It seems that every other movie coming out these days is a remake — or a ‘reboot’ as they’re more commonly known. They’re generally spoken of in disparaging tones. But as we’ve seen recently with the release of the (genuinely good) Godzilla and Robocop remakes, some of them are actually pretty awesome!
Here are twelve movie remakes that manage to be as good -if not better- than the originals
1. The Thing (1982)
Before Kurt Russell and his scientist buddies started flaming aliens in the Antarctic, there was 1951’s The Thing from Another World. It was pretty good, but very much a B-movie of its time.
2. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
This beloved movie musical with Rick Moranis was a remake of a horror-comedy from 1960. The original’s mainly known for an early cameo by Jack Nicholson. Bill Murray played his part in the remake.
3. Insomnia (2002)
Christopher Nolan did a fantastic job remaking a 1997 Norwegian film of the same name. Thor‘s Stellan Skarsgard had the part later played by Al Pacino.
4. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Zack Snyder’s breakout film is one of the few horror remakes that really holds its own. It has a wonderful cast that includes Ving Rhames and Modern Family‘s Ty Burrell (above).
5. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
We’ll hold our hands up here: we haven’t seen the original version with the Rat Pack. But we can’t imagine it’s better than the excellent George Clooney/Brad Pitt version.
6. The Fly (1986)
David Cronenberg’s take on the campy Vincent Price classic is much, much grosser – even by modern standards. The memory of Jeff Goldblum’s disintegrating body haunts us to this day.
7. The Parent Trap (1998)
Two identical twins meet at a summer camp, not realising that they’re long lost sisters. Naturally, they decide to swap places! Before Lindsay Lohan, it was English child star Hayley Mills who played the dual role in the 1961 version.
8. The Departed (2006)
Scorsese’s Oscar-winning remake is very similar in plot and tone to the 2002 Hong Kong original. The cast of Andy Lau and Tony Leung are arguably as famous in Asia as DiCaprio and Damon are in the West.
9. The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)
You might think it silly to try outdo Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. But truth is, the Pierce Brosnan/Rene Russo remake is a much better movie!
10. True Grit (2010)
Jeff Bridges takes on John Wayne’s most iconic role. He’s next to incomprehensible as the cranky US Marshal Rooster Cogburn, but his performance is great, as is the film!
11. Father of the Bride (1991)
Steve Martin gets a lot of flak for his family comedies, but this one’s actually one of his best. The 1950 original starred Spencer Tracy in the Martin part, and a young Elizabeth Taylor as his daughter.
12. Cape Fear (1991)
Robert Mitchum was an intimidating guy in his prime (also see: Night of the Hunter) but Robert De Niro ain’t no slouch in the scary department, either. And with Scorsese calling the shots, the remake has since become a classic.