Spider-Man 3



Kids will be dazzled, but the story falls short of No. 2.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: October 29, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 140 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Several characters realize that it's never too late to stop making self-destructive choices. Strong themes of redemption and loyalty. Only one character stays selfish throughout the entire film.

Positive role models

A mysterious black goo makes Peter/Spidey significantly more aggressive, arrogant, and combative -- even toward his friends. His negative behavior culminates in him physically harming two people he loves, but he ultimately redeems himself. Two more villains are introduced: Daily Bugle photographer Eddie Brock transforms into Venom, and prison escapee Flint Marko morphs into the Sandman. But Sandman, unlike Venom, has a heart -- he just wants money to save his sick little girl.


Long, nail-biting sequences of superhero action/violence, including Harry attacking Spider-Man in an impressive airborne fight. Blood is visible on a wounded character's shirt and face and also on a dagger. A couple of major characters are killed, and someone's face is disfigured in a fight. Peter shockingly strikes someone he loves.


Various characters kiss, and there's one romantic dance between Peter and Gwen.


Expletives like "damn" and "ass." A few taunts like "chump" and "nerd."


Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Harry drinks on several occasions and at one point chugs hard liquor. Peter is served champagne at a restaurant. Diners drink alcohol at a jazz lounge.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, like its two predecessors, this comic book-based movie features lots of action and superhero-style violence. In this installment, a mysterious black goo makes Peter/Spider-Man significantly more aggressive, arrogant, and combative -- even toward his friends -- which could confuse little kids who have clear ideas about their hero. His negative behavior culminates in him physically harming two people he loves (naturally, he redeems himself by the end). Thanks to the enormous amount of Spidey merchandise and marketing, younger children may want to see this movie -- but know that the action might be too intense for the early-elementary set. (Spoiler Alert: Two characters die during the climactic battle sequence.)

What's the story?

In SPIDER-MAN 3, Peter (Tobey Maguire) and Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) are finally together, and things seem idyllic until Harry (James Franco) attacks Spider-Man in an impressive airborne fight. Harry is nearly felled; when he regains consciousness, he can't remember that Peter is his archenemy. But Spidey's problems are far from over. Parasitic black ooze attaches itself to Peter and creates a black Spider-Man suit that exaggerates the webcrawler's aggressiveness, hostility, and even attraction to the opposite sex. His ego swells and he flirts with smitten classmate Gwen (Bryce Dallas Howard) to make MJ jealous. Peter's newly discovered dark side drives Mary Jane away and inspires self-absorbed Daily Bugle photographer Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) to capture Spidey's bad behavior on camera. When the steroid-like goo lands on Eddie, he transforms into Venom, the film's second super-nemesis. The third villain this time around is prison escapee Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church), who morphs into the Sandman in a technically remarkable scene. Sandman, unlike Venom, has a heart. He just wants money to save his sick little girl -- if only Spidey would get out of his way. An alliance between Sandman and Venom leads to a climactic four-way battle scene set along the Manhattan skyline.

Is it any good?


People who see superhero movies just for thrills and chills will find plenty of reasons to love Spider-Man 3, but fans seeking Spider-Man 2's unforgettable combination of action, story, and heart will be disappointed in the franchise's third installment.

There's now no doubt that Spider-Man 2's emotional depth must have been prolific author/comic-book lover Michael Chabon's contribution to the screenplay. The latest script -- co-written by director Sam Raimi, his brother Ivan Raimi, and Alvin Sargent -- just doesn't match its predecessor's level of excitement and romance. But while the action is striking, with all the sand blowing, web flinging, and characters flying, all the CGI wonders can't save Spider-Man 3's overlong, underdeveloped story from falling a bit short of super.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the Spider-Man movie series. Which of these larger-than-life films do you consider the best? What's more important in superhero movies -- the action or the story?

  • Families can also discuss the movie's major themes: character transformation, revenge, and redemption. Which characters experience the biggest changes? Do they change for better or for worse? How can you tell?



  • How does seeking revenge prove futile for both Harry and Peter?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 3, 2007
DVD release date:October 30, 2007
Cast:James Franco, Kirsten Dunst, Tobey Maguire
Director:Sam Raimi
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Book characters, Great boy role models, Misfits and underdogs, Science and nature
Run time:140 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sequences of intense action violence.

This review of Spider-Man 3 was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old August 20, 2010


acting is bad script is bad plot is bad terrible movie
Kid, 12 years old September 5, 2010
this movie is awesome!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old June 23, 2010

Great movie for teens

This is a good movie to watch when your bored. But parents beware, this movie contains a lot of violence, drinking and very scary images. There also a few bad words. I think teens will enjoy this movie more than adults and children of course.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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