Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
Today’s Prayer Focus

Madame Web

also known as “Madam Web,” “Madame Web!,” “Madam Võrk,” “Madame Teia,” See more »
MPA Rating: R-Rating (MPA) for violence/action and language.

Check back later for review coming from contributor Alexander Malsan

Moral Rating:
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Superhero Sci-Fi Action Adventure IMAX Adaptation
Length: 1 hr. 56 min.
Year of Release: 2024
USA Release: February 14, 2024 (wide release—4,013 theaters)
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Picturesclick photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
Relevant Issues

Seeing future events

Clairvoyant superpowers / paranormal psychic abilities

Questioning one’s own sanity

About SPIDERS in the Bible

Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
Featuring Dakota JohnsonMadame Web / Cassandra Webb
Sydney SweeneyJulia Carpenter
Isabela MercedAnya Corazon
Emma RobertsMary Parker
Adam ScottBen Parker
Zosia Mamet
Tahar RahimEzekiel Sims
Jill HennessyBeautiful Woman
Celeste O'ConnorMattie Franklin
Mike Epps
See all »
Director S.J. Clarkson
Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Adam Merims
See all »
Distributor Distributor: Columbia Pictures. Trademark logo.Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures

“Her web connects them all”

Copyrighted, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “MADAME WEB tells the standalone origin story of one of Marvel’s most enigmatic heroines, starring Dakota Johnson as Cassandra Webb. …Forced to confront revelations about her past, she forges a relationship with three young women destined for powerful futures… if they can all survive a deadly present.”

In 1973, a research team led by Ezekiel Sims and his pregnant partner Constance Webb discovered an unidentified species of spider in the jungles of Peru with rare healing properties. Ezekiel betrayed the team and claimed the spider for himself before leaving Constance for dead. An indigenous tribe attempts to save Constance, but she dies shortly after giving birth to a girl whom she names Cassandra.

In 2003, Cassandra, going by “Cassie,” lives alone in Queens, New York, working as a paramedic alongside her co-workers Benjamin “Ben” Parker and O’Neil. While saving a driver from a car hanging off a bridge, Cassie falls into the water and has a near-death experience. Ben revives her but she begins to experience visions. Initially, she dismisses them as déjà vu, but after failing to prevent O’Neil’s death, Cassie realizes that she can see into the future.

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
Positive—This is a fascinating movie for those who are familiar with the Spider-man storyline started by Straczynski in the early 2000s where Peter Parker is confronted by another man with spider powers and learns his powers are connected to a mythological totem. Madame Web has “Spider-sense” powers that let her see what will happen ahead of time in some situations. However, in this movie, she has to become a heroine before Peter is even born.

It is not easy for her to become a heroine because of her history of being abandoned, however her colleague Ben Parker supports her in her job to prevent three teen girls from being murdered by an evil man who basically has Spider-man’s powers. The phrase, “with great power comes great responsibility” is one she believes as a paramedic, but also difficult to follow with her limited abilities.

The movie relies on her mental tension to tell the story and feels a bit slower that other Spider-man movies because it is not as heavy in action scenes and the teenage girls also have similar backgrounds of abandonment as Madame Web causing the banter to be different than other superhero movies and not as “carefree” or funny.

It has content concerns like other Spider-man movies: the violence including choking, car crashes, explosions, poisoning, stabbing, shooting… Some swearing and a crude gesture… and the implication that a man slept with his date and also girls dancing on a table in front of guys.

Maybe the bigger content concern was that the theater chain (Harkin's) ran 3 horror movie ads before the movie with a teddy bear convincing a child to self-harm, blood-spattered murder by something in the attic, tarot cards, and demonic-looking creatures. The kids (5-7 year old) that were a few rows behind us were disturbed by these.

This is a good movie if you’re interested in the premise, but it is not like a Spider-man movie, although it does have many references to the previous Spider-man movies hidden in the sets and the way it was filmed. The producers/directors are different as well, creating a different feel, but I still enjoyed it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
EJH, age 32 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Secular Movie Critics
…just a time suck. An annoyance. A waste. …The studio is contractually obligated to keep releasing new material in order to retain the rights, and boy does this movie feel like it’s just checking boxes and running the clock out… [1½/5]
Kimberley Jones, The Austin Chronicle
…more hilariously bad than everyone predicted… full of bad dialogue delivered badly by talented men and women stuck with crummy material…
Nick Schager, The Daily Beast
…A new low for superhero debacles … At least “Catwoman” and “Batman & Robin” believed in what they were doing. …
Fred Topel, UPI (United Press International)
…With an awful script and not a single ounce of charm among the star-studded cast, “Madame Web” feels like little more than a Spider-Man movie knockoff. …boring, unimaginative and dated… a superhero movie you can absolutely skip. …
Molly Freeman, Screen Rant
…has none of the laughs or thrills that general audiences come to superhero movies for… an utterly tedious slog of a movie drained of fun visuals and, most pressingly, any sense of tangible humanity. …Awkward writing and directing result in characters that lack depth and authenticity. …
Lisa Laman, Collider
…utterly forgettable… one of the worst filmed and acted prologues in recent memory. Seriously, we are not exaggerating. The beginning of the movie is truly that bad. …
Gregory Ellwood, The Playlist
…lame… feels like it was made by and for people who have never seen a modern superhero movie. In theory, that might have been a blessing in disguise. In practice, only Johnson is able to make it seem that way. …[D+]
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
…the worst superhero movie since “Morbius”… If only a psychic could have warned us about these wretched Spider-Man spinoffs. …[1½/4]
Brian Truitt, USA Today
…We owe “The Marvels,” “Eternals” and “Morbius” an apology. Who knew superhero fare could sink as low as “Madame Web?”…
Christian Toto, Hollywood in Toto
…mess of a script… bouts of extremely clunky dialogue… Ultimately, “Madame Web” might have sounded like an interesting experiment, and it sort of is, but the execution feels less like a fully realized film than an extended prologue for a movie to come. …
Brian Lowry, CNN
…has the makings of a interesting superhero psychological thriller, but with a script overcrowded with extraneous characters, basic archetypes, and generic dialogue, it fails the talent…
Francesca Rivera, IGN