While remakes are often frowned upon by movie fans, there’s no denying that sometimes they can turn out to be just as good as (if not better than) the original. We’ve picked our top three, which are all currently available on your Roku streaming player.
The Italian Job (2003. Dir. F. Gary Gray)
More of a ‘homage’ than a direct remake of the 1969 version, Gary Gray’s Italian Job is an action-packed heist movie which is every bit as exciting as the original. With the setting switched from Turin to Los Angeles, Mark Wahlberg replaces Michael Caine as Charlie Croker, while Ed Norton takes on the role of chief villain. Add Charlize Theron as a sassy safecracker and Donald Sutherland as a veteran mastermind, and you have a pretty clever interpretation of a cinema classic.
Available to watch on Now TV.
True Grit (2010. Dir. Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
With this brooding 2010 remake the Coen Brothers have taken an iconic American Western and repurposed it to create a classic of their own. The plot stays fairly true to the original; a tough U.S Marshal named Rooster Cogburn (played here by Jeff Bridges) is hired by 14-year-old Mattie Ross to help track down her father’s killer. While the original was very much anchored by John Wayne’s excellent performance as Cogburn (he deservedly won an Oscar for the role in 1969), the Coen version brings other characters to the fore, namely Mattie (played by Hailee Steinfeld), with powerful results.
Available to watch on SkyStore
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005. Dir. Tim Burton)
1971’s ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’ will always be the ultimate film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel, but Tim Burton’s 2005 remake comes in as a close second. Staying true to the adventures of young Charlie Bucket inside the chocolate factory of eccentric candy-maker Willy Wonka, Burton’s version is weirdly wonderful and totally surreal. Johnny Depp fits perfectly as the unconventional inventor while the visual effects inject a healthy dose of psychedelia.
Available to watch on Sainsbury’s Entertainment