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The Amazing Spider-Man Review

Movies.com Critics

3.5

Dave White Profile

Turning off the dark. Read full review

4.0

Grae Drake Profile

A Spider-Man with bite. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    66

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    This hugely elaborate production is supposed to be the reboot of a foundering franchise, but rebooting a computer wipes the silicon slate clean. In the movie, what's old is old again.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    As a new chapter in the superpowered arachnid saga, it stands on its own quite nicely, focusing more on human emotions than on a panoply of special effects.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    While the two leads deliver the goods and manage to combine a frisky sense of first love with the movie's gloomier arc, they are well-served by a terrific supporting cast.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    What's most amazing in The Amazing Spider-Man turns out to be not the shared sensations of blockbuster wow! the picture elicits, but rather the shared satisfactions of intimate awww.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Amazing Spider-Man reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Action-packed series reboot has lots to offer Spidey fans.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Amazing Spider-Man sticks pretty closely to the standard superhero template. There's an average guy (Andrew Garfield) who mysteriously receives amazing powers and is suddenly thrust into the unfamiliar role of savior, some tame romance (kissing, flirting), mild swearing ("damn," "hell"), and lots of comic book-style action -- cars getting thrown off bridges, villains throwing heroes through walls, and assorted other mayhem, some with weapons and a bit of blood. Popular actress Emma Stone co-stars as Spidey's love interest, and Martin Sheen adds gravitas in the tragic role of Peter Parker's kind Uncle Ben.

  • Families can talk about the Spider-Man franchise. How is The Amazing Spider-Man different from the 2002 version with Tobey Maguire in the title role? Did this series need a remake of Spidey's origin tale? What do you think the main motivating factor was to make one? The story, or the money to be made?
  • It's hard to imagine a superhero film without plenty of action, including explosions, fights, and gunfire. How does the impact of the violence in movies like this one compare to that of other action or horror films?
  • Is Peter a role model before he becomes Spider-Man? After?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Much is expected from those to whom much is given (or, in other words, with great power comes great responsibility). That's the theme that pushes Spider-Man to take on the much stronger Lizard, with some concerns about his abilities, since nobody else really has the ability to stand up to the bad guy. Teamwork and collaboration play important roles, and love (familial, romantic) is a big theme of the movie.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Peter Parker is really trying to do the right thing, but he often comes off as a classically immature teen -- self-absorbed, insensitive, and at times narcissistic. But that doesn't make him a bad guy; when it counts, he definitely comes through (although at the end it's not clear whether he plans to keep a very important promise). Gwen is a smart, independent young woman who, unlike many superhero movie female leads, doesn't need rescuing. Uncle Ben and Aunt May teach Peter the importance of responsbility and unconditional love.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Plenty of super-powered comic book-style action, including cars getting thrown off bridges, villains throwing heroes through walls, and assorted other mayhem. A mugging leaves a shot bystander bloody and dying, and Spider-Man's first crime-fighting efforts target other muggers, who are clearly outmatched and beaten badly. An NYPD assault team tries to take out both Spidey and The Lizard, using high-powered weapons that leave the web-slinger injured and bloody. The villain impales a cop with his long claws, leaving the officer critically injured. Some bullying among high school students.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Some flirting, and a few romantic kisses.

  • language false2

    Language: Infrequent swearing includes "ass," damm," "hell," "suck up," "oh my God," and the euphemistic "Mother Hubbard," used as an expletive. Some insults -- "stupid," "loser," etc.

  • consumerism false4

    Consumerism: Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise. A few scenes feature people searching the Internet on Microsoft's Bing browser and looking for medical information on WebMD.com. Several Sony products also get prominent placement, as do Nike shoes.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The villain injects himself with a powerful drug that turns him into a giant lizard.

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