BySean Gallen, writer at
The pen is mightier than the sword but is ultimately useless in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Filmmaker, filmlover, MP staff writer.
Sean Gallen

We live in an era plagued with half-hearted . It seems that exhausted Hollywood studios have either run out of ideas or they're playing it safe with with a formula that's guaranteed to make money. With making a comeback and the overwhelming success that was the on , it appears as though we're stuck in the '80s.

In this current climate of re-use and recycle, it can be easy to forget that some of our favorite films are actually remakes and reboots. Some classics are so well received that their success eclipses the original entirely. We're going to take a look at some of our favorite reboots and discuss what makes a good remake, after the jump.

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1.Ocean's 11

Watch Brad Pitt work his magic in the remake of Ocean's 11:

  • Original title: Ocean's 11
  • Year of original: 1960
  • Reboot title: Ocean's 11
  • Year of reboot 2001

While the original had an equally impressive cast with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Joey Bishop as bank robbers, it received a lukewarm opening. Most critics saw the romp as a thinly-veiled vehicle for the Rat Pack that lacked a real story. Steven Soderbergh's quick-witted remake delivered a punchy story, great characters and ended with a beautiful twist. On top of its star-studded cast, George Clooney & co. paid respects to their predecessors with enough swagger and class to take over the MGM grand.

2. The Thing

  • Original title: The Thing From Another World
  • Year of original: 1951
  • Reboot title: The Thing
  • Year of reboot: 1982

John Carpenter's remake took the whacky premise of Howard Hawks B-movie and injected it with enough mutated bodies and looming dread to blast the original into outer space. Some reboots copy their inspiration, frame by frame, but Carpenter used the original as a spring board to launch his vision of new horror onto the screen.

3. Scarface

The original scarface couldn't make Al Pacino's craziness.
The original scarface couldn't make Al Pacino's craziness.

  • Original title: Scarface
  • Year of original: 1932
  • Reboot title: Scarface
  • Year of reboot: 1983

While the 1930's original focused on the decadence and debauchery of the legendary gangster Al Capone, Brain DePalma decided to focus on the rise and fall of a fictional Cuban gangster, Tony Montana, in his remake. Al Pacino's performance is so mesmerizing that Montana has now become as internationally recognized as Capone. His profane quotes are on t-shirts, in rap songs and in the mouths of wannabe gangsters everywhere. Al who?

4. Dredd

Stallone putting on his best Dredd face in the original 'Judge Dredd'
Stallone putting on his best Dredd face in the original 'Judge Dredd'

  • Original title: Judge Dredd
  • Year of original: 1995
  • Reboot title: Dredd
  • Year of reboot: 2012

The 1995 original was perfect for its time: Over-the-top action, hammy acting from Stallone and the cheesiest script known to man. Karl Urban donned the Judge helmet for a remake that was a grittier depiction of the Dredd universe that was more faithful to the comics.

5. Casino Royale

The new 'Casino Royale' upped the ante and delivered a darker, more complex Bond.
The new 'Casino Royale' upped the ante and delivered a darker, more complex Bond.

  • Original title: Casino Royale
  • Year of original: 1962
  • Reboot title: Casino Royale
  • Year of reboot: 2006

James Bond is a timeless franchise that still holds up to today's standards, right? Looking back at the original '60s outings of our favorite MI6 agent and we might be in for a surprise. The original Casino Royale was a camp, sexist and xenophobic romp with Richard Niven asleep at the wheel. Daniel Craig's Bond was much more complex and world-weary. His womanizing was seen more as a hollow pursuit of a self-destructive husk of a man (a la Don Draper). The new Casino Royale reinvented James Bond as we know him and brought him into the 21st century in style.

6. The Manchurian Candidate

  • Original title: The Manchurian Candidate
  • Year of original: 1962
  • Reboot title: The Manchurian Candidate
  • Year of reboot: 2004

In the new and improved Manchurian Candidate, Denzel pulls out one of the performances of his career that completely overshadows Frank Sinatra's half-hearted acting. Accompanied by Meryl Streep and Liev Schreiber, Washington gave the the intricate and complex novel the film adaptation it deserved.

7. The Fly

Golblum's cold bum in 'The Fly'
Golblum's cold bum in 'The Fly'

  • Original title: The Fly
  • Year of original: 1958
  • Reboot title: The Fly
  • Year of reboot: 1986

Much like Carpenter did with The Thing, Cronenberg took an old B-movie premise, lifted the hood and replaced everything with his own disgusting vision of fresh horror. The first half of the film seems to revel in it's B-movie origins with Jeff Golblum slipping into the whacky scientist role. Cronenberg eases the audience into a false sense of comfort by using stereotypes from old science fiction films. One you're relaxed in your seat, The Fly jumps into sixth gear and Goldlum's revolting transformation becomes the stuff of nightmares.

8. The Departed

Check out the trailer for Infernal Affairs below:

  • Original title: Infernal Affairs
  • Year of original: 2002
  • Reboot title: The Departed
  • Year of reboot: 2006

Infernal Affairs was a riveting police thriller with an intelligent story that sprinkled some life into a tired genre. The Chinese film caught Scorsese's eye and he used the ingenious premise to tell the story of gangsters in Boston. The remake went on to be one of Scorsese's modern masterpieces and gave audiences the best Jack Nicholson performance in decades as the evil Mob boss.

9. Some Like It Hot

Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis spotted at auditions for the next season of 'Rupaul's Drag Race'.
Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis spotted at auditions for the next season of 'Rupaul's Drag Race'.

  • Original title: Fanfare D'amour
  • Year of original: 1935
  • Reboot title: Some Like it Hot
  • Year of reboot: 1959

Most people won't know the obscure French film that inspired Some Like It Hot, mostly because the remake is still, to this day, ranked as one of the best comedies ever. Marilyn Monroe lights up the film with her incomparable grace and elegance that continues to leave audiences as entranced as Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis.

10. Heat

DeNiro and Pacino deciding who should get the check in 'Heat' / Warner Bros.
DeNiro and Pacino deciding who should get the check in 'Heat' / Warner Bros.

  • Original title: L.A Takedown
  • Year of original: 1989
  • Reboot title: Heat
  • Year of reboot: 1995

L.A Takedown was Michael Mann's unsuccessful pilot about a gang of L.A bank robbers that suffered from oppressive intervention from NBC producers and sadly never made it to our TV screens. In 1995, he decided to dust off the script and remake the pilot into a film. This time he could work with the freedom that comes with being an established director. Even better, the addition of DeNiro and Pacino going head to head made for one of the most iconic showdowns in film history. Most directors don't get a second chance at remaking their own films but Michael Mann showed the world that everyone deserves a second chance.

What's your favorite reboot?


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