Hollywood is acknowledged as the movie capital of the world, but many cinephiles have criticized the movie-making mecca for its lack of original ideas. Not only do studios turn out endless sequels, franchise entries, and films based on popular TV series, but many American films are reboots from motion pictures that originally made their mark in another country, and often another language. (These are the best movie remakes of all time.)
To determine the best American remakes of foreign films, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of April 2023, weighting all ratings equally. Only movies with at least 5,000 user votes on IMDb were considered. Credits are from IMDb.
The 50 remakes on our list come from 16 different countries, including Scandinavian nations, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom – all of which have long, rich filmmaking traditions. Argentina, Chile, and Mexico also are represented, as is Israel.
Most of the American remakes of foreign films fall short of the original, according to critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Eight of the foreign originals, in fact, hold Rotten Tomatoes critics Freshness scores of 100% – two of them from the fabled French director Jean Renoir, “La Chienne” and “Boudu Saved From Drowning.” Only two of the American reboots achieved the same score. (These have been the most successful foreign films in America.)
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