Every Sam Raimi Movie, Ranked From 'Evil Dead' to 'Spider-Man 2'
If you love horror or superhero movies, then you must be a fan of director Sam Raimi. The filmmaker has delivered inventive cult classics and some of the best blockbusters in Hollywood history. We're ranking all of Raimi's films, ranging from 1981's "The Evil Dead" to 2013's "Oz the Great and Powerful."
14. 'Spider-Man 3' (2007)
The final part of Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy was a severe disappointment, though we mostly blame Sony's insistence on cramming Venom into the middle of the conflict between Spidey and Sandman. Still, no one forced Raimi to include that painful scene of a dancing, emo Peter Parker. And don't get us started on Jeeves: Harry's Only-Speaks-Exposition Butler.
13. 'For Love of the Game' (1999)
We already got one great movie about Kevin Costner and baseball in "Field of Dreams," so we're not entirely sure why anyone felt the need to rehash that formula. "For Love of the Game" dragged Raimi out of his B-movie comfort zone and into sappy sports drama territory, and it showed.
12. 'Oz the Great and Powerful' (2013)
Raimi took on the unenviable task of trying to craft a prequel to 1939's "The Wizard of Oz." The end result was never going to live up to the original, but there's a lot to like about this origin story for James Franco's Oscar Diggs. It's certainly a gorgeous film, particularly when characters like the China Girl enter the picture.
11. 'Crimewave' (1986)
Did you know that Raimi once directed a comedy scripted by the Coen Brothers? Sadly, "Crimewave" isn't as great as that combination sounds, in part because of merciless studio meddling during filming and post-production. "Crimewave" remains one of the more obscure entries in Raimi's canon, but it does provide an interesting glimpse at the filmmaker he'd eventually become.
12. 'The Quick and the Dead' (1995)
Given Raimi's skill with genre films, we would have expected more from this Sergio Leone-inspired spaghetti western. "The Quick and the Dead" is simply too riddled with cliches and plagued by a surprisingly bland performance from Sharon Stone. At this point, the film is notable mainly for introducing Russell Crowe to American audiences, and for giving a young Leo a solid supporting role as a cocky gunslinger.
9. 'The Gift' (2000)
As a film about the supernatural, "The Gift" is about as far removed from the "Evil Dead" movies as you can get. But even with the "psychic murder witness" angle, It's mostly the strong cast that saves this otherwise unremarkable murder mystery.
8. 'Spider-Man' (2002)
Like "X-Men," the original "Spider-Man" tends to show its age alongside the more recent Marvel movies. Still, its fundamental appeal remains after all these years. This film delivers a mostly pitch-perfect rendition of Peter Parker's evolution from lonely nerd to slightly less lonely superhero. It established a strong foundation for an even better sequel.
7. 'The Evil Dead' (1981)
Watching "The Evil Dead" now, it's impressive how skilled a director Raimi was even at the beginning of his career. This low-budget horror classic became a showcase for Raimi's unique approach to horror -- one that blended B-movie thrills and campy humor with real, genuine terror.
6. 'Darkman' (1990)
"Darkman" proves that when you can't land the rights to an iconic superhero, sometimes the best option is to simply create one of your own. Basically "The Shadow" by way of "The Toxic Avenger," "Darkman" introduced moviegoers to a tragic, disfigured vigilante hero without shying away from the B-movie charm of Raimi's earlier movies.
5. 'Army of Darkness' (1992)
Raimi took the "Evil Dead" franchise in a sillier and more fantastical direction for its third entry, as wise-cracking hero Ash Williams waged war on the Deadites in medieval times. It didn't make quite the same impact as its predecessors, but "Army of Darkness" has only grown in appeal over the years.
4. 'A Simple Plan' (1998)
Raimi is a filmmaker of rather unique sensibilities, but with "A Simple Plan" he proved that he can make a mainstream-friendly drama when the opportunity arises. It helps that Raimi was working with such strong source material, with writer Scott B. Smith adapting his own 1993 novel.
3. 'Drag Me to Hell' (2009)
Raimi needed a bit of critical redemption following the backlash to "Spider-Man 3," and he found it by returning to the genre he does best. "Drag Me to Hell" proved that Raimi can still do campy, gross-out horror with the best of them.
2. 'Evil Dead II' (1987)
"Evil Dead II" is as much a remake as it is a sequel to the 1981 original. That allowed Raimi to really perfect the formula on his second go-round. Never has a film so effectively blended horror and campy humor into one satisfying mix, and we doubt Raimi will ever be able to top himself. Though we're certainly keen to see him keep trying.
1. 'Spider-Man 2' (2004)
"Spider-Man 2" is far and away the best of Raimi's trilogy, as well as the best solo Spidey movie to date. Even "Spider-Man: Homecoming" couldn't quite topple the king. It's very hard to top this film's blend of high-flying heroics, relationship drama and the critical relationship between Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker and Alfred Molina's Doctor Octopus.