latest spiderman movie rating

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Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Oscar Isaac, Daniel Kaluuya, Hailee Steinfeld, Shameik Moore, and Issa Rae in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)

Miles Morales catapults across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. When the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Mi... Read all Miles Morales catapults across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. When the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles must redefine what it means to be a hero. Miles Morales catapults across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. When the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles must redefine what it means to be a hero.

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Hailee Steinfeld

Jake Johnson

Issa Rae

Brian Tyree Henry

Luna Lauren Velez

Rachel Dratch

Shea Whigham

Jason Schwartzman

Karan Soni

Jorma Taccone

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Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse

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[from trailer]

Gwen Stacy : Miles! Miles! Miles! You got a minute?

Miles Morales : [screams] Whoa. Gwen, how did you... how did you... how did you get... how've you been?

Gwen Stacy : It's a long story. Is this the room you grew up in?

Miles Morales : It... It is...

[hiding his action figures]

Miles Morales : But, uh, my, uh, dorm room is very adult.

Gwen Stacy : Right. No, of course.

[web slings Miles' sketchbook]

Miles Morales : Hey!

Gwen Stacy : Are these your drawings?

Miles Morales : What? No! No!

Gwen Stacy : They look good.

[stops on a drawing of herself, Miles hangs his head, embarrassed and sighs]

Gwen Stacy : I missed you, too.

Miles Morales : Okay. So what are you doing here? I... I mean I thought I'd never see you again.

Gwen Stacy : Wanna get outta here?

Miles Morales : I'm... grounded.

Gwen Stacy : Bummer.

[somersaults out the window]

Gwen Stacy : Is Spider-Man grounded?

Miles Morales : Um... I mean I...

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Oscar Isaac, Daniel Kaluuya, Hailee Steinfeld, Shameik Moore, and Issa Rae in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)

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latest spiderman movie rating

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What Rating Is the New Spiderman Movie? An In-Depth Analysis of Audience and Critics Reviews

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By Happy Sharer

latest spiderman movie rating


The release of the new Spiderman movie has been highly anticipated by moviegoers around the world. As such, its rating is of great importance as it will determine whether or not people will watch the movie. In this article, we will explore what rating is the new Spiderman movie, taking into account the opinions of both critics and audiences.

A Review of the New Spiderman Movie: What Rating Does It Deserve?

The new Spiderman movie follows Peter Parker as he struggles with balancing his personal life and superhero duties. The movie is full of action and adventure, with a good mix of humor and drama. The story is well-crafted and the visuals are stunning, while the acting is top-notch. All in all, the movie is an entertaining and enjoyable experience that is sure to please fans of the comic book series.

Taking all these factors into consideration, it is safe to say that the new Spiderman movie deserves a rating of 8 out of 10.

Is the New Spiderman Movie Worth a Watch? An Analysis of the Ratings

The new Spiderman movie has received generally positive reviews from both critics and audiences alike. On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has an approval rating of 88%, while on IMDb it has an average rating of 7.7 out of 10.

On the one hand, the movie has been praised for its thrilling action sequences and engaging storyline. On the other hand, some viewers have criticized the movie for its slow pacing and lack of depth. Overall, the majority of viewers have found the movie to be worth watching.

Therefore, we can conclude that the new Spiderman movie is worth watching, although it does have its flaws.

How do Critics Rate the New Spiderman Movie?

Professional critics have given the new Spiderman movie an overall rating of 3.5 stars out of 5. Most critics have praised the movie for its exciting action scenes and compelling story, while criticizing it for its lack of character development and uneven pacing.

Overall, critics have given the movie a favorable rating, although they have also noted its flaws.

Parental Guide to the New Spiderman Movie: What Rating Should You Give It?

Parents should be aware that the new Spiderman movie contains some violence and brief language. While the movie is suitable for most children, those under the age of 8 may find some of the scenes too intense. Therefore, we recommend that parents give the movie a rating of PG-13.

The New Spiderman Movie: What Rating Do Audiences Give It?

Audiences have given the new Spiderman movie an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Most viewers have enjoyed the movie for its thrilling action sequences and engaging storyline, while some have criticized it for its slow pacing and lack of depth.

Overall, the majority of viewers have found the movie to be worth watching.

Breaking Down the Ratings of the New Spiderman Movie

When comparing the ratings given to the new Spiderman movie by critics and audiences, it is clear that the two groups have different opinions of the movie. While critics have given the movie a more favorable rating, audiences have found some of its flaws to be more noticeable.

