Hollywood's Top Recycled Movies

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a great movie remake.
Courtesy of Warner Brothers
King Kong's special effects make it a greta movie remake.
Courtesy of Universal

Keep in mind that for every good movie remake, there are about a hundred that suck. But today is Earth Day, so in the spirit of reduce, reuse, and recycle, here are some of Hollywood’s best movie remakes in recent history.

#5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

In 1971 Gene Wilder starred in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the first movie to bring Roald Dahl’s classic story to life on the big screen. Then, in 2005, Tim Burton (Corpse Bride, The Nightmare Before Christmas) got his hands on the story of the poor little boy who finds the golden ticket and gets a glimpse of the magical world of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. This time around Johnny Depp starred as the creepy chocolatier, while Freddie Highmore played Charlie, and new special effects technology brought the factory to life, making this remake one of the year’s biggest blockbusters.

#4. The Parent Trap (1998)

Remaking a Disney classic like 1961's The Parent Trap, starring Lindsay Lohan in the place of Hayley Mills, might have seemed like a bad decision at first. Fortunately, Lindsay was actually really cute and talented back then, and totally pulled off playing red-headed twins who meet randomly for the first time at summer camp and then conspire to get their parents back together. This was the role that started Lindsay towards superstardom, and three rounds of rehab later, we'd like to remember her acting career in better times like this flick or Mean Girls, rather than during the I Know Who Killed Me era.

#3. King Kong (2005)

Like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the 2005 version of King Kong was a true summer blockbuster, and raked in over 200 million dollars at the box office after remaking the ’33 classic. Naomi Watts starred as the blonde damsel in distress, and Adrien Brody and Jack Black added some spark to supporting roles. Of course, King Kong, the enormous gorilla, stole the show, and the scene where he takes on two nasty Tyrannosaurus Rex on Skull Island will go down as one of the best action sequences of all time.

#2. The Nutty Professor (1996)

This 1996 remake of the Jerry Lewis ’63 comedy classic was the flick that really changed Eddie Murphy from stand-up comedian turned action star into one of the biggest box office draws on the planet. Not to mention the fact that it started a stream of comedies where he dressed up as about 57 different characters, including almost everyone in the Klump family, even Grandma. When it comes down to the details, the two versions aren’t super similar except for the secret potion part, but both are hilariously entertaining and definitely worth watching.

#1. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

The original Ocean’s Eleven starred legendary singer Frank Sinatra and his cooler than cool group of pals, known as the Rat Pack. Their version of the flick was low on plot, but I’m sure it was a great excuse to hang out in Vegas for a couple of months. When Ocean’s Eleven was remade in 2001, George Clooney starred as Danny Ocean, and some of his superstar friends, including Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts, came along for the ride as they planned a huge Casino heist. The new version is hip, thrilling, and really funny too, which is what re-making a great film is all about.

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