Movie remakes that are better than the original? Reboot your watch-list with modern cinema!

Out with the old and in with the new. Just as Hollywood grows and advances, we have popped some popcorn and we’re sharing with you all of the best remakes in cinematic history.

Although adaptions of books to film are all the rage, most of us don’t realise that there is a whole world of new remakes of old movies. That’s right, reboots that flock in movie goers of all ages. Whether it be the nostalgia, the 21st century makeover or simply just the appreciation of classic tales, nothing gives us more joy than watching a popular movie remake unfold.

Nonetheless, there’s no denying that sometimes these reboots don’t work and fail miserably. But we’re not focusing on that today. Instead, we’re taking you on a journey with some new to watch thanks to our list of the best movie remakes and reboots of all time!

The Jungle Book (2016)

In some cases, remake movies can run the risk of not living up to the charm and eternality of the original. In the 2016 real-life adaptation of The Jungle Book, it presented an intriguing new take on the Disney film, and certainly made use of new technology to give the film a depth that contemporary audiences are more accustomed to. Although it is a faithful remake of the 1967 cartoon, it draws in elements from Rudyard Kipling’s novel (the first movie’s original inspiration) to bring a freshness to the beloved story.

True Grit (2010)

A movie as dense as its name suggests, the western themed True Grit (2010) was directed by the famous Coen brothers (Fargo and The Big Lebowski) and helmed by then-breakout star Hailee Steinfeld. With an unlikely cast consisting of a 14-year old girl, an alcoholic lawyer and a determined Texas ranger, the 2010 True Grit film was adapted from the 1969 film and from Charles Portis’ novel of the same name. Perfectly executed from start to finish, this is one of the top movie remakes that reinvigorates the Western genre to contemporary cinema-goers.

Scarface (1983)

It may be no surprise to most that Scarface has made our list of the best movie remakes of all time – it is raunchy, reckless, and incessantly gory. But, the 1983 film is now known as both a cult classic and one of the best films in the crime genre. Tony Montana, played by the infamous Al Pacino, is a name dropped in countless movies, TV shows and songs over the years. And, as a result, Scarface has completely eclipsed the notoriety of the original film made in 1932.

A Star Is Born (2018)

If you’re looking for one of the most underrated film remakes, this is it. As surprising as it may be, not only was this reboot such a hit, but it has also joined a long line of remakes. Originally made in 1937, A Star Is Born was first remade in 1954 starring Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand followed in the 1976 musical and, a Bollywood version was also released in 2013. The most recent remake, just four years old, attracted plenty of praise thanks to the great chemistry between both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s character. This popular movie remake also took to the charts thanks to the phenomenal soundtrack featuring Lady Gaga’s power vocals. Teary and feel-good, this underrated film remake is a must-watch!

The Great Gatsby (2013)

Definitively the most dazzling of them all, with its extensive use of CGI and heavy concentration on production design, Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 The Great Gatsby is the latest in a line of remakes of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic novel. Baz Luhrmann’s exuberance as a director returns in full force in the film, making for a cinematic experience unlike any other. While the film attracted its fair share of criticism from critics, it was praised by Fitzgerald’s granddaughter and won Academy Awards for Costume Design and Production Design.

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Turns out that classic love stories are great fodder for Hollywood, with multiple Pride and Prejudice remakes making their way into the public’s consciousness. The most recent, in 2005, saw Keira Knightley play the spirited Elizabeth Bennett and earning herself an Oscar nomination. The film was praised for the way it incorporated contemporary sensibilities with the historical source material, making for a perfect introduction for a new audience of to-be Austen fanatics. In our opinion, this is one movie remake that is better than the original.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

You may be surprised to find out this is a remake, but the iconic George Clooney-helmed heist film is indeed a revisitation on the story presented in 1990 by the Rat Pack – a group of entertainers which included Frank Sinatra. While the original film certainly deserves praise, it was the 2001 remake directed by Steven Soderbergh that cemented its place in cinematic history, bringing Clooney and his team of entourage to a new level of fame.

Freaky Friday (2003)

Movie remakes don’t always need to be sweeping love stories or dramatic thrillers – sometimes, they can be Disney deciding to keep remaking the same daughter-and-mother-swap-bodies movie for each new generation of kids to come. Although there’s no problem with that, necessarily, but sometimes the new versions can be worse – which is why we didn’t choose the slightly jarring 2018 remake. Instead, we’re shining a light on the 2003 rambunctious comedy starring Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis taking on each other’s roles with great aplomb. Starring Mark Harmon and Hollywood sweetheart Chad Michael Murray, this is considered one of the top movie remakes of all time.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)

The hilarious tale of two tricksters in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a remake of the script for 1964’s Bedtime Story, starring Marlon Brando and David Niven, who played their parts to acclaim. However, the scoundrels of this particular rendition are played by Steve Martin and Michael Caine. Making up the perfect pair, in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels the duo try and scrounge an heiress out of her money. Playing off each other in a whirlwind of wit, their on-screen chemistry is unbeatable.

The Departed (2006)

When Martin Scorsese is directing, you know it’s going to be good. The Departed (2006) is the only movie remake to ever win a Best Picture Academy Award, as well as one apiece for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing. And this time, the movie reboot extends beyond geographical boundaries, since it’s a reprisal of the story of Hong Kong’s 2002 film Internal Affairs. A must-watch for all crime thriller lovers!

Lights, camera, action! If you’re looking for a list of classic films, check out our list of the 14 Best Hollywood Golden Age Classic Movies Of All Time. Or, reboot your weekend with the 10 Worst Book to Movie Adaptations Of All Time.

Feature image: Photographed by Jakob Owens. Image via Unsplash.
This article was first published on January 03 2019. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on September 28 2022.