However, both critics and audiences agree that the movie is worth watching, and thus deserving of a rating of at least 7 out of 10.

In conclusion, the new Spiderman movie has received generally positive reviews from both critics and audiences. Critics have given the movie an overall rating of 3.5 stars out of 5, while audiences have rated it 4 out of 5 stars. Both groups agree that the movie is worth watching and thus deserving of a rating of at least 7 out of 10.

Therefore, we can safely conclude that the new Spiderman movie deserves a rating of 7 out of 10.

(Note: Is this article not meeting your expectations? Do you have knowledge or insights to share? Unlock new opportunities and expand your reach by joining our authors team. Click Registration to join us and share your expertise with our readers.)

Hi, I'm Happy Sharer and I love sharing interesting and useful knowledge with others. I have a passion for learning and enjoy explaining complex concepts in a simple way.

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The best of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” reminded me why I used to love comic books, especially the ones about a boy named Peter Parker. There was a playful unpredictability to them that has often been missing from modern superhero movies, which feel so precisely calculated. Yes, of course, “No Way Home” is incredibly calculated, a way to make more headlines after killing off so many of its event characters in Phase 3, but it’s also a film that’s often bursting with creative joy.

Director Jon Watts and his team have delivered a true event movie, a double-sized crossover issue of a comic book that the young me would have waited in line to read first, excitedly turning every page with breathless anticipation of the next twist and turn. And yet they generally avoid getting weighed down by the expectations fans have for this film, somehow sidestepping the cluttered traps of other crowded part threes. “No Way Home” is crowded, but it’s also surprisingly spry, inventive, and just purely entertaining, leading to a final act that not only earns its emotions but pays off some of the ones you may have about this character that you forgot.

Note: I will very carefully avoid spoilers but stay offline until you see it because there are going to be landmines on social media.

“No Way Home” picks up immediately after the end of “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” with the sound of that film’s closing scene playing over the Marvel logo. Mysterio has revealed the identity of the man in the red tights, which means nothing will ever be the same for Peter Parker ( Tom Holland ). With an almost slapstick energy, “No Way Home” opens with a series of scenes about the pitfalls of super-fame, particularly how it impacts Peter’s girlfriend M.J. (Zendaya) and best bud Ned ( Jacob Batalon ). It reaches a peak when M.I.T. denies all three of them admission, citing the controversy about Peter’s identity and the roles his buddies played in his super-adventures.

Peter has a plan. The “wizard” he met when he saved half the population with The Avengers can cast a spell and make it all go away. So he asks Dr. Strange ( Benedict Cumberbatch ) to make the world forget that Spider-Man is Peter Parker, which, of course, immediately backfires. He doesn’t want M.J. or Ned or Aunt May ( Marisa Tomei ) to forget everything they’ve been through together, and so the spell gets derailed in the middle of it. Strange barely gets it under control. And then Doc Ock ( Alfred Molina ) and the Green Goblin ( Willem Dafoe ) show up.

As the previews have revealed, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” weaves characters and mythology from the other cinematic iterations of this character into the universe of the current one, but I’m happy to report that it’s more than a casting gimmick. My concern going in was that this would merely be a case of “ Batman Forever ” or even “ Spider-Man 3 ,” where more was often the enemy of good. It’s not. The villains that return from the Sam Raimi and Marc Webb films don’t overcrowd the narrative as much as they speak to a theme that emerges in the film that ties this entire series back to the other ones. For a generation, the line about Spidey was “With great power comes great responsibility.” “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is about the modern Peter Parker learning what that means. (It also helps a great deal to have actors like Molina and Dafoe in villain roles again given how the lack of memorable villains has been a problem in the MCU.)

So many modern superhero movies have confronted what it means to be a superhero, but this is the first time it’s really been foregrounded in the current run of Peter Parker, which turns “No Way Home” into something of a graduation story. It’s the one in which Parker has to grow up and deal with not just the fame that comes with Spider-Man but how his decisions will have more impact than most kids planning to go to college. It asks some interesting questions about empathy as Peter is put in a position to basically try to save the men who tried to kill other multiverse iterations of him. And it playfully becomes a commentary on correcting mistakes of the past not just in the life of Holland’s Parker but those of characters (and even filmmakers) made long before he stepped into the role. "No way Home" is about the weight of heroic decisions. Even the right ones mean you may not be able to go home again.

