Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse matches bold storytelling with striking animation for a purely enjoyable adventure with heart, humor, and plenty of superhero action.

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Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that's the first of its kind. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.

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Cast

Shameik Moore
as Miles Morales
Jake Johnson (XVI)
as Peter B. Parker
Hailee Steinfeld
as Gwen Stacy
Mahershala Ali
as Uncle Aaron
Brian Tyree Henry
as Jefferson Davis
Lily Tomlin
as Aunt May
Luna Lauren Velez
as Rio Morales
Zoë Kravitz
as Mary Jane
John Mulaney
as Spider-Ham
Kimiko Glenn
as Peni Parker
Nicolas Cage
as Spider-Man Noir
Kathryn Hahn
as Doc Ock
Liev Schreiber
as Wilson Fisk
Chris Pine
as Peter Parker
Natalie Morales
as Miss Calleros
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Critic Reviews for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

All Critics (253) | Top Critics (34)

The spectacularly colorful, varied, and busy animation is impressive but bombastic, leaving little room for wonder and suggesting exertion rather than inspiration.

December 17, 2018 | Full Review…

It is more an experiment than an actual film.

December 15, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

The delights of "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" bring a newfound sense of joy and playfulness to the beloved character

December 14, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

The scale feels vast, yet the spirit is joyous. It's as if everyone had set out to make the best Spider-Man movie ever, which is exactly what they've done.

December 14, 2018 | Full Review…

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse might be the best Spider-Man film ever made.

December 14, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Look, I get it. I'm weary of superhero movies, too. But "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" isn't just a superhero movie. It's also a great movie.

December 13, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

In the sixteen years since Sam Ramiï¿ 1/2(TM)s Spider-Man first debuted we've had seven different Spider-Man films featuring four different incarnations of the webslinger. And while each of those incarnations have their own unique qualities that make each effort commendable (even the less successful ones-I'm a fan of the Marc Webb Amazing films, even), with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse we get something that would seemingly be the nail in the coffin as far as originality in blockbuster cinema goes. I mean, "Seven Spider-Man films in sixteen years? That's a new Spider-Man every four years and didn't we just get a new Peter Parker last summer? Why do we need another Spider-Man let alone another Spider-Man movie?" These are all valid questions and concerns, but somehow-rather than being the tipping point that sends audiences over the edge into full-on superhero saturation directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman have crafted a superhero film that does the complete opposite and reinvigorates the genre over and over again with its brisk two-hour time frame. What Spider-Verse does to separate itself from the past incarnations of the character is not only introduce a new Spider-Man in the form of Miles Morales (DOPE's Shameik Moore), but to also offer a completely new origin story that also offers a new perspective on what it's like to be a superhero. The movie, which comes from producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The LEGO Movie, 21 and 22 Jump Street) with Lord getting a sole screenwriting credit, knows exactly what it is and if you've seen any of Lord and Miller's previous work then you know how aware and how smart they are about recognizing the genre they're operating within, completely lampooning that genre, and then creating an experience of a movie that exists within that genre that is somehow simultaneously one of the best examples of that genre. For instance, if you were to pool this year's list of superhero films (a very strong year to boot) Spider-Verse would still be among the very best of them despite the fact superhero fatigue and references to past missteps in the series are explicit within the film's DNA. By executing the tropes audiences have become accustomed to in such expert fashion and placing this fresh twist on our expectations of the genre, Spider-Verse is able to stake claim in the fact that while viewers have seen plenty of superhero movies before, they've never seen one quite like this. read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com

