Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 546 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In the second installment in the Spider-Man series, based on the classic Marvel Comics hero, Tobey Maguire returns as the mild-mannered Peter Parker, who is juggling the delicate balance of his dual life as a college student and a superhuman crime fighter. The entertaining adventure escalates and Spider-Man's life becomes even more complicated when he confronts a new nemesis, the brilliant Otto Octavius, (Molina) who has been reincarnated as the maniacal and multi-tentacled "Doc Ock." (Sony) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    100
    The pleasure is doubled in Spider-Man 2. Crackerjack entertainment from start to finish, this rousing yarn about a reluctant superhero and his equally conflicted friends and enemies improves in every way on its predecessor and is arguably about as good a live-action picture as anyone's ever made using comicbook characters.
  2. 100
    Spider-Man 2 offers one emotional or action-packed aria after another; at the end you feel like giving it a standing O.
  3. 100
    It's a real movie, full-blooded and smart, with qualities even for those who have no idea who Stan Lee is. It's a superhero movie for people who don't go to superhero movies, and for those who do, it's the one they've been yearning for.
  4. 88
    A sequel of twisted thrills and sly surprises.
  5. 80
    The rare sequel that actually improves on the original, this robust entertainment's intelligence and emotional impact belie conventional wisdom that summer movie spectaculars are by nature brainless nonsense and only a stupid snob would complain about their cynical insubstantiality.
  6. The sequel is more exciting and surprising than the 2002 original, thanks largely to Molina's excellent acting. Only the strenuously comic scenes fall as flat as one of Spidey's leftover webs.
  7. 40
    As much as I enjoy Spidey's high-flying Cheez-Doodle swoops through the skyscraper canyons of a digitally rearranged midtown Manhattan, I get no kick from his angst, especially since in this incarnation, as opposed to the '60s comic book version, he's more innocuously depressed than defensively paranoid.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 229
  1. Jan 21, 2011
    10
    Spider-Man 2 may be called a comic book movie, but is so much more than that. The film improves the action thanks to a larger budget, has awesome acting and characters, and an excellent script which has a heart and entertains. Spider-Man 2 is a movie you truly have to see to believe, it is the master of comic book movies along with The Dark Knight. Even if you are not a Spider-Man fan, SEE THIS MOVIE! Expand
  2. Jul 3, 2011
    10
    Spider-man 2 is the perfect comic book movie, quite possibly the best ever made up until this time. It's a movie with character, love, and life, and prior to what you might think it's not really a movie about killing bad guys at all...it's a beautiful love story. Wonderously acted, funny, witty, smart, it hits all the right notes. There are scenes in this movie that just make you smile with pure joy like, "I can't believe they did that!" but oh they do, from Spider-man losing grip on his powers, to losing friends and gaining enemies, to accepting the fact that he shouldn't be the web slinger any longer (*hint" the "rain drops keep fallin' on my head" sequence was perfection). Everything about Spider-man 2 shows a flawed character trying to live his own life. Toby Maguire's Peter Parker is a character we can all relate to. Whether he's struggling with old demons from the past, working with love all the while dealing with criminals on a daily basis, trying to make his own life by going to school and working, and dealing with, quite possibly, the most legendary and sinister Spider-man villain of all time. Anytime you think you've got it hard take a step into this man's life and you'll witness hard. The movie is sad, joyful, funny, loving, and full of life! It feels like a movie actually touched by human hands. It seems Sam Raimi's main focus was character development, an excellent story, excellent perfomances, and character. All which are nailed all too perfectly. But this does not take away from the action, which is beautifully shot, fantastically created, and perfectly executed. The action in this flick will keep you on the edge of your seat and keep you chearing, it's a modern epic, and what a sure super hero film should be all about. Expand
  3. Sep 2, 2013
    10
    Sequels are always common ground for big franchise and surprise hits in the film world, but they don’t always succeed, actors may not want to return, drastic changes are often made which hampers the success of the original and they never really come up as strong, but this is not the case whatsoever with Spider-Man 2, a film which gets everything right, it has a real story, an emotional journey of self-esteem and the tests that face relationships and friendship when people are clouded by uncontrollable rage.
    Tobey Maguire puts in much more personal performance in his second outing as the now conflicted web slinger, unable to juggle his crime fighting alter-ego and his attempt at an ordinary life of college and living alone. We see a world around him that doesn’t appreciate the pizza delivery man and the one behind the mask, branded an outlaw as Spider-Man and a slacking student as Peter Parker, his hard life reflects is superpowers too, which begin to fade in and out as his troubles worsen. The film is a dark and personal story which is such a triumph as the film goes along, we have another villain in the form of Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), a genius scientist who is attempting to create free energy, but a disastrous accident sends the man insane, now pursuing the person he sees responsible, Spider-Man.The film cleverly explores each avenue of problematic issues with having a dual lifestyle.
    Peter sees everyone he loves drifting away from him, we see a touching performance from Rosemary Harris playing Aunt May, a stubborn woman who fends for herself, and we see a different side to the woman when Peter reveals the truth about the tragic death of Uncle Ben in the first film, the continuity continues to flow throughout the film, calling back previous plots helps stay involved. We also have one of the most visually spectacular films to date, with various scenes including stopping a train, catapulting from one building to the next and a very explosive finale that hits the right buttons each and every turn, with excellent scenes that leave you in awe, that is sure to leave everyone satisfied.
    One of the best sequels ever made, and certainly one of the best superhero films to date, it is hard-hitting, personal, beautiful and very character-driven that it works as both an action epic and a dramatic story, the superhero film that has always been desired.
    Expand
  4. Sep 17, 2011
    9
    This is even better than the original! The acting is still up to scratch, the visual effects are much improved and it has a deep emotional focus that never goes insipid at any point. Alfred Molina as Doc Ock HAS to be one of the greatest villains of all time. It's less cheesy than the first, but that doesn't mean it's not cheesy at all. Still, nonetheless, this and The Dark Knight are the best superhero sequels of all time. Expand
  5. Feb 12, 2013
    9
    A far superior film than the first one. The villain here is more intriguing and purposeful. Spider-man himself goes through some ups and downs. The fight scenes were cooler and riveting. MJ serves the purpose of 'damsel in distress' yet again. I don't know anyone who would want to be with such an annoying person. Anyway, I enjoyed it. Expand
  6. Nov 29, 2013
    8
    This is a perfect comic book movie, plus a sequel. I had high expectations since I saw the first Spiderman movie. And I got to say, it really met up to my expectations. If you weren't a fan of the Spiderman comics, or the original shows and whatnot, this can change your mind. Expand
  7. Dec 5, 2012
    0
    my question is how did spider-man 2 score better than the first instalment. Spider-man 2 is 50 times worse than the first spider-man movie the story is worse,the acting is 100 times worse and toby maquire is acts more and more like a baboon and is acting still sucks.How people liked this movie is mind boggling.one word to describe the movie "Terrible".Once again this is one of the worst movie sequels in the history of sequels. Expand

See all 229 User Reviews

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