Top 10 Remakes: Who's Number One?

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As another Hollywood remake, Total Recall, hits theaters -- and a good one at that -- Movie Fanatic takes a look at the top 10 remakes of all time.

Although the film that features Colin Farrell stepping into Arnold Schwarzenegger’s shoes is not on our top 10 list that spans Hollywood history (Movie Fanatic puts it at number 11!), the following films are pure examples of when Hollywood’s heart is in the right place as they update an older film. Who will be number one?

10. Cape Fear
Martin Scorsese’s 1991 update of the 1962 thriller had several things going for it: Robert De Niro as the felon vowing to get revenge on the public defender (Nick Nolte) who failed him, and Juliette Lewis stealing scenes left and right as Nolte’s teenage daughter. The film is creepy, thrilling and pure Scorsese.

Robert De Niro in Cape Fear

9. 3:10 to Yuma
Two of our favorite actors, The Dark Knight Rises star Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, joined forces to bring the classic 1957 Western to life in 2007 and crafted an admirable remake that also upped the ante. Witnessing two actors in Bale and Crowe go tete-a-tete is worth the price of admission alone.

8. The Fly
David Cronenberg took 1958’s The Fly and turned it on its head. By utilizing the advanced special effects and make-up techniques of modern times, his turning Jeff Goldblum into an insect was far scarier and much more emotionally powerful than the first film.

7. Ocean’s Eleven
Steven Soderbergh did something that is almost impossible in Tinseltown. He improved on a classic. The 1960 heist film starring the Rat Pack, led by Frank Sinatra, is pure bliss. Yet, Soderbergh’s Ocean's 11, starring George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, has an even more compelling plot and its slickness sends the cool factor of the Vegas casino heist flick to a whole new level.

6. The Magnificent Seven
Akira Kurosawa set the standard for epics with his 1954 film The Seven Samurai. Transporting the action to the Old West of the United States, filmmaker John Sturges managed to capture the spirit of the Japanese classic, but also gave it new life and made it a companion classic to the original.

5. True Grit
What the Coen brothers did so right with their film -- about a young girl who hires a gunslinger to hunt down her parents’ killers -- is they went to the source material. The original film, starring John Wayne in the role that would earn him a Best Actor Oscar, played loosely with the bestselling book. Joel and Ethan Coen did fans of the book justice by bringing Charles Portis’ world to the screen as it should be seen.
Aiming Cogburn

4. The Thing
We’re talking John Carpenter’s 1982 remake of the 1951 film The Thing from Another World and not the flimsy 2011 remake of Carpenter’s The Thing. The 1982 flick starred Kurt Russell and was riddled with terror. It still shocks us with horror to this day.

3. Scarface
Two films that share DNA could actually not be more different than 1932’s Scarface and 1983’s Scarface. Where the focus on the original was gangsters, the latter film shined the spotlight on Miami, the cocaine epidemic and the influx of Cubans escaping Castro’s wrath, plus one Tony Montana, who extolled violence and trouble around every corner. Oliver Stone’s script is one of his best works, and director Brian De Palma was so stellar, he has been chasing Scarface’s success ever since.

2. The Ring
Based on the classic Ringu from Hideo Nakata, The Ring landed in English merely four years after the Japanese film that it is based upon. Naomi Watts is chilling and those who see either film can attest -- they’re both beyond solid and stellar in their ability to scare the living daylights out of audiences.
Quasi Father and Son

1. The Departed
Martin Scorsese scores again with another remake. Where his Cape Fear was stellar in its own right, his 2006 The Departed -- based on Alan Mak’s Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs -- was so incredible it had a date with destiny, winning Best Picture at the 2006 Oscars. With its powerful cast (Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson) and killer soundtrack and direction, The Departed is simply the best remake… period. Want proof, check out these The Departed quotes for a reminder of what greatness reads like!

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