Special Report

17 Movie Remakes to Stream That Are Better Than the Original

Source: Courtesy of Overture Films

12. The Crazies (2010)
> IMDb user rating: 6.5/10 (115,607 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 56% (199,247 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 70% (155 reviews)
> Directed by: Breck Eisner
> Original movie: The Crazies (1973)
> Streaming on: Plex

The original 1973 “The Crazies,” written and directed by B-movie horror legend George A. Romero, is about a small town whose residents either die or become homicidal maniacs after accidentally being exposed to a biological weapon. It bombed but has since become a cult favorite. The 2010 remake of the same name has the same plot and stars Timothy Olyphant, and even though it wasn’t a huge hit, it was praised for being cleverer, tenser, and more action-filled than the original.

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

11. Freaky Friday (2003)
> IMDb user rating: 6.2/10 (131,073 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 57% (932,448 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 88% (155 reviews)
> Directed by: Mark Waters
> Original movie: Freaky Friday (1976)
> Streaming on: Disney+

The basic plot of “Freaky Friday” is one of the simplest and most iconic in film history: a mother and her daughter somehow switch bodies, and gain a new understanding of each other’s lives. The 1976 original, a classic in its own right, stars Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster as the mother-daughter duo, and the 2003 remake starred Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan. Lohan’s and Curtis’ performances were especially well-reviewed, especially that of Curtis, who gives a comedic tour de force playing a teenager.

Source: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

10. Man on Fire (2004)
> IMDb user rating: 7.7/10 (342,234 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (423,695 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 38% (169 reviews)
> Directed by: Tony Scott
> Original movie: Man on Fire (1987)
> Streaming on: Tubi

2004’s Denzel Washington-starring “Man on Fire” is a remake of the 1987 film of the same name starring Scott Glenn, which in turn was based on the 1980 A.J. Quinnell novel of the same name. The original film takes place in Italy, but the remake moves the action to Mexico City, where a former CIA agent-turned-bodyguard played by Washington attempts to track down the kidnapped daughter of a wealthy businessman. It performed well at the box office and was Quinnell’s preferred adaptation.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

9. The Kindergarten Teacher (2018)
> IMDb user rating: 6.7/10 (14,288 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 68% (392 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90% (103 reviews)
> Directed by: Sara Colangelo
> Original movie: The Kindergarten Teacher (2014)
> Streaming on: Netflix

The original “The Kindergarten Teacher” was released in Israel in 2004, and was well-reviewed enough that it was remade four years later in the U.S. with star Maggie Gyllenhaal. Both films are about a disaffected kindergarten teacher who goes to great lengths to protect the talents of an especially gifted student. The film, and Gyllenhaal’s performance specifically, received high praise.

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

8. Pete’s Dragon (2016)
> IMDb user rating: 6.7/10 (56,297 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 72% (37,214 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 88% (245 reviews)
> Directed by: David Lowery
> Original movie: Pete’s Dragon (1977)
> Streaming on: Disney+

1977’s “Pete’s Dragon” is a Disney live action/animation hybrid musical fantasy in which a lighthouse keeper’s daughter befriends a runaway orphan and his pet dragon. While critics appreciated its premise, it has largely been relegated to the Disney dustbin due to its excessive length, sluggish pacing, and tired formula. The 2016 remake did away with the music and turned it into a drama about the boy’s discovery of the dragon and its repercussions, and was praised as one of the year’s best, most soulful movies.

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