10 Best Action Movie Remakes, Ranked

While new movies and original ideas are brought to fruition every year, remakes remains ever prevalent. Remakes occur for a number of reasons, whether it is to do a certain franchise justice with worthy representation, or to simply bring a more modernized take to the world.

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Some movie remakes don’t have the desired effect, but others are considerable improvements on the originals. Action movie remakes have had a mixed bag of results in recent years, but are several impressive ones that have captivated fans.

10 Peter Jackson’s King Kong Is The Best Remake Of The 1933 Original

King Kong is a giant gorilla-like monster that has become the main focus of multiple movie adaptations over the years. However, the original 1933 movie titled King Kong is still considered the best of the bunch to this day, despite limitations compared to modern day filmmaking.

Of all the remakes that have failed to leave their mark, Peter Jackson’s 2005 movie, also titled King Kong, is the best modern attempt. It’s possible that a film made in 1933 may be too old and outdated to define an entire franchise, so Jackson’s version came at the perfect time. Its CGI was groundbreaking for the franchise even if it still feels jarring with hindsight. It boasts a strong cast with Naomi Watts, Jack Black and even Andy Serkis lending his voice to the mighty Kong himself.

9 The 2004 Dawn Of The Dead Remake Is One Of The Most Memorable Zombie Movies

In 2004, Zack Snyder had his directorial debut at the helm for a remake of the 1978 horror movie Dawn Of The Dead. Both were important for the progression of zombie movies over the years, with neither standing far above the other in terms of quality.

The likes of Ving Rhames and Ty Burrell are familiar faces from the 2004 remake, both having been in plenty of hit movies and shows since. The remake pays faithful homage to its predecessor, while adding its own stamp and earning its place in zombie movie history.

8 3:10 To Yuma Is Another Strong Western

Remakes don’t always have to be a purposeful improvement on a poorly-received original. In many cases they are to bring a tried and tested story or concept to a new audience, in a more accessible modernized form. The 2007 3:10 To Yuma is exactly that. Starring Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, it is a remake of the 1957 movie of the same name, directed by Delmer Daves.

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The 2007 version was directed by James Mangold and succeeded in making a faithful but modernized remake of the original. 3:10 To Yuma is a battle of wits between a rancher and a wanted outlaw, which ultimately leads to chaos.

7 Ocean’s Eleven Is Another Star-Studded Adventure

The 2001 Ocean’s Eleven movie is fondly remembered for being a fun yet thrilling heist adventure with a stacked cast – audiences often forgot that it’s a remake. The 1960 original movie of the same name actually boasted a similarly star-studded cast for the times, with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin.

Yet today, it is George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Julia Roberts who are considered synonymous with this exciting casino heist movie.

6 Denzel Washington Makes Creasy His Own In Man On Fire

A.J. Quinnell’s novel Man On Fire was first adapted into a film in 1987, with it starring Scott Glenn, Joe Pesci, and Jonathan Pryce among others. As it wasn’t particularly well received, not much was expected when a 2004 remake was announced.

However, with Tony Scott directing, along with a cast led by Denzel Washington, it was turned into a successful remake. The location changed from Italy to Mexico but the premise stayed the same. Washington plays Creasy, a former CIA operative who seeks revenge after a girl he was hired to protect is abducted. It is a solid action movie and a huge improvement on the original.

5 The 2010 True Grit Is Considered A Successful Re-Imagination Of A Classic Western

John Wayne built a legacy from consistently starring in classic Western movies. The 1969 adaptation of True Grit was no different, as he played Rooster Cogburn. In 2010, True Grit received a remake with the Coen Brothers at the forefront and Jeff Bridges leading a stacked and talented roster.

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The main premise remains the same – a teenage girl enlisting the help of a tough U.S. Marshall to track down her father’s murderer. While the original is considered a classic Western, the 2010 remake may also be referred to as such in the future, as it succeeds in its own modern reimagination.

4 The Reboot Trilogy Restored The Planet Of The Apes Franchise

The Planet Of The Apes franchise has grown considerably since the original novel was published back in 1963. There were five movie adaptations between 1968 and 1973, which were then followed by a remake in 2001, starring Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, and Tim Roth.

However, the franchise received a reboot following the previous iteration’s poor reception. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, and War For The Planet Of The Apes all restored the franchise’s reputation following the 2001 remake. The original 1968 film is still rated the best of the bunch according to IMDb, but the reboot trilogy are still terrific modernized remakes.

3 The 1959 Ben-Hur Remains Leagues Better Than Both The 1925 & 2016 Movies

Ben-Hur has stood the test the time and is still considered to be an incredible movie today. It’s an action-adventure epic following a Jewish prince named Judah Ben-Hur on a quest for vengeance. It is full of action and plenty of betrayal, exciting enough for it to still hold up for modern-day viewing.

The 1959 film is a remake of a silent movie of a similar title, released back in 1925. Another remake of Ben-Hur was made in 2016, but after it received less-than-flattering reviews, it was claimed to have been an alternative adaptation rather than a remake. Either way, the 1959 version is by far the best Ben-Hur movie of the bunch.

2 Martin Scorsese Twisted The Concept Of Infernal Affairs & Applied It To The Departed

The Departed is one of Martin Scorsese’s best films, and deserves the high praise it receives. It has a hugely stacked roster consisting of Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg to name just a few. It focuses on the Boston Police Department tracking down an infamous Irish gang, but with the twist of both parties having an undercover informant infiltrating the other.

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It is an intense journey of violence and deceit, with its fair share of twists and turns. The film has become so popular that viewers often forget it’s a remake. A 2002 Hong Kong film named Infernal Affairs had the same concept. However, The Departed modified the storyline, making it loosely based on the real-life Boston Winter Hill Gang.

1 Al Pacino Made The 1983 Scarface Happen After Watching The Original

Scarface is well-known for being one of Al Pacino’s greatest performances as Tony Montana. Yet it is often forgotten that the 1983 version is actually a remake of a 1936 film of the same name. In fact, Al Pacino actually watched the original movie and decided he wanted to be a part of a remake. He subsequently joined forces with Martin Bregman to get it done.

It is a story of Tony’s sharp climb from nothing to becoming a maniacal drug lord. It has plenty of tension and action, as well as cementing its legacy for future films of a similar ilk. It is still quoted and referenced in television and film to this day.

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