- A Fistful of Dollars - (based on Kurosawa’s Yojimbo from 1961) – Leone’s classic is head and shoulders above the original. It is actually the one Kurosawa film I do not like.
- Last of the Mohicans (1936, 1992) – Michael Mann at his best against a film made during the beginning of cinema. Not much of a matchup. Mann’s Heat would probably be #1 if I had any way to see L.A. Takedown.
- Lord of the Flies (1963, 1990)
- Dawn of the Dead (1978, 2004)
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1974, 2003)
Very Honorable Mentions
- King Kong (1933, 2005) – There’s a lot of nostalgia out there for the original, but not for me. I’ll take convincing visual effects and good action over that any day of the week. Peter Jackson really pushes the boundaries in terms of CG characters… giving Kong a personality and feelings that endears him to the audience.
- Ocean’s Eleven (1960, 2001) – the original is fun, but nowhere near as fun as the remake.
- Mr. & Mrs. Smith – (1941, 2005)
- Mission: Impossible (1966 TV Series, 1996)
- Assault on Precinct 13 (1976, 2005)
- Taking of Pelham 123 (1974, 2009)
- Vanilla Sky (based on Abre Los Ojos) - I know I'm pretty much alone on this one, but I just couldn't get into the original.
- Thomas Crown Affair (1999) – It’s not that I love this film, it’s that I don’t think the original is any good. That said, this is not a bad film. It’s a fun ride.
Remakes I liked, but don’t quite live up to the original
- Departed, The (based on the Japanese film Infernal Affairs) – I liked the remake, a lot, but it doesn’t hold a candle to my favorite foreign film out of Asia since Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.
- Magnificent Seven (based on Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai) – an okay western based on Kurosawa’s best film.
- Scarface (1932, 1983) - Original was a gangster movie that was more my speed.
- Ring, The (Based on the Japanese film Ringu)
- The Italian Job (1969, 2003)
- Payback (based on 1967’s Point Blank) - Love this Mel Gibson film, but the Lee Marvin version is pretty awesome.
- Heat – Original is the TV movie L.A. Takedown
- Maltese Falcon – Original is a 1931 film of the same name, directed by Roy Del Ruth
- Insomnia – Original is a 1997 Norwegian film of the same name
- The Fly – Original is a 1958 film of the same name
- 3:10 to Yuma – Original is a 1957 film of the same name
- True Lies – Original is the French film La Totale!
- Solaris – Original is the 1972 Russian film of the same name
Worst Remake Ever:
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory