Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on Sept. 11. Volunteer today




Movies for Grownups


Caucasian couple looking at a laptop computer together


Virgo - AARP Horoscope

Look at what your future holds if your birthday is between August 23 & September 22

Contests & Sweeps

Enter the $50K Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes. Ends 8/31/15. No purchase necessary. Enter for Official Rules.


The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More

Most Popular


Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

For $200 million, maybe you were expecting something original?

Director: Marc Webb
Rating PG-13. Running Time: ‎2hr 16min
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary

In what surely is a world record for a big-studio remake of a hit movie, here comes The Amazing Spider-Man swinging into theaters, chewing over the same story that was told in Sam Raimi's spectacular Spider-Man, starring Tobey McGuire, in 2002.

See also: Johnny Depp and Tim Burton remake Dark Shadows

This time around, the 3-D is breathtaking, the performances are solid (especially Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Peter Parker/Spider-Man's foster parents) and the direction of the appropriately named Marc Webb is perfectly measured.

I was actually looking forward to seeing what Webb would do with the material: He directed one of my favorite movies of 2009, the delightfully spare and quirky indie film (500) Days of Summer. After that little gem, throwing Webb into Spidey World was akin to commissioning Charles Schulz to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. He seizes the assignment with both hands and never lets go. Good for him. But really, did we need to spin this web again?

Andrew Garfield stars as Spider-Man in Columbia Pictures'

The 3-D is breathtaking in "The Amazing Spider-Man." — Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Sensing that audiences might be reluctant to revisit the Spider-Man saga, Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios have been hyping this version as "The Untold Story" (and for that they ought to write a check to my old pals at the National Enquirer). But this untold story seems mighty familiar. Peter's still an awkward high school kid, he still gets bitten by a mutant spider and he still spends half the movie getting used to his new spider-like powers. Trouble is, while this is all quite new to Peter, to us in the audience it's all old hat. "Hey Peter!" we want to yell. "Try swinging from your silk strands! It'll be awesome!"

Did I say Peter is a high school kid? Andrew Garfield is quite good in the role - alternately goofy and heroic - but the guy is nearly 30, and it shows. And Emma Stone, who plays his high school crush, is 24. It all becomes a little reminiscent of the last seasons of Happy Days, when Fonzie seemed old enough to date Mrs. Cunningham.

So many talented pros poured so much work into The Amazing Spider-Man (not to mention the studios' reported $200 million-plus) you want to root for its success. Handsome and fun in the friendliest of ways, it's every bit as good as the original. But the original is within the living memory of my 13-year-old granddaughter, and I'd be hard-pressed to find a compelling reason to have her sit through this slightly reworked reboot.

You may also like: 7 returning TV shows to watch this summer.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Your Scoop on Cinema

Movies for Grownups is focused on films with distinct relevance to a 50-plus audience. In reviews, previews and interviews, we look for actors and themes that speak to the experiences of older moviegoers. Find more about us on:


100 Must-See Movies for Grownups

100 Must-See Movies for Grownups

By Bill Newcott
January 2015

A treasure trove of delightfully offbeat recommendations for discerning moviegoers, from the beginnings of film right up the present.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Live Nation

Members save 25% or more when buying tickets in groups of four from Ticketmaster.

Cirque Du Soleil

Members save 15-30% on tickets to live Cirque du Soleil shows.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $8 for Regal ePremiere tickets purchased online. Conditions apply.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points