The Amazing Spider-Man 2



Uneven Spider-Man sequel mixes action, romance.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: May 2, 2014
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 142 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie has several worthy messages, but the biggest is simple: Hold on to hope, and instill hope in others whenever you're able. Peter struggles with his responsibilities as Spider-Man, but he's reminded of his desire to offer help to the people of New York.

Positive role models

Peter is a caring and loving nephew, boyfriend, and friend -- and obviously a selfless superhero when he's acting as Spider-Man. Gwen loves Peter not because of his superhero alter ego but because of his generous spirit.


Most of the violence is on a large scale: cop cars pile up, people are shot at, and Manhattan landmarks, including Times Square, tumble down -- but people don't seem to actually die or bleed, just get injured and run away. When seen in 3-D, some of these scenes feel more intense. There are a few upsetting deaths, particularly of people who love Peter Parker. Those scenes are the most disturbing. Spider-Man's run-ins with Rhino, Electro, and the Green Goblin result in violence, but only one has lasting impact on Peter or the audience. The scenes in which the Green Goblin transforms suggest that it's a very painful process.


A few kisses, embraces, and declarations of love.


Language is infrequent and limited to "damn," "hell," and "oh my God."


There's a tie-in between Spider-Man and a whole host of merchandise: the comic book source material, games, apparel, figures, video games, and much more. As for product placements, all of the electronics in the movie are made by Sony.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Amazing Spider-Man 2, starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, is the second movie in the latest Spider-Man franchise and will appeal to superhero-loving tweens and teens. Like most superhero-based action flicks, there's lots of city-wide violence and destruction of property (some of which is notably more intense when viewed in 3-D). While the crash-and-bang scenes may not scare experienced movie-going kids, there are some emotional deaths that are sad and upsetting for all ages, particularly to anyone who isn't familiar with the Spidey storyline. There's no drinking or sex to speak of (although Garfield and Stone have a strong chemistry that translates into a few passionate kisses) and very little language ("damn," "hell," etc.), so if your teen or mature tween Webslinger fan can handle the violence, they should be ready for this latest adventure.

What's the story?

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 starts off with the real back story of how Peter Parker's parents died. Then we fast forward to the day of Peter (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy's (Emma Stone) graduation from high school. As Spider-Man, Peter is off saving New Yorkers and nearly misses receiving his diploma. He can't stop imagining Gwen's dead dad, pleading with him not to involve Gwen in his dangerous superhero endeavors. So Peter uncharacteristically (for this Spidey) finds himself brooding about his relationship with Gwen and wondering about the circumstances surrounding his father's death, while living with his stressed and widowed Aunt May (Sally Field). On top of his emotional turmoil, Peter also has to deal with old friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), who's returned to Manhattan to inherit Oscorp, as well as super villain Electro (Jamie Foxx), who's powered by electricity and wants to destroy Spider-Man. Peter just wants to learn the truth about his parents and be with Gwen, but there are too many complications, threats, and people to protect.

Is it any good?


Many off-screen couples can't translate their personal relationship into on-screen chemistry, but real-life sweethearts Garfield and Stone are sizzling on camera, making the romantic subplot of this Spider-Man sequel the best reason to see the movie. That may sound heretical to some loyal superhero-movie fans, particularly tween boys, who -- like Fred Savage in The Princess Bride -- would rather skip all the kissing parts. But the truth is that this wise-cracking, canonical Spider-Man is at his most lovable when he's with the women he loves: clever girlfriend Gwen and devoted Aunt May. There are a few scenes between Peter and these supportive, loving women that are so evocative and touching that viewers may even get teary eyed.

But audiences watching for action, adventure, and intrigue may be less impressed. The multiple villain issue isn't new, but the plot is a clunky mess between the Oscorp conspiracy the senior Parkers were part of, the shallow hatred of Electro (who's more of a needy introvert with new powers than a maniacal evil genius), and the whole sick Harry subplots. Garfield is a decidedly funnier and more confident Spider-Man than his predecessor Tobey Maguire, but with the exception of Garfield's humor and his chemistry with Stone, this sequel doesn't hold a web string to Spider-Man 2.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the amount of violence in superhero movies. How does the fact that much of it is larger than life affect its impact? How is it different watching super villains get hurt than regular people?

  • How does this film compare to other superhero stories? Do you prefer hero movies with just one star, or do you like bigger groups (a la The Avengers)?

  • Compare the movie to the comic books. Is it faithful to the story as depicted in the comics? Were you surprised about certain developments?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 2, 2014
DVD release date:August 19, 2014
Cast:Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx
Director:Marc Webb
Studios:Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing
Run time:142 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sequences of sci-fi action/violence

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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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Parent of a 10 and 14 year old Written byorchidflame May 2, 2014

Action packed fun for everyone!

Kid, 12 years old May 2, 2014


First, this is better than the first movie. Second, this is more violent and intense. Actually pretty violent. No kids under 12 should see this movie in my opinion. Still pretty awesome.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Educator Written byAMSL May 9, 2014

Tears and Fears

With some intense scenes of anger and violence in this film, it caused anxiety and nightmares in some of my students in 1st - 4th grade. Every child is different, but with no added value in other categories I'd leave this one to teens.
What other families should know
Too much violence


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