Critics Consensus

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.



Total Count: 243


Audience Score

User Ratings: 34,297,354
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Movie Info

After incorporating elements of comic book style and design into many of his films, director Sam Raimi helms this straight-ahead, big-budget comic book adaptation, which also marks acclaimed young actor Tobey Maguire's first dip into live-action blockbuster filmmaking. Spider-Man follows the template of the original Stan Lee/Steve Ditko source material, with hero Peter Parker an orphaned, intellectual teen loner living in Queens with his aunt (Rosemary Harris) and uncle (Cliff Robertson), and dreaming of the girl next door, Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst). On a field trip to a Columbia University lab, Peter is bitten by a genetically altered spider and overnight he gains superhuman strength, agility, and perception. At first, Peter uses his powers for material gain, winning a wrestling match with a purportedly lucrative prize. But when Peter apathetically fails to stop a burglar from robbing the wrestling arena, a tragedy follows that compels him to devote his powers to fighting crime -- as the superhero Spider-Man. When he's not busy fighting crime in a spider suit, Peter moves into an apartment with his best friend, Harry (James Franco), and begins work as a photographer at the Daily Bugle. Meanwhile, his do-gooder alter ego finds a nemesis in the form of the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), a super-powered, megalomaniacal villain who happens to be the alter ego of Harry's father, weapons-manufacturing mogul Norman Osborn. Spider-Man was written by the prolific blockbuster scribe David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Panic Room). ~ Michael Hastings, Rovi


Tobey Maguire
as Spider-Man/Peter Parker
Kirsten Dunst
as Mary Jane Watson
Willem Dafoe
as Green Goblin/Norman Osborn
James Franco
as Harry Osborn
Cliff Robertson
as Uncle Ben
J.K. Simmons
as J. Jonah Jameson
Joe Manganiello
as Eugene `Flash' Thompson
Gerry Becker
as Maximillian Fargas
Bill Nunn
as Joseph `Robbie' Robertson
Jack Betts
as Henry Balkan
Stanley Anderson
as Gen. Slocum
Ted Raimi
as Hoffman
Ron Perkins
as Dr. Mendel Stromm
K.K. Dodds
as Simkins
Bruce Campbell
as Ring Announcer
Elizabeth Banks
as Miss Brant
John Paxton
as Houseman
Tim De Zarn
as Philip Watson
Taylor Gilbert
as Madeline Watson
Randy Savage
as Bone Saw McGraw
Larry Joshua
as Wrestling Promoter
Timothy Patrick Quill
as Wrestling Arena Guard
Lisa Danielle
as Bone-ette
Natalie T. Yeo
as Bone-ette
Erica D. Porter
as Bone-ette
Jason Padgett
as Flash's Crony
Sally Livingstone
as Girl on Bus
James K. Ward
as Project Coordinator
David Holcomb
as Test Pilot
Octavia Spencer
as Check-In Girl
Shane Habberstad
as Little Billy
Deborah Wakeham
as Billy's Mom
Rachel Bruce
as Times Square Child
Mackenzie Bryce
as Times Square Child
Julia Barry
as Times Square Child
Macy Gray
as Herself
Myk Watford
as Cop at Fire
Sylvia Kelegian
as Mother at Fire
Kristen Marie Holly
as Young Lady at Fire
Ajay Mehta
as Cabbie
Scott Spiegel
as Marine Cop
Matt Smith
as Cop at Carjacking
Sara Ramirez
as Cop at Carjacking
Lucy Lawless
as Punk Rock Girl
Jayce Bartok
as Subway Guitarist
Maribel Gonzalez
as Lady Dogwalker
Amy Bouril
as Office Lady
Joseph D'Onofrio
as Opinionated Cop
Jim Norton (II)
as Surly Truck Driver
Corey Mendell Parker
as Chaperone in Tram
Ashley Edner
as Girl in Tram
Alex Black
as Boy in Tram
Laura Gray
as Tram Group Mother
Joe Virzi
as New Yorker on Bridge
Michael Edward Thomas
as New Yorker on Bridge
Jeanie Fox
as New Yorker on Bridge
Stan Lee
as Man on Balcony (uncredited)
Robert Kerman
as Tugboat Captain
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News & Interviews for Spider-Man

Critic Reviews for Spider-Man

All Critics (243) | Top Critics (48) | Fresh (218) | Rotten (25)

Audience Reviews for Spider-Man

  • Oct 15, 2017
    Terrific "modern" superhero movie is the best since Superman I and II. The acting is decent, casting is good (although I don't love Tobey Maguire, he is the right amount of nerdy for Peter Parker, who isn't supposed to be cool). The CGI is good, the action is great. Vivid colors, a fun backstory and plenty of plot to keep the film busy between action scenes. I actually saw Spider-man II first in the theater 2 years later in 2004. I really enjoyed the sequel, and I enjoyed this movie just as much. In my opinion, they are equally good. Most people give Spider-man 2 the nod over the first movie. There is a bit more action in 2, and some cool scenes (the train, battles wtih Doc Ock). Both are terrific, fun action/adventure movies. I wish there had been 4. I enjoyed the Sam Raimi franchise much more than the newer versions, which are boring by comparison. No depth, not nearly as funny and the super-vivid supporting characters are fantastic here. Fun movie, and it spawned the 2007 Spider-Man pinball machine, which I now own!
    Mark H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2017
    As dated as some of the dialogue, acting, effects shots, and plot points are, there will always be a special place in my heart for the original Spider-Man film (I'm not going to count those 70's features). This is largely due to the fact that it was the first superhero film I ever saw in a theater. I specifically remember where I saw it, who I was with, where I sat, and how terrified I was at the 3D images of the Green Goblin's face. For those reasons, I'm always keen on re-watching this one. Before the golden age of superhero film, Spider-Man came out at a time when being inspired by Donner's 1978 Superman and Burton's 1989 Batman was the norm. You can clearly see how influenced Sam Raimi was to those films, specifically with his choice of bringing in Danny Elfman to do the music. This all gives the film a very nostalgic vibe to me. However, some dated qualities manage to shine through some of the better moments. Those being the fact that Kirsten Dunst's 'Mary Jane' is essentially a useless plot device for the entire film. This doesn't necessarily change throughout the trilogy, but it's overtly clear with the first Spider-Man. My 8-year-old mind can push aside the damsel in distress moments, but 15 years later it becomes increasingly more difficult. The same goes for the dull dialogue between MJ and Peter, and the unquestionably awkward line delivery at times. I'm all for Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, but their relationship isn't always sold well enough in the various scenes they have together. With that said, someone who undoubtedly does sell their scenes is Willem Dafoe. He was terrifying as Norman Osborn a child, and he still sends a few chills down my spine when I see him talking to himself through a mirror in the Osborn mansion. But he isn't just a one-note villain either. Significant time is spent developing him as a forceful antagonist, but also a troubled man with misplaced intentions. In today's age of setting up future films way too far in advance, there usually isn't enough time given to developing villains (i.e. every MCU film), but luckily that's not the case with Green Goblin. Overall, Spider-Man is clearly a dated film in many areas upon re-watch, but it's hard not to overlook them based on pure nostalgic alone. In a way, some of the dated qualities actually end up making it even more charming. +Nostalgia +Score +Dafoe -Dated, and definitely cheesy 8.0/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Jun 29, 2017
    I forgot how great Tobey Maguire's acting was in this film
    Kameron W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 13, 2016
    That movie starts the string of the spider man that I'm grown with and raise the bar really high for the next super hero movie which comes soon after it. This part is really good synthesized. I can tell much more good thing abouy the movie but you can make them on your own.
    Valeri I Super Reviewer

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