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5 great comic book movies you should watch on Netflix right now

With the rise of Disney Plus and Max, many beloved comic book movies from Marvel, DC, and the rest have been moved out of Netflix’s massive streaming library. With this mass exodus of superheroes from this online service, this may leave some wondering what’s left to watch. Fortunately, there are still some terrific comic book films that audiences can still enjoy on Netflix right now.

Spider-Man (2002)

Tobey Maguire ion Spider-Man
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Alright, let’s do this one last time. After getting bitten by a genetically engineered spider, awkward high schooler Peter Parker uses his newfound superpowers to defend New York City as the costumed hero, Spider-Man. He then must face off against Norman Osborn, the wealthy scientist who inadvertently turns himself into the city’s first supervillain, the Green Goblin.

Despite how far comic book films have gone today, Spider-Man has the right balance of campy humor and heartful pathos that many films fail to achieve. Even though certain aspects of this film may not have aged well, Sam Raimi‘s iconic blockbuster was a landmark picture back in its day, and it helped open the door for the many superhero movies to dominate cinemas in the years ahead.

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man atop a moving train in Spider-Man 2.
Image via Sony Pictures Releasing

The second Spider-Man movie with Tobey Maguire proved itself spectacularly better than the first. After two years of struggling to live a regular life and protect the city as Spider-Man, Peter finds himself losing his powers and the will to be a superhero. At the same time, a new villain emerges in the form of the fallen Doctor Octopus, who threatens to destroy the city with his fusion reactor if Peter doesn’t regain his strength.

Not only does this sequel feature groundbreaking visual effects, particularly in that train fight, but it also carries more emotional drama as Peter’s identity crisis forces him to choose between living a happier life with Mary Jane or fighting in the service of others. Likewise, Alfred Molina elevates the film with his sympathetic portrayal of the evil but tragic Doc Ock. All in all, it’s a human story that encapsulates why Spider-Man is such a relatable hero to countless fans.

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Spider-Man in 2007's Spider-Man 3.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As Peter tries to take his relationship with MJ to the next level, he must face off against the newly formed Sandman, the alien symbiote Venom, and his best friend Harry Osborn, aka the New Goblin. Many flaws can be found in this film, such as how it crams many different villains into one narrative, Topher Grace’s lackluster performance as Eddie Brock/Venom, and the infamous Emo Peter dance.

Peter Parker Evil's Dance (Scene) - Spider-Man 3 (2007) Movie CLIP HD

But the film is not without its merits. After learning that Flint Marko had a role in killing Uncle Ben and bonding with Venom, Peter is forced to face the darkness inside himself and accept that the criminals he fights aren’t so black and white in terms of morality. Also, this film’s version of Sandman remains one of cinema’s most poignant and relatable supervillains, as he’s just a down-on-his-luck guy desperately trying to provide for his sick daughter, which drives Peter to find it in his heart to forgive him and himself.

Extraction (2020)


Based on a graphic novel by Ande Parks, this Chris Hemsworth vehicle follows special forces agent-turned-mercenary Tyler Rake when he is hired to rescue the son of a drug lord in Bangladesh, only to get betrayed by his employer and placed in a citywide battle for survival.

The film has its flaws, and there’s not much going for it despite a script written by Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo. Nevertheless, Extraction is still a thrilling and action-packed adventure that should satisfy viewers looking to enjoy an exciting blockbuster at home. If you like it, you’re in luck: the 2023 summer action movie sequel Extraction 2 is set to hit Netflix queues on June 16.

The Old Guard (2020)


Directed by Gina Prince Bythewood (The Woman King), this Netflix film gets its story from the many graphic novels written by Greg Rucka. Centered around a group of mercenaries who have lived for centuries thanks to their mysterious regenerative powers, the film follows them as they discover a new immortal like them and evade being captured by people hoping to harness the secret to their longevity.

With its unique action thriller concept, The Old Guard features many heartfelt moments that explore the tortured souls of the titular team of immortals and whether or not their actions throughout history have actually made a difference in the world. It is also one of the first comic book films with a gay superhero couple, making it a huge step forward for the genre. Since a sequel film is supposed to drop on Netflix this year, now’s a good time to catch up with Andy, Nile, and their crew.

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Anthony Orlando
Anthony Orlando is a writer/director from Oradell, NJ. He spent four years at Lafayette College, graduating CUM LAUDE with a…
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