Watts hasn’t gotten enough credit in his other two Spider-Man movies for his action and “No Way Home” should correct that. There are two major sequences—a stunner in a mirror dimension in which Spidey fights Strange, and the climactic one—but it’s also filled with expertly rendered minor action beats throughout. There’s a fluidity to the action here that’s underrated as Mauro Fiore ’s camera swoops and dives with Spider-Man. And the big final showdown doesn’t succumb to the common over-done hollowness of MCU climaxes because it has undeniable emotional weight. I also want to note that Michael Giacchino ’s score here is one of the best in the MCU, by far. It’s one of the few themes in the entire cinematic universe that feels heroic.

With so much to love about “No Way Home,” the only shame is that it’s not a bit more tightly presented. There’s no reason for this movie to be 148 minutes, especially given how much the first half has a habit of repeating its themes and plot points. Watts (and the MCU in general) has a habit of over-explaining things and there’s a sharper version of “No Way Home” that trusts its audience a bit more, allowing them to unpack the themes that these characters have a habit of explicitly stating. And, no offense to Batalon, turning Ned into a major character baffles me a bit. He always feels like a distraction from what really works here. On the other hand, this is the first of these three films that has allowed Zendaya and Holland’s chemistry to shine. In particular, she nails the emotional final beats of her character in a way that adds weight to a film that can feel a bit airy in terms of performance.

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” could have just been a greatest hits, a way to pull different projects into the same IP just because the producers can. Some will see it that way just on premise alone, but there’s more going on here than the previews would have you believe. It’s about what historic heroes and villains mean to us in the first place—why we care so much and what we consider a victory over evil. More than any movie in the MCU that I can remember, it made me want to dig out my old box of Spider-Man comic books. That’s a heroic accomplishment.

In theaters on December 17 th .

Brian Tallerico

Brian Tallerico

Brian Tallerico is the Editor of, and also covers television, film, Blu-ray, and video games. He is also a writer for Vulture, The Playlist, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone, and the President of the Chicago Film Critics Association.

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Film credits.

Spider-Man: No Way Home movie poster

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of action/violence, some language and brief suggestive comments.

148 minutes

Tom Holland as Peter Parker / Spider-Man

Zendaya as Michelle 'MJ' Jones

Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange / Doctor Strange

Jon Favreau as Harold 'Happy' Hogan

Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds

Marisa Tomei as May Parker

Alfred Molina as Otto Octavius / Doctor Octopus

Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon / Electro

Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn / Green Goblin

Tony Revolori as Eugene 'Flash' Thompson

Angourie Rice as Betty Brant

Martin Starr as Mr. Harrington

Hannibal Buress as Coach Wilson

J.B. Smoove as Mr. Dell

J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson

Benedict Wong as Wong

Writer (based on the Marvel comic book by)


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What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Spider-Man 's PG-13 rating comes from a couple of swear words, a clingy wet T-shirt, and -- particularly -- a great deal of comic book-style violence. It can get very intense and includes not just fires and explosions, but people getting vaporized, shot (off-camera), and impaled. Characters lose people close to them; a group of schoolchildren is in peril; and parents emotionally abuse their children. But the movie's core messages about empathy and responsibility are strong, and Peter Parker is one of the comic book world's more thoughtful heroes.

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In SPIDER-MAN, Toby Maguire stars as Peter Parker, a brilliant and sensitive high school student who's so deeply in love with his next-door neighbor Mary Jane ( Kirsten Dunst ) that he can barely bring himself to say hello to her. On a school field trip, he's bitten by a genetically engineered spider; the next morning he wakes up with some distinctly arachnid-like qualities: He can see without his glasses, climb walls, eject webbing with the swinging power of rope and the strength of steel, and anticipate danger. Peter plays around with his newfound superpowers but quickly learns that power comes with great responsibility. Great risk comes as well: Everyone Peter cares about is put in danger because of who he is. Meanwhile, Peter's best friend's father, industrialist Norman Osborn ( Willem Dafoe ), has decided to try out his company's new product on himself. He, too, develops extraordinary power -- and a mad fury. His new alter ego is dubbed the Green Goblin for his bizarre armor-like covering.

Is It Any Good?

Maguire is just right as Peter, the supporting cast is great, and the script is excellent, striking just the right note of respect and affection for the source material. Spider-Man has a contemporary feel without being showily post-modern or ironic. The special effects are thrilling. New York City is brilliantly stylized. Peter's relationship with MJ is sweetly romantic. The movie's weakest point is that it fails in the single most important requirement for a comic book-based movie: The villain isn't unforgettably crazy or evil or larger-than-life. Dafoe is a brilliant actor, but the part of Osborn/Green just isn't interesting enough to be truly scary.

Parents who are struggling with whether this movie is appropriate for kids under 13 should know that it's at about the same level as the X-Men movies. Keep in mind that just because kids can repeat after you that "it's only pretend" doesn't mean that they fully understand what that means until they're 10 or even older. Some kids may see the movie and appear to have no problems with it but later act out in other ways. Be watchful for kids who respond by desensitizing themselves to violence or re-enacting it.

Talk to Your Kids About ...

Families can talk about Uncle Ben's influence on Peter Parker in Spider-Man . What role does he play in Peter's life?

What does "with great power comes great responsibility" mean? Can you think of other superhero movies that tackle that theme?

Also, do you agree that people "love to see a hero fail"?

How do you think this live-action film compares with Spider-Man comics or the other Spider-Man films ?

How do the characters in Spider-Man demonstrate self-control , integrity , and empathy ? What about perseverance and courage ? Why are these important character strengths ?

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2002, Action/Fantasy, 1h 56m

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Not only does Spider-Man provide a good dose of web-swinging fun, it also has a heart, thanks to the combined charms of director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire. Read critic reviews

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‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Review: Listen Bud, No Spoilers Here

In the latest installment of the “Spider-Man” series, Tom Holland faces the past and a very secure franchise future.

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Come fly with me: Zendaya and Tom Holland in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

By Manohla Dargis

The biggest villain in Marvel-wood isn’t Thanos: It’s your friendly, sometimes cranky neighborhood film critic. She’s also the puniest, and that’s OK. Her powers are irrelevant.

Marvel, with its armies of true believers and domination of both movie theaters and a click-baiting media, rendered its product line critic proof long ago. Its movies open, they crush and regenerate (repeat). Now, with “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” it has a movie that’s also review proof. Your critic can toss out adjectives — lively! amusing! corny!— but can’t say all that much about what happens.

The idea is that saying too much would, as the spoiler police insist, ruin the fun here. It wouldn’t, of course. The trailer and the advance publicity have already spilled plenty, and Marvel’s movies cater to their fans so insistently that there’s rarely room for any real surprises. So, spoiler alert: Spider-Man wins. And, once again, Tom Holland, the best of the franchise’s live-action leads, has suited up to play Peter Parker, the eternal teenager who doubles as Spider-Man. With his compact size and bright, easy smile, Holland still looks and sounds more like a kid than an adult, and he radiates the same sweet, earnest decency that has helped make Peter and Spider-Man an enduring twin act.

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Peter’s boyish good nature has always been his most productive weapon, even more so than his super-ability to spin webs and swing by a thread. He’s always been a nice, cute boy with the nicest, loveliest girls, too (Kirsten Dunst, Emma Stone). But Holland is also the most persuasive of the other moist-eyed boy-men (Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield) who’ve played Spidey. His love interest is now MJ, played by Zendaya, who was paired with another of this year’s adolescent saviors in “Dune .” Her casting as MJ and her expanded role in the series continue to pay off, and Zendaya’s charisma and gift for selling emotions (and silly dialogue) helps give the new movie a soft, steady glow that centers it like a heartbeat as the story takes off in different directions.

Returning for duty is the director Jon Watts, who has proved a good fit for the material, partly because he gets that Peter is a teenager, if one who retains a curious holy-virgin quality. (Part brand extension, part celebrity roast, the script is by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers.) Peter and MJ nuzzle and lock lips, but their relationship vibes more cozy than carnal, no doubt as a concession to the younger members of the movie’s target demographic. (In one scene, Watts splits the screen to show Peter and MJ on their phones in separate bedrooms, a technique that was used to reinforce, if also teasingly to cast doubt, on the chastity of Doris Day and Rock Hudson ’s romance back in the day.)

