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10.18.2013by: Alex Maidy

Top 10 Remakes of All Time

Brian De Palma's CARRIE is a classic, but a flawed one. With that in mind, a remake is not as terrible an idea as it would be if it were THE EXORCIST or CASABLANCA. While good remakes are usually the exception to the rule, there have been a good number of excellent remakes that surpass the original. Here are the ten best remakes ever made and why they are better than their predecessors. If you disagree or your favorite didn't make the cut, feel free to add it to the talk back below.

#10 - DAWN OF THE DEAD

Zack Snyder's remake of George Romero's classic made the risky decision to make the zombies runners versus the slow, lurching kind of undead. Still here are the trademark mall setting and group of people thrown together to survive, but gone are the political subtext of how consumers are like zombies themselves. The film still works thanks to fast-paced action sequences and some brilliantly selected songs to highlight a world gone mad.

#9 - ZATOICHI

You may not be familiar with this series about a blind swordsman who travels the land saving people, but it is a very well known franchise of movies and television shows in Japan. When iconic actor/director Takeshi Kitano revived the character for the 2003 film ZATOICHI, the result was cinematic awesomeness. Chock full of samurai violence, the movie is a phenomenally enjoyable update that deserves to be seen by a very wide audience.

#8 - TRUE GRIT

The Coen Brothers' take on the John Wayne classic is at once a more faithful adaptation of the original novel but one of the best westerns of all time. Rarely do you get two movies sharing the same story that are as good as one another but in very different ways. Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin are phenomenal but they pale in comparison to Hailee Steinfeld. The young actress steals the film and delivers one of the single best performances by a child actor in any movie.

#7 - OCEAN'S ELEVEN

OCEAN'S 11 is the classic heist film starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr, but OCEAN'S ELEVEN is the real treat. Steven Soderbergh is in his purest form of movie-making with the heist comedy that highlights his masterful editing skills. The finished product is a fun ride with very little wrong with it. I could have done without the sequels, but the first film is the reason why people go to the movies: fun, exciting, full of stars, and entertaining.

#6 - INSOMNIA

Christopher Nolan's remake of the 1997 Erik Skjoldbjærg movie is not a shot for shot retread but rather a reinterpretation of the same story. You can look at both movies side by side and feel like you are watching completely distinct films. Nolan's eye for detail and composition is one thing, but he also manages to elicit the best performance of Al Pacino's recent career. Robin Williams and Hilary Swank are excellent as well. This is how remakes should be done.

#5 - THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR

Like OCEAN'S ELEVEN, THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR is a remake of a loved movie but somehow finds a way to make it even better. Maybe I am partial to Pierce Brosnan while he was still in James Bond mode or maybe it is the great turn by Denis Leary. No, I am pretty sure it is due to Rene Russo's nudity. That and the brilliantly executed heist sequence set to the song "Sinnerman". Everything works in John McTiernan's film and serves as a reminder of why we need more movies from him.

#4 - 3:10 TO YUMA

Elmore Leonard's story has been adapted once before, but this is the best take. Christian Bale and Russell Crowe are badass in James Mangold's drama but it is Ben Foster as Charlie Prince who steals the whole movie. 3:10 TO YUMA shows that a western doesn't have to sacrifice drama for action and balances the gunplay with some great back and forth dialogue between Crowe and Bale.

#3 - THE FLY

David Cronenberg's remake of the Vincent Price classic keeps the same basic plot, but instead of a man with a fly's head and vice versa we get the ultimate body horror story as Jeff Goldblum becomes BrundleFly! One of the most horrifically gross monsters ever put to film, you still feel for the character as he descends into madness and de-evolution. Geena Davis' birthing scene is still one of the most f*cked-up moments in any film and shows that a remake doesn't have to be faithful to the original as long as it delivers a good story.

#2 - CAPE FEAR

If you are going to remake a movie you couldn't do much better than Martin Scorsese as your director. While the original CAPE FEAR has iconic performances from Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, the 1991 take is both a throwback to old school Hollywood thrillers but also a masterful and pulpy update. Scorsese and Robert De Niro created one of the most immortal villains in Max Cady, a character that has been spoofed so many times it is hard to keep track. Elmer Bernstein's score is also one of the most easily recognizable themes of all time.

#1 - THE THING

Do I really need to explain why? John Carpenter took the idea from Howard Hawks' THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD and turned it into the Antarctic equivalent of Ridley Scott's ALIEN. Part mystery, part horror movie, and part special effects master class, THE THING is at once one of the scariest movies of all time and one of the most fun. I defy you to find one person who has seen THE THING and not loved it. It kicks so much ass that there are not enough ways to tell you why.

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2:27PM on 10/21/2013

Film wasn't evented in the 1980s...

John Huston's 1941 version of 'The Maltese Falcon' with Humphrey Bogart is my all-time favorite "remake."
John Huston's 1941 version of 'The Maltese Falcon' with Humphrey Bogart is my all-time favorite "remake."
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+0
5:54PM on 10/19/2013
The opening and closing sequences of this movie were very fun. The entire middle hour is deathly dull.
The opening and closing sequences of this movie were very fun. The entire middle hour is deathly dull.
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6:42AM on 10/19/2013
I agree with Nowheredn136 that King Kong ('05) and The Departed would probably make my list. I always think of Alfie with Jude Law when I think of good remakes, very underrated. And let us not forget the epic classic Ben-Hur with Charlton Heston is a remake. There's some very good pics on this list though, a big improvement over last week Alex.
I agree with Nowheredn136 that King Kong ('05) and The Departed would probably make my list. I always think of Alfie with Jude Law when I think of good remakes, very underrated. And let us not forget the epic classic Ben-Hur with Charlton Heston is a remake. There's some very good pics on this list though, a big improvement over last week Alex.
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3:21AM on 10/19/2013

I know you gentlemen have been through a lot, but when you find the time, I'd rather not spend the rest of this winter TIED TO THIS FUCKING COUCH!!!

When I saw this list I thought The Thing had better be at no.1 - Kudos! Such a damn good film! Totally contravenes Hollywood movie making guidelines by having not a single female cast member/love interest. And do yourselves a favour - get a copy of the blu-ray if you don't already, the transfer is beautiful and there is so much more to see in the incredible SFX - not a CGI pixel to be seen!

I'll stop gushing now. Carry on.
When I saw this list I thought The Thing had better be at no.1 - Kudos! Such a damn good film! Totally contravenes Hollywood movie making guidelines by having not a single female cast member/love interest. And do yourselves a favour - get a copy of the blu-ray if you don't already, the transfer is beautiful and there is so much more to see in the incredible SFX - not a CGI pixel to be seen!

I'll stop gushing now. Carry on.
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10:41PM on 10/18/2013
I totally agree with The Thing, it was awesome. But The Departed should be in there somewhere, one of my all time favorites.
I totally agree with The Thing, it was awesome. But The Departed should be in there somewhere, one of my all time favorites.
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10:10PM on 10/18/2013

Wizard of Oz

The 1939 film was the third time on the big screen. First two were silent films.
The 1939 film was the third time on the big screen. First two were silent films.
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-6
10:08PM on 10/18/2013

REMAKE - 4/10; ORIGINAL - 3/10; 2011 PREQUEL - 3/10.

Not trying to contradict you, though. I just don't think they took full advantage of the claustrophobic element. But the FX are still great to this day.
Not trying to contradict you, though. I just don't think they took full advantage of the claustrophobic element. But the FX are still great to this day.
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-1
10:02PM on 10/18/2013

REMAKE - 7/10; ORIGINAL - 3/10.

However, I didn't like Juliette Lewis' performance.
However, I didn't like Juliette Lewis' performance.
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+0
9:57PM on 10/18/2013

"WE NEED MORE MOVIES FROM JOHN MCTIERNAN"?

I haven't seen this one, but I did see ROLLERBALL. He's dead to me.
I haven't seen this one, but I did see ROLLERBALL. He's dead to me.
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+0
8:23PM on 10/18/2013

REMAKE - 9/10; ORIGINAL - 3/10.

No contest!
No contest!
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8:14PM on 10/18/2013

One of my faves

And slays the McQueen version IMO, which hasn't aged well.
And slays the McQueen version IMO, which hasn't aged well.
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6:39PM on 10/18/2013

i nominate

King Kong (2005)
The Karate Kid
Italian Job
Let Me In
The Departed (a remake of the Hong Kong film "Internal Affairs")
The Birdcage
Evil Dead
Homeward Bound
Scareface
(And i never cared for the True Grit remake)
King Kong (2005)
The Karate Kid
Italian Job
Let Me In
The Departed (a remake of the Hong Kong film "Internal Affairs")
The Birdcage
Evil Dead
Homeward Bound
Scareface
(And i never cared for the True Grit remake)
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5:30PM on 10/18/2013
Obviously The Thing deserves the number one spot. Also Cape Fear: [link]
And sue me but I love both Rob Zombie Halloween remakes they are easily at the top of my list.
Obviously The Thing deserves the number one spot. Also Cape Fear: [link]
And sue me but I love both Rob Zombie Halloween remakes they are easily at the top of my list.
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4:42PM on 10/18/2013

No Wrong

Nowhere in any world ever is fancy pants Pierce Brosnan cooler and better than Steve McQueen.
Nowhere in any world ever is fancy pants Pierce Brosnan cooler and better than Steve McQueen.
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4:30PM on 10/18/2013

Seriously??

