Every Spider-Man Movie Ranked from Least Kid-Friendly to Most Kid-Friendly

With great parenting comes great Spidey-curation responsibilities.

by Nate Birch
Originally Published: 
Spider-man swinging through New York city.
Credit: Sony/Marvel

Everyone’s favorite webhead just swung back into theaters with Spider-Man: Far From Home, and once the credits roll, there’s a good chance your kids are going to want more. But where should you start? Which Spidey flicks are best for your youngsters? Which should be avoided? Granted, Spider-Man movies don’t tend to be as edgy as Batman’s, but Peter Parker’s cinematic adventures do have their dark, violent, and dated moments.

Parents: With the great power of letting your kids watch superhero movies necessitates the great responsibility of making sure those movies don’t suck and also don’t freak children out too much. So, to avoid being stuck in a web of awkwardness, check out our Spider-Man movie kid-friendliness ranking before you watch! We know some kids don’t care about the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon the way adults do, so we’ve ranked all in major Spider-Man movies, regardless if they fit into any pesky canon or not.

9. Venom (2018)

Yeah, Spider-Man doesn’t actually appear in this movie, but it takes place in the Spidey universe, so we’re counting it. Venom isn’t quite as edgy as the marketing tried to imply (it is only PG-13), but it’s still a lot more out there than your typical cinematic Spider fare. The weird sinewy alien symbiote effects are off-putting, the zombie-like state people go into when possessed can be a bit scary, and a scene where the symbiote rejects a person that tries to meld with it genuinely gruesome. This is a movie where our “hero” eats multiple people’s heads, which is…usually played for laughs? It’s also a movie that loves the word shit. It shitty shit shitting loves it. It’s guaranteed to be your kid’s new favorite word if you make the mistake of letting them watch Venom.

Will my kid actually like the movie?

Venom actually isn’t as bad as its reputation, but kids probably won’t appreciate 100 minutes of twitchy Tom Hardy method acting as much as adults will.

Stream it on YouTube.

8. Spider-Man (2002)

Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man movie is an interesting movie to rewatch. While we now take it as a given every new Marvel movie will be a huge success, back in 2002, the only proven cinematic comic book property was Batman, so the first Spider-Man is a lot darker and more Batman-ish than you might remember. The scene where Peter Parker takes out the guy who killed Uncle Ben is surprisingly ominous, the final fight with Green Goblin gets pretty violent, and the whole movie has kind of a moody, melodramatic tone to it. Really, more Tobey Maguire ugly crying than I’m comfortable with.

Then there are the “this movie is nearly 20-years-old” issues. Peter beating up and humiliating Flash Thompson at school doesn’t send a great message, and the bit where Peter hurls a homophobic taunt at Bonesaw McGraw/Randy Savage is pretty cringe-worthy today. Also, while the iconic upside-down kiss scene still holds up, most forget its immediately proceeded by a scene where a gang of guys tries to sexually assault Mary Jane in the alley. Maybe wait on this one until your kids are able to understand the context and that the early-2000s were a confusing time.

Will my kid actually like the movie?

Again, it’s a little slow and mushy by modern superhero standards, and the effects do not hold up well.

Rent it on Amazon Prime.

7. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

After doing one slightly-more-grounded movie, Sony immediately fell off the wagon with The Amazing Spider-Man 2. This movie is goofy as hell, more than even Spider-Man 3. Electro does kill a number of people in the movie, but it’s pure “this guy’s hair is sticking up because he’s been electrocuted” Home Alone nonsense. Of course, (spoiler for a thing that first happened 46 years ago) Gwen Stacy dies in the movie, which might be a little traumatic for some kids, although it’s handled about as tastefully as a woman falling to her death in a giant wacky cartoon clock tower possibly could be. That is to say, it’s kinda icky.

Will my kid actually like the movie?

Maybe? But hopefully, not.

Rent it on Amazon Prime.

6. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Following the goofiness of Spider-Man 3, Sony attempted to get a touch more serious with a reboot that put Andrew Garfield in the role of Peter Parker. In, The Amazing Spider-Man; the scene where Uncle Ben is killed is actually fairly bloody, and the way the Lizard regrows his arm is icky. The movie’s bullying scenes are a bit more visceral than you’d expect too. Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the weird, totally out of place “comedy” scene where Peter Parker accidentally rips a girl’s shirt off on the subway then beats up everybody who gets mad about it.