As for the story, well, there is one, though what this “Spider-Man” movie really has is a clever setup that tightens the sprawl of Marvel’s universe with the aid of one of its MVPs, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). It opens with a busy bang and the revelation of Peter’s secret identity, which changes his life and instigates a series of reunions, fight sequences and emotionally charged moments. Spider-Man racks up a great deal of mileage over the course of the movie for the simple reason that, like almost every Marvel production, this one is too long and, at two and a half hours, overstays its welcome. But before that, the movie nicely snaps and pops.

It does so largely because of the sprawling lineup of performers — including Marisa Tomei (as Peter’s Aunt May) and Jacob Batalon (Peter’s best friend, Ned) — who fill in the spaces between the fights with feeling and discernible personality. As in every successful franchise, the casting in the Spider-Man movies has often been as, or more, crucial than the generic elements. Even at their chilliest and PG-13 meanest, great actors like Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina, two of a number of series veterans making return appearances, can warm up industrial material just by virtue of their presence. They soften rough edges, sell jokes, break hearts and add to the movie’s tonal coherence.

It would be nice to see what Watts could do if he weren’t constricted by Marvel’s rigid template, which gives the studio’s movies their clearly defined genre identity but also means that they’re more alike than not. (For complicated business reasons, the Spider-Man cycle that started with Maguire in the role were not part of the Marvel movie world until the first to star Holland.) Among other things, it would be novel to see a more complex Peter. After all, the world is a complete mess, and it would be super swell if Peter’s great power and keen sense of responsibility could be harnessed for other, greater fights, like the one against climate change. Greta Thunberg can’t do it alone.

Spider-Man: No Way Home Rated PG-13 for comic-book violence. Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes. In theaters.

latest spiderman movie rating

Spider-Man 4 might hit theaters right before Christmas 2025

Chris Smith

Despite not having a firm release date, Spider-Man 4 is one of the most anticipated upcoming Marvel movies. Marvel and Sony have repeatedly told fans the movie is in the works and that we have no reason to worry. But we don’t know much else, with rumors claiming Sony and Marvel are working on new deals, including Tom Holland’s contract for the upcoming trilogy and additional MCU appearances.

As a result, Spider-Man 4 might not hit theaters until late 2025, right in time for Christmas. Mind you, some spoilers might follow .

MCU Phase 5 release date delays

The MarvelStudiosSpoilers mods occasionally post MCU leaks from various sources. Their most recent post says Marvel has several delays in store for its MCU movies and shows. Marvel’s schedule reshuffling might impact the unannounced Spider-Man 4 as well.

The new rumor aligns with Kevin Feige’s recent comments. Marvel wants to give fans more breathing room between projects, especially when it comes to Disney Plus shows.

Feige said Marvel would space out releases for the streaming service and maybe even reduce the number of shows hitting Disney Plus. But these schedule changes should not alter Marvel’s MCU movie releases. We should still get three to four movies every year.

The Avengers might be one exception, as Marvel could split Secret Wars into two parts. Therefore, the Multiverse Saga might end with Avengers 7 instead of Avengers 6 .

Spider-Man in No Way Home bridge fight scene

When will Spider-Man 4 come out?

The Reddit mods say trusted sources informed them of Marvel’s planned but unannounced delays. Separately, unverified sources provided details about the Multiverse Saga schedule, including a purported slate for MCU Phases 5, 6, and 7 .

The leak says Spider-Man 4 will come out on December 19th, 2025. Furthermore, the mods say the film has been delayed to avoid overlapping with Thunderbolts , which premieres in late July 2024. Also, scheduling issues make it impossible for Sony and Marvel to release the movie during the Christmas 2024 window.

Spider-Man: No Way Home came out on December 17th, 2021.

Releasing Spider-Man 4 around Christmas certainly makes sense, given the massive popularity of No Way Home , which got a mid-December release in 2021 and made almost $2 billion at the box office. Then again, it wasn’t the December release window that sold all those tickets. The leaked return of the former Spider-Man variants turned the movie into a huge financial success.

Fans might not appreciate waiting two more years for a standalone Spider-Man movie, but we’ll remind you that Sony and Disney inked a deal after Far From Home that covered two movies. One was No Way Home , where Peter Parker is the protagonist. The other is a crossover film where Spidey will cameo. We don’t know what that movie will be, however.

Whether the Reddit leak is accurate, Sony should announce Spider-Man 4 release plans at some point in the not-so-distant future. But if the leak is correct, we’d expect Marvel to announce the roster changes soon, maybe at the next Comic-Con event.

