was the biggest movie of 2021 in terms of box office, but how does No Way Home fare as a standalone flick? We rank all the Spider-Man movies, from the OG Tobey Maguire numbers to Into The Spider-Verse and beyond.
No prizes for guessing what comes last on our list, but scroll down to see where we’ve placed No Way Home in our ranking. Then decide whether to agree with us when you get a.
A weird parody of the earlier, far better Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, Spider-Man 3 was heavily criticized on its release, and rightfully so.
But the years have been kind to it, partly thanks to the reservoir of memes that evolved in its wake. No movie — save maybe Lord of the Rings or the Star Wars prequel trilogy — has been as responsible for as many GIFs and memes as Spider-Man 3. In that respect re-watching it is a new, unique experience. When it first appeared, it was bloated and strange. In 2021 it’s an incredible amount of fun.
— Mark Serrels
I watched Venom on a first date and promptly fell asleep halfway through. In the middle of a loud, crowded cinema. My apologies to fans of the toothy symbiote.
— Steph Panecasio
9. Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)
It’s rare for a sequel to outperform the original, but Venom: Let There Be Carnage does so in every possible way. It’s funnier by a mile, the action is much improved and the overall story is considerably more compelling. Plus this movie actually finishes the origin story framework started in the first film, with our main character finally deciding to be the “the lethal protector” anti-hero Venom. If you liked the first movie, you’re going to love this sequel. And if you weren’t totally sold on the original Venom, there’s every chance you’ll like this movie a lot more.
— Russell Holly
Where to watch it: Let There Be Carnage opened Oct. 1 in the US, and will hit UK theaters Oct. 15, while Australia has to wait until Nov. 25.
8. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
All the work The Amazing Spider-Man did to set up Peter as a rough-around-the-edges Spider-Man who still had some figuring out to do in terms of his moral compass, came crashing in on itself in this sequel.
Peter became the most chatty and confident Spidey iteration, torn between dragging Gwen into his drama, rekindling friendships from when he was a barely conscious pre-teen (no wonder Harry was confused when Peter turned up at his door step) and exploding a poor man with electricity. Let’s definitely not mention the increasingly awkward scenes with Aunt May.
As bloated and chaotic as Maguire’s Spider-Man 3. It’ll give you nightmares about the Green Goblin and not for the right reasons.
— Jennifer Bisset
Where to watch it: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is available to rent or buy from Amazon Prime Video.
7. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
In a post-blip world, this Spider Man flick does a great job of returning to the core of what I love about the movies in general. The romance and awkwardness between Peter and MJ gives a really nostalgic feel to this one, even if the rest of the film is more flash than substance at times.
The effects are impressive, the twist is fine and Jake Gyllenhaal is a charismatic addition to the franchise — but what we care most about is Peter and his friends. Which is exactly what these films thrive on! Yes, he swings and has crazy spider skills, but he’s also a high school kid with a crazy crush on his best friend. Seeing him deal with that as well as an element-controlling villain hellbent on destroying the world and the grief from the death of his mentor? That’s what I’m here for.
— Steph Panecasio
6. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
I’m here to tell you that this movie’s rap for being a fairly mediocre film is — well, it’s only somewhat fair.
The fittingly named Marc Webb, who directed (500) Days of Summer, made the whole first third of this movie feel like a small independent film. Peter goggling at Gwen from across the classroom. ‘Til Kingdom Come, originally written by Coldplay to be performed with Johnny Cash, playing over the skateboard scene.
And then there’s Peter’s Spider-Man movements actually mirroring skateboarding moves, as well as being more spider-like than his counterparts. Andrew Garfield’s stutter, jazz hands and general endearing weirdness. The surprisingly sexy bare chest scene.
Some parts of this movie rule. If only its comedy wasn’t so cringe and forced. If only there weren’t so many depressing deaths. Garfield is underrated and I hope he gets another chance via the multiverse in Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man 3.
— Jennifer Bisset
As someone who is deathly afraid of spiders, I held out on watching this for the longest time, but despite some moments where the arachnophobia got its fangs into me, it’s well worth the watch. From the overwhelmingly theatrical portrayal of Green Goblin through to some genuinely moving moments (Uncle Ben, I’m lookin’ at you), the whole thing was a ride from start to finish.
Sure, watching it back now has me cringing at some of the memes, but it’s a genuinely great starting point with some impressive action and exactly the right amount of ridiculousness for a superhero movie. Sam Raimi balanced the silly with the serious — something more modern superhero flicks should take inspiration from. It’s not all solemn faces and punching! All in all, it’s worth it just for the performances from JK Simmons and Willem Dafoe alone.
— Steph Panecasio
4. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
It’s hard to get excited about another reboot. But when Spider-Man Homecoming came along, bringing Spider-Man into the MCU, it was clear this one would be worth it. In bypassing the character’s well-worn origin story, the franchise got a fresh feeling launch that better served Peter Parker’s development and ensured a more solid foundation for the follow up.
Peter, MJ, Ned and the rest of the crew made for believable high school students — quirky and still new to the world. And as much as angst is built into Spider-Man’s DNA along with those spidey-bits, Tom Holland delivered a lighter, almost irritatingly buoyant Peter Parker, like the energetic kid brother you can’t help but love.
— Erin Carson
3. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
And here it is. After all the hype, the record-breaking trailer, the rumors of returning villains — Spider-Man: No Way Home doesn’t top this list, but let’s just say it’s super, super satisfying. Essentially a culmination of two decades of Spider-Man movies, it manages to service the fans, string together a remarkably clean plot (unless you’re not paying attention and know nothing about Spider-Man in general) and elevate Tom Holland’s Peter Parker into mature, interesting, complex territory worthy of seeing him take over as the next Tony Stark. Oh, and it has its own version of the Spider-Man pointing at Spider-Man meme. A winner.
— Jennifer Bisset
Pizza time. The second live-action Spidey adventure capitalizes on the momentum built up in the first movie and sends Peter Parker on an incredible journey that riffs on the classic Spider-Man No More comic storyline beautifully.
It also boasts a killer villain in Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus. The surgery room scene is classic Sam Raimi and remains utterly chilling 17 years later. His battle with Spidey on the train is a visual joy too — No Way Home better do this guy justice.
The tie-in video game was excellent too; it captured the joy of web-swinging around Manhattan to a degree that wasn’t equaled until the 2018 PS4 game.
— Sean Keane
Sony Pictures Animation
1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Into the Spider-Verse is so good, we have two entries on the point.
Into the Spider-Verse isn’t just the best Spider-Man movie ever made, it’s the best superhero movie ever made, period.
The rapid fire pace, the visual flourishes, the razor-tight script, the pitch perfect characterization. Into The Spider-Verse sidesteps tropes and creates a world so dense with details it rewards multiple, multiple viewings. It’s as unforgettable on its tenth viewing as it was on the first. A perfect movie.
— Mark Serrels
Mark Serrels is absolutely right. That being said, Into the Spider-Verse is so much more than just the best superhero movie — it’s an animated feature that experiments with visual aesthetics, variable framerates and groundbreaking techniques to present us with something completely unlike any other piece of feature animation on the market. This Spider-Man is saving us from the mediocrity of another by-the-numbers animated film.
It doesn’t hurt that it’s the only Spider-Man film brave enough to let Peter Parker grow up and move on, either. Miles Morales forever.
— Sean Buckley
Where to watch it: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is available to rent or buy from Amazon Prime Video.