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Remakes With a Higher Rotten Tomatoes Score Than the Original

Remakes With a Higher Rotten Tomatoes Score Than the Original

Movie remakes are often maligned as sinful decisions by big studios looking to make cash. We won’t exactly deny there’s a bit of truth in this, but unfortunately, this tends to put all remakes in the same bag and it’s very unfair, to say the least. There are better remakes than you’ll give yourself the chance to believe.

However, they’re not “supposed” to surpass the original films that inspired or preceded them. That is a rule; more often than not, filmmakers are simply trying to pay tribute to their predecessors. However, in the case of the following movies, this rule was severely broken, and the proof is in the ratings by critics. These are the remakes with a higher Rotten Tomatoes score than the original.

10 It (2017)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%


It (2017)

Release Date
September 6, 2017

Andres Muschietti

Andy Muschietti’s It follows a group of children in the summer of 1989 in the small town of Derry. They bond over the usual teenage issues, but they also share something else. The Losers Club, as they call themselves, are the victims of an evil entity that manifests in the form of their biggest fears.

Mostly, It takes the shape of Pennywise the Dancing Clown, a ghoulish clown that has already taken the life of Georgie, Bill’s little brother. The group decides to face the terror that comes out every 27 years to feed itself.

Remake of It (1990) – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%

2017’s It was a modern adaptation of Stephen King’s book of the same name. It had been previously adapted into a TV miniseries by Tommy Lee Wallace, which could be responsible for a worldwide feeling of coulrophobia.

The 1990 version was obviously designed for a different format, and the production values aren’t comparable at all, but it’s strangely more faithful to King’s book, albeit not completely faithful. The 2017 film is the first chapter of two, with a 2019 continuation whose Rotten Tomatoes score is significantly lower (62%).

9 Freaky Friday (2003)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday tells the story of Tess and Anna Coleman, a mother and daughter estranged by grief. Anna hasn’t accepted her father’s death, and Tess has decided to start dating. However, in an episode that proves their lack of empathy, a fortune cookie causes their bodies to swap souls. Until they find a way to reverse the situation, they will have to live in each other’s bodies without drawing too much attention. The film was a box office hit that made more than $160 million.

Remake of Freaky Friday (1976) – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

The film is based on the 1976 version of the book of the same name by Mary Rodgers. However, after the first entry, three adaptations were made until Disney took over and made the live-action 2003 film starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan.

The 1976 version starred Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster as Ellen and Annabel, and it was pretty successful as well, with Harris and Foster being nominated at the Golden Globes for their respective performances. Times were different, so the 1976 version is a toned-down version of the same body-swapping stories that have now been told countless times.


9 ’80s Remakes That Failed to Live Up to the Original

The ’80s had dozens of critically acclaimed movies, and attempts to remake some of them didn’t go so well.

8 Dune (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%



Release Date
October 22, 2021

Main Genre

Denis Villeneuve’s high-concept science fiction film, Dune, tells the story of future civilizations in intergalactic war. It follows Paul Atreides, son of Leto and Lady Jessica, as he tries to make some sense of what he’s been told by his mother: He’s a “special” boy. As House Atreides gets assigned to care for planet Arrakis, a war ensues, and Paul is forced to run away and kindle with the Fremen tribe, the defenders of Arrakis, where the most valuable substance in the universe can be found.

Remake of Dune (1984) – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%

Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel was adapted in 1984 by David Lynch. It was famously a box office flop that suffered so many cuts and changes that the surrealism genius disowned it at some point.

Executive producer Dino De Laurentiis had an original plan to make a whole franchise, but after the film massively failed, all plans were canceled. Paramount Pictures participated in a new version but dropped the plans in the late 2010s until Warner Bros. decided it was time to readapt Herbert’s complicated world.

7 The Jungle Book (2016)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

The Jungle Book 2016 poster

Jon Favreau’s modern reimagining of Rudyard Kipling’s work tells the story of Mowgli, a young orphaned boy who gets raised by wild animals in the late 1800s in a remote area of India. As Mowgli gets threatened by a violent Bengal tiger, he will have to find a way to head to civilization and save himself with the help of his animal guardians.

The Jungle Book is a live-action animated remake of Disney’s wonderful musical from 1967 of the same name. However, the tone is very different from the original family-friendly film.

Remake of The Jungle Book (1967) – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Whereas the original ups its fantasy element (the animals can talk in all versions of The Jungle Book), Favreau’s version is a more sober story that blends well with state-of-the-art motion capture effects and a very good soundtrack. Curiously, it was the first in a series of live-action reimaginings by Disney, of which none have worked as well as The Jungle Book.

6 Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

ocean's eleven

In Ocean’s Eleven, Danny Ocean and Rusty Ryan are the leaders of a gang of thieves. Their target? A safe that holds the gains of three massive casinos in Las Vegas. The casino owner happens to be the new lover of Danny’s ex-wife, Tess, but this seems to be a mere coincidence for the clever plan devised by the criminals to use as little violence as possible. Can Ocean’s Eleven be called the best heist film ever made?

Remake of Ocean’s 11 (1960) – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 45%

Steven Soderbergh’s 2001 film was a huge box office hit that barely resembled the 1960 film whose most significant asset was its cast: the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop) as well as an ensemble cast consisting of Buddy Lester, Angie Dickinson, and Henry Silva, among others.

