17 Movie Reboots Better Than The Original
Bigger budgets, brilliant performances, and better films.
These days, it doesn’t take much for a movie to get a second life. The big screen is filled with reboots of classic movies, many of which we wish were left alone. But for every handful of poorly-executed movie remakes out there, there’s one that stands out from the pack. A good reboot can replace hackneyed plot lines and lackluster performances with star talent and gripping scripts, creating something truly worthy of a fresh start. From horror classics to crime thrillers, we’ve rounded up the best movie reboots and remakes that outshine the originals. And if you’re eager to become a film buff, discover these 30 Movie Facts That Will Blow Your Mind.
Mad Max: Fury Road
While 1979’s Mad Max, starring Mel Gibson, is still heralded as a classic film by many action fans, the 2015 reboot surpasses the original’s glory.
With Charlize Theron as Fury Road’s protagonist, Imperator Furiosa, and a decidedly feminist message, the movie won over audiences around the world, even earning the admiration of those who might not otherwise pay to see a post-apocalyptic movie about cars and guns.
A Star Is Born
There’s no denying the star power of the 1976 version of A Star is Born, with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson playing the rock-and-roll love story’s main roles. However, the 2018 remake was an undeniably more romantic and moving tribute to passion and fame, thanks in no small part to the electrifying chemistry between the movie’s lead actors, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.
The Hills Have Eyes
Wes Craven’s original Hills Have Eyes is a truly terrifying film. The 1977 original centers on a family stranded in the desert, only to be set upon by murderous cannibals. And while Alexandre Aja’s 2006 remake follows virtually the same plot, it employs higher production values, less camp, and is exponentially more terrifying than the original.
Internal Affairs—the Hong Kong film The Departed is based on—is a slick, tense action thriller. The American remake is extremely similar, but it’s an even more heart-pounding study of identity, loyalty, and corruption that the original simply can’t match. We have the deft direction of Martin Scorsese, and the all-star cast (including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, and Vera Farmiga) to thank for that.
When Christopher Nolan set out to reboot the Batman franchise, loyal fans of the Caped Crusader’s previous incarnations were understandably wary. While the Batman movies released in 1943, 1949, 1966, 1989, 1992, 1995, and 1997 retained more comic book kitsch, Nolan established a darker superhero universe and a more brooding Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins. In doing so, he created a legion of loyal fans all-too-eager to forget the earlier iterations of the superhero. And for more insider info about your favorite films, brush up on these 20 Happy Movies That Almost Got Sad Endings.
While 1932’s Scarface—loosely based on the life of infamous gangster Al Capone—was a stylish mafia movie for its time, its 1983 reboot is truly one of the best mob movies ever made. Written by Oliver Stone and starring Al Pacino as the film’s main character, the Brian De Palma-directed crime movie adapts the original story into a tale of ambition, excess, and the American Dream. The result is a far more relatable and stylish story—and a uniquely compelling film.
Though fans of the Star Trek TV series may have enjoyed the associated films released throughout the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, it was J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot of the franchise that created a whole new fanbase.
The 2009 film wowed audiences with its high-quality special effects, well-crafted dialogue, and relatable characters, earning the movie a 94 percent approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes and grossing more than $385 million worldwide.
Man of Steel
While there were plenty of Superman movies that came before it, 2013’s Man of Steel offered a satisfying and nuanced portrayal of the last son of Krypton. The ample backstory director Zack Snyder gave to Superman and the believable chemistry between Henry Cavill’s titular character and Amy Adams’ Lois Lane made Man of Steel fly higher than any of the films that came before it.
Henry Hathaway’s 1969 version of True Grit is a really good film. But the Coen Brothers’ 2010 remake is an excellent one. With A-list talent like Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld, and Josh Brolin leading its cast and a tightly-written script that mixes action, adventure, and humor, it’s no surprise the movie went on to earn 10 Academy Award nominations.
There are more than 20 James Bond films, but few are as fun and action-packed as 2006’s Casino Royale. While Bond purists may have a soft spot for the performances of Sean Connery or Roger Moore, the introduction of Daniel Craig as Bond added believability to the character while maintaining his trademark slickness. And, of course, the 21st century movie came with much better special effects.
The 1998 Japanese film Ringu is disturbing, but the 2002 American reboot is truly chilling. Higher production quality, including scarier special effects, turned the original moody masterpiece into a highly-effective fright-fest under the watchful eye of director Gore Verbinski.
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Tobey Maguire-led Spider-Man movies from the early 2000s started out strong. But by the time the third film was released, many fans found the franchise lacking its original entertainment value.
Fortunately, the character was given a new chance at life with director Marc Webb’s 2012 reboot starring Andrew Garfield, who nailed both the role of Peter Parker and his character’s chemistry with his then-real-life-girlfriend Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy.
The 1962 Cape Fear, starring Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, follows a family being stalked by a criminal their patriarch put in jail. It was a good movie for its time, but its 1991 remake is far better. Thanks to Robert DeNiro’s bone-chilling performance and Martin Scorsese’s direction, the ‘90s remake is a scarier and more stylish meditation on the nature of fear itself.
There’s no denying the talent of a teenage Jodie Foster in 1977’s Freaky Friday. However, the 2003 remake starring Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis turned what was a pleasant, slightly funny film into a hilarious caper that became an instant hit among its young viewers and their parents alike. And its pop punk take on Britney Spears‘ “…Baby One More Time” never got the credit it deserved.
Stephen King stories don’t get much scarier than It, but the 1990 miniseries starring Tim Curry as the titular character didn’t do the book’s murderous clown justice. Fortunately, the 2017 reboot more than made up for what its previous incarnation lacked. Bill Skarsgård offered a haunting performance as Pennywise the Clown, the film’s child actors provided more emotional range than their predecessors, and the special effects far surpassed the hilariously bad ones in the miniseries.
The Jungle Book
It was initially strange to fans of the animated 1967 original that a live-action Jungle Book would even be considered. But the 2016 reboot turned out to be a far more entertaining and nuanced film. While the original has been criticized for having a lackluster plot, the visually stunning reboot was a major success, grossing nearly $967 million worldwide and earning an A rating from CinemaScore.
King Kong had already been the subject of six movies before Peter Jackson got around to rebooting the franchise in 2005. But the Lord of the Rings director truly transformed the series. With better special effects and a cast of A-listers including Naomi Watts, Jack Black, and Adrien Brody, the film won three of the four Academy Awards it was nominated for. And if you’d like to relive some cinematic bombs, check out The Worst Movie Released Every Year Since 1950… if you dare.
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