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The movies like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 to watch

2 Spider 2 Man

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Miles Morales in his Spider-Man costume, and Peter Parker in his Spider-Man uniform, side-by-side. Image: Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is finally here, folks. After Marvel’s Spider-Man in 2018 and Miles Morales in 2020, Insomniac has brought the two Spider-Mans fully together in the new PS5 game. By all reports, it’s a lot of fun.

But what if you’re looking for something thematically appropriate to watch while you’re swinging around New York City, while you cool off in between sessions of saving people from the Sandman, or while you wait to actually get the game? We’ve got you.

With a fine-toothed comb, we’ve searched through the library of movies out there, and picked only the most relevant options that feel in tune with the themes and action of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

Spider-Man Strikes Back

A live-action Spider-Man wraps an opponent in webs that look like ropes in the 1978 movie Spider-Man Strikes Back. Image: Columbia Pictures Television

Director: Ron Satlof
Where to watch: YouTube

Why it’s a fit: In the beginning of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, New York City is under cataclysmic threat due to the machinations of Sandman. In this movie, New York City is under cataclysmic threat due to the machinations of the villainous arms dealer Mr. White. In both, it’s left to young, potentially overmatched and overburdened people to save the day.

Spider-Man 2

(L-R) Spider-Man faces off against Doctor Otto Octavius atop a moving train in Spider-Man 2. Image: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Director: Sam Raimi
Where to watch: Netflix, Disney Plus

Why it’s a fit: Ah, mentorship. It’s hard, right? In Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 the video game, Peter is a bit of a mentor figure to the young Miles Morales, showing him the webs ropes of being a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. This classic 2004 movie deals with similar issues: A young genius hopes to learn from a prominent scientist, only for things to fall apart when the pressure of success proves to be too much to bear.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Peter Parker and Gwen on top of a building in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Image: Sony Pictures

Director: Marc Webb
Where to watch: Netflix, Disney Plus

Why it’s a fit: Making friends is easy. But maintaining friendships? That’s where a little effort goes a long way. In Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 the video game, Peter and Miles are basically BFFs, swinging through New York City battling all kinds of foul foes and ne’er-do-wells. This 2014 film follows a young photojournalist who agrees to help his best friend by introducing him to a work acquaintance. Unfortunately, the introduction backfires and causes a riff between the two best buds, forcing one of them to make some hard choices.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal shake hands as Spider-Man and Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home Photo: Jay Maidment/Sony Pictures

Director: Jon Watts
Where to watch: Starz

Why it’s a fit: Growing up comes with a whole host of new responsibilities. Maybe it’s a new job. Maybe it’s new goals that you’re reaching for. Maybe it’s the duty you’ve given yourself to protect your friends.

In this movie, a young aspiring hero has to balance all those responsibilities, all while on a school field trip to Europe. Now, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 doesn’t whisk players to Europe, but the balance between fighting evil and keeping your friends safe in a dangerous world is one that I know the game’s protagonists could relate to.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man 2099, a version of Spider-Man with a luchador-like mask and long blades on his arms, presses Miles Morales into the side of a building so hard that it leaves a divot in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Image: Sony Pictures

Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu, coming to Netflix 10/31

Why it’s a fit: In Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man really wants to help people. A lot of people — his loved ones, the people in his immediate community, and the broader community of New York City. That’s a lot for anyone to handle, but especially for a young person, and that tension between protecting an entire city and maintaining your relationship with your loved ones can seem impossible. Both the game and this movie deal directly with that conflict.