first Spider-Man felt like a warm-up for this one, which improves on its predecessor in every conceivable way.
From the direction, story, and performances, everything about Spider-Man 2 is more self-assured and confident. Particular praise must be given to Alfred Molina for making Doc Ock, of all people, relatable, and to Raimi for directing the most exciting comic book movie set piece ever made: the battle on top of the elevated train.
For the longest time, I thought Spider-Man 2 would never be knocked off the top spot, but then a certain animated one came along.
1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
If Spider-Man 2 is a masterpiece, then Into the Spider-Verse is whatever the level above a masterpiece is. A doctor-piece? No, that doesn’t work. Let’s just call it what it is: brilliant. Like our other favorite Spidey flicks, Spider-Verse has a lot of confidence in its frankly absurd premise, and as such, it manages to pull off its bonkers multiverse-spanning adventure with grace.
Best of them all! Best movies of all time
The medium of animation allows us to see Spider-Man move in a way we’ve never seen before and pull off impossible feats without entering the dreaded uncanny valley. There’s also something to be said for the film daring to leave Peter Parker behind and embrace the other spider-powered people in the Marvel universe.
We’ve been waiting to see Miles Morales on the big screen for a while now, but we never thought the day would come when he’d debut with Spider-Gwen and Spider-Ham, of all people.
What to watch? Best Marvel series
As a Spider-Man fan, Spider-Verse is the closest thing a film has ever come to capturing the magic of comic books, and for that reason alone, it’s the best Spider-Man movie.
If you need to know more about the Wallcrawler, we have guides to the Spider-Man: Freshman Year release date, Spider-Man 4 release date, the Venom 3 release date, and all the other upcoming Marvel movies. And if you want to know where we may see Holland next, look at the Avengers Secret Wars release date.
If you prefer the DCU, we have guides to The Joker 2 release date, Peacemaker season 2 release date, as well as everything you need to know about the DCU’s Chapter 1, including Superman Legacy and The Brave and the Bold. Finally, if you’re looking for something fresh and new to watch, we have a guide breaking down the best new movies the future has to offer and the upcoming Marvel movies.