Will my kid actually like the movie?

It’s got Spider-Man fighting a giant lizard after all, but I’m not sure kids will love all the extended mumblecore Peter-Gwen romance stuff.

Rent it on Amazon Prime.

5. Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Spider-Man 3 does sport “Dark Peter Parker” but he’s more of a dork than actually evil. I mean, his aggressive finger-gunning does seem to make some ladies uncomfortable, I guess. Also, he hits Mary Jane in one scene, but it’s an accident, and he immediately regrets it. The alien symbiote is a little creepy (although not nearly as gross as in Venom) and some of the fight scenes are a fairly violent, but, overall, it’s all pretty mild. Following the original Spider-Man, Sam Raimi moved the series in a more explicitly comic-book-inspired direction, with Spider-Man 3 definitely being a continuation of that.

Will my kid actually like the movie?

Likely yes. Because there are so many super-powered characters in this movie, it feels closer to the multi-character contemporary MCU everyone is accustomed to now.

Rent it on Amazon Prime.

4. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man 2 does have the one infamous scene where Doc Ock is born, which feels directly ripped from one the Evil Dead movies (minus any actual onscreen violence or blood), but aside from that, this is really a pretty light movie. Raimi was a bit shameless about dousing Kirsten Dunst in cold water whenever he could. It made sense for the upside-down kiss scene in the original movie, but Dunst’s dampness during the final showdown with Dock Ock feels exploitive. That said, because Michael Chabon wrote at least one version of the screenplay for this movie, it’s pretty much the best of the “old” Spidey movies by a longshot.

Will my kid actually like the movie?

Yes. Easily the best of the Raimi movies and totally in-the-running for best Spider-Man movie ever.

Rent it on Amazon Prime.

3. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

This one just hit theaters this week, so I won’t delve too deeply into specific details, but the movie does push the violence a few inches further than its predecessor (there is a bit of blood) and some of Mysterio’s illusions could be scary for young kids. Of course, the movie deals fairly heavily with a certain character’s death, although Peter Parker being sad about losing father figures is pretty normal. There’s also more smooching than the previous movie, for those adverse to cooties.

Will my kid actually like the movie?

Marvel Studios is nothing if not consistent. Another colorful, kid-pleasing hit.

This one is still in theaters! Go see it!

2. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Marvel Studios played it about as safe as possible with their first Spidey movie, with the teenage romance elements all being very chaste, and the violence being downplayed in favor of wacky hijinks and Spider-Man saving folks in peril. Spidey and Vulture do get into it at the end of the movie, but it never gets too intense. Tony Stark does get a bit aggressive with the Aunt May flirting (Can you blame him?) and the language is turned up a half notch, with porn being referenced once. Those small exceptions aside, Homecoming is basically the Disney Channel version of Spider-Man.

Will my kid actually like the movie?

A simple crowd pleaser starring a Spider-Man that’s pretty much still a kid himself. The movie is a little long/padded, but otherwise, youngsters should love it. And it’s good!

Rent it on Amazon Prime.

1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

I really had a tough time deciding whether to give the top spot to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse or Homecoming and its sequel. Spider-Verse is actually pretty action-heavy, with lots of kicking, punching, and assorted fighting, and we see (this is a real Spoiler warning since this is a recent-ish movie) multiple characters die, including Peter Parker himself. That’s pretty heavy! There’s also a bunch of jokes about Miles Morales’ hands being sticky because he’s hit puberty, which is…fine.

That said, the violence is kept fairly cartoony (there are even big 60s-Batman-style sound effects on screen) and the deaths are handled carefully. Aside from that, this is just such a colorful, lively, (mostly) cheerful movie, with a really nice message specifically aimed at kids about how you can be anything you want to be. This one really puts the friendly in “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.”

Will my kid actually like the movie?

I’d be concerned if your kid doesn’t love this film. They might not get all the alternate universe stuff, but specific plot details don’t matter too much in this radioactive candy rush of a movie. Plus, it’s on Netflix right now. There’s no excuse!

This article was originally published on