However, Soderbergh’s film didn’t spare any expense on its cast either: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Andy García, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, and Casey Affleck all star, among others. The 2001 remake was so successful and critically acclaimed that it turned into a whole franchise that capitalized on the same premise, as absurd as that may sound.

5 We Are What We Are (2013)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

We Are What We Are

We Are What We Are follows the Parker family as they prepare for a religious ritual. Unfortunately, the mother accidentally dies, and the father, Frank, does not engage with the authorities to identify the body. Instead, he sends Rose and Iris, his two daughters, who have been raised in absolute seclusion.

When the girls (who are entering puberty) get a sense of the outside world, and see how this differs from her father’s teachings, they will have to make a choice: Follow Frank’s murderous but life-depending lifestyle, or reveal a monster has raised them.

Remake of Somos Lo Que Hay (2010) – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

A remake of Jorge Michel Grau’s fascinating cannibalism film, the indie horror feature We Are What We Are gets rid of the social commentary of the original movie and instead goes for a story about extremism, family values, and maturity in the midst of chaos.

It’s not your average jumpy horror film, but its scares come from its bleak display of dynamics between Frank and the rest of the world and how this affects his daughters for life. Bill Sage’s performance is reason enough to watch the film as it may be one of the best in modern horror.

4 Coda (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

CODA movie poster


Release Date
August 13, 2021

Sian Heder

Sian Heder’s coming-of-age drama Coda tells the story of teenager Ruby Rossi as she tries to emancipate from her family’s condition. She’s the child of deaf adults, and their dependence on her has always stopped her from trying to follow her own dreams of becoming a singer. Now, as she finds an opportunity to become a trained singer, Ruby faces a crossroads in following her aspirations, or joining her father in the fishing industry.

Remake of La Famille Bélier (2014) – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

The American version of the French-Belgian film La Famille Bélier is a funny and uplifting film that grabbed the world by surprise when it won the three Academy Awards for which it was nominated. This included the Best Picture category, and while it was a kind of controversial win, it wasn’t the only controversy.

Deaf viewers weren’t entirely enamored with the depiction of this condition, but then again, the original film suffered from the same backlash. Regardless, Coda is an emotional experience with enough dramatic strength to make your day.

3 Pete’s Dragon (2016)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Petes Dragon

Pete’s Dragon, by director David Lowery, is a fantasy film that tells the story of Pete Healy, a boy who gets rescued by wild animals after his parents are killed in a tragic car accident. Pete gets preyed upon by wolves at first, but he’s saved by a giant dragon with wings named Elliot. Raised by Elliot, Pete finds himself in a pickle years later when humans spot him and try to “rescue” him from the wild. When Pete refuses, it’s up to Elliot to convince the boy that it’s time to say goodbye.

Remake of Pete’s Dragon (1977) – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56%

Based on the Disney animated musical from 1977, Pete’s Dragon was a smashing hit that proved Lowery wasn’t prepared exclusively to make films for adults. It’s a heartwarming film with spectacular performances, great special effects, and a beautiful score. Critics and audiences loved it (it’s one of Lowery’s most successful films), and it’s probably because of his decision to make a live-action film without the musical element, which wouldn’t have done as well as it did back in 1977.


20 Classic Films That Have Avoided the Reboot/Remake Treatment

Not every movie needs a remake. These 20 classic films have survived Hollywood’s strive to reboot everything, but is that always a good thing?

2 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was Sony Pictures’ attempt to adapt the 2005 novel by Stieg Larsson for American audiences. In the film, journalist Mikael Blomkvist teams up with Lisbeth Salander to solve a mystery regarding a disappearance 40 years ago, when a wealthy family lost one of their members in mysterious circumstances. Eventually, the duo finds that some mysteries should remain unsolved for the sake of family secrets that were never supposed to be revealed.

Remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009) – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

The original film of the same name was made in Sweden in 2009 and was an instant hit. In fact, three films were made to complete the trilogy of the book series. For the English-language version, things were slightly different. Even though it was critically acclaimed and won an Oscar for Best Editing out of the five nominations it received, there was no direct sequel.

Instead, Sony reimagined the concept, cast an entirely different cast, and got a lukewarm box office result. Fincher’s remake is one of the best remakes and one of the most effective thrillers in recent decades.

1 Dredd (2012)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%



Release Date
September 7, 2012

Pete Travis

Karl Urban , Rachel Wood , Andile Mngadi , Porteus Xandau Steenkamp , Jason Cope , Emma Breschi

In Dredd, America is a nuclear wasteland that was once a regular country with laws and justice. Now, the remnants of society live in Mega-City One, a violent supercity with almost 800 million people. The Judges are law enforcement agents with the faculty to serve justice without any bureaucratic procedures. When war ensues in a tower block because of the existence of a new synthetic but powerful drug, the veteran Judge Dredd is summoned to restore order.

Remake of Judge Dredd (1995) – Rotten Tomatoes Score: 22%

Written by Alex Garland, Dredd is a reimagining of the comic strip created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, which was adapted into a Sylvester Stallone action film in 1995. However, that version remains an obscure action attempt that some critics called one of the worst films of 1995.

The 2012 version didn’t use the satire and occasional dark comedy of the comics and instead focused on the action, the violence, and good special effects. Regardless, the box office performance wasn’t as good as producers expected, and Dredd became a cult favorite among fans of the genre.

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