Best movie remakes and where to stream them

Movie remakes are a hotly debated topic. Some people will always prefer the nostalgia of a classic film, while others enjoy the enhanced filmmaking and special effects capabilities that often come with a more modern touch. 

History has taught us that there are some classic movies that simply shouldn’t be touched, but some remakes go on to become even bigger than the original. For example, the Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon-led Ocean’s Eleven, not only usurped the 1960 original featuring the likes of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra but also sparked two sequels and an all-female spin-off.

Unsurprisingly, popular video streaming platforms are home to a range of movie remakes, which come in a wide variety of genres, including:

  • Action
  • Adventure
  • Animation
  • Comedy
  • Family
  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Science-fiction
  • Thriller

Your guide to the best movie remakes and where to stream them

Around The World in 80 Days (2004)

What is it?: Eccentric English explorer Phileas Fogg, played by Steve Coogan, enlists Chinese artist Passepartout, played by Jackie Chan, as he sets out to traverse the world in just 80 days. The pair encounter a series of 19th Century dignitaries along the way. 

  • Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
  • Original version: 1956
  • Where to stream: Disney+ ($6.99/mo.)
  • Similar movies: Shanghai Noon and The Spy Next Door

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

What is it?: A young boy from a working-class family finds a golden ticket in a chocolate bar, which earns him and his Grandpa Charlie a tour of the world’s greatest factory. Tim Burton puts his unique touch on Roald Dahl’s classic novel, which is aided by Johnny Depp’s portrayal of eccentric chocolate maker Willy Wonka.

  • Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family
  • Original version: 1991
  • Where to stream: Netflix ($8.99/mo.)
  • Similar movies: Alice In Wonderland and Corpse Bride

Evil Dead (2013)

What is it?: Five friends make the fatal mistake of visiting a cabin in the woods, where they discover a Book of the Dead that summons up dormant demons. The remake markets itself as “the most terrifying film you will ever experience.” The original was followed by a sequel, Evil Dead II.

  • Genre: Horror
  • Original version: 1981
  • Where to stream: Netflix ($8.99/mo.)
  • Similar movies: Cabin Fever, Cabin in The Woods and Hellraiser

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

What is it?: Remaking a classic movie like Jumanji was always going to be a tough ask. But, with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Jack Black on board, this movie just about does the original justice. The remake puts a digital twist on the original, with four teenagers getting stuck in a video game and needing to win a board game to escape. It was followed by Jumanji: The Next Level in 2019.

  • Genre: Adventure, Family
  • Original version: 1995
  • Where to stream: Netflix ($8.99/mo.)
  • Similar movies: Hook and Night At The Museum

The Karate Kid (2010)

What is it?: Jackie Chan stars as karate teacher Mr. Miyagi, who teaches the art of the martial to an American kid who has just arrived in China, played by Jaden Smith, the son of Will Smith. The movie follows the premise of the classic original, starring Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita, which spawned a series of sequels and The Next Karate Kid.

  • Genre: Adventure, Family
  • Original version: 1984
  • Where to stream: Netflix ($8.99/mo.)
  • Similar movies: Sidekicks and Wushu

King Kong (2005)

What is it?: A film producer puts together a team of explorers and moviemakers who discover the perfect set location, only to find that the picturesque island is home to a giant gorilla. Jack Black and Naomi Watts star in this remake by Peter Jackson, the director of the Lord of the Rings movies. Monster movie lovers will be pleased to know the remake has been followed by Kong: Skull Island.

  • Genre: Adventure
  • Original version: 1933
  • Where to stream: Netflix ($8.99/mo.)
  • Similar movies: Jurassic Park and Jurassic World

The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

What is it?: A Gulf War veteran who received the Medal of Honor after his team was ambushed in the desert becomes a candidate for vice-president. However, the truth soon emerges about what really happened during the engagement, and rumors begin to swirl, hinting that the soldiers had been kidnapped and brainwashed. Denzel Washington stars alongside Liev Schreiber, in a remake of the original that starred Frank Sinatra.

  • Genre: Thriller
  • Original version: 1962
  • Where to stream: Hulu ($5.99/mo.)
  • Similar movies: Conspiracy Theory and The Ides of March

Point Break (2015)

What is it?: A legendary BMX rider turned new FBI agent gets his big break when he is tasked with infiltrating a team of extreme sports athletes suspected of carrying out a string of sophisticated bank heists. The film’s plot echoes the cult classic original, in which Keanu Reeves infiltrates a band of surfers led by Patrick Swayze.

  • Genre: Action
  • Original version: 1991
  • Where to stream: Netflix ($8.99/mo.)
  • Similar movies: Den of Thieves, The Fast and the Furious and Half Past Dead

Total Recall (2012)

What is it?: A science-fiction thriller in which a factory worker goes on the run after being branded a spy then discovers he has a secret identity. Colin Farrell steps into the shoes of Arnold Schwarzenneger, who starred in the 1990 original based on Philip K Dick’s short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale.

  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Original version: 1990
  • Where to stream: Netflix ($8.99/mo.)
  • Similar movies: The Matrix, Minority Report and The Terminator

The Woman in Black (2012)

What is it?: A London lawyer grieving for his wife travels to a small town to settle the estate of a recently deceased old woman. He soon learns her home is haunted by her vengeful ghost in this creepy remake of a lesser-known film based on Susan Hill’s novel, which was also turned into a hit theatre thriller.

  • Genre: Horror
  • Original version: 1989
  • Where to stream: Amazon Prime Video ($8.99/mo.)
  • Similar movies: The Others and Sleepy Hollow

The takeaway

Movie remakes range from those that run with the original storyline and simply modernize it, such as The Karate Kid and Total Recall, to those that totally rethink the concept and come up with a new plot, like Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle and Point Break. Some remakes are better than others, but the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” often applies to many of these movies. The good news for movie streamers is that several enjoyable remakes are online, with the majority available on Netflix.

Rob Latham

Rob Latham is a writer focused on technology, music, entertainment and sports. He is particularly passionate about the role that technology plays in improving peoples’ lives and helping businesses to work more effectively. He’s written marketing content for global B2B technology brands and start-ups, founded his own music blog and is a regular contributor to soccer publications. His professional background is in content marketing, public relations and journalism, and he has a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism.