When America gets its hands on a notable, acclaimed, or even obscure foreign film for an English-language, celebrity-filled remake, it’s usually not so good. It’s part of why initial reports of the upcoming Parasite HBO series, from both original director Bong Joon Ho and very American director Adam McKay, had me in a state of agitation. Excellent films are excellent films, no matter what language, no matter what country of origin. In fact, these differences in language, in origin, in cultures explored are part and parcel of what make our contemporary filmscape so satisfying. It’s downright delightful to find the universal themes explored in such specifically told stories — why does America feel the need to Westernize and sanitize them?
Okay. Enough of my pretentious high-horse rant. Because sometimes you learn that the Parasite HBO series will come from Bong’s original ideas. Sometimes you learn that one of the literal best American films of all time is a remake. Sometimes… America does a good job. In honor of Hollywood’s brightest exceptions — and in honor of Downhill, an Americanization of Force Majeure in theaters now (our review here) — here are 10 of the best American remakes of foreign films.