The Spider-Man film franchise has been rebooted an astonishing four times since 2002—with three actors (plus a voice actor) swinging into the lead role. And now that Sony and Disney’s Marvel appear to have worked out some contract differences, at least one more Spidey co-production between the studios seems to be set for 2021. So, which versions of the angsty superhero are worth your time? And where can you stream them? Here’s a guide:
Best reasons to stream it now: The wildly successful origin story from director Sam Raimi is considered a breakthrough – the first of the new genre of comic book movies that now dominate the movie business. Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man has a nice nerd-hero humor and a good rapport with Kirsten Dunst, who is Mary Jane.
Where to stream Spider-Man: It’s currently available as a rental only, from Amazon, Apple, AMC Theatres On Demand , GooglePlay, Redbox, Fandango, Vudu and YouTube.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Best reasons to stream it now: A critical darling, Raimi’s second installment is probably the most admired of the Spider-Man films. The emotional notes and conflicts, especially between Peter Parker and Mary Jane, set the paradigm for comic movie depth.
Where to stream Spider-Man 2: Fubo, FXNOW
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Best reasons to stream it now: Losing director Raimi had many folks expecting disaster for this installment, and, well…we’ll let you decide. The movie did give us a meme of Maguire’s Parker boogying on the sidewalk, which is not nothing.
Where to stream Spider-Man 3: Netflix
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Best reasons to stream it now: Just a few years after S-M3, lead Andrew Garfield had the unenviable job of sparking up a new take on Peter Parker – a cooler, sexier version guided by director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer). The effort was helped a lot by the much-loved performance of Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey, Peter’s girlfriend.
Where to stream The Amazing Spider-Man: FXNOW, DirecTV, Fubo
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Best reasons to stream it now: Garfield and Stone – who had become a real-life couple — are still fun to watch.
Where to stream The Amazing Spiderman: FXNOW, DirecTV, Fubo
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Best reasons to stream it now: Another movie, another version of the web-slinger, this time from Tom Holland. His Peter Parker is played younger, more open, more like the high school naif of his comic book origins. Marvel enthusiasts will enjoy Spidey’s introduction into The Universe, led by Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark.
Where to stream Spider-Man: Homecoming: FXNOW, DirecTV, Fubo and Sling
Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse
Best reasons to stream it now: This animated break from the Holland-led franchise is hard to compare to its live-action siblings, but the stunning visual style and wildly innovative story have made it perhaps the most critically acclaimed of them all.
Where to stream Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse: Netflix
Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)
Best reasons to stream it now: Set in the period after the wrenching Avengers: Endgame, the movie starts off with some lighter and heartfelt European vacation moments with Peter and his pals (including Zendaya as love interest MJ) before heading into Marvel action. It also includes a legendary bonus scene in the credits starring J.K. Simmons as muckraker J. Jonah Jameson at his bombastic best.
Where to stream Spider-Man: Far from Home: Available to rent from Amazon, Apple, AMC Theatres On Demand, GooglePlay, Redbox, Fandango, Vudu and YouTube.
Other places Spider-Man turns up…
Captain America: Civil War (stream on Disney +), Avengers: Endgame (stream on Disney +).