Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Things To Do

All six Spider-Man movies, ranked from best to worst

RECOMMENDED READING


Now that Spider-Man is swinging into theaters for the sixth time, it's time to ask where this new franchise, now under the watchful gaze of Marvel Studios in addition to Sony, ranks among the rest. You don't have this current era of superhero movies without Spider-Man leading the way at the box office, but that doesn't mean those films got it right every time.

Here is our ranking of all six Spider-Man movies:

1. "Spider-Man 2" (2004)

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

"Spider-Man 2" may not be able to hold the top spot for long with more movies from this promising new franchise on the way, but for now it's still our top Spidey-flick. Taking its cue from the "Spider-Man No More" storyline of 1967s "Amazing Spider-Man" No. 50, Tobey Maguire plays a frustrated Peter Parker who decides he's no longer going to allow Spider-Man to get in the way of the things most important to him, mainly his love for Mary Jane Watson. Harry Osborn discovers that his best friend Peter is secretly Spider-Man and, convinced Peter killed his father, Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin, Harry goes down the dark path of becoming a Goblin of his own. Alfred Molina gives a compelling performance as classic Spider-Man villain Doctor Octopus, and composer Danny Elfman, with an assist from superstar comic artist Alex Ross in the opening credits and some fun-to-watch skyscraper web-swinging at movie's end, gives us one of the greatest superhero movie scores ever. "Spider-Man 2," despite now having a lot more competition, can still be considered one of the best superhero movies ever.

2. "Spider-Man: Homecoming" (2017)

Chuck Zlotnick/Columbia Pictures

Spider-Man is finally home where he belongs: Marvel Studios. Once the cinematic road to the Avengers was created, it just never seemed right that Spider-Man's deal with Sony made it so he couldn't fight alongside Iron-Man and company. "Homecoming" isn't just a declaration of Avenger-hood, however - it almost magically feels like a brand new Spider Man movie, despite being the sixth one.

STEVE PERSALL'S REVIEW: 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' is a 'Deadpool' for the entire family

Tom Holland's Peter Parker leads an actually-young cast of high school supporting players. Michael Keaton gives an all-time Spider-villain performance as the Vulture (we shouldn't be surprised, the guy was Batman) and Spider-Man has never looked better, with a suit that's a nod to the Spider-Man art of the 60s and 70s up top with its webbed wings, mixed with some high-tech, Iron Man-like magic. "Homecoming" takes Spider-Man out of the previous movies' dark shadows and shows it can be fun to be Spidey.

3. "Spider-Man" (2002)

Columbia Pictures

If you have superhero movie fatigue, you can thank the first "Spider-Man" film, the first movie ever to debut with a $100 million opening weekend. "X-Men" hit theaters in 2000, but Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" was the first superhero movie since 1989's "Batman" to feel like a worldwide pop-culture event.

STEVE PERSALL'S REVIEW: Once untangled, 'Spider-Man' swings

Perhaps this movie's only flaw was a silly Green Goblin suit - William Dafoe was actually much more menacing outside of it as he went to war with Maguire's Spider-Man while slowly going insane. A classic upside down kiss with Mary Jane might be this film's most memorable moment, and the web-swinging in New York, when seen for the first time, had a Christopher Reeve/Superman flying for the first time feel to it. "Spider-Man" feels a little dated now in this new era of superhero movies, but is still an undeniable classic.

4. "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" (2014)

Sony Pictures

Back in darker times, when we were all convinced Spider-Man would never be a part of Marvel Studios, this was the best we thought we would get from a Spider-Man film post-Sam Raimi. Andrew Garfield was a pretty good Spider-Man and an even better Peter Parker, if for no other reason than he looked like he was drawn by classic Spider-Man artist Mark Bagley. We get a well-put-together Spider-Man suit that takes influence from the big-eyed comic-book versionsof the 90s, which makes up for how bad all the villains look.

STEVE PERSALL'S REVIEW: 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' comes back strong

Hipster Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) works wellas a friend from Peter's past but not as the next Green Goblin. Jamie Foxx's Electro takes on a nerdy, Jim Carrey/Riddler personality that feels too comic book-ish even for a superhero film, and Paul Giamatti's Rhino isn't even worth mentioning. So heavy is the shadow of Marvel Studios at this point that not even the strong chemistry of Garfield and Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy can save the franchise that ended with this installment. This movie gives us a beautifully-executed Stacy death scene, one of the most powerful moments in the history of Spider-Man comics, and it wasn't enough. At this point, Sony knew they needed the Marvel Studios touch.

5. "The Amazing Spider-Man" (2012)

Columbia Pictures

Making a movie when you've got a great idea is one thing. Making a movie because you don't want to lose the rights to one of the most popular superheroes ever is another. Raimi and Maguire walking away from "Spider-Man 4" gave birth to "The Amazing Spider-Man," a good movie that exists because Sony thought it had to, not because fans were clamoring for it.

