Original: King Kong (1933)
Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Jack Black, Andy Serkis, Jamie Bell, Thomas Kretschmann, Colin Hanks, Evan Parke, Kyle Chandler, John Sumner

If there’s any kind of cinema that’s worthy of remakes, it’s the monster movies of old, like Godzilla (which, sorry to remind everyone, was horribly updated in 1998) and King Kong. In 1976, the giant ape flick was given a fresh look, to decent but much-room-for-improvement effect. Which left the material just waiting for its proper handling.

Enter Peter Jackson, the CGI wizard behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Utilizing motion-capture technology and chameleon-like actor Andy Serkis’ inspired acclimation to it, Jackson conceived a massive King Kong that makes up for some questionable casting choices (Adrien Brody and Jack Black don’t exactly mesmerize in their respective roles) and a meandering first hour with several thrilling action sequences and an empathetic, tragic portrayal of the misunderstood beast, Kong.