Sam Raimi (2002)

12 Certificate


Our Score
Thanks in part to legal battles, Marvel Comics' much-loved superhero took his time to reach the big screen. This fantasy action adventure was initially intended as a James Cameron vehicle, but the project finally went to Darkman director - and self-confessed Spider-Man fan - Sam Raimi. His vision sticks close to the character's comic-book roots with the creation of a colourful, visually striking frolic that's bubbling with energy and gleefully tongue-in-cheek, yet edged with pathos. Lead actor Tobey Maguire is unusual but inspired casting, exuding boy-next-door charm as the clandestine teen avenger (Kirsten Dunst is good, too, as love interest Mary Jane Watson). Indeed, it's Maguire's intense likeability that helps paper over potential weaknesses such as the odd disappointing set piece. As for the all-important villain, Willem Dafoe not only looks the part as the Green Goblin - equalling Jack Nicholson's Joker - he brings some welcome gravitas to an already credible venture. Spider-Man is an effortless, intelligent entertainment, and a fabulous, fun-filled start to the hugely lucrative franchise.


A clumsy teenager develops superhuman powers after a genetically engineered spider bites him. At first his fantastic skills delight him, but his elation is severely tempered by a family tragedy, prompting him to dedicate his talents to combating evil. However, he faces a baptism of fire in the form of crazed villain the Green Goblin. Comic-book superhero adventure, with Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Willem Dafoe, James Franco and Rosemary Harris.

Cast & Crew

Peter Parker / Spider-Man Tobey Maguire
Green Goblin / Norman Osborn Willem Dafoe
Mary Jane Watson Kirsten Dunst
Harry Osborn James Franco
Ben Parker Cliff Robertson
May Parker Rosemary Harris
J Jonah Jameson J K Simmons
Maximilian Fargas Gerry Becker
Joseph "Robbie" Robertson Bill Nunn
Henry Balkan Jack Betts
General Slocum Stanley Anderson
Dr Mendel Stromm Ron Perkins
Eugene "Flash" Thompson Joe Manganiello
Hoffman Ted Raimi
Ring announcer Bruce Campbell
Macy Gray Macy Gray
Punk rock girl Lucy Lawless
The Burglar Michael Papajohn
Bone Saw McGraw Randy Poffo
Man shielding child Stan Lee
Director Sam Raimi
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia TriStarGuidance: Edited for some of its language and violence. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 14 Jun 2002