Philip Price
Philip Price

Super Reviewer

Walking out of Brad Bird's hotly anticipated sequel to The Incredibles, I was convinced there wouldn't be a better-animated film for the rest of the calendar year. Then I saw Ralph Wrecks the Internet and felt the same conclusion. What could top these two incredible movies from Disney? I wasn't expecting a parallel world Spider-Man animated film to contend with that heralded echelon, but after watching Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, I am now certain. This is the best-animated film of the year and one of the best films of the year, full stop. It's rich, imaginative, exciting, satisfying, and way too much fun. Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) is an ordinary teenager starting a new school he's eager to leave. His police officer father, Jefferson Davis (voiced by Brian Tyree Henry), is pushing him and can be embarrassing. His cooler uncle Aaron (voiced by Mahershala Ali) encourages Miles to express himself through his graffiti art. One night, Miles encounters the famous Spider-Man, a particle collider, and a special spider from another dimension that bites him. He develops super powers and seeks out Peter Parker (voiced by Jake Johnson) as the only other person who might understand what he's experiencing. Except there happens to be multiple Spider-laden heroes, including Spider Gwen, a.k.a. Gwen Stacy (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Pig (voiced by John Mulaney), Spider-Man Noir (voiced by Nicolas Cage), and an anime heroine Peni Parker with a giant spider robot friend. They're all from alternate dimensions, dragged into Miles' world thanks to Kingpin's (voiced by Liev Schreiber) particle collider. If they don't get back to their original worlds they'll glitch out of existence, and Miles' own world, and everyone inside it, is threatened by the instability of that collider. Into the Spider-Verse is bursting with color, imagination, kinetic energy, and a real celebration of the art form of animation and comics. Once that super spider bites Miles, the visual mechanics of the movie alter as well as him. Suddenly his thoughts are louder and appear in floating boxes (only we can see), in addition to thought bubbles, sound effects, and the occasional panel shifting transition device. It gets far closer than Ang Lee's Hulk at recreating the experience of a living comic, and it's joyous. The animation style too recreates the cross-shading effect of comic artists and the fluidity of the animation has purposely removed frames, giving it a slight stutter-step more often found in stop-motion animation. This distinct style might be off-putting to certain audience members accustomed to the smooth movements of modern animation mimicking real life, but for comic fans, it better approaches the captured stills of comic panels being connected into a whole. The different animation styles of the new Spider characters, Looney Tunes to anime to stark noir Frank Miller riffs, become reminders of separate universes with their own visual rules that keep things fun. The film is vibrantly colorful and gorgeous to watch on the big screen where a person can best luxuriate in that flamboyant palette. The finale feels like an explosion of splash pages and graphic designs merging together, even mimicking the sprawling graffiti art of Miles. It's a spectacular visual feast that manages to be that rare treat of something new yet familiar. The action of Into the Spider-Verse is delightful when it's comedic and thrilling when it's serious, but at every turn its fun, well developed, and wonderfully rendered. Early on, as Miles learns the tricks of his new and confusing abilities, the action is wildly funny. Take for instance a sequence where he becomes attached to an unconscious Peter Parker through the Spider-Man webbing. Soon after, the police approach Miles, and now he has to make a break for it while still attached to another body, forcing him into a series of comic escapes. It's highly spirited and filled with enjoyable jokes. Later, as Miles gets more centrally involved in Kingpin's scheme, the action becomes harsher, more violent, and dangerous. A battle between Miles and The Prowler gets more and more extreme, especially after some twists an audience may or may not see coming depending upon their source material knowledge (this is a parallel universe, after all). The action is frenetic, inventive, and visually engaging, easy to follow and filled with wonderful organic complications that allow each scene to feel vital and different from the last. Into the Spider-Verse is also brashly hilarious from beginning to end. Being co-written by the writers responsible for The Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street, I was expecting a combination of clever and antic, and that's what they delivered and then some. There are brilliantly conceived and executed jokes but, and this is what separates the professionals, they do not distract from the larger work of the characterization. Often the humor is built through the characters, their personality and motivation differences, and the unique circumstances, so even when its zany it feels connected or grounded. There's a silly joke about getting more bread from a waiter that works on multiple levels and they keep going back to it for further meaning, and it's one example of many that shows the work put into their funny is meaningful and smart. After six movies and several animated series, audiences are well versed in the origin of Spider-Man, so Into the Spider-Verse even turns that knowledge into a source of humor itself, laying a formula for each new Spider character to introduce themselves with the same fill-in-the-blanks origin speech. The alternate universe Spider heroes do not overstay their welcome and, miraculously, even find themselves with some potent small character