Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 406 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Peter Parker (Maguire), after being bitten by a genetically altered spider, becomes Spider-Man, a hero of superhuman strength with the ability to cling to any surface. He dedicates himself to a life of fighting crime, while living a double life as a superhero and working student. (Sony)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. 100
    It's hard to recall the last time a big-ticket summer movie delivered so fully on its promise.
  2. 90
    Maguire and Dunst keep Spider-Man on a high with their sweet-sexy yearning, spinning a web of dazzle and delicacy that might just restore the good name of movie escapism.
  3. Spider-Man is an almost-perfect extension of the experience of reading comic-book adventures.
  4. A canny franchise escapade; it gets the job done. But it also leaves you hungry for something more, and I don't necessarily mean the next episode.
  5. Reviewed by: Sam Allis
    Raimi crafted a complicated hero who is a welcome relief from the usual two-dimensional offerings. That said, we could use some moxie in the sequel.
  6. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Director Sam Raimi, working from David Koepp's screenplay, wisely anchors his big action-adventure flick on Maguire's modest but beguiling persona.
  7. 50
    The movie, with spiderlike timidity, scuttles into a corner and freezes. [13 May 2002, p. 96]

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 156
  1. Jun 21, 2011
    This, along with X-Men from 2000, paved the way to the great comic book movie renaissance of the 2000s. A true masterpiece that will be remembered by many Spider-Man fans all over the world. Collapse
  2. Nov 25, 2012
    I never was a "Marvel" comics fan, so my background knowledge of the web-crawler isn't too great. Still, based on 60's cartoons (and the more recent excellent animated series), I know most of the basics. This movie actually lived up to the hype which I'd been hearing. The effects actually did make it seem like Maguire/Parker had spider-powers (unlike the original "Superman", which I, for one, did NOT believe a man could fly). The inner turmoil which Peter goes though is presented in excellent fashion by Maguire. I dare say, from now on, his 'interpretation' of the character is the one which I'll carry with me, unless a better one comes along (and I can't see that happening any time soon). Overall, this was an enjoyable experience. Expand
  3. Aug 2, 2013
    Before the "Amazing" era began, there was another Spider-Man outing with Sam Raimi at the helm, leaving behind his horror roots to try his hand at the superhero craze that was sweeping Hollywood, and bring the webbed creature to the big screen, and he did so in a big way.
    We get an origin tale with a light-hearted tone to show how Peter Parker, played by Tobey Maguire, gets bitten to the an infected spider and starts to develop superhuman abilities such as web swinging and strength, something he keeps secretive from everybody else, his aunt, his best friend Harry James Franco) and the "girl next door" Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst).
    But with every hero comes a villain, and the perfect storm is brewing I'm the form of Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe), father to Harry and an almost father to Peter, a man obsessed with bettering the human condition, something he does to himself by administering a powerful drug which unleashes another side to the man, and not a very good side.
    The concept of Spider-Man was always interesting as the likes of Norman Osborn being a primary villain played very close to the heart, he knows the people he is hurting, making the the pacing of the film much more personal and relevant. Each character has a connection and relationship with the next person and it feels much more fluid for this.
    The film itself is a visual marvel, with the scenes of Spidey swinging through the city quite a delight to watch, and this is blended in with a humorous opening that takes a much more mellow and less serious approach which is a welcome change, they have colourful characters including the undeniable brilliance of J.K. Simmons playing J. Jonah Jameson, his wit, loudness and larger than life personality are standout moments of the film, Tobey Maguire also delivers a convincing performance as our masked spider, he is like a little child at Christmas bouncing around the screen, giving a different feel to the average superhuman.
    But with the light tone there does come a sense of it being very cartoon-like, with a musical score that reflects this, but there is plenty to be said about the the emotional punch the film has to pack, with very quotable and heart-wrenching dialogue throughout.
    It's a real kickstarter to a very successful story, and perhaps one of the benchmarks to the overwhelming craze of superhero films today.
  4. Jul 12, 2012
    Silly and over-the-top at times, with sometimes cheesy special effects, but Spider-Man works because of the cast's chemistry with each other and their likableness, as well as the genuine fun that occurs whenever Spidey is involved. Emotional scenes were done well, also. Expand
  5. Nov 15, 2013
    An instant classic for superhero movies, succeeding with it's emotionally engaging and strong story, clever dialogue and well developed characters. Even the humor is extremely well done. Spider-Man is a great movie (Final Score: 8.65) Expand
  6. Mar 14, 2013
    An alright Spider-man movie. Sam Raimi did a decent job at telling his origin story. However the special effects were a bit sloppy at times and the Green Goblin's costume was just a joke. William Dafoe on the other hand was extremely good as Norman Osborn and really did a great job capturing his mentality (overdoing it a tad at time, but overall a good effort on his part.) Overall: Considering when it came out, it was a very good movie that had allot of minor flaws but it was still enjoyable none the less. Expand
  7. Dec 5, 2012
    How did spider-man get such good reviews let's face it this movie is terrible.The acting is just awful some of the worst acting I have ever seen.Toby Maguire is definitely the worst choice for the role of spider-man his acting sucks and and he goes on and on like a baboon.The storyline there is no word to describe how terrible and awful it is.If I had to review this movie in 2002 I would have given it a perfect 10.As I did not know the difference between a good film and a terrible film.Having seen it again on TV yesterday I can with pride know the difference between a good film and and a terrible one and spider-man is one of the worst films in history.It is by far not worth a 10. spider-man is only worth a 0 and it deserve's the 0 hands down., Expand

See all 156 User Reviews


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