Spider-Man movies: Ranking every Spider-Man movie before No Way Home

Spider-Man from Columbia Pictures' SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME.
Spider-Man from Columbia Pictures' SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME. /
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5. Spider-Man

For me, and many others, this is the film that started it all. The OG of Spider-Man films, and a truly great one as well. Back in a time before comic book films ruled the box office, or superhero films were considered their own genre, these movies were an anomaly to the general masses.

Sam Raimi took the reins of one of the most popular comic book characters there had ever been, up there with Batman and Superman. He altered the origins of Peter Parker ever so slightly – most notably giving him organic webs instead of him making his own – but he was able to keep the spirit of Spider-Man alive.

Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and James Franco all got their true big break out of this film playing Peter, MJ, and Harry respectively, and they all hit their roles right on the head delivering comic accurate portrayals of their characters. However, the stand-out of this film is still Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, who remains one of the best comic book movie villains.

Dafoe is a marvel in this film as the horrifying and villainous Green Goblin/Norman Osbourne. Peter and his nemesis would fight it out at night, and then go to Thanksgiving lunch the next day. It was interesting seeing this dynamic play out having to sit with your enemy, not knowing if they know you’re their enemy.

The beats of this film work incredibly well. Whether it is Uncle Ben’s emotional death, the burning building, or the final fight scene in the warehouse, every moment mattered, and every moment forced Peter to make a choice. While I do think there are Spider-Man films that are *just* a little better, I think this is still a wonderful beginning.