Spider-Man Movies Ranked

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

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Review

Sony Pictures Animation waited more than four years to release their highly-anticipated sequel to one of superhero cinema’s greatest movies of all time, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and they struck gold a second time. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse offered the dream factory entertainment of Spider-Man: No Way Home and the emotional connection of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, and still felt wholly unique to its franchise, its genre, and even the animated form.

Revolutionary animation techniques, a powerful and inspirational score, a cast of relatable characters making tough decisions with at times dire consequences. This Spider-Man movie had it all.

It’s exciting, relatable cinema; the kind of movie that demands to be seen on the big screen. In a post-pandemic world, it reinforces our collective need for friends, partners, family, and emphasises their role in forming our own identities. Miles Morales is cool, he’s intelligent, but he’s young and he’s learning, and even with so much going on in terms of there being lots of characters and animation styles, or a multiverse that needs explaining through narrative and dialogue, we are still deeply attached to Miles’ journey and can identify with the very human pitfalls this superhuman goes through as both a hero and a teenager.

There’s very little keeping the top three films in this list from being a joint number one. This is a special franchise and Across the Spider-Verse is a special film.

Recommended for you: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Video Review [YouTube]

2. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

spider-man movies ranked

If Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man was one of the most important superhero films ever, then Spider-Man 2 was one of the very best.

This entry into this quite remarkable franchise was, until very recently at least, a top 5 superhero film of all time and a shoe-in for the top spot on this list. The film’s quite remarkable mix of awe-inspiring moments, and clever combination of CG-action and personal connection, have made it one of the most-discussed movies in superhero history. Covering trauma, loss, courage, heartbreak and (of course) love, Spider-Man 2 offers an incredibly deep take on your average superhero, resisting the urge to simply remake the first movie only bigger and instead presenting a more refined character study with arguably the franchise’s greatest ever villain.

Raimi’s trilogy was never one to pass up on raising the personal stakes for its central protagonists, but it always acted intelligently in how it did so, merging action set pieces with important personal decisions, ensuring that everything about Spider-Man would inevitably effect the Peter Parker underneath the mask. In Spider-Man 2, there is simply no better evidence of this than the moment in which he saves a train full of people from ruin, passing up on the opportunity to stop his rival Doctor Octopus in the process. Here, he sacrifices himself, his catch and ultimately his cover to save people, his consequential unmasking and the response of the New York public to their discovery of who he is being one of the most spine-tingling moments in the entire franchise, and one that importantly gifted Raimi’s universe with a feeling that people are ultimately good; one that his Peter Parker certainly needed reminding of at this point in the series having been beaten down by personal issues, professional issues and superhero issues over and over again.

Spider-Man 2 remains an important lesson on how to achieve correlation between superherodom and something entirely more identifiable, the movie’s presence in the current zeitgeist no doubt lessened by time and the many releases between then and now, but its existence as one of the most complete superhero films (start to finish) ever put to screen remains undeniable nonetheless.

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

Spider-Man Movies Ranked

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Review

Sony Pictures Animation’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was something so special, so unique, so absolutely scintillating, that it became arguably the superhero film of the year in 2018 (a year that also featured the release of Avengers: Infinity War), the Phil Lord and Christopher Miller-produced picture taking everything we knew and loved about superhero cinema and turning it up to 11 in one of the most spectacular visual feasts we’ve ever seen within the comic book sub-genre, matching that up to a moving, identifiable and at times outright spectacular plot that gave us our first mainstream taste of a different Spider-Man, Miles Morales.

Featuring all the death, betrayal and love (of one kind or another) that had been so central to the Spider-Man franchise since it first debuted on the big screen, Into the Spider-Verse was a heartfelt journey through different dimensions that never lost its grounding within Morales’ character arc from innocent youth to traumatised, responsible adult.

Loyal to the source of what makes Spider-Man such a compelling character and intent on making the most visually unique and awe-inspiring of any Spidey movie in history, this franchise entry stretched between grounded identifiability and out-there cross-dimensional plot devices (and the visuals that came with that) to create something so unique and incredible that it is simply the greatest animated superhero film of all time and the very best Spider-Man movie in history.

Recommended for you: MCU Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies Ranked

Spider-Man has no doubt left an indelible mark on the film industry and caused each of us to leap with excitement, sit wide-eyed in awe, and perhaps shed a tear or two. But which film do you enjoy the most? And what are your favourite moments? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to follow @thefilmagazine on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This article was edited to include Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse on 7th June 2023. Previously updated on 14th April 2022. Original Article published 25th May 2019.

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