No Scarface?? That should have been number one on the list.
No Scarface?? That should have been number one on the list.
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4:02PM on 10/18/2013
The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz
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3:36PM on 10/18/2013

Agreed!

This is the equivalent of James Bond series in Japan. Highly recommended for any action or samurai/ninja junkie.
This is the equivalent of James Bond series in Japan. Highly recommended for any action or samurai/ninja junkie.
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2:01PM on 10/18/2013

for the most part, i agree...

though i did not care for either Insomnia or The Thomas Crown Affair remakes. otherwise the list is good
though i did not care for either Insomnia or The Thomas Crown Affair remakes. otherwise the list is good
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+5
1:55PM on 10/18/2013
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is probably one of the better remakes I've seen. It didn't do well at the theater, but it was an excellent film and a lot better than I would have expected.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is probably one of the better remakes I've seen. It didn't do well at the theater, but it was an excellent film and a lot better than I would have expected.
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+0
1:50PM on 10/18/2013
I enjoyed it, but I thought it was kind of a bland film, even in Nolan's hands. In fact, I'd say that this is probably his worst film. I've not seen the original, so I supposed I could be wrong, but I find it hard to believe that there aren't a number of remakes better than this one.
I enjoyed it, but I thought it was kind of a bland film, even in Nolan's hands. In fact, I'd say that this is probably his worst film. I've not seen the original, so I supposed I could be wrong, but I find it hard to believe that there aren't a number of remakes better than this one.
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1:43PM on 10/18/2013

HO... MY... FUCKING... GOD !

I just realised...
NO SCARFACE ??!
Are you kidding me ?!
I just realised...
NO SCARFACE ??!
Are you kidding me ?!
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1:39PM on 10/18/2013

