4 of the Best Movie Remakes and 4 That Shouldn’t Exist

4 of the Best Movie Remakes and 4 That Shouldn’t Exist
Image: Netflix
At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW - prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

The plethora of reboots, remakes and unnecessary sequels goes to show that nothing is sacred in Hollywood. Everything old can become new, but not everything should.

There have been some legitimately great remakes over the years that do the original film justice and are sometimes even considered better. There has also been no shortage of terrible remakes that are best forgotten about.

Opinions will vary wildly on what makes a good or bad remake, and that usually depends on how much you value the original film. That being said, there are plenty of things critics and audiences seem to agree on — like good and bad remakes.

We’ve compiled a list of the best and worst movie remakes in cinema history and where you can watch them both if you want to judge for yourself.

The best movie remakes

Ocean’s 11

oceans 11 remake
Ocean’s 11 – Best Movie Remakes (Image: IMDB)

Lewis Milestone’s 1960 edition of Ocean’s 11 starred legends like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Steven Soderbergh’s 2001 remake managed to employ a similar cast of legends with Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts all on the team.

The Ocean’s 11 remake was a bonafide success with both critics approval and box office figures far surpassing the original. Oceans 11 spawned the Oceans trilogy and a new calibre of heist films was reborn (or remade, rather).

Ocean’s 11 (1960) is available for rent on digital platforms and Oceans 11 (2001) can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.

True Grit

4 of the Best Movie Remakes and 4 That Shouldn’t Exist
True Grit – Best Movie Remakes (Image: Netflix)

The original 1969 True Grit was going to be tough to top. The film won John Wayne his only Oscar and still has an 89% rating on Rotten Tomatoes to this day.

The 2010 True Grit remake was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and holds a 95% critical rating on RT, so it’s safe to say it did a pretty good job.

The remake stars Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn who is hired by Hailee Steinfeld’s Mattie Ross to hunt down the outlaw Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) who killed her father. It’s full of riveting performances and will definitely scratch that western itch.

The original True Grit can be streamed for free on SBS On Demand and the 2010 remake can be found on Netflix and Stan.

Casino Royale

4 of the Best Movie Remakes and 4 That Shouldn’t Exist
Casino Royale – Best Movie Remakes (Image: MGM)

Ian Fleming’s first and most iconic Bond novel has seen its share of adaptations. Due to the complicated legal situation around the rights to the Bond films, the 1967 edition of Casino Royale turned out to be more of a satirical comedy than the action spy film you’d expect.

Casino Royale from 2006 is more akin to the Bond franchise that most of us are familiar with and it was the first movie to move forward with Daniel Craig in 007’s shoesCasino Royale ended up earning over half a billion dollars and totally revolutionised James Bond films for a new era.

Both 1967 and 2006 versions of Casino Royale are available to stream on Stan.

Freaky Friday

freaky friday movie remake
Freaky Friday – Best Movie Remakes (Image: Disney)

I’ll hear nothing against the 2003 edition of Freaky Friday and I’m sure a bunch of millennials will back me up.

Freaky Friday, based on the novel from Mary Rodgers, has seen four iterations over at Disney. One was a 1976 film starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster, another was a 1995 TV movie with Shelley Long and Gaby Holfmann, the third featured Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis, and the final is a Disney Original Movie from 2018 that nobody knew existed.

All four movies featured the same premise of a mother and daughter switching bodies but we all know which one is the best.

All the Freaky Friday adaptations can be found on Disney+.

Movie remakes that should not exist

He’s All That

he's all that netflix
He’s All That – Worst Movie Remakes (Image: Netflix)

This week in remakes that nobody asked for, Netflix released its gender-flipped remake of the teen classic She’s All That.

He’s All That features TikTok star Addison Rae as, you guessed it, an influencer who specialises in makeovers and promises to transform her unpopular classmate into the prom king.

Let’s just say people have some thoughts about this remake and they’re… not great.

He’s All That and She’s All That are both streaming on Netflix.

Point Break

point break movie remake
Point Break – Worst Movie Remakes (Image: Warner Bros)

Look, a story about an FBI agent infiltrating a bunch of bank-robbing surfers sounds pretty good on paper and it did make a great movie — in 1991.

Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze sold the hell out of this wild movie with big ambitions and even bigger waves. It was prime time for a remake but unfortunately 2015’s Point Break delivered big action and not much else.

Point Break (1991) can be found on Binge and the remake is streaming on Stan.

The Mummy

movie remakes the mummy
The Mummy – Worst Movie Remakes (Image: Universal)

Why Universal would see the need to defile The Mummy franchise, which we all know peaked with Brendan Fraser, is unclear to me, but they did.

In an attempt to build its own Dark Universe monster movie franchise, the studio reawakened Imhoteop from his tomb, gender-swapped him to become Sofia Boutella’s Ahmanet, and subbed in all-around action hero Tom Cruise to stop her. What could go wrong?

A lot apparently because the film actually lost money at the box office and plans for a Dark Universe franchise were eventually scrapped. At least we still have Brendan Fraser, right?

The Mummy (2017) and The Mummy (1999) are available on Binge.


4 of the Best Movie Remakes and 4 That Shouldn’t Exist
Flatliners – Worst Movie Remakes. Image: Sony

Flatliners has such a cool premise. It follows a bunch of medical students trying to discover what happens after death by conducting a bunch of near-death experiments. The 1990 original had an all-star cast with Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland and Kevin Bacon, but didn’t really live up to its premise.

The 2017 Flatliners remake had an equally good cast with Elliot Page, Diego Luna, Kiersey Clemons and Nina Dobrev and yet it managed to fail even harder than the original (4% on Rotten Tomatoes, really?). All the trailers seemed to build to the idea the film would be a gripping horror film and it was anything but.

The original Flatliners is available to rent digitally and the remake is streaming on Binge and Amazon Prime Video.

Do you agree with the choices here or are there some remakes that deserve a spot on the list? Let us know in the comments!

Log in to comment on this story!