Best Movie Remakes Of All Time
Here are the best movies which were remakes of older films!
Honorable Mention: Dawn of the Dead
Zack Sndyer's take on the classic zombie film from horror master George A. Romero is a brilliant modernization of the tale. The cast is excellent as a group of survivors hold up in a shopping mall fending off hordes of undead thirsty for human flesh. There's great character dynamics here and the opening sequence is as intense as anything out there. This one also features plenty of comedy along the way. It's a fun movie to pop in anytime and is at the top of my favorite zombie movies ever list.
10. A Fistful of Dollars
Taking Akira Kurosawa's samurai story Yojimbo and turning it into a western was a stroke of genius by spaghetti western auteur Sergio Leone. Catapulting Clint Eastwood to super-stardom and spawning two sequels is what this film is known for, but it's a great film in it's own right. There's plenty of exciting action, excellent character interactions, and a wonderful score. Bringing 16th century Japan to the American west of the 19th century does just enough to set it apart since it's still essentially the same story as the original.
9. 3:10 To Yuma
Remaking a classic western is difficult enough without that film being director Delmer Daves crowing achievement. However, James Mangold takes the story in surprising new directions while sticking to the same basic premise. Casting here is phenomenal as Christian Bale and Russell Crowe embody the roles originally played by Van Heflin and Glen Ford. Logan Lerman also breaks out in this film as Bale's overeager son, as does Ben Foster playing Crowe's aggressively loyal and brutal right-hand-man. There's a great story of mutual respect clearly told in this movie and the action is shot beautifully.
8. King Kong
The character of King Kong has been a staple in cinema for over 80 years now, and he always will be. Whether you want to see a giant ape fight other monsters or fall for a beautiful woman, Peter Jackson's version of the 1933 original has it all. Jackson and his crew add a lot to the story as his extended director's cut clocks in at over 3 hours. He brings a grand and epic nature to the movie and has Kong do battle with dinosaurs as well as the U.S. Air Force. It's got amazing moments of action but the focus is kept on the characters including Kong himself who is treated as the star of the film. The supporting cast is great too with Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Jamie Bell, and Andy Serkis all delivering outstanding performances.
Taking over for action star Sylvester Stallone in the role of Judge Dredd is Karl Urban who takes the part to the next level. Urban is so committed to playing the character accurately that he never takes off his masked helmet just like Dredd in the comic books which inspired the film. This film is dark, gritty grimey, and stylish featuring breathtaking action beats and a stellar cast. Lena Heady owns the part of Mama who's the villain of the film. This movie also takes a cue from The Raid in that it has out hero and his rookie partner, played to perfection by Olivia Thirlby, slowly climbing a tower to get to the big boss all while fighting off legions of thugs. It's a unique action flick with flare and substance.
6. The Mummy
Resurrecting a long-dead franchise, Stephen Sommer's The Mummy brings the horror series more of an action/adventure vibe that it's predecessors. That's a welcome change too as it brings the film into a modern era while still keeping the 1920s setting. Casting here is excellent as Brendan Fraser brings a swagger and charm to the rough American Rick O'Connell, Rachel Weisz is silly, sexy, and smart as Evie Carnahan, John Hannah is obnoxious and hilarious as her big brother Jonathan, and Arnold Voosloo is commanding and creepy as the titular former high priest to pharaoh Imhotep. It's got great action, and the special effects still hold up quite well. It's a fun film which truly reimagines the original.
5. Captain America: The First Avenger
A superhero movie set during World War II is difficult to pull off especially since it's so easy for the character to seem outdated. Joe Johnston didn't let that stop him, though, and by casting Chris Evans in the lead role of Captain America he was able to craft a fun story and bring this important character to life. There's some stunning action sequences in this one which was probably Marvel's most difficult film up until that point. They did it by sticking to the source material and ignoring that terrible 1990 Cap movie. It's also got the best romance of the MCU with Hayley Atwell giving Peggy Carter an emotional character arc and real presence on screen. This is the definition of a good superhero movie.
4. The Magnificent Seven
Seven Samurai is one of the best films ever made, and while The Magnificent Seven isn't as good it's pretty close. Again recasting one of Akira Kurosawa's samurai films with cowboys works really well here as the cast comes together to bring us memorable characters and intense shootouts. It's got real character development too which is refreshing as there are many westerns which focus only on the action. Yul Breener leads this cast with a stern resolve and the rest of the main character all do a fantastic job of bringing their various different characters to life including Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, Brad Dexter, and Horst Buchholz.
3. The Thing
The 1950s sci-fi film The Thing From Another World by director extrordinaire Howard Hawks is a masterwork of filmmaking, but when John Carpenter set his sights on remaking that movie into a modern, gross-out horror film the results were astonishing. Kurt Russell stars as R.J. MacReady, a member of a research team in Antarctica who discover alien life which escapes and proceeds to terrorizes each of them. It's one of the most suspenseful films ever made as you never know where or when the creature will strike next. It's got some of the most incredible practical makeup and puppet effects ever put on film. The performances are extremely intense and desperate as each member of the team becomes more and more paranoid as each one of them is killed off. As the tagline says, this is the ultimate in alien terror.
2. War of the Worlds
Only someone like Steven Spielberg could take one of he most beloved science fiction films of the 1950s and turn it into an intimate family drama. This is the story of an absentee father reconnecting with his children in the midst of a devastating alien invasion. It features one of Tom Cruise's best performances, as well as Tim Robbin in an unhinged supporting role, but the stand out is Dakota Fanning as Cruise's intelligent, frightened, and determined daughter. The alien design is great, the cinematography is excellent, and the score is one of John William's most underrated. This is an expertly crafted film from beginning to end which takes a very different approach from the 50's classic.
1. True Grit
The best movie remake is True Grit. Joel and Ethan Coen are able to make a movie which much closer to the original course material the the first film from 1969. Remaking any John Wayne film is a daunting task especially one as beloved as True Grit, but the Coen's bring something different to the table by keeping the focus on the main character Mattie Ross even though they cast some of the best actors working today in supporting roles. In the role of Ross, Hailee Steinfeld gives what may be the best first on-screen performance by an actress ever. She's confident, spunky, and driven as the daughter who's looking to avenge her father's murder by catching the killer and making him pay which is odd since it's usually the other way around in movies like this and that's what makes this film so exciting and fresh. Rounding out the cast, Jeff Bridges gives Rooster Cogburn his own unique, grumpy, mean-spirited flare, Matt Damon brings empathy and sympathy to loyal-yet-overzealous Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, and Josh Brolin is a dirty, rotten scoundrel as man-on-the-run Tom Chaney. The performances and character interaction are all wonderful, the action is violent and quick bringing a sense of realism to the film, and it's all shot on location by the brilliant cinematographer Roger Deakins. This is one of the best westerns ever made and the greatest remake of all time.