you forgot

True Lies
And many others quoted below...
True Lies
And many others quoted below...
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+1
1:33PM on 10/18/2013
Fantastic film with a fantastic final scene. Zatoichi is a real badass and Kintaro is excellent in the role.
Fantastic film with a fantastic final scene. Zatoichi is a real badass and Kintaro is excellent in the role.
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+7
1:30PM on 10/18/2013
This is his top 10 list. It wouldn't be the same as yours or mine.Give the guy a break. We all know these lists are subjective. But it's a good list. The thing is one of my all time favorite horror movies.
This is his top 10 list. It wouldn't be the same as yours or mine.Give the guy a break. We all know these lists are subjective. But it's a good list. The thing is one of my all time favorite horror movies.
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11:54AM on 10/18/2013
I don't see how this is a more faithful adaption. It is almost a shot for shot remake of John Wayne's version.
I don't see how this is a more faithful adaption. It is almost a shot for shot remake of John Wayne's version.
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11:19AM on 10/18/2013
3:10 to Yuma over True Grit? Give me a break!
3:10 to Yuma over True Grit? Give me a break!
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11:04AM on 10/18/2013
Still Zack Snyder's best movie
Still Zack Snyder's best movie
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-17
10:34AM on 10/18/2013
Last three were fine, but those earlier 3 Hollywood blockbusters over Solaris? Shame on you. And as I see here, the magnificent seven and (shame on me for forgetting) the departed. The best remake ever. Have u seen the original? This person didn't do any research
Last three were fine, but those earlier 3 Hollywood blockbusters over Solaris? Shame on you. And as I see here, the magnificent seven and (shame on me for forgetting) the departed. The best remake ever. Have u seen the original? This person didn't do any research
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1:54PM on 10/18/2013
I can agree with Magnificent Seven and The Departed (although I'd argue it's not better than Infernal Affairs). But Solaris, not so much.
I can agree with Magnificent Seven and The Departed (although I'd argue it's not better than Infernal Affairs). But Solaris, not so much.
-15
10:29AM on 10/18/2013
There was good parts in this, but overall I really disliked this film. And I haven't seen the rest of the list but I'm going to say this....you have really only put mainstream remakes on here - 3:10, Thomas Crown (boo), and Oceans. If you don't include Solaris, it'll personally tell me a lot about you and you criteria for good films...so let's see if I'm wrong and if there's a horror movie on here
There was good parts in this, but overall I really disliked this film. And I haven't seen the rest of the list but I'm going to say this....you have really only put mainstream remakes on here - 3:10, Thomas Crown (boo), and Oceans. If you don't include Solaris, it'll personally tell me a lot about you and you criteria for good films...so let's see if I'm wrong and if there's a horror movie on here
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10:28AM on 10/18/2013
Great list. I'd like to see a list of WORST remakes. That way you have a lot more options. The Thing is timeless
Great list. I'd like to see a list of WORST remakes. That way you have a lot more options. The Thing is timeless
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-7
10:23AM on 10/18/2013
A better remake? Sure, but I didn't enjoy this film. It had no heard. Ironically enough, I liked both the sequels better, especially the second one, that wasn't suppose to be an ocean's film
A better remake? Sure, but I didn't enjoy this film. It had no heard. Ironically enough, I liked both the sequels better, especially the second one, that wasn't suppose to be an ocean's film
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2:33AM on 10/20/2013
Why do all movies have to have "heart"? That has become such a cliche criticism. The movie was fun, well written, and featured an all-star cast. The directing and music were also top notch (I literally just finished watching this movie again a half an hour ago). The fact that you think the sequels are better puts your opinion into question, though the third one is good. The second one has an awful twist.
Why do all movies have to have "heart"? That has become such a cliche criticism. The movie was fun, well written, and featured an all-star cast. The directing and music were also top notch (I literally just finished watching this movie again a half an hour ago). The fact that you think the sequels are better puts your opinion into question, though the third one is good. The second one has an awful twist.
10:03AM on 10/18/2013
3;10 to Yuma was a great remake.
3;10 to Yuma was a great remake.
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9:53AM on 10/18/2013
Good list. I'd like to nominate The Italian Job (2003). F Gary Gray delivered one of the most enjoyable heist thrillers in recent memory and it had a great cast. Never thought Mark Wahlberg would ever pass for a decent Michael Caine successor, but he did.
Good list. I'd like to nominate The Italian Job (2003). F Gary Gray delivered one of the most enjoyable heist thrillers in recent memory and it had a great cast. Never thought Mark Wahlberg would ever pass for a decent Michael Caine successor, but he did.
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9:48AM on 10/18/2013
Love the end sequence and its use of Magritte's Son of Man as a motif.
Love the end sequence and its use of Magritte's Son of Man as a motif.
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9:53PM on 10/18/2013
Although I'm a fan of Edward Hopper's works, that sequence you mentioned is truly stunning.
Although I'm a fan of Edward Hopper's works, that sequence you mentioned is truly stunning.
9:47AM on 10/18/2013
A genuine good time; these guys look like they had a whole lot of fun hanging out and by extension, so did us in the audience.
A genuine good time; these guys look like they had a whole lot of fun hanging out and by extension, so did us in the audience.
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9:45AM on 10/18/2013
Hailee Steinfeld rocks, and so did Jeff Bridges; this remake was perfectly cast right down to Barry Pepper as Lucky Ned Pepper. Coincidental Danza there!
Hailee Steinfeld rocks, and so did Jeff Bridges; this remake was perfectly cast right down to Barry Pepper as Lucky Ned Pepper. Coincidental Danza there!
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9:39AM on 10/18/2013
The thumbnail for the new Carrie movie through me off considering both Bumbray and AITH gave it a very poor review.
The thumbnail for the new Carrie movie through me off considering both Bumbray and AITH gave it a very poor review.
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9:38AM on 10/18/2013

Of course

Not just one of the greatest remakes or horror films but one of the greatest films of all time. Dum dum...dum dum du dum.
Not just one of the greatest remakes or horror films but one of the greatest films of all time. Dum dum...dum dum du dum.
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9:37AM on 10/18/2013

Underrated flick

This one gets overlooked way to often, im happy to see the shout out, you can tell this was one where Scorsese and De Niro really had a blast making it.
This one gets overlooked way to often, im happy to see the shout out, you can tell this was one where Scorsese and De Niro really had a blast making it.
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9:35AM on 10/18/2013

