Ranking the Spider-Man Movies

So far I’ve ranked the Batman movies, the Superman movies, the other DC movies, the Avengers movies, the X-Men movies, the summer 2015 comic movies and the non-Marvel and non-DC comic movies.  There’s only one major franchise of super-hero movies yet to do, and that is the Spider-Man franchise.  So here we go!

(P.S. Loyal reader Pat wondered in a recent comment when I’d be getting to the Fantastic Four movies. Those will be coming up under the “other Marvel movies” category, which I have planned for the (not-too distant?) future.)

As ever, my ranking system is
Green=excellent  Blue=pretty good  Black=Okay  Red=avoid

Spider-Man (2002)–At the time, this was one of the best comic movies that had yet appeared. Comic fans have had a wealth of offerings since then, but this still holds up as highly entertaining. Willem Defoe as the Green Goblin is nicely menacing, Kirsten Dunst makes an excellent Mary Jane, and Tobey Maguire is…perhaps not the perfect Peter Parker, but much more than adequate.

Spider-Man 2 (2004)–And this was even better. It had a lot of themes that really resonated. It took the old trope from the comic of Spidey running out of web fluid and made it a symbol of impotence. It paralleled the scientist Dr. Octavius with Peter Parker, an aspiring scientist, showing how he could navigate a life of science, super-heroing, while also maintaining romantic and personal relationships. But when Dr. Octavius turned to Dr. Octopus, it also showed Peter the dangers of putting too much ambition. Well-paced, perfect tone, fun but some things to think about it.

Spider-Man 3–This brought the series back to earth. Not actually terrible, but over-stuffed and muddled with villains and secondary characters.

Amazing Spider-Man (2012)–Looked terrible in previews, got awful reviews, so I decided to skip it.

Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)–Same as above.


Here’s the master list of all comics movies I’ve rated so far, in order from best to worst:

American Splendor
Iron Man
Heavy Metal (1981)
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Superman (1978)
Captain America
Batman Begins (2005)
Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier
Spider-Man (2002)
X-Men 2: X-Men United
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Superman II
Batman (1989)
The Dark Knight (2008)
Iron Man 3
The Wolverine
Sin City (2005)
X-Men: First Class
Avengers 2: Age of Ultron
Swamp Thing (1982)
Spider-Man 3
Iron Man 2
Watchmen (2009)
Batman Forever (1995)
Superman Returns (2006)
Thor 2: The Dark World
Incredible Hulk (2008)
Mystery Men
Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Superman III
Supergirl (1984)
X-Men 3: Last Stand
Hulk (2003)
Fritz the Cat (1972)
Batman and Robin (1997)
Batman Returns (1992)
Superman IV

Amazing Spider-Man (2012) (Haven’t seen)
Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) (Haven’t seen)
Batman (1966) (Haven’t seen)
Catwoman (Haven’t seen)
Constantine (Haven’t seen)
Green Lantern (Haven’t seen)
Hellboy (Haven’t seen)
Judge Dredd (Haven’t seen)
Man of Steel (Haven’t seen)
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) (Haven’t seen)
V for Vendetta (Haven’t seen)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Haven’t seen)

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