From Disney retellings to live-action cartoons, reboots have practically taken over Hollywood in recent years. Some are continuations of movies past while others are reimaginings with the same plot and characters but a brand new cast. Whatever your cup of tea is, there are plenty of reboots in Hollywood to sink your teeth into right now, and with more undoubtedly on the way, it’s a good time to catch up on the ones already released. Here’s a look at the top ten reboots released in recent years.
10. Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017)
It was a risky move when Hollywood announced a Jumanji reboot, especially in the wake of Robin Williams’ untimely passing. However, the reboot did much better than most people thought it would. With Dwayne Johnson leading the ensemble cast, the group had great comedic timing and a natural rapport with each other. The new film also offered a fresh take on the original, with the players going into the game as opposed to the game coming to life around them.
Using the video game structure instead of a board game to entrap the new players was an interesting concept, and having the teenagers turn into characters different from their high school stereotypes set the movie up to be funny from the get-go. It also delivered surprisingly touching themes about making every day an adventure and being true to oneself that made it stand out from the original. The new Jumanji did a lot of things right, which is why it’s a reboot worth watching.
9. A Star Is Born (2018)
A Star is Born is one of the more successful films on the list, much like its predecessors from 1976 and 1954. This was the third iteration of the movie, and it was also Bradley Cooper’s passion project that he specifically wanted Lady Gaga to participate in. Many went and saw the movie for Gaga, but there were also fans of the previous versions who were curious to see what the fresh spin on the story would entail. The new A Star is Born not only brought attention to the rarely-discussed mental health of celebrities, but also showed what it takes to succeed in the music industry. The movie won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Shallow,” which Gaga wrote and performed in the film. It remains low on the list simply because most people weren’t even aware that it was a reboot.
8. The Great Gatsby (2013)
Countless students were required to read The Great Gatsby in high school and some were even tasked with watching the 1974 version after finishing the book. In 2013, a new version of the film was released starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire as Gatsby and Nick, respectively. The book is a commentary on America in the twenties and it still holds up today, so having a more recent and relevant version of the story is important.
The cast did a great job of bringing their characters to life, and with big names and direction by the incomparable Baz Luhrmann, it was no surprise that the film was a hit. The party scenes made the audience feel like they were fully immersed in Gatsby’s lifestyle and the heartbreaking performative innocence of Daisy was something everyone could feel. Luhrmann’s dazzling film brought the book to life in an entertaining and intriguing way, making it a visual step up from the 1974 original.
7. Ocean’s Eight (2018)
Ocean’s Eight is a movie that could be argued as another sequel to the 2001 movie Ocean’s Eleven; however, despite the similar plot, the film had different characters and a refreshing female-driven angle, so it’s definitely more of a reboot. Getting to see a group of badass women infiltrate the Met Gala was a sight to behold, and with an incredible cast featuring Sandra Bullock, Rihanna, Awkwafina, and Mindy Kaling, it was also a film that celebrated diversity in a way that many other films are still trying to master⏤and that’s not even half of the cast! The performances in the film are gold and the plot twist at the end was something that made audiences not only gasp, but wish for a sequel. Seriously, who says the men get to have all the fun?
6. Scooby-Doo (2002)
Fans of the Scooby-Doo cartoons were thrilled when the live-action movie was released in 2002. Audiences enjoyed the first one so much that it even got a sequel. Even if Scooby-Doo isn’t the first movie you’d think of when contemplating quality reboots, Warner Bros. put together a killer cast and an airtight plot that brought one of the most beloved cartoons of all time to enjoyable life.
Taking a children’s show and translating it into a live-action spectacle for audiences is hard work. In order for the target audience to go and see it, adults also have to be somewhat interested as well. Much like Shrek, there were lots of hidden jokes in Scooby-Doo for the adults in the audience that flew right over the heads of their children. Then again, some of the jokes meant for kids were enough to entertain adults, which just proves that Scooby-Doo is one of those franchises that’s perfect for both kids and kids at heart.
5. Spider-Man: Homecoming & Far From Home (2017 & 2019)
There have been two major Spider-Man reboots in the past ten years. The most recent is a partnership between Sony and Disney and it’s easily the best one yet. Instead of retelling the same old story of Peter Parker’s origins and having audiences once again grieve the loss of Uncle Ben, Sony and Marvel decided that fans were ready to move on. Despite their boldness in traversing fresh storylines and exploring new takes on familiar characters, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man movies have been met with some criticism.
Because of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s previous performances, Holland had a lot to live up to, but many fans agree that he has. He’s equally convincing as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man, which is why he’s become a fan-favorite within the MCU. If you’ve seen any of the previous Spider-Man movies but not the newer ones, take a chance on Homecoming and Far From Home. Both are an amazing mix of comedy and action and do a great job of reexamining a character that comic fans have loved for generations.
4. Little Women (2019)
A more classic example of a great reboot is Greta Gerwig’s Little Women. Starring Emma Watson, Saiorse Ronan, and Florence Pugh, it received rave reviews and six Oscar nominations, winning best costume design in 2020. Little Women is based on the autobiographical book by Louisa May Alcott, the real life Jo March. The most recognizable Little Women film before the 2019 version is the one from 1994 starring Winona Rider, Claire Danes, and Christian Bale.
There’s really no question about which film is better. If you look at reviews, the 2019 version received a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, while the 1994 one only received a 92%. While not a large difference, the amount of people who voted (400+ vs. 39) definitely demonstrates which film was more favorable. Either way, the performances, costumes, and phenomenal casting in the 2019 version of Little Women were superb in their own way. Like all reboots, the film received some criticism, mainly about Pugh playing the younger version of Amy March as well as her grown-up version, but the movie was still incredible and even made the American Film Institute’s Top Ten Movies of the Year.
3. Maleficent (2014)
The only Disney reboot to make it on the list is Maleficent. Cinderella came close, but because of the changes to Maleficent and Sleeping Beauty’s stories, it was an obvious choice for a notable reboot. Not only was Angelina Jolie perfectly cast, but her chemistry with Elle Fanning (Aurora) was so stunningly raw that you couldn’t help but feel for both characters.
Even though the movie shows a very different plot than the original Sleeping Beauty (1959), it still counts as a reboot because the characters and main plot remain intact. Maleficent isn’t the evil being everyone believes her to be and in reality was wronged and robbed of her innocence by Aurora’s father. It’s a beautiful retelling of a Disney classic and an almost perfect example of what a reboot should be.
2. It (2017)
The only horror movie on the list is Stephen King’s 2017 reboot of It. A limited series version was made in the ’90s, but something about this cast and their chemistry outshone the older version. One thing that stood out was the casting of Pennywise. Bill Skarsgard played the killer clown in 2017 while the 1990 clown was embodied by film legend Tim Curry. It takes a lot to compete with Curry, but Skarsgard did a killer job at making the character his own.
The truly phenomenal part of this reboot was the casting of the Losers Club. Each kid was close in age to the character he or she played, which made the movie even scarier considering that all of the horrible events were happening to actual children. The acting done by these child stars was also beyond their years. The horror from Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie) when he breaks his arm is so alarming that you feel his pain along with him and deeply sympathize. The kids in the ’90s version were talented as well, but there was something refreshingly terrifying about the new cast that made It: Chapter One resonate on a deeper level.
1. Hairspray (2007)
The #1 spot on this list goes to the movie musical Hairspray, which was released in 2007. Based on John Waters’ 1988 movie of the same name, it pulls songs from the Broadway version and pieces from the original film to create an amazing reboot of both at once. Nikki Blonsky, in her breakout role as Tracy Turnblad, is fighting to be a dancer on The Corny Collins Show even though she’s a plus-size teen, which is a big no-no in the ’60s. She also becomes friends with Seaweed, a black dancer on the show whose mother, Motormouth Maybelle, wants to put an end to segregation and integrate television once and for all.
Starring Zac Efron, James Marsden, and Queen Latifah, Hairspray has become a cult classic. Not only is the movie and its music utterly fantastic, but the message the film delivers is exceedingly relevant today, more than ten years after its release. It’s the perfect example of a revamped reboot considering the original movie wasn’t a musical. It’s one thing when a reboot is able to match the quality of its original and another thing entirely when it outshines its source material. Hairspray succeeds at the latter, making it one of the best movie musicals of all time and a reboot we’ll never stop loving.