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Top 5 Film Remakes Ever

Updated on January 7, 2008

You'd be surprised how many blockbuster films aren't exactly original. The generation behind mine sees flicks like King Kong and has no idea who Faye Wray was. Just a side-effect of the passage of time, I guess. Personally, it's pretty rare when I come across a remake that compares with an original classic. There have been a few, though, and today I'm going to share my top five with you. Break out the popcorn, these are all worth watching.

The Birdcage (1996)

This is one of my favorite movies of all time. ALL TIME. And that's saying a great deal, considering I rarely watch comedies. I'm surprised my DVD still works, I have played it so many times. The original was a French film titled La Cage Aux Folles, released almost a decade prior. The remake stars Robin Williams and Nathan Lane - a middle-aged gay couple living in South Beach. They run a drag club where Lane is the star performer. We start with their son returning home, bringing news that he's getting engaged. To the daughter (Calista Flockhart) of a very conservative Republican senator, played by Gene Hackman. Her mother is played by Diane Wiest. Together they take a trip to meet her husband-to-be's parents. And a whole lot goes wrong along the way. This film is hysterically funny, do not miss it.

Ocean's Eleven (2001)

The original is one of my favorites, starting the Rat Pack, with Sinatra as Danny Ocean. The remake is somehow even better. Maybe it's just because I can't stop drooling over George Clooney reprising the role. Ocean is an ex-con who has a plan to rob 3 Vegas casinos.

He recruits an all-star cast (Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Elliot Gould, Carl Reiner, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck and more) and they get down to business. However, we soon realize that Clooney has a secret reason for wanting to break Garcia.

The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)

Ok, first, let me just say no one holds a candle to Steve McQueen. He was, quite possibly, the only real man's man to ever have been born. Nevertheless, this remake was fantastic. I suspect it succeeded because Pierce Brosnan brought a bit of that sophisticated Bond feel too it - which is so different from McQueen it didn't really feel like he was trying to be him. So it worked. Here we have a very wealthy man who enjoys stealing as a hobby. And we also have a beautiful woman - Rene Russo - who's job is catching him. Can she do it before she falls in love with him? Watch and see!

Cape Fear (1991)

Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorcese team up for the billionth time in this flick. Also starring Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange and Juliette Lewis. Here we have an ex-con (DeNiro) who's newly released from prison. His defending lawyer (Nolte) keep an important document secret during the trial, which could have changed the outcome of sentencing. Now that DeNiro is a free man, he wants retribution, and Nolte's family is his first stop. Juliette Lewis, bizarre as she is, is a brilliant actress and really shines in this film. The film is a little scary at times, keep the lights on! Nominated for 2 Oscars.

War of the Worlds (2005)

Directed by Spielberg. That's usually enough to warrant seeing a film, right? Well, it also stars Couch-Man Tom Cruise - which is sometimes enough to warrant the opposite. Well, guess what. He's pretty damned good in this flick. He plays a father who's watching his kids for the weekend and quickly discovers it's going to be a little more hands-on than he realized. Cos, like, the aliens are in his backyard. Literally. Cruise doesn't play his usual charming self in this. He's actually kind of a jerk, but it works. He seems to have a depth I've never seen him pull off in other films. The effects are absolutely incredible, and it's quite a creepy film at times. These aliens aren't very good guests. Nominated for 3 Oscars.


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    • profile image

      Johny Boi 7 years ago

      I would agree with all of them, and had no idea the birdcage was a remake - seems no remake today lives up to these with shit like Quarantine, Let Me In and The A Team - Reckon Inglorious Bastards is 1 of the only remakes which is better than the original

    • Mavrek's Mayhem profile image

      Mavrek's Mayhem 8 years ago

      I think 3:10 To Yuma is missing but overall a good list. Thomas Crown Affair is such a underrated film I feel.

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 9 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Just found this hub! Glad I did! And for remakes...Father of the Bride I and II (Steve Martin), Cheaper by the Dozen (Steve Martin), Yours Mine and Ours (Dennis Quaid, Rene Russo), Parent Trap (Dennis Quaid), Freaky Friday (Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan), Out of Towners (Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn) ... just as a few that come to mind! Steve Martin's name showing up too much? Do believe that the remakes you mentioned of Thomas Crown Affair and Oceans Eleven do their original films justice, or even better. Fun hub!

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 10 years ago

      Fretbuzz - Well.. maybe you'll change your mind someday!

      Sara - The others are very great!

      BSM - I'm glad you like them too!

    • profile image

      bittersweet me 10 years ago

      the birdcage is wonderful - i love both versions. your #2 is my #3, just 'cos the pierce/rene combo works for me, big time.

    • profile image

      Sara Thacker 10 years ago

      I didn't like War of the Worlds remake but the others I loved.

    • profile image

      Fretbuzz 10 years ago

      Make no mistake, I believe everyone should have the right and freedom to live their lives the way they want as long as that lifestyle doesn't deny someone else their rights and freedom (i.e. slavery).

      I have nothing against homosexuals for their lifestyle -everyone should be free to make their own choices, and my choice is that I just don't care about seeing any more of that lifestyle than I see just by turning on the tube or going shopping, etc.

      Having said that, RHPS is one of my favorite movies. :~)>

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 10 years ago

      What does being a conservative have to do with not seeing #1?!? It's hysterical, no matter what your political orientation is! You should rent it!

    • profile image

      Fretbuzz 10 years ago

      Never saw #1 -being a conservative Republican myself (although I'm borderline Libertarian).

      Will not watch anything with Clooney the Clown or Tome "peewee" Snooze so #2 and #5 are out.

      #3 is awesome -Brosnan was great and Russo was, well, RUSSO.

      Never saw #4 but I didn't know it has Jessica Lange in it -I'm there for that reason alone!

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 10 years ago

      Gasp! The original number 3 is Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway! It doesn't get sexier than that!!! You must see it!

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Hear hear on #1, #2 and #4...was not a big fan of #5, though. Had never heard of #3, so into the Netflix queue it goes!

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 10 years ago

      See them soon! ;)

    • profile image

      Melissa 10 years ago

      Cape Fear made quite an impression on me, but I haven't seen the others yet.


      They're on my list now!