“Spider-Man” Films Ranked

8. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Starting off with, we have the one Spider-Man film that most people universally agree is the worst, or at the very least, up there with the worst. While most blockbuster films usually have some input from execs, usually they can keep it well hidden in the final product. This is the not the case with this film. This film has Sony’s name written all over the place, with so much stuff crammed into this film that was clearly supposed to be set-up for future Spider-Man films (which will never materialize), that it’s just quite frankly exhausting. Individual elements work, like Jamie Foxx as Electro, and Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone still have good chemistry, but the film’s script is a disaster, and there was simply no saving this film.

7. The Amazing Spider-Man

There are flashes of a good movie in here, like they do make some solid changes to the origin story, Andrew Garfield is a great Spider-Man (although a less than stellar Peter Parker) and Emma Stone is great as Gwen Stacy. The main issue is largely the script, which for the most part feels as if it’s going through the motions. There’s not really a whole lot that’s inspired here. It’s almost like the filmmakers didn’t really want to do another Spider-Man origin story, but felt obligated to do so. While it’s technically better constructed and has less flaws than a film like say Spider-Man 3, I remember a lot more of the imagery and plot elements from that film, than almost anything in this film (barring one of Stan Lee’s most hilarious cameos ever). While I liked it a lot when I first saw it, the more time I’ve had to ruminate on it, plus the fact that I’ve never once felt compelled to revisit it, I think it’s safe to say that I can consider this a perfectly solid, if rather forgettable, experience.

6. Spider-Man 3

I’m not going to lie and pretend that there aren’t legitimate grievances with this film, like having too much stuff crammed into it (although certainly not as much as The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and Tobey Maguire’s performance as the “tortured” Peter Parker. But is this film a touch over hated? I think so. Maybe it’s because people went in expecting something as great as Spider-Man 2, but were disappointed when it didn’t deliver. I think part of the issue is that, because this came out after Batman Begins, Sam Raimi was attempting to make this film darker (literally in some cases, as the color palette of this film just seems less bright and colorful than the first two films), and Nolan’s darker and more realistic take on superheroes doesn’t mesh with Raimi’s style. But this was the most interesting that Kirstin Dunst’s MJ ever was, Sandman was an incredible antagonist, and some of the action scenes are still incredible and creative. It’s not perfect, in fact this probably contains the largest number of cheesy scenes out of all the Spider-Man films, but there’s still something kind of charming about it that makes it difficult to hate, in spite of its flaws.

5. Spider-Man: Homecoming

I was probably a bit too harsh on this one during my first viewing of the film. While I didn’t hate it, I didn’t really think was anything particularly special. I just thought it was okay. However, my opinion has since changed. Now, I still think the runtime is a bit too excessive, and that stupid subplot about Ned telling everyone at school he knows Spider-Man, and that he can get him to stop by a party should’ve been dropped entirely. But there’s far more here that’s good than bad. Tom Holland is both a great Peter Parker and a great Spider-Man. While Tobey Maguire is a better Parker than Spider-Man, and Andrew Garfield is a better Spider-Man than Parker, Holland nails both of them perfectly, and there’s not one that he’s better at. Also, Michael Keaton is a genuinely fantastic villain, who brings both menace and nuance, to what could’ve been a rather archetypal antagonist. This was an attempt at a more low-key and personal MCU entry, and it mostly succeeds. Could it have been better? Yes. But’s in no way a bad film.

4. Spider-Man

Here it is, the very first Spider-Man film ever made, the film that single-handedly saved the superhero genre, and a pretty darn good film that still holds up pretty well. Under the direction of Sam Raimi, he knows when to be subtle and subdued, and when it’s okay to go over-the-top goofy. The action scenes are well done, including the final fight between our hero and villain being exceptionally brutal and genuinely hard-hitting. Tobey Maguire was a great pick for the titular character, and Willem Dafoe completely steals the show as the Green Goblin. Not everything is perfect though. There are some moments that are… pretty corny and stupid, even taking into account that this is a comic book film. But still, this is an entertaining, fun superhero film, that has rightly earned a spot in the pantheon of most influential superhero films.

3. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

I don’t think anyone could have anticipated how well received this film was going to be. I certainly wasn’t. But any movie that has so much creativity, so many subtle touches, and so many well written characters deserves every heap of praise that gets tossed its way. This is one of the most seamlessly entertaining superhero films ever made, and its animation is simply stunning, and possibly even groundbreaking. All the characters are memorable and well-written, especially Miles Morales, who became my favorite cinematic iteration of Spider-Man in just one movie. It’s a great family film, it’s a great superhero film, and it’s a great comedy. If it had managed to pull off just one of these it would’ve been impressive. The fact it managed to hit all three so perfectly is a truly remarkable feat.

2. Spider-Man 2

This is the Sam Raimi Spider-Man film in which everything just clicked together perfectly; the plot, the characters, the action, the villain, the drama; everything just works together nearly perfectly. Do I have a soft spot for this film because it was the first superhero film I ever saw? Possibly. But that doesn’t change the fact that when I rewatched this recently for the first time in years, I was blown away by how well-made and entertaining it was. I think what makes this film work as well as it does is that it everything balances out; it’s a little goofy, but not as goofy as the first Spider-Man could get, the drama also feels the most realistic and relatable out of all these Spider-Man films without becoming melodramatic, and this also has some of the most striking imagery out of these films without feeling showy. Honestly, nothing really much to say, other than this was the peak for the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films and is one of the very best superhero films ever made.

1. Spider-Man: Far from Home

If I had been told just a few weeks ago that this film was going to be my new favorite Spider-Man film, I wouldn’t have believed it. I mean, I would’ve expected to like it, but new favorite? That’s not a statement that I make lightly. So, why is it my favorite? Because it has everything that I want in a superhero film done to its almost absolute best. It’s funny, it’s emotional, the characters are all wonderful and at their very best, the villain is excellent (like top 5 greatest supervillains in film, excellent), the romance is believable and sweet, the action scenes are incredible, the writing is at the top of its game, and it’s a film that actually gets better on reflection. It takes everything in Spider-Man: Homecoming that worked, and improves on everything that didn’t. Also, one of the very best endings to a superhero film in cinematic history. There’s really not much else I can add that anyone else hasn’t already said; it’s just a film that’s both all-around great and genuinely entertaining.

“Escape Plan 2: Hades” (2018)

I’m not asking for much. I’m really not. All I want is an action film with competent fight scenes and a straightforward plot. Even if it’s not great, it can offer an entertaining diversion. So, what did I get here? A virtually incoherent disaster, with incoherent plotting, and incoherent action scenes, made even worse by the headache inducing shaky-cam. Everything that made the solid first film so entertaining is completely stripped away (one of this film’s biggest missteps is that it takes itself way too seriously). Even Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn’t be bothered to return to this nonsensical drivel. This movie was so boring and uninteresting; I legitimately almost fell asleep while watching it. This sequel feels so far removed from the original film, that you’d swear that this is a sixth film in a franchise, not the second. Most shocking is that they actually brought back one of the two screenwriters of the first film to return. I have no idea how you go from writing something that’s actually good, into this trash, in the span of two movies. Also, Sylvester Stallone and especially Dave Bautista are not in this film as much as you would think, with Stallone being relegated to a supporting role, and Bautista being on screen just long enough to avoid the label of “cameo.” Hades is an appropriate title, because that’s exactly where this film should reside for the rest of eternity.

Rating: 0.5/5

“Coneheads” (1993)

There are a lot of things that can be said about this film, but the one thing you can’t say about it is that the people behind this didn’t try. For all its faults, this film does create a uniquely quirky experience. It may just be weird for weirdness’ sake, but sometimes the over-the-top antics do manage to elicit some laughs. Plot-wise the film is kind of mess (subplots will be brought up and then quickly dropped, and the film’s timeline is less coherent than the X-Mencinematic universe). Also, when a joke bombs, it completely falls flat on its face. There are two reasons to see this film; one is that it’s the perfect time capsule for 90s filmmaking (including a slew of cameo appearances of whatever American comedians were popular at the time) both the good and the bad, and two is if you want to see an off-kilter, quirky, bizarre comedy that truly is like no other comedy out there. I’m not sure this can be reasonably referred to as a good comedy, but it is begging to be both a guilty pleasure and cult classic.

Rating: 3/5

“The Wrong Trousers” (1993)

This cartoon short took all the elements that made the original short so great, and ups its game. The animation is better and a lot smoother, the humor is better, and the plot is better. This cartoon’s creativity is simply bursting with personality. On top of that, it also manages to hit the audience with a pang of poignancy and pathos. And of course, the gorgeous, and absolutely pulse-pounding climax still remains, to this day, one of the best and most exciting pieces of stop-motion animation ever committed to film. Honestly, there’s nothing more to say. This is a charming and delightful treat.

Rating: 5/5

“Doctor Zhivago” (1965)

This film is a visually sweeping experience, with incredible set design, a grand scale, and an epic feel. Unfortunately, the film is also meandering, never truly feeling like it earns its 3 hour plus runtime. I found the film to be more melodramatic than actually romantic, and the characterizations too simplistic. The film is simply more interested in its historical context and its huge grand set pieces than its main characters. I never felt compelled by the actions these characters took, and the ending, which should’ve been an emotionally wrenching sucker punch, just kind of fizzles out. Like I said, it’s hard to dislike this film, and given there are fantastic sequences in here, and how insanely popular this film was back in the day, it’s impossible to recommend skipping this film. It’s worth checking out once, but the film simply isn’t compelling enough to warrant more than a singular viewing.

Rating: 3/5

“Sand Sharks” (2011)

What did I expect? A rip-off of Jaws with a bit of Tremors thrown in. Well, I got that. I actually got more of that than I was expecting. There’s a scene that plays out exactly, and I mean exactly, like it does in Jaws. In fact, this entire film is structured almost exactly like the first half of Jaws. The characters are simply avatars for their Jaws counterparts. This film even makes a reference to one of the characters being in deep with the mafia, something that occurred in the original novel, but not in the movie (the jury’s still out on whether that was accident or not). Every other common complaint about these B-shark movies applies here; the visual effects on the shark are awful, the acting is bad, the characters are one-dimensional and stupid, and the film’s budgetary restraints are painfully, painfully clear (there’s a moment where it’s supposed to look like over a thousand teenagers on a beach, and it looks like there’s no more than fifty). I’ll say this about the film though, it’s at the very least self-aware; certainly a lot more self-aware than the last rubbish shark attack film I watched (I will never forgive you Two-Headed Shark Attack). The pacing is at least passable, and it’s laughable enough to prevent it from being boring. Although this movie’s entire existence was worth it, just so we could hear the line “Eat this, you sand of a bitch!”

Rating: 1.5/5

“Hellboy II: The Golden Army” (2008)

This is a slight improvement over the first film. It has everything that was good about the first film (Ron Perlman, the makeup, the visual, the creativity, and Guillermo del Toro’s whimsical-esque direction) but it also fixes some of the issues I had with the first film; namely here, the villain is extremely interesting and memorable, and he’s even given a reasonable and compelling motivation. It’s also quite a bit funnier than the first film, with some genuinely funny and even memorable comedy set pieces that don’t feel out of place. But even though this film is an improvement of its predecessor, there are still some issues. For starters, some of the character development from the first film is backslid, and even some of the elements in this film seem to contradict things set up in the first. And by doing so, they wind up covering ground that other superhero films have done before and done better (like having the general public think of Hellboy as a “monster” and a “freak”), especially when this angle is just kind of dropped halfway through and never resolved. Also, at one point the main characters can literally foil the villains plan simply by destroying an artifact in their possession. But they don’t. For some reason. Still for all my complaining, this is an entertaining film. The visual creativity, as well as its likable characters really shine through in this entry.

Rating: 3.5/5

“Hellboy” (2004)

This superhero film is entertaining, if a bit on the flawed side. There is quite a bit to like about this film. Ron Perlman is a great Hellboy, the action is good, the visuals are extremely creative and impressive, and the makeup work is absolutely incredible. So why am I not singing as high praises for this film as I feel like I should? I think a lot of it is because of missed opportunity. Whenever I think of the name “Hellboy” I conjure up some really dark and twisted imagery, and incredibly dark humor. But overall, this felt surprisingly tame and safe. Also, the villains are just completely dull, lifeless and forgettable. But is this film solid? Absolutely. It’s a nice, creative and entertaining film that definitely benefits from having Guillermo del Toro in the director’s chair. There’s not really much else to really say; it’s a solid, enjoyable film that could’ve been better.

Rating: 3.5/5

“The Queen’s Corgi” (2019)

I’m… at a loss for words. I never thought I’d see a “kid’s film” which opens up with our main character nearly getting raped by President Trump’s dog, played for laughs. I’m not kidding. This is an actual thing that happens in this film. Things don’t improve from there. For starters, this film’s premise is very generic, taking elements from films like Flushed Away to Lady and the Tramp and even Fight Club of all films. You can predict every plot beat that happens; there’s nothing outstanding here whatsoever. The film’s humor is either too inappropriate for its target audience, or too stupid to appeal to anyone other than kids. This film is so tone-deaf it feels like it wasn’t made with any demographic in mind. Also, the main character is horribly written; he’s a typical prissy animal who winds up out of his element, and on top of that, he often acts inconsistent from scene to scene. The only true saving grace here is that some of the decisions made are so baffling, so downright bizarre that honestly, you cannot believe this even exists. It’s so bad that it almost becomes fascinating in how it manages to fail.

Rating: 1/5

“Pinocchio” (1940)

There are two things that stuck out to me when I rewatched this film for the first time in years; first, there was a lot more padding in the first act then I remembered, and two, the film was much more grim and chock-full of dark, disturbing imagery then I had remembered. Sometimes a film being really old and completely disconnected from our time period can make them age really poorly. But sometimes, the opposite can happen, and it can make a film even more shocking than it was back then. This is the Disney film that by far has the most balls. Like I said, not just because some of this imagery is extremely unsettling and disturbing, but also because it actually portrays kids smoking and drinking, and it allows the villains, some of them being one of the most terrifying presences to ever graze a family film, to get away with their crimes scot-free. This gives the film a natural edge that doesn’t even feel like it’s even trying to be. But that’s not all this film has to offer. The characters are all fantastic and well developed, the animation is stunningly beautiful, the plot progresses naturally, the music is incredible, and the gags are great. The film’s first act does contain a bit too much padding, but outside of that, this is an excellent film, that definitely deserves a place as one of Disney’s defining classics.

Rating: 4.5/5