Nope

They pretty much neutered the original film and made it too clean cut, i dug in the original how the detective slowly became a truly evil man. Technically this one was good but lost what was special about the source material.
They pretty much neutered the original film and made it too clean cut, i dug in the original how the detective slowly became a truly evil man. Technically this one was good but lost what was special about the source material.
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9:32AM on 10/18/2013
I realize this isn't just a list of horror remakes, but any list of remakes that doesn't include Donald Sutherland's "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers" is a sham. It's considered by many to be the greatest horror film of all time, not to mention one of the greatest remakes.
I realize this isn't just a list of horror remakes, but any list of remakes that doesn't include Donald Sutherland's "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers" is a sham. It's considered by many to be the greatest horror film of all time, not to mention one of the greatest remakes.
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9:32AM on 10/18/2013
This definitely should be here! This movie is so good. A lot of good actors with great performances, especially Hailee Steinfeld. She knocked it out the park and she was so awesome in all of her scenes.
This definitely should be here! This movie is so good. A lot of good actors with great performances, especially Hailee Steinfeld. She knocked it out the park and she was so awesome in all of her scenes.
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9:28AM on 10/18/2013
I have never heard of this, but I will be checking it out. It sounds awesome.
I have never heard of this, but I will be checking it out. It sounds awesome.
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9:26AM on 10/18/2013

Forgot a few remakes....

"The Magnificent Seven", "Let Me In", and "The Departed."
"The Magnificent Seven", "Let Me In", and "The Departed."
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+5
9:23AM on 10/18/2013
HOLY CRAP I LOVE "THE THING" .....HOLD ME!
HOLY CRAP I LOVE "THE THING" .....HOLD ME!
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9:03AM on 10/18/2013

uhhhh

Where is "The hills have eyes"? Easily one of my favorite remakes.
Where is "The hills have eyes"? Easily one of my favorite remakes.
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8:41AM on 10/18/2013

The films theme

Erm just think it should be made clear that the films score is based on the original film's one by Bernard Herrmann. Really think it's him and not Elmer who should be acknowledged for one of the most easily recognizable themes of all time.

I agree with with smacaskill DeNiro really over acts in this, especially when compared to Robert Mitchum.
In my eyes the most overrated remake of all time.
Erm just think it should be made clear that the films score is based on the original film's one by Bernard Herrmann. Really think it's him and not Elmer who should be acknowledged for one of the most easily recognizable themes of all time.

I agree with with smacaskill DeNiro really over acts in this, especially when compared to Robert Mitchum.
In my eyes the most overrated remake of all time.
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8:23AM on 10/18/2013

Where is

The original rocked, but the remake was AMAZING! But kudos for getting some of my favorite remakes (Ocean's Eleven, The Fly, The Thing, Thomas Crown Affair) in here!!
The original rocked, but the remake was AMAZING! But kudos for getting some of my favorite remakes (Ocean's Eleven, The Fly, The Thing, Thomas Crown Affair) in here!!
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8:19AM on 10/18/2013
Great list, dude!

Invasion of the Body Snatchers starring Donald Sutherland was a great remake, too.
Great list, dude!

Invasion of the Body Snatchers starring Donald Sutherland was a great remake, too.
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7:53AM on 10/18/2013
After all this year, that Blood Test scene still makes me jump out of my chair. Great action/sci-f-/horror movie. However, I'd add The Getaway (with Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger) and The Blob remake to the list as well.
After all this year, that Blood Test scene still makes me jump out of my chair. Great action/sci-f-/horror movie. However, I'd add The Getaway (with Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger) and The Blob remake to the list as well.
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7:50AM on 10/18/2013
A romantic movie disguised as a horror sci-fi. A very very good one too.
A romantic movie disguised as a horror sci-fi. A very very good one too.
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7:49AM on 10/18/2013
Soderbergh knew how to make this movie. The original relied a lot on the Rat Pack's fame and this remake sure got a lot of powerhouse stars.
Soderbergh knew how to make this movie. The original relied a lot on the Rat Pack's fame and this remake sure got a lot of powerhouse stars.
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7:47AM on 10/18/2013
One of the better remakes out there.
One of the better remakes out there.
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7:25AM on 10/18/2013
I love Scorsese but this was just a crappy remake. DeNiro was so over the top and not really scary at all. Robert Mitchum was really menacing in the original and had great chemistry with Gregory Peck.
I love Scorsese but this was just a crappy remake. DeNiro was so over the top and not really scary at all. Robert Mitchum was really menacing in the original and had great chemistry with Gregory Peck.
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