Great Movies That Have The Same Plot

Stills from John tucker must die, Carrie, Top Gun, Finding Nemo

As the saying goes, art imitates art, and this phenomenon is especially true in cinema. Reboots and revivals have been all the rage in the last decade, but there are some movies that go way beyond that. Certain movies end up having almost an identical plotline, once the frills and secondary details melt away. These twin movies share several plot similarities but might be fundamentally very different.

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Many a time, these eerily similar movies even end up getting released around the same time, which speaks volumes about the trends prevailing in Hollywood. Mostly, they’re vastly different from each other, including genres, but upon closer look, run on the same story.



10 Friends With Benefits / No Strings Attached

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Everyone loves a rom-com with a perfect cast, and Friends With Benefits and No Strings Attached fit that category. They were also identical in their premise, which was eerie because they were even released in the same year. 2011’s most popular dating trend was having sex but also staying friends, clearly, as both these movies were about that.

Funnily enough, the endings were also identical, where romantic love won out over lust, and both the casual couples ended up falling in love. The only differences were the occupations and settings of the characters and movies, but those were small frills.

9 The Wild / Madagascar

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Split image of The WIld and Madagascar

This was an instance where DreamWorks beat Disney at their own game with Madagascar, the wildly popular animal ensemble movie. The Wild was released only a year after Madagascar, which means that both these movies were in production at the same time. In both, a motley crew of animals, including a lion and giraffe, escape the New York Zoo and actually reach the habitats where they were meant to live.

Between the two movies, Madagascar was superior and is remembered to date with its many sequels and spin-offs. The Wild did not have the comedy and heart of the former, even though both movies featured the voices of superstars like Ben Stiller and Chris Rock (Madagascar) and Kiefer Sutherland and Jim Belushi (The Wild).

8 Top Gun / Days Of Thunder

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Stills from Top gun and days of thunder

Both of these movies starred Tom Cruise, and the similarities didn’t end there. Top Gun, a movie known for more than its original soundtrack, was released in 1986 and told the story of young Maverick, a Naval Aviator who trains at the eponymous Naval Fighter Weapons School and tries to escape from the shadow of his father.

Four years later, Days Of Thunder was released with the same lead and producers, and a similar story about Cole Trickle, a rookie NASCAR driver who discovers himself, youth, friendship, life lessons, and love as he drives his car. Now, switch the car to a plane.

7 Iron Man / Doctor Strange

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>doctor strange on the left and iron man on the right

Iron Man was an MCU movie that defined the franchise, so it was no wonder that an attempt was made to replicate its magic in the same Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tony Stark and Stephen Strange were quite similar in their personalities: arrogant playboys who stumbled into their superhero boots by their own doing.

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Stark and Strange were both extremely affluent men who sustained injuries and got unwell and in their quest to look for alternate cures and surgeries, actually ended up becoming superhuman. While Doctor Strange’s powers are definitely magical and Iron Man’s strictly technological, their premises are almost identical.

6 Finding Nemo / Taken

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Stills from Finding Nemo and Taken

While these two movies might seem like polar opposites, they actually share something very important in common: characters and plot. Taken is a dark action thriller about Bryan Mills, an ex-CIA officer who sets out to retrieve his daughter Kim and her friend Amanda when they’re kidnapped by traffickers. There is nothing that Bryan stops at to get his daughter back.

Now, if this story was taken underwater with the violence toned down and the characters replaced by fish, viewers would get Finding Nemo. When Nemo is taken by the divers in the boat, Marlin, too, sets out on a journey to get his son back by any means possible. He travels through water, air, and land to see that Nemo comes back.

5 Deep Impact / Armageddon

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Stills of deep impact and armageddon

Deep Impact and Armageddon were twin movies, too, that were released one after the other and were the same. In both movies, a special team of astronauts is sent into space with the mission of destroying a fatal meteor heading toward Earth. Armageddon was an action-packed movie filled with big explosions and grandiose moments.

Deep Impact added a more human touch to a movie where the planet could potentially be destroyed for good. However, these two movies were basically the same, with even some of the visuals matching each other. They even competed at the box office.

4 Phantom Of The Paradise / The Rocky Horror Picture Show

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Stills from Rocky Horror Picture and Phantom of the Paradise

Phantom of the Paradise and The Rocky Horror Picture Show were both vibrant, sparkling movies with aesthetics that matched each other completely. In addition to the art design of these cult-favorite films, they also shared a great plot that is remembered to date.

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Both, Winslow as Phantom of the Paradise and Frank N Furter were murderous characters who would stop at nothing, yet they held a strange and tender love in their hearts for the Phoenixes, Brads, and Janets in their lives. In the end, both these characters are killed off in their respective movies.

3 Dances With Wolves / Avatar

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>A Classic Movie Did Avatar Two Decades Before James Cameron

James Cameron has cited Dances With Wolves as a big inspiration for him when he was making Avatar, saying “There was some beautiful stuff in that film. I just gathered all this stuff in and then you look at it through the lens of science fiction and it comes out looking very different but is still