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20 Good Movies Accused Of Being Rip-Offs

07 June 2013 | Features, Film Lists | by David Zou

movie rip-offs

The exhaustion of ideas in Hollywood movies is no news nowadays. Most of the time, poor screenwriters have to re-work on an original idea again and again to finish their jobs, these people should be blamed for being lazy and less creative. However, there is an immoral act that often escapes the criticism of the public, that is “smartly borrowing” the plots and characters from little-known cultural sources and claiming it as original.

The movies we are talking about here are not homage films or official remakes, but possible rip-offs. Luckily, these great movies also have their own sparks of originality that are good enough to make them stand on their own feet.


20. Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl


The Accusation: The characters were allegedly derived from 1990 computer game The Secret of Monkey Island, although what goes around comes around: the game’s creators were themselves influenced by the Disney theme park that Pirates is officially adapted from.

The Spark Of Originality: Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow as a washed-up rock-star of a pirate, more staggering than swaggering.


19. The Hunger Games


The Accusation: The cry of a thousand bloggers earlier this year – it’s just Battle Royale! The novel’s author, Suzanne Collins, denies ever having seen or read the Japanese story about teenagers forced to fight to the death.

The Spark Of Originality: Contrary to popular opinion, Battle Royale wasn’t a reality TV show satire (the events aren’t televised)… and not even similar stories like The Running Man came up with the fiendish conceit of playing for the camera to attract life-saving sponsorship.


18. Inception


The Accusation: Several bloggers noted surprising parallels between the plot of Christopher Nolan’s movie and the Scrooge McDuck comic strip, Dream Of A Lifetime, in which a gang of criminals enter Scrooge’s dreams to discover the combination to his vault.

The Spark Of Originality: The complexity of Nolan’s rules, with its need for architects, forgers and chemists.


17. The Big Lebowski


The Accusation: Most of the Coen brothers’ films are based on something, but the postmodern jokers’ most cleverly disguised pastiche was to structure the Dude’s L.A. adventure along the lines of Raymond Chandler’s noir thriller The Big Sleep.

The Spark Of Originality: The rug – it really ties the film together.

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  • Iam_Sparticus

    Avatar = Dances With Wolves = Little Big Man
    Originality: Blue People

    • Mike White

      “Dances with Smurfs” – South Park

  • Biff Ambrosia

    The Truman Show is a ripoff of the Twilight Zone episode Special Delivery.

  • Bubbagump

    The Hunger Games sucks and the author is a liar.

    • James Tracy

      Thank you.

  • Dave

    Harlan Ellison wrote for “The Outer Limits.” C’mon guys!

  • James Tracy

    I love how the “originality” portion for the hunger games was just a vain attempt to explain how it is slightly different from battle royale/running man. That and it will never be considered a “great movie”

  • James Tracy

    And fistful is an admitted remake of yojimbo. Even leone admitted it, and was successfully sued for plagiarism! Major fail!

  • James Tracy

    And disney also had to settle outside of court for kimba. Just because there are songs doesnt mean the plot of the movie is not a ripoff moron

  • James Tracy

    Tarantino himself will admit that nearly every scene from his movies is a reference to some other movie from his days as a rental store clerk. Yeah, the movie may not be a ripoff as a whole, but each individual scene is borrowed or an all too blatant homage.

  • James Tracy

    Finally, the matrix rips off 2 different japanese animes. Google it if you don’t believe me, since the author obviously did no research

  • Mike White

    There is absolutely no truth to the Tarantino thing.

    • Red Lagoon

      No! Not at all!!! :)

  • ladyofargonne

    Shakespeare called. It’s regarding Romeo and Juliet.

  • postmike

    Inception ripped off movies not just a kids comic – World on a Wire ( the Matrix takes heavily from this too)