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Chris Smith

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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Spider-Man: No Way Home  Is Aggressively Mediocre

Portrait of Bilge Ebiri

The one good idea that the Tom Holland–starring Spider-Man films had was a simple, obvious one: They really did make Peter Parker a kid. Tobey Maguire had been 27 at the time of his first turn as the high-school-age superhero, while Andrew Garfield had been 29. It’s not so much that those actors were too old for the material; it’s that the material could never fully utilize the character’s youth and inexperience because we as humans have a visceral resistance to watching people who clearly aren’t kids making childish decisions. Holland, by contrast, was 21 when Spider-Man: Homecoming premiered in 2017, and he looked even younger. As a result, the filmmakers for this latest Spidey cycle, including director Jon Watts and screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, have been able to sell us on some of Peter’s dodgier choices. They’ve also managed to mine the age gap between him and other characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for humor as well as one meme-worthy moment of genuine pathos. (“Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good.”)

But in most other respects, Watts’s Spider-Man films have been black holes of imagination. (The first entry featured a huge set piece at the Washington Monument — an inspired idea on paper — and did absolutely nothing interesting with it. The setting might as well have been an office building in suburban Atlanta. It probably was at some point.) This is a particular shame when it comes to Spider-Man, since previous attempts at the character, even at their worst, have often been visually spectacular. It does take a unique brand of corporate cynicism to drain any and all grandeur from the sight of Spidey swinging through the canyons of Manhattan; trapping the most cinematic of all superheroes in nondescript swirls of CGI sludge feels like its own act of villainy.

In other respects, too, these movies’ Spider shtick is starting to get old. They continue to treat Peter Parker as a child, and the ultrabuff, grown-up Holland now looks increasingly out of place. The new film begins with Peter Parker unmasked and publicly castigated and shamed for killing the previous entry’s villain, Mysterio. Among the real-life consequences of Parker’s cancellation is MIT’s rejection of his and his friends MJ (Zendaya) and Ned’s (Jacob Batalon) college applications. Determined to fix this problem, Parker goes to Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and asks him — I am not making this up — to cast a spell making the rest of the world forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man so that his friends can get into the college of their choice. And Doctor Strange — again, I am not making this up — agrees to do so. Holland is a fine actor, but I’m not sure any actor could survive the sheer idiocy of this character’s decisions here. Peter might be a teenager, but I don’t recall him ever being this stupid, either in the comics or the movies. Anyway, hocus-pocus, things go wrong, portal into other dimensions, flashing lights, blah, blah, blah. The magic goes awry, and Potter Peter finds himself face-to-face with a whole new set of problems. It’s all so pro forma that even Cumberbatch’s Strange, called on to convey rage at how his young colleague’s dumb request has prompted him to tear a hole in the fabric of the universe, merely musters some mild annoyance.

The initial big revelations of the new film have already been shown in trailers, so I’ll discuss those first. When Strange’s magic opens a gateway to different realities, once-dead villains from previous Spidey movies suddenly return, including Spider-Man ’s Norman Osborn, a.k.a. the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Spider-Man 2 ’s Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ’s Electro (Jamie Foxx). Again, a potentially promising idea. And judging from the cheers these veteran bad guys’ mere emergence got at my screening, perhaps it was of secondary importance that they be given, you know, something interesting to do . But aside from Dafoe, who once again gets to have some modest fun with his character’s divided self, there’s not much going on here. Why bring back an actor like Molina, who brought so much heartbreak and sneering rage to Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2 , only to give him no sense of inner life or any good lines? The same goes for Foxx’s Electro, whose transformation from oddball engineer to blustery supervillain in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was one of that (admittedly dreadful) film’s few highlights. Here, he’s just a tired wisecrack machine. That the action scenes involving these characters are so insipid just adds insult to injury: Watching Doctor Octopus dutifully toss weightless, computer-generated concrete pipes at our hero, it’s hard not to think back on Sam Raimi’s eye-poppingly imaginative action sequences in Spider-Man 2 featuring these same two characters and maybe even shed a tear for what has been lost.

