Best Spider-Man Movies, Ranked by Metacritic

Explore the best Spider-Man movies and where to watch them.
by Cynthia Paez Bowman — 
Tom Holland, Spider-Man: No Way Home

Tom Holland in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home'

Matt Kennedy/CTMG/Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures

Since Spider-Man: No Way Home is now available to stream, this superhero movie may leave you (and many others) to retrospectively think about the history of the Spider-Man film franchise.

It's hard to believe that the franchise was transformed with a fresh and modern take 20 years ago with the 2002 release of Spider-Man featuring Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire. Since then, we've met three versions of Peter Parker: Maguire; Andrew Garfield; and the latest, Tom Holland. Each young performance revealed its own unique view of what it means to be a teen superhero, trying to balance life, family, school, and dark forces.

It's important to note that the Spider-Man movies were not officially included in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) until the recent Spider-Man: Homecoming with Holland in the lead role. However, all of the movies were produced by Sony Pictures, which is why you won't find them on Disney+.

With that in mind, explore the best Spider-Man movies over the last two decades, ranked by their Metascores.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Metascore: 87
Best for: Action fans, comic book aficionados
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 150 minutes

Released in 2018, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a rich, animated story about multiple universes and versions of Spider-Man in New York. It won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2019. Sony Pictures Imageworks created a fresh take on animation by combining hand drawings with half-toning to create a new look based on dot gradients and colors. The comic-style movie doesn't follow the storyline you'd expect but introduces a whole other equally-fascinating story instead. And, if Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is up your alley, you can rejoice with other fans that the animated spin-off has a second installment in the works, set for release in late 2022

"The comics-inspired visuals are stunning, and the emotional coming-of-age story is relevant and inspiring, even as it acknowledges the many Spider-Man movies that have come before it." — Bryan Bishop, The Verge

Spider-Man 2

Metascore: 83
Best for: Fans of Maguire and a classic hero vs. villain story
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, DirecTV, fuboTVVudu
Runtime: 127 minutes

Spider-Man 2 comes from director Sam Raimi with Maguire's Peter struggling with personal issues, including Mary Jane's (Dunst) engagement to someone else and his best friend Harry's (James Franco) hatred for Spider-Man. Franco's character has every reason to be mad after his father's demise in the previous movie. However, Peter, aka Spider-Man, was simply trying to do the right thing. Anyway, now there are some serious monsters to face in Spider-Man 2. Namely, Alfred Molina's character, Doctor Octopus, who happens to be Spider-Man's nemesis and a metal-tentacled cyborg. You'll want to catch up on this second installment of the Spider-Man universe because Doc Ock returns in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

"Aerial sequences are often thrilling. However, interpersonal relations are front and center in this installment. Not only does the heady teen romance keep us riveted, but Peter's effort to learn more about his family is fascinating." — Claudia Puig, USA Today

Spider-Man (2002)

Metascore: 73
Best for: Fans of superhero romance and drama mixed with action
Where to watch: 

fuboTVGoogle PlayiTunesVudu
Runtime: 121 minutes

The first of the new Spider-Man story features one of the most iconic kisses of all time, between Dunst and Maguire. You've all seen it, if not in the movie than at least in a meme: Spider-Man hangs upside down to kiss Mary Jane while she gently pulls back his mask to reach his lips. However, it's not all romance: Willem Dafoe is Spidey's arch-enemy, the Green Goblin and there is trouble brewing. The Green Goblin also happens to be Peter's best friend's dad, setting the stage for high drama between the friends over the next couple of movies.

"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." — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Metascore: 73
Best for: Fans of action with a side of comedy, Zendaya and Holland stans
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, StarzVudu
Runtime: 150 minutes

Spider-Man: Homecoming introduces Holland and Zendaya as the new Peter and Mary Jane in a light and comedic version of the MCU favorite. Peter must balance high school and a formidable enemy in Michael Keaton's Vulture, making it difficult to decide which is harder for him to deal with: an evil villain or the social awkwardness of high school. In the end, Spider-Man: Homecoming sets the stage for current and future Marvel movies about the character since agreements were reached with Sony to transfer creative license back to the MCU.

"There's wit, smarts, and a nifty, inventive plot that serves as a reminder of what buoyant fun such films can bring. It might have taken three attempts, but Spider-Man has finally spun gold." — Benjamin Lee, The Guardian

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Metascore: 71
Best for: Fans of villain vs. hero action and those who love Zendaya and Holland
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 148 minutes

For the first time ever in the Spider-Man franchise, Peter's (Holland) identity is revealed to the public. He struggles with a new inability to keep his personal and professional lives separate, and it puts the people he loves most in jeopardy. When he seeks help — and a memory-erasing spell — from Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), he realizes how important it is to be a superhero, though.

"Separated from the most exciting/controversial/unexpected moments in play, and without the element of surprise, does No Way Home hold up as a good story well told? The answer is yes to a degree…but it could have gone further." — Liz Shannon Miller, Consequence

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Metascore: 69
Best for: Action and adventure fans
Where to watch: 

fuboTVGoogle Play, iTunesVudu
Runtime: 130 minutes

Spiderman: Far From Home can be described as what happens when you send Peter and classmates on a trip similar to National Lampoon's European Vacation. Plenty of entertaining stories and set pieces come up and then there's otherworldly creatures that threaten the world — especially Peter's rambunctious classmates.

"It's a light-footed summer blockbuster that faces Endgame's monolithic legacy head-on, before leaving it behind to embark on its own globetrotting adventure." — Ben Travis, Empire

The Amazing Spider-Man

Metascore: 66
Best for: Emma Stone and Garfield fans
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunesVudu
Runtime: 136 minutes

Only one of the two Spider-Man performances by Garfield make this list, but The Amazing Spider-Man is deserving of a place because director Marc Webb retells the story of Spider-Man's origins, and Garfield and Stone have wonderful on-screen chemistry, which interestingly enough, led to a four-year relationship off-screen. Garfield's rendition of Peter Parker/Spider-Man is different than Maguire's in the first three movies in that he exudes more depth, emotion, and more brooding. (Maguire had to portray awkward teen nerdiness.) While both roles are notable, you may have to set aside expectations to enjoy the depth Webb and Garfield bring to the screen.

"This is a more thoughtful film, and its action scenes are easier to follow in space and time. If we didn't really need to be told Spidey's origin story again, at least it's done with more detail and provides better reasons for why Peter Parker throws himself into his superhero role." — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times