5 movies like 'Madame Web' but better

Dakota Johnson in Madame Web
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

The reviews for “Madame Web” are in and they’re … not great. The latest installment in the mashup of Sony and Marvel movies centers on EMT Cassandra Web AKA Madame Web (Dakota Johnson). She has to contend with her newly discovered powers while shielding a trio of teenage girls from a dude named Ezekiel (Tahar Rahim) who happens to have similar spider-like abilities. 

A note to all arachnophobes: This movie is your worst nightmare. Unlike most “Spider-Man” movies, the spiders just keep coming. The slow-paced movie that could probably lose a good half-hour (or maybe just not exist) is slightly brightened by a wholesome Adam Scott. But as for the heavy-handed themes that feel more comical than heartwarming, the movie didn’t exactly win over many audiences. So, if you were disappointed by “Madame Web,” here are some other “Spider-Man” universe movies that will actually make your Spidey senses tingle. 


Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

The 2002 “Spider-Man” movie was somewhat of a rebirth for comic book-based blockbusters. Tobey Maguire stars as Peter Parker/Spider-Man himself, depicting a Spidey that’s very much on the nerdy side of Peter’s comic book persona. The film begins with Peter’s origin story: He gets his powers, watches his Uncle die, and vows to save as many civilians as he can while he takes down the bad guys.

Of course, amid his crime-fighting shenanigans, Peter has his eyes set on Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson. His attempts to woo her are futile, as she starts dating his best friend Harry (James Franco). Even more iconic is Harry’s dad, played by Willem Dafoe. Meanwhile, Spider-Man faces off with the sinister split-personality Green Goblin, whose identity hits a little close to home.

Watch on Disney Plus

'The Amazing Spider-Man'

Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Andrew Garfield’s 2012 Spider-Man has a more sarcastically witty and moderately cool personality compared to his nerdier predecessor. Of course, he’s still a nerd, but he leans into skateboarding and is a little more suave with the ladies. Enter Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy, whom Peter takes much less time to woo than Maguire’s iteration. 

Naturally, Garfield’s two movies take after the comic series by the same name and they’re a little darker than the OGs. This first movie also features Peter’s origin story (and the spider appearances are a bit more prevalent than the first series). In “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Spidey faces off with The Lizard, played by Rhys Ifans (and the minor villain in the form of his bully Flash Thompson, played by Chris Zilka). The villains in the follow-up are a bit better, but still not as strong as Maguire’s trilogy.

Watch on Disney Plus

'Spider-Man: Homecoming'

Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Homecoming

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Just two years after Garfield’s final Spidey flick, the MCU introduced another Spider-Man in “Captain America: Civil War.” Tom Holland leads the charge as this version of Peter Parker. Luckily, the film breezes past Peter’s origin story, so fans don’t have to watch it for a third time. One year later, Holland got his own movie: “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Here, we meet Peter’s love interest MJ (Zendaya) and his friend Ned (Jacob Batalon). Meanwhile, Marisa Tomei took up the mantle of Aunt May.

In this trilogy kickoff movie, Peter has to face off against the Vulture (Michael Keaton), whose identity, once again, hits a little too close to home. Of course, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark continues his mentorship of Peter as the teen navigates the brutal combo of high school and superhero-ing. 

Watch on Disney Plus

'Spider-Man: No Way Home'

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

If you thought Holland’s first two Spidey movies were intense, they have nothing on “No Way Home.” The third and final installment of his trilogy dives deep into the multiverse, where fans are reunited with Maguire and Garfield’s versions of Peter as the three work together to fight villains from all three heroes’ respective universes. 

On top of getting closure on our two previous beloved Spider-Men, the movie provides redemption for Holland’s predecessors as they learn that villains can sometimes choose to be good if they’re given the chance. We also get some more layers of the villains from the first five films, highlighting the iconic Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe), Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), Electro (Jamie Foxx), and the Lizard (Rhys Ifans). To boot, the film has the most intense conclusion of any “Spider-Man” flick to date. 

Rent/buy on Amazon or Apple

'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse'

spider-man: into the spider-verse

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Animation)

The animated 2018 movie “Into the Spider-Verse” is largely considered the best of all “Spider-Man” movies. Not only is the film a love letter to all die-hard Spidey fans who have read the comics of each version of Spider-Man, but we finally get to see a Brooklyn-based  Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) lead the charge. The movie does dive into Miles’ origin story, but it breezes by as he’s mentored by a middle-aged Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson) from an alternate universe. 

But he’s not the only one. Miles goes on to meet Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), the ridiculously iconic Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), and Chris Pine’s Peter Parker — to name just a few.  (Liev Schreiber) serves as the movie’s main villain as Miles is tasked with stopping him from opening portals and risking the implosion of the multiverse.

Watch on Netflix

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Xandra Harbet

Xandra is an entertainment journalist with clips in outlets like Salon, Insider, The Daily Dot, and Regal. In her 6+ years of writing, she's covered red carpets, premieres, and events like New York Comic Con. Xandra has conducted around 200 interviews with celebrities like Henry Cavill, Sylvester Stallone, and Adam Driver. She received her B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Randolph College, where she chilled with the campus ghosts and read Edgar Allan Poe at 3 am.