Reviewers Say Madame Web Is the Worst Movie Ever Made

By: Sam Watanuki | Published: Feb 29, 2024

“Madame Web” has been a topic of much debate and disappointment among critics and fans alike. The film, intended to expand Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, has fallen short of expectations, leaving many to wonder about the direction and intentions behind its production.

Unlike its action-packed predecessors, “Madame Web” reportedly lacks the quintessential elements that define superhero movies, resulting in a product that feels disconnected from its roots. Critics have been quick to voice concerns, highlighting myriad issues ranging from the lack of engaging action to the absence of a compelling narrative.

The Missing Action and Superheroes

A superhero movie without much action or, surprisingly, superheroes? That’s the conundrum “Madame Web” reportedly presents to its audience. Expected to be a thrilling addition to the Spider-Man Universe, the film instead offers minimal action sequences and a noticeable absence of superhero antics.

Madame Web Character in costume

Source: Sony Pictures

This deviation from the genre’s norms not only confuses viewers but also detracts from the immersive experience typically provided by superhero films, leaving fans longing for the excitement they had anticipated.

Script Woes: A Comedy of Errors

The dialogue within “Madame Web” has been a source of unintentional humor, with lines so absurd that audiences find themselves laughing at moments meant to be serious. Critics have described the script as laughably underdeveloped, akin to a first draft rushed into production without the necessary refinement.

Dakota Johnson in Madame Web by spiderweb

Source: Sony Pictures

This lack of polish in the screenplay undermines the film’s credibility and significantly impacts its overall reception, turning potentially impactful scenes into moments of ridicule.

The Villain Problem

In “Madame Web,” the villain’s portrayal has been criticized for its lack of depth and complexity. Reduced to clichéd evil intentions without a compelling backstory or motivations, the antagonist fails to engage or challenge the protagonist in meaningful ways.

Madame Web villain on train

Source: Sony Pictures

This oversimplification not only makes for a less interesting narrative but also misses the opportunity to explore the moral ambiguities and depth that can make villains fascinating and memorable.

Critics' Harsh Judgments

The critical reception of “Madame Web” has been overwhelmingly negative, with reviews ranging from The Daily Beast’s “hilariously bad” to Hollywood Reporter’s “depressingly inert.”

Madame Web characters in the woods

Source: Sony Pictures

These harsh critiques highlight the film’s failure to deliver on the most basic expectations of a superhero movie, lacking charm, excitement, and a coherent narrative.

Rotten Tomatoes Verdict

The verdict from Rotten Tomatoes further cements “Madame Web’s” status as a misfire, with a dismal 14% positive rating. This low score reflects widespread dissatisfaction and disappointment, pointing to a disconnect between the film’s vision and the execution.

Madame Web character jumping amidst explosion

Source: Sony Pictures

In the competitive arena of superhero movies, such a rating is a significant blow to the film’s reputation and its success in captivating audiences.


The Star-Studded Cast's Battle

Despite featuring a talented cast, including Sydney Sweeney and Dakota Johnson, “Madame Web” struggles to leverage their performances to elevate the film.

Dakota Johnson in Madame Web as paramedic

Source: Sony Pictures

The actors find themselves constrained by a lacking script and unclear direction, making it challenging to bring depth to their characters. While their efforts are commendable, the overall weakness of the film overshadows individual performances, underlining the importance of a strong foundation in script and direction.


Sony's Spider-Man Universe Struggles

“Madame Web” is the latest in a series of attempts by Sony to expand its Spider-Man Universe with mixed results. Unlike the critical and commercial success seen by Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony’s endeavors, including “Venom” and “Morbius,” have often been met with skepticism and disappointment.

Jared Leto's Morbius poster

Source: Sony Pictures

This pattern raises questions about the future of the SSU and the strategy behind utilizing side characters and villains without the central web-slinging hero.


Superhero Fatigue: A Growing Trend?

The reception of “Madame Web” might reflect a broader trend of superhero fatigue, where audiences and critics alike are becoming increasingly critical of formulaic plots and the saturation of superhero content.

Marvel Studios Avengers End Game film poster

Source: Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage/Getty Images

This phenomenon isn’t limited to Sony; even giants like Disney and Warner Bros. have faced challenges, suggesting a need for innovation and fresh narratives within the genre to maintain audience interest and engagement.


What Worked: Unintentional Humor

Despite its flaws, “Madame Web’s” moments of unintentional humor provide some entertainment value. These instances, while not enough to salvage the film, offer a break from its otherwise lackluster execution.

Madame Web character standing in front of billboard

Source: Sony Pictures

This silver lining, however, is a double-edged sword, as it highlights the film’s failure to achieve its intended tone and seriousness, further complicating its reception among viewers.


Future of Sony's Marvel Ventures

With “Madame Web” now behind us, the future of Sony’s Marvel projects, such as “Venom 3” and “Kraven the Hunter,” hangs in the balance. The critical and commercial performance of these upcoming titles will be crucial in determining the viability of Sony’s strategy to build a universe around Spider-Man’s supporting cast and villains.

Dakota Johnson in Madame Web looking surprised

Source: Sony Pictures

The company faces the challenge of learning from “Madame Web’s” shortcomings to deliver more compelling and successful entries in the future.


A Missed Opportunity

“Madame Web” represents a missed opportunity to explore the rich lore of the Spider-Man universe through a new lens. Instead of delivering a fresh perspective or engaging narrative, the film succumbs to the pitfalls of inadequate development and unclear direction.

Dakota Johnson in Madame Web driving

Source: Sony Pictures

As Sony looks to the future, one can only hope that lessons will be learned from this experience, guiding the creation of superhero films that captivate and inspire, rather than disappoint.