We all know there are too many Spider-Men. Since the dawn of time, or since 2002, or since 2011, or 2015 — Presidents have come and gone, MySpace fell, iPods were literally invented, but Spider-Man and the Spider-Men remain our constants.
In honor of Tom Holland’s first solo outing as Spidey, and in honor of the many Spideys that came before, here’s a full list of Spider-Man movies to watch, based on how you’re feeling. A Spidery for every emotion!
If you want a good romance: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
TASM and its sequel are easily the most forgettable Spider-Man movies — not bad, just forgettable. The one thing that sticks, though, far and away outstrips the competition: Its main romance. Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield started dating on production of this movie, and if their on-screen chemistry is any indication, it was destiny. Watch them fumble and flirt and finally make out.
If you’re feeling nostalgic: Spider-Man (2002)
Back when innocent moviegoers had no expectation of superhero movies (except for the shining beacon of X-Men), Spider-Man burst through and was better than it had any right to be. This is post-9/11 America, rife with trust issues and wishing desperately for a hero. It introduced many to Tobey Maguire, who we promptly abandoned in 2007, and the cast is rounded out by bit players who ended up becoming household names — including J.K. Simmons, James Franco, Elizabeth Banks, and Octavia Spencer.
If you need some hope: Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Tom Holland’s sleek young webslinger makes his debut in a fight between the grownups, joining Team Iron Man for an epic face-off about morals or whatever. Holland charms from his first moment on screen, playing off Robert Downey Jr. and inspiring us with more excitement and hope for a Spider-Man reboot than we though we could still summon.
For the complete package: Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Spider-Man 2 has everything; a love triangle, a disillusioned hero, a benevolent scientist turned villain (neither the first nor last in the franchise). There’s a devastating emotional reveal when Peter tells Aunt May about his role in Uncle Ben’s death,
If you want to cry: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
The second TASM survives just barely due to the living, breathing romance at its center. If you remember one thing, it’s probably that devastating ending death (if you forgot one thing, it might be that a psychedelic Jamie Foxx was the villain).
If you want a great villain: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Image: columbia pictures
There’s a lot to love in Homecoming, but Michael Keaton’s Vulture is the most fully-fleshed out villain since we met Thor’s resentful little brother. He doesn’t follow the same formula as his fellow Spider-Man baddies, and Keaton has just the kind of twisted charisma to sell this character multiple times over.
If you hate yourself are feeling emo: Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Just trust us.