There's a lot at stake with Marvel Studios and Columbia Pictures' Spider-Man: Homecoming. The first Spidey film since the critical and financial flop of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the film brings Peter Parker's first solo foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, after the wall-crawler's well-received debut in Captain America: Civil War. Early reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, but official reviews have yet to hit the web -- until now.
The embargo has officially lifted on Spider-Man: Homecoming reviews, and initial assessments been hitting the Internet faster and harder than Ultron's drones took out Avengers Tower. Word is that the film is one of the MCU's best, and quite possibly the greatest Spider-Man film ever made -- something that should please fans that were less-than-happy with the trilogy of Sam Raimi films and the Marc Webb twosome.
Here’s a selection of what the critics are saying about Spider-Man: Homecoming, which arrives in theaters on May 5.
Jim Vejvoda, IGN: As with the very best of the web-slinger’s Marvel stories, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a winning combination of a fun superhero adventure tale with a heartwarming story about a regular kid dealing with some very relatable issues (well, relatable in the non-superhero sense anyway). Tom Holland’s Spidey can’t swing back onto screens again fast enough.
Brian Truitt, USA Today: The magic of Homecoming is that it belongs more to the John Hughes cinematic universe than the Avengers. It cleverly references other Marvel films and even iconic scenes from previous Spider-jams, and right when it needs to, the story tosses out a big twist that ups the emotional stakes for Peter and brings his student and superhero lives crashing down on him...He gets back up again to do the right thing, though, and as much as this Spider-Man upends the rule book, Homecoming is king at capturing the core nature of the character.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: News Flash: Tom Holland is the best movie Spider-Man ever. He finds the kid inside the famous red onesie and brings out the kid in even the most hardened filmgoer. The last two Spidey epics had "Amazing" in the title, but let's face it – both films stirred more apathy than amazement. The only suspense came in wondering how long and hard a franchise could be milked. It may be a problem winning back the comic-book fans, but after that extended cameo in Captain America: Civil War and this new solo outing, you finally feel that your friendly neighborhood web-slinger deserves to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press: The film is overflowing with stellar talent, even in the smallest of roles and not counting the Marvel loaners in Robert Downey Jr. (who oozes charisma and charm even when phoning it in for a handful of scenes) and Jon Favreau. In the high school alone, there's the too-cool Michelle (Zendaya), the crush Liz (Laura Harrier) and the adorable breakout best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon). Hannibal Buress and Martin Starr are there, too, to add reliable laughs. Adrian's bad-guy crew includes Logan Marshall-Green and Michael Cernus. Even Spider-Man's suit has an Oscar winner behind its voice (Jennifer Connelly).
David Ehrlich, IndieWire: If only this could have been a John Hughes movie that was bit by a radioactive spider, and not a superhero story written by people who happen to be fans of Pretty in Pink. Still, the fact that Homecoming even tries to think outside of its shrink-wrapped box — even acknowledges that it’s in a box, and that there might be something worth seeing beyond its plastic walls — is a landmark moment for the MCU and its competitors. “Things are never gonna be the same now,” Toomes says in the film’s very first line. Here’s hoping he’s a man of his word.
Matt Singer, Screen Crush: There’s no Uncle Ben in Spider-Man: Homecoming. (He’s not even mentioned by name.) There’s no wacky wrestling match, no mugger Spider-Man lets get away. There’s no Green Goblin; there are no Osborns at all. There’s no Mary Jane or Gwen Stacy or J. Jonah Jameson. No one says “with great power comes great responsibility.” And yet without any of those elements that seem essential to the idea of Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Homecoming feels like it gets to the core of its title character in ways none of the previous movies (including Sam Raimi’s very good original trilogy) did. It’s pure, concentrated Spidey, and a lot of fun.
Angie Han, Mashable: ...that's the brilliance of Homecoming's approach. This film leans hard into its MCU connections, which is probably smart from a marketing standpoint since it's the most obvious thing separating this Spider-Man from the previous versions. But it does so by simply folding the Avengers into the fabric of everyday life. Spider-Man: Homecoming doesn't frame the MCU as some alternate universe where superheroes walk among us. It brings Spidey home by showing us that he, and we, have been living in it all along.
Matt Goldberg, Collider: As one would expect after seeing Civil War, Spider-Man is right at home in the MCU. The franchise’s sense of humor jibes with Spidey’s attitude, and the lighthearted tone makes the character feel fresh even though we’re on our third version. Weighty notions of responsibility can come later. The tragedy that follows Peter Parker around has been done. This new Spider-Man is swinging high and fancy free, and he finally feels right at home.
Mike Ryan, Uproxx: So, yes, after 13 long years, we have ourselves another great Spider-Man movie – arguably the best Spider-Man movie. This is a Peter Parker who just loves being Spider-Man. And, frankly, it’s really hard not to love watching this Peter love being Spider-Man. It’s the kind of movie you leave and you’re just in the best mood – and still will be days later.
Germain Lussier, io9: Spider-Man: Homecoming is a movie that not only grows on you, it practically grows up in front of you. Watching a superhero movie on this scale that’s about a teenage kid at first feels odd, because it’s so unusual. But for everything Marvel Studios’ first Spider-Man movie accomplishes, including that distinction, it deserves to be discussed among the better films in the MCU.
Swinging into theaters July 7, director Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Homecoming stars Tom Holland, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr.