Inevitably when you hear the word “remake”, you probably cringe with disgust and disapproval. After all, Hollywood has created this response, what with the constant bombardment of lazy, pointless remakes that have destroyed some of our favorite movies over the last several years.
However, sometimes a remake can actually be good, ie. the recently released The Evil Dead, which topped the box office during its opening weekend and was won over many fans of the orginal. And, there are even some remakes that are just as good, if not superior to the original. Maybe the cast and crew are just better than what the original film had. Perhaps current technology can finally produce the movie that was originally envisioned. Whatever the reason, it’s not impossible for a remake to be an enjoyable movie experience.
With that being said, here are the 10 best movie remakes of all time.
10. Dredd (2012)
The only thing that most of us recall from the 1995 Stallone adaptation of the Judge Dredd comic was him proclaiming “I am the law”. The 2012 remake is a gritty and violent movie that was a non-stop action ride. The Karl Urban-led remake finally gave fans of the comic the movie that they had been waiting for.
9. The Italian Job (2003)
The 1969 British caper flick The Italian Job, starring Michael Caine, is a classic in its own right. But the 2003 remake not only gave the film a modern update, it also added a refreshing revenge plot that was absent from the original. The 2003 version also had a great and diverse cast consisting of Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, Seth Green, Jason Statham, Mos Def, and Donald Sutherland, and of course, Mini Coopers.
8. Scarface (1983)
Brain DePalma’s update, with a script written by Oliver Stone, of the 1932 gangster film has become one of the most memorable movies of all time. It’s also one of Al Pacino’s most iconic roles. Sure there are flaws, and Pacino is extremely over-the-top as Tony Montana, but the ultra-violent and easily quotable movie has made many moviegoers forget that this was indeed a remake.
7. The Fly (1986)
This terrifying update of the 1958 sci-fi flick has become a B-movie classic. Jeff Goldblum delivered a flawless performance of a scientist tragically turned into, well, a fly. Along with director David Cronenberg’s vision, The Fly still manages to have some of the nastiest scenes ever caught on film and one of the greatest taglines ever with the quote “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”
6. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers has become one of the most popular storylines in movies since its original release in 1956. But the 1978 version is by far the best use of this familiar plot device. Who can ever forget the closing scene with Donald Sutherland pointing and screaming at the camera? It’s one of the most classic moments in cinema. Heck. This is one of the greatest movies in history.
5. Casino Royale (2006)
Casino Royale was the first Bond novel written by Ian Fleming, but when it hit the big screen in 1967, it became “an incoherent all-star comedy” that starred Peter Sellers, Orson Welles, Woody Allen, and David Niven as Bond. The 2006 reboot successfully introduced Daniel Craig as 007 with an edgier movie that was closer to the novel.
4. Ocean’s 11 (2001)
In 1960, the Rat Pack (Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Joey Bishop) starred in the original Ocean’s 11. So, how do you top that cast for the 2001 remake about a band of Vegas robbers? How about getting some of the biggest names in Hollywood like George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Julia Roberts, to lead the all-star cast? Director Steven Soderbergh should also get credit for not only being able to manage the massive cast, but also for delivering a slick and fun update.
3. The Thing (1982)
For their second of three collaborations, John Carpenter and Kurt Russell gave us one of the scariest movies of all time. This cult classic was grimmer and way more intense than the 1951 sci-fi film, The Thing from Another World. If you’re a prospective filmmaker wanting to do a remake, then take some lessons from The Thing on how to do a proper re-imagining.
2. The Departed (2006)
Was The Departed Martin Scorsese’s best work? No. But it was good enough to finally land him the long-awaited Best Director Oscar, as well as Best Picture. Believe it not, The Departed, with its all-star cast of Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg, was actually a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong crime-thriller film, Internal Affairs.
1. The Magnificent Seven (1960)
The 1960 version, with perhaps the manliest group of actors ever assembled (Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, and Horst Buchholz), showed audiences and filmmakers how to perfect a remake. It was based off of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 Japanese epic, Seven Samurai, and while not as great as the original, it used inspiration from the original to make a timeless and iconic American Western classic.
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