It’s not just the action and the magic that flop. Even the film’s more intimate moments fall flat. One early domestic comedy scene involving Peter, MJ, Aunt May (Marisa Tomei, mostly wasted here), and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) has the camera whip-panning and roaming the spaces of their apartment in a pastiche of handheld indie filmmaking, but none of the humor feels organic or earned or even all that funny. It doesn’t build or make any emotional sense. Like almost everything else in the movie, it’s just another put-on. Making Peter more of a child does allow you to play up his sincerity and naïveté, which should ideally be a breath of fresh air in a universe filled with cynical, world-weary superheroes. But for all their alleged earnestness, these last three Spider-Man films have never had any kind of identity to call their own.

And now for the heavy spoilers, which I’m not supposed to talk about … but forgive me, it’s impossible to discuss this picture’s highs and lows without doing so. So, fair warning. Seriously.

Here, I’ll even give you an extra paragraph break to click away before finding out what happens next in the movie. (Even if it’s destined to become common knowledge within a few days.)

As the infinitely superior Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse already taught us, opening up doors to the metaverse means that you might also discover other iterations of Spider-Man. So sure enough, Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire return to the franchise that once helped make them stars, and the three Peters Parker now work together to try and handle this cavalcade of villains. And a film that was already engorged with fan service positively erupts with it.

That’s not such a bad thing, at least at first. It’s certainly nice to see Maguire again, and Garfield is a genuine delight. The latter’s previous turn as Spidey was a wildly uneven one. His slightly hapless, rom-com variation on Peter Parker made the first outing quite fun, but by the second entry, he had become twitchy, whiny, annoying. Here, almost as if he’s been given a second chance (a running theme in the film), he gets the goofiness just right. A scene where the denizens of this world ask Garfield’s Parker to prove he has Spider powers offers a charming bit of slapstick, and his uncertainty and insecurity pop up at opportune moments during the big climax. But this also reveals a bigger problem. Because as we watch Garfield act literal circles around everybody else, we are reminded of how lifeless and wanting the rest of the picture is. It’s like getting a new pair of glasses and realizing that your world has been a blur for the past few months. Except that whenever Garfield is off the screen, you’re forced to put your old glasses back on, which just makes everything look that much worse.

The Tom Holland Spider-Man films have been so eager to please that one does feel like a bit of a crank criticizing them. Nobody should enjoy kicking puppies. At the same time, along with the oft-rebooted Batman , Spider-Man is the one superhero franchise for which we do have proofs of concept for different approaches. And while the previous Holland films have been mediocre in modest ways, No Way Home feels downright aggressive in its mediocrity, bringing back better actors from better movies and calling back to an endlessly inventive and moving masterpiece like Spider-Verse . Is it an attempt to try and gain residual luster from associating with better work? Or is it something more cynical, an attempt to bring that better work under the big tent of its blandness? If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that No Way Home was trying to make us forget that a better Spider-Man movie is possible.

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Movie Review

Who can scale a skyscraper, shoot webs out of his wrists and wing through the asphalt jungle like an urban Tarzan? None other than your friendly neighborhood wall-crawler, Spider-Man.

Peter Parker is an insecure, nerdy teen who is picked on at school and ignored by the pretty girl he adores. Then a genetically altered spider bites him and his body undergoes changes that make puberty seem like a hormonal hiccup. He’s not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse, but he dedicates himself to fighting crime as a masked superhero.

In his feature-film debut, Spidey goes up against the Green Goblin, a self-seeking, power-hungry scientist malevolently transformed by an experiment gone awry.

Positive Elements

Spider-Man spins an impressive web of positive themes, including social responsibility, standing up for what’s right and being single-minded about one’s calling. There’s a sharp contrast between loving, supportive family relationships and destructive ones. The film draws a very clear line between good and evil and comes down on the right side.

Peter has loved Mary Jane Watson since before he even started liking girls. When she moved in next door, the inspired fourth grader asked his Aunt May, “Is that an angel?” His continuing respect and adoration for Mary Jane is refreshingly sweet. He stands by her through thick and thin, when others question her motives and virtue—even when she becomes his best friend’s girl. Many times Mary Jane is emotionally rescued by Peter’s words of encouragement, and physically rescued by Spider-Man. Finally, with her life literally dangling by a thread, Mary Jane experiences her “ah-ha!” moment: Peter is the only one she truly loves. But Peter realizes that Mary Jane’s life will be constantly endangered by a romantic relationship with Spider-Man and makes the tough but noble choice to leave his love unspoken. The message that friendship is the most unselfish expression of love is balm for the heartbreak.

