Every Sam Raimi Superhero Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

Sam Raimi makes his directorial return to comic book movies with
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, his fifth venture into the superhero movie genre. Raimi is probably most closely associated with horror, thanks to his success with the long-running
Evil Dead franchise and the later cult hit
Drag Me to Hell. Yet, it’s arguable he’s made just as big a mark in the superhero arena, especially due to his trilogy of Spider-Man movies starring Tobey Maguire.,Outside of Bryan Singer’s X-Men films, the Raimi Spider-Man trilogy helped establish that superhero movies could once again be big business at the box office, setting the template for the MCU’s forthcoming dominance. While Michael Keaton’s Batman and Christopher Reeve’s Superman had been box office champions, it had been a long time since a Marvel or DC movie really became crossover hits. Raimi’s Spider-Man adventures have had a clear influence on the genre since.,Related: Sony Owes It To Sam Raimi To Make Spider-Man 4,Of course, the mixed reception for
Spider-Man 3, as well as his bad experience working with Sony on the sequel, led Raimi to back away from superhero movies for nearly 15 years. That is until he took over for a departing Scott Derrickson at the helm of
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Here’s how Raimi’s five superhero movies directed to date stack up against each other, including 1990’s cult item
Darkman‘s sequels aren’t being included, as Raimi declined to return for those in a major creative capacity.,Raimi’s clashes with Sony executives over what
Spider-Man 3 would become are well-known, with Raimi having zero interest in Venom being part of the sequel, only to be overruled. Yet, while
Spider-Man 3 is definitely a flawed effort, it’s also not nearly as bad as so many make it out to be. While Peter Parker’s “emo” phase and horrible dancing rightfully earn the mountain of memes based on it, and Venom’s portrayal is lacking, the central story concerning Peter’s relationships with Mary Jane and Harry Osborn is mostly pulled off well.
Spider-Man 3 is a clear step down from its predecessors, and indeed every other superhero movie Raimi has directed, but it’s also far from terrible or unwatchable. It’s telling that the overall opinion of
Spider-Man 3 seems to be softening as the years go on, with the currently famous “Bully Maguire” memes seeming much more fond and much less derisive. Sandman’s return in
Spider-Man: No Way Home has also been met with appreciation.,An early career effort of Raimi’s,
Darkman, resulted from the director not being able to secure the rights to helm a movie based on an established superhero. Raimi created the story for
Darkman and is also credited as one of the screenplay’s multiple writers, with the initial idea for the character hinging on a crime-fighter who can change his face. A pre-
Schindler’s List Liam Neeson stars as Dr. Peyton Westlake, a scientist working on a synthetic skin that comes in handy after he’s disfigured and left for dead by bad guys.
Darkman is basically what would happen if The Phantom of the Opera became a superhero, and also emulates a lot of the gothic, film noir style employed in many cinematic takes on Batman. While not a box office hit,
Darkman deservedly amassed a cult fanbase on home video, leading to lesser sequels.,The anticipation levels for
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘ arrival were quite high, and that’s understandable. It’s the first MCU movie to focus on Strange since his 2016 debut, it’s Raimi’s return to the superhero genre, and it’s the first MCU movie since the massive success of
Spider-Man: No Way Home. Surprisingly though, the reception to
Multiverse of Madness has been a bit divided, with some believing it to be a worthy entry into Raimi’s filmography but a lackluster addition to the overall MCU narrative. Visually,
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is breathtakingly gorgeous and also features macabre imagery unusual for Marvel Studios’ PG-13 product. However, the plot feels oddly disconnected from recent MCU efforts, America Chavez is oddly shoved into the spotlight with little introduction, and Scarlet Witch’s full-on leap into mad villainy doesn’t feel organic after
WandaVision. It’s a good movie, but not Raimi’s best.,Related: Sam Raimi’s Unmade Comic Book Movies (& Why They Didn’t Happen),It’s actually a pretty close race between Raimi’s first
Spider-Man movie and its sequel, but in the end, Peter Parker’s second web-slinging adventure just edges out his debut. Like many superhero movie debuts,
Spider-Man 2002 is somewhat burdened by its duty to tell an origin story for its titular character, whereas sequels are usually free to get right to the action and excitement. To Raimi and star Maguire’s credit, this is arguably the definitive telling of Spider-Man’s beginnings, reinforced by how many moviegoers found it entirely unnecessary for 2012’s
The Amazing Spider-Man to retread that ground. In addition to Maguire, just about everything works, with Kirsten Dunst shining as Mary Jane, J.K. Simmons’ definitive J. Jonah Jameson, and Willem Dafoe’s cackling, creepy rendition of The Green Goblin that’s somewhat of a scientist himself.
Spider-Man 2002 is one of the best first installments in any superhero franchise.,Spider-Man 2 in many ways, is exactly what a sequel should be, in that it takes basically everything that worked about Sam Raimi’s first
Spider-Man and gives audiences more of it. Free of origin story confines,
Spider-Man 2 is free to truly explore the duality of Peter Parker’s double life, his romantic struggles with MJ, and of course, show off copious amounts of high-flying action scenes. There’s also the brilliant villain performance of Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus added into the mix, with Doc Ock managing to shine in a way both equal to and different from Dafoe’s Green Goblin. It’s truly a pleasure to watch him interact with both Spider-Man and Peter Parker. It’s also a joy to see him and Dafoe back for
Spider-Man: No Way Home. One can argue there are a few things that don’t entirely hold up, such as the very post-9/11 scene in which a bunch of New Yorkers tend to Spider-Man and pledge not to reveal his secret. Still, what few flaws
Spider-Man 2 has are greatly outweighed by how much it pulls off excellently, making it definitely
Sam Raimi‘s best superhero movie to date.,More: Every Sam Raimi Horror Movie, Ranked