There are two things that always make any movie addict groan in annoyance; a pointless cheap sequel that doesn’t measure up to the hype, and horrible remakes. More often than not both are ridiculously disappointing, especially when it's the latter. Even though there have been a lot of remakes produced lately that fail in comparison to the originals, this is not the case for all of them. Here are a few remakes that did not crash and burn:

Scarface  (1983) 

When it comes to remakes overshadowing the originals, Scarface hits the jackpot. This very violent and highly iconic remake of the 1932 movie of the same name is still heavily referenced and quoted 20+ years later while also solidifying its place among other classics. Al Pacino may have given the performance of a lifetime in this movie, but a lot of credit has to be given to director Brian De Palma and writer Oliver Stone who switched the plot from revolving around the Italian mob to the Cuban cartel. This switch changed it from being just another mobster type violent movie to a story about the struggle of immigrants and the extremes they reach to have a piece of the American dream.

The Parent Trap (1998)

Ask any kid that grew up during the 90s about some of their favorite childhood movies and The Parent Trap is bound to be amidst the group. Granted the kid is most likely female, but the movie was definitely popular and met a lot of positive reviews. The remake of the 1961 movie tells the tale of twins separated at birth and accidentally get reunited and set on getting their parents back together. What’s not to love? The movie also launched the career of one Lindsey Lohan who was superb playing the adorable twins.


Pride and Prejudice (2005)

This particular adaptation of Jane Austen's beloved novel is definitely one of the most notable and popular ones. Though it received a lot of mixed reviews from critics comparing it to other adaptations, it gave Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy's timeless romance a light tone to an otherwise somewhat heavy Victorian story, to which it earned 5 Oscar nominations.



Ocean's Eleven (2001)

George Clooney. Brad Pitt. Matt Damon. Don Cheadle. Andy Garcia. Bernie Mac. LAS VEGAS. Need I say more? The action packed heist movie might not have the greatest and most believable plot but it is certainly entertaining. The star studded cast definitely held their own against the Rat Pack (Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Joey Bishop) who played the original "Eleven" in the  original 1960 movie.


Father Of the Bride (1991)

The hilarious 1991 comedy of a father that can't quite let go of his daughter and how he copes with the idea of her getting married. It's almost impossible to believe that there was someone else who played the role before Steve Martin in the original 1950 movie and as usual he delivered a great comedic performance. Director Charles Shyer (who also directed The Parent Trap) did a great job with this great family friendly comedy.


Peter Pan (2003) 

This remake of the 1953 movie does not particularly compete with the original Disney cartoon but merely coexists with it. The movie is a really delightful interpretation of the novel by J. M.  Barrie and focuses a lot on the relationship between Peter and Wendy in a way the original doesn’t. It also brings forward the dilemma that Peter has about growing up that has never been dwelled upon before. Overall, this movie is great to watch if you are in need of revisiting your childhood.


Scent of A Woman (1992)

If there has to be one reason for anyone to watch this movie, it would be for Al Pacino. His performance is beyond amazing in this movie, so much so that it earned him an Oscar. The script is a remake of the 1974 Italian film Profumo di donna. I have yet to see the original but this movie is honestly above and beyond anything you have ever seen and it is all thanks to Al Pacino’s spectacular performance.



Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

This one is really a controversial choice, as fans of the 1971 original classic will tell you that Tim Burton's remake is absolute garbage. However, they will have to admit that the minute the quirky Johnny Depp opened up the doors to that chocolate factory, they dreamt of living in it. If the script and the performance are not for you, you still have to admit that the visuals in this movie are pretty darn mouth watering so this remake is not a complete bust.


Man on Fire (2004)

A remake of the 1987 movie Un uomo sotto tiro and one of Denzel Washington's many great performances. It's a good movie… if you can endure a pretty significant amount of blood and a sadistic main character. Most will argue that the excessive violence is to show the corruption in Mexico and the extremes to which Denzel's character goes through to save a kidnapped little girl he came to care for. Dakota Faninng delivers a great performance as well and the movie is definitely an intense, attention grabbing watch.


The Departed (2006)

Ahh, the movie that finally earned Scorsese his first oscar. The Departed, which is actually a remake of the Japanese Infernal Affairs, made a huge splash during 2006 and bagged 4 Oscar wins with great performances by Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson. Scorsese crafts a very intricate story of cops and criminals as well as father-son relations in this film that definitely lived up to its hype.


– Haya Al Farhan


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