STEVE PERSALL'S REVIEW: 'The Amazing Spider-Man' has too-familiar bite to it

Garfield shows some decent Spidey-potential, as a New York accented, joke-cracking version who's likable but working with a not-so-great Spidey suit (it got better in the sequel, see above) and perhaps the least thrilling Spider-Man movie villain ever, Rhys Ifan's Lizard.

6. "Spider-Man 3" (2007)

Columbia Pictures

The "Spider-Man" movie that must not be named. Raimi got a villain and a plot line that he was rumored to have wanted no part of (Venom and his black, alien suit that takes over Spider-Man for a bit) and we're given a Spidey-movie that looks like something no one wanted to make. Once Maguire starts dancing, we know this is not going to be one of the all-time great Spidey-films. The love story of Peter and Mary Jane seems to all but disappear amid drama. Venom, perhaps the most intense, imposing Spider-Man villain of all, is played by someone from "That 70s Show," and even Aunt May looks like she realizes this was all a bad idea. They couldn't even get black-suit Spider-Man right, giving him a regular Spidey-suit painted black instead of the classic all-black, no webbing version in the comics. The best part of this movie: Thomas Haden Church's sympathetic Sandman.

Comments
‘Last Flag Flying’ is kind of a puzzling follow-up to 1973’s ‘The Last Detail’

‘Last Flag Flying’ is kind of a puzzling follow-up to 1973’s ‘The Last Detail’

Richard Linklater called 2016’s Everybody Wants Some!! a "spiritual sequel" to his last-century breakout Dazed and Confused. Different characters, same youthful, life-exploring vibe.Linklater’s latest, Last Flag Flying, can be considered a spiritual ...
Published: 11/21/17
Five ideas for cooking with fresh cranberries

Five ideas for cooking with fresh cranberries

Cranberry sauce has long been a fixture on the holiday table. According to the Chicago Tribune, Ocean Spray, the popular producer of cranberry sauce, cans about 70 million tins of the stuff a year, 85 percent of which gets sold between Thanksgiving a...
Published: 11/21/17
Five ideas for easy Thanksgiving appetizers

Five ideas for easy Thanksgiving appetizers

Thanksgiving can put a heavy burden on the host. We’ve assembled five appetizers that are quick and easy to prep. Some, like our risotto balls and goat-cheese figs, cater to vegetarian diets, so you can be sure to please all your guests. Even if you’...
Published: 11/21/17

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBoxingWelterweights: Alexander vs. Castillo7:30 p.m.FS1College basketballMaui Invitational semifinal1:30 p.m.ESPNLegends Classic third-place game3:30 p.m.ESPNUMaui Invitational consolation game4 p.m.ESPN2Legends Classic final6 p.m.ESPN2George Ma...
Updated: 10 hours ago
What to watch this week: ‘Marvel’s Runaways,’ ‘Godless,’ Thanksgiving specials

What to watch this week: ‘Marvel’s Runaways,’ ‘Godless,’ Thanksgiving specials

MondayDavid Letterman: The Mark Twain Prize, 9 p.m., PBS: A special celebrating the work of Late Night and The Late Show host David Letterman.SERIES PREMIERE: Big Hero 6 the Series, 8 p.m., Disney Channel: The new animated series takes place after th...
Published: 11/20/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 21

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 21

Ice Skating at Tampa’s Winter Village: Even in Florida, you can get in the holiday spirit by ice skating on an outdoor rink in the park. Each 90-minute session includes skate rental. Stop by the cafe for themed drinks and holiday snacks. 10 a.m., Cur...
Published: 11/20/17
Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ has a Dia de los Muertos theme and is, well, lifeless

Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ has a Dia de los Muertos theme and is, well, lifeless

Disney-Pixar’s Coco was more enjoyable three years ago when it was titled The Book of Life and came from Twentieth Century Fox.Both animated features spring from Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos celebration, the annual "day of the dead" when departed rela...
Published: 11/20/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 23

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 23

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens: More than 2 million twinkling lights transform the park into a holiday wonderland with Rudolph, Sam the Snowman, Christmas-themed entertainment and visits with Santa. Included with admission on select nights through D...
Published: 11/20/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 22

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 22

Much Ado About Nothing: William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy gets an update by placing lovers Beatrice and Benedick against the backdrop of the Florida Keys as World War II is drawing to a close. Through Dec. 10. 7 p.m., American Stage Theatre Compa...
Published: 11/20/17
Tips for first-time Thanksgiving hosts (or really, any of us)

Tips for first-time Thanksgiving hosts (or really, any of us)

Take small bites.This may be the most crucial advice for Thanksgiving hosts who don’t have years of cooking and coordinating experience to provide the confidence that comes with leading the charge on the year’s biggest cooking day.It’s the first thin...
Published: 11/20/17