Not All Movie Remakes Suck

These days it seems like movie remakes are all the rage, and over the past few years, I’ve listened to a lot of people complaining about remakes on principle alone. While a lot of them are horrible abominations unto the God of Movies, there are a few out there that are pretty good. In fact, there are some that are legitimately superior. I’m not saying that I’m an advocate for remakes, but even I feel like there are some movies that should be remade.

If you’re one of those people shaking their heads or sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting “I can’t hear you,” I’ve come up with 10 of my favorite remakes. By the end of it, I hope that you can bring yourself to agree that remakes don’t deserve immediate condemnation, or that you’ll at least mumble quietly about how stupid I am for making a good point.

10. Scarface (1983)

Few people realize that this crime classic starring Al Pacino is actually a remake of a 1932 film of the same name. It’s amassed a huge cult following and these days it’s hard not to see a teenager showing off his gangster side with a Scarface shirt. Brian De Palma managed to completely modernize the film by setting it in the drug-fueled underworld of Miami. Of course, the original can’t really stack up to the extravagant violence of this remake, but that’s because it was from a different time when people weren’t skinned alive for double crossing mafia kingpins.

9. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels(1988)

That’s right, non-believers, the Michael Caine and Steve Martin classic is actually a remake of the 1964 film Bedtime Stories starring Marlon Brando and David Niven. I’m only two movies into this list and I think it’s already pretty clear that not all remakes are awful. True, for many of these the names have been changed; it lets us pretend that a movie isn’t a remake, just an homage. Just remember that in Hollywood there’s a thin line between homage and blatant rip-off. Luckily, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is neither. Let’s just hope the upcoming remake is halfway decent.

8. The Magnificent Seven(1960)

Sounds familiar, right? There isn’t a guy in his mid-forties or older that won’t argue that this western is anything less than an amazing movie. It’s no secret that it’s a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s classic Seven Samurai. While I might never admit that this movie is better than the original, I will say that it’s a damn fine movie. With the likes of Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson starring, the movie has immortalized itself as a classic man’s movie. Even though I preferred the first one, I’ll never pass up a lazy Sunday with a few beers and this flick. Let’s hope Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington can do it justice.