moments, which is an amazing feat given the 100-minute running time. The laboratory break-in with Peter Parker and Miles is a comic highlight with plenty of complications, and there's a smart, sly joke about personal biases that just slides by nonchalantly that had me howling. The post-credit scene had me laughing so hard that I was crying. Please, I implore you, stick around for it and go out laughing with the biggest smile on your face. Besides being a great comic book movie and a great action movie, Into the Spider-Verse is also just a great movie. The Spider-Man character is so familiar that the film easily could have gone on autopilot yet it puts in the work to build characters we care about, give them arcs, and provide setups and payoffs both big and small to maximize audience satisfaction. Miles is a terrific new character with a voice all his own, and his teenage foibles are both recognizable and refreshing. He's a hero worth rooting for, and his more personal family issues can be just as compelling as the end-of-the-world adventures. That's the core of what makes Spider-Man still an invigorating character 50 years later, and Into the Spider-Verse taps into that essential element even with an alternate universe Spider hero. It's got the DNA of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's original creation and given a welcomed jolt of relevancy thanks to the onscreen racial diversity and youthful perspective. There are two relationships at the core: Miles and his father and Miles and Peter Parker. The latter is an unexpected mentor/pupil relationship that provides the enjoyment of watching both members grow through their bond, and the former allows a familial baseline to come back to and demonstrate how far we've come. The Peter Parker/Miles relationship has that big brother/little brother angst that keeps things sharp while still maintaining an undercurrent of emotional need. There were genuine moments where my eyes welled up. The film can be that affecting because it is so well structured and developed from a characterization standpoint. Even the chief villain, the Kingpin, has a motivation that is personal and effectively empathetic. Everyone involved gets careful consideration, even the bad guys. Let me cite one prime example that showcases how great the storytelling can be (minor spoilers). At one point, Miles is bound and gagged by the other heroes to prevent him from joining them in a dangerous activity they do not believe he is ready for. They're removing him from the team for his own good. Then, at this low point, his father comes to visit him and tries talking to him through the other side of his dormitory door. They've had some challenging moments between them and what Mr. Davis has to say is extra challenging. He's trying to connect with a son he feels he's losing touch with, and it's a one-sided conversation where Miles is unable to respond to his father's pleas, who eventually walks away knowing his son is there but not ready to talk. Right there, the screenwriters have gone from the fantastic to the personal, finding a way to bring Miles even lower but in an organic fashion that plays right into his ongoing communication problems. It's a simple moment to start with, standard even, but then having it contribute to the father/son estrangement is beautiful and handled so well. The sparkling screenplay for Into the Spider-Verse is packed with moments like this. The voice acting is perfectly suited for their roles. Moore (The Get Down) is an expressive and capable young actor that brings a terrific vulnerability to Miles, selling every emotion with authenticity. Johnson (Tag) is the absolute best choice for a slacker Spider-Man who has become jaded and self-indulgent. His laid back rhythms gel nicely with Moore's eager breathlessness. Henry (Widows) is so paternal it hurts your heart. Steinfeld (Bumblebee) is poised and enjoyably spry. Cage (Mandy) is doing everything you'd want a Nicolas Cage-voiced crime fighter to be. Schreiber (Ray Donovan) can be threatening in his sleep with that velvety voice of his. Plus you get Katheryn Hahn as a villain, Zoe Kravitz as Mary Jane, and Lily Tomlin as Aunt May, and they're all great. As the credits rolled for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, I tried searching my brain for any flaws, minor quibbles, anything that would hold the film back from an entertainment standpoint. The only thing I could think of is that animation style, but different people will either find that look appealing or irritating. This is a glorious and gloriously entertaining movie replete with humor, heart, surprises, payoffs, and a great creative energy that bursts from the big screen. This really is a movie to see on the big screen as well, to better feast on the eye-popping visuals and pop-art comic book aesthetics that leap from the page to the screen. It's the second best Spidey movie, after 2017's impeccably structured solo venture, Homecoming. The late addition of the other alternate universe Spider heroes keeps things silly even as it raises the stakes. The film is a wonderful blending of tones and styles, from the different characters and universes to the heartfelt emotions and vicarious thrills of being young and super powered. This is a movie that even Spider novices can climb aboard and fall in love with. Into the Spider-Verse is a film for fans of all ages and nothing short of the bets animated film of 2018. It's as good as advertised, folks. Nate's Grade: A

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

½

Brilliant and even mindblowing, Into the Spiderverse is an undeniable triumph. Unique, innovative, gorgeous, hilarious and touching, it's a near masterpiece of storytelling and design. Best animated feature of the year. Rating: 90

Bradley J
Bradley J

Super Reviewer

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