Only once does Peter use his newly acquired hyper-strength for less-than-honorable purposes. He punches out a bully, but later expresses remorse and concern for the boy’s condition. Uncle Ben underscores the importance of restraint when he tells Peter, “Flash Thompson probably deserved it. But just because you can beat him up, doesn’t give you the right to.” Ben’s last prophetic words to Peter become Spider-Man’s call to action: “Remember, with great power comes great responsibility” (echoing Luke 12:48).

Peter comforts his grieving Aunt May and later stays by her hospital bedside until she recovers. He himself grieves on more than one occasion for his murdered uncle, posthumously referring to him as “Dad.”

Spiritual Elements

Several references (ranging from lighthearted to reverent) are made to God, mainly by Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Changing a light bulb, Ben says, “And God said, ‘Let there be light.’” Aunt May’s bedtime recital of the Lord’s Prayer turns into a plea for deliverance from a villain. A fight registrar sends Peter into the ring with a glib blessing. In contrast, Dr. Osborn makes a reference to evolution.

Sexual Content

Mary Jane dresses immodestly a few times. One sexualized scene has a rain-drenched Mary Jane (who’s wearing a low-cut dress) looking for all practical purposes like a wet T-shirt contestant. She chooses that moment to do a slow-peel of Spider-Man’s mask and plant a passionate (upside-down) kiss on him.

Scantily clad buxom beauties serve as ringside attendants at a World Wrestling-style fight. Briefly seen posters bear images of nearly-nude women, one of whom is covering her bare breasts with her arms. In a man-on-the-street interview about Spider-Man, a hooker comments, “Guy with eight hands? Sounds hot.” Another woman gushes to the cameraman, “He has those tights, and that tight little …” (she trails off before finishing).

Violent Content

The clumsy, bespectacled Peter is tripped, teased and ostracized by cruel classmates. Normally, the gentle-spirited teen takes it in stride. But a school bully who pushes Peter one too many times is propelled backwards several feet by a spider-powered punch. Uncle Ben dies from a robber’s crossfire. (The actual murder isn’t shown.) Spider-Man makes his first public appearance in a boxing/wrestling match, which might be laughable but for the contender getting taken out of the ring on a stretcher.

An armed man demands cash from a fight boss. A robber/murderer falls backwards through an upper warehouse window and dies. After downing the human enhancer potion that eventually transforms him into the Green Goblin, Dr. Osborn kills another scientist by propelling him through a glass wall. He also terrifies festivalgoers, crashing through buildings and ultimately killing the board of directors that recently fired him. Then, discerning Spider-Man’s greatest “weakness,” he strikes hard by trying to force our hero to choose between the lives of a sky trolley full of children and the woman he loves.

Action violence builds in intensity as the minutes tick by, causing the film to hit the PG-13 wall with a solid “thumppp!” in a final, sometimes brutal conflict that leaves Green Goblin impaled by his own deadly weapon.

Crude or Profane Language

The film suffers from a handful of mild profanities (“h—,” “a–“) and close to 10 exclamatory uses of the Lord’s name, including an emphatic abuse of “Jesus!” Mary Jane’s dad is verbally abusive towards her.

Drug and Alcohol Content

There’s a cigar-chomping newspaper editor, a cigarette-smoking street hostess and a whiskey-swilling bad guy.

Other Negative Elements

Spidey’s heavyweight opponent taunts him into action by asking, “That’s a cute outfit—did your husband give it to you?” The Webbed Wonder comes precariously close to taking vengeance on his uncle’s killer, but is spared the dubious satisfaction when the man trips over a pipe and falls backwards through an upstairs window.

This coming-of-age arachnid tale is perfectly written to resonate with adolescents, underdogs and the “little guy.” Director Sam Raimi explains, “For me, the strength of the character has always been that he is a real person—one of us. He’s gone through junior high and high school, he’s a bit of an outsider, he can’t get the girl, he’s broke … he becomes a superhero, but he still has to do his homework in the evenings.”

With so many young people likely to identify with Peter, then, parents might ask, “Is that a good thing?” They could do much worse. Peter is humble, selfless, respectful and dedicated to helping others. And he pays attention when his Uncle Ben tells him, “These are the years a man changes into the man he’s going to be for the rest of his life. Just be careful who you change into.” In the midst of a culture that seems to take pleasure in finding its heroes in all the wrong places, this finely-spun film debut is a refreshing alternative, putting down a solid franchise tent pole with a moral core.

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