Peter Parker returns to the big screen in "Spider-Man: Far From Home" on July 2, 2019. In honor of the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — which currently holds a 91 percent fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes — Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at every major movie in which the Friendly Neighborhood Web Slinger has appeared over the years — whether in a significant capacity or as a quick cameo. Keep reading for the best and worst of Spider-Man…
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BEST: 2002's "Spider-Man"
It all started with Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man," which scored a 90 percent fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes and crushed box-office records when it debuted back in 2002. Tobey Maguire brought Peter Parker to life in the original Web Slinger origin story, which spawned two sequels and helped reinvigorate the superhero genre six years before the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched with 2008's "Iron Man." "Spider-Man" even scored two Oscar nominations: best sound and best visual effects.
BEST: 2019's "Avengers: Endgame"
Tom Holland's Peter Parker has a small but incredibly important role in 2019's "Avengers: Endgame," the epic conclusion to the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — which is widely considered the magnum opus of the expansive film franchise, with a 94 percent fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Though Spider-Man is blipped out by Thanos in the finger snap at the end of "Avengers: Infinity War," his relationship with Tony Stark plays an important role in motivating the older hero throughout "Endgame."
WORST: 2007's "Spider-Man 3"
The conclusion to director Sam Raimi's original "Spider-Man" trilogy was a major disappointment. Though the villain-stuffed threequel killed it at the box office, it scored a dismal 63 percent fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes. A major sign that something went horribly wrong with the action flick? The most memorable scene centers around Tobey Maguire's corrupted Peter Parker (fresh off a breakup from Mary Jane and complete with a new hipster-approved 'do) dancing down the street while leering at various beautiful women. Not good.
BEST: 2017's "Spider-Man Homecoming"
Tom Holland's Peter Parker scored his first stand-alone film with 2017's "Spider-Man Homecoming," a charming teen comedy cleverly disguised as a superhero film. (The titular homecoming? That would be Peter's high school homecoming dance.) The action flick — which chronicles Peter's attempts to juggle his life as a regular kid with his responsibilities as one of the newest Avengers — was a huge hit with critics, earning a 92 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
BEST: 2018's "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"
The hilarious and heartfelt "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" — which scored a 97 percent fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes and went on to win the Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA Award for best animated film — was a major revelation when it debuted in late 2018. Shameik Moore stars as the voice of Miles Morales, a gifted teen who acquires Spider-Man's abilities after he's bitten by a radioactive spider. He teams up with a group of similarly powered heroes from alternate dimensions (voiced by an A-list cast including Nicolas Cage, Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson and John Mulaney) when they find themselves trapped in his world.
SO-SO: 2012's "The Amazing Spider-Man"
It was the reboot no one needed, but somehow, 2012's "The Amazing Spider-Man" still managed to more than triple its production budget at the global box office — and eke out a 72 percent fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes. The action flick brought almost nothing new to the table aside from its leads: a rising star name Andrew Garfield in the role of Peter Parker and the actor's then-girlfriend, future Oscar winner Emma Stone, as Peter's first love, Gwen Stacy. Overall, the rebooted origin story hasn't been able to stand the test of time, earning a resounding "meh" from Spidey stans.
BEST: 2004's "Spider-Man 2"
The second installment in Sam Raimi's Spidey trilogy, 2004's "Spider-Man 2," actually fared even better with critics than its predecessor, earning a 93 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and winning an Oscar for best visual effects. The superhero sequel — which centers around an older version of Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker as he struggles with adulthood and estrangement from his friends and family due to his obligations as Spider-Man — scored two more Academy Award nominations: best sound mixing and best sound editing. It's really a shame "Spider-Man 3" couldn't live up to its forbearers.
BEST: 2018's "Avengers: Infinity War"
Tom Holland's Peter Parker played a major role in 2018's "Avengers: Infinity War," a multi-billion-dollar box-office smash that scored an 85 percent fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes (and a 91 percent fresh rating with audiences). In addition to bringing some much appreciated humor and levity to his scenes, Spidey also delivered perhaps the most emotional moment of the film: his protracted death in the arms of mentor Tony Stark.
WORST: 2014's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"
It was the sequel no one wanted to the reboot no one needed: Andrew Garfield returned to the role of Peter Parker in 2014's completely forgettable "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," which fared well at the global box office but scored a 52 percent fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes. New Yorker critic Anthony Lane put it best while name-dropping Jamie Foxx's villainous on-screen alter ego: "Despite the efforts of Electro, the franchise is running shockingly low on juice," he wrote. No kidding!
BEST: 2016's "Captain America: Civil War"
Tom Holland's Peter Parker made his debut in 2016's "Captain America: Civil War," which scored a 91 percent fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Tony Stark recruits the young Spider-Man — who brings some much-needed humor to the sombre proceedings — to fight alongside his half of the fractured Avengers as they face off against Team Cap.
BONUS: 2010's "Iron Man 2"
In 2017, Tom Holland confirmed a longstanding MCU fan theory: that the little boy in an Iron Man mask who stands up to one of Justin Hammer's armored drones in 2010's "Iron Man 2" is a young Peter Parker. (The showdown takes place at Stark Expo in Queens, the New York City borough that Spidey calls home.) "It is Peter Parker. … I can confirm that: That is Peter Parker," the English actor told HuffPost, explaining that the president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, first confirmed the theory. "I like the idea that Peter Parker has been in the universe since the beginning," added Tom. (Actor-director Jon Favreau's son, Max, portrayed the little boy.) "Iron Man 2" killed it at the box office, earned an Oscar nomination for best visual effects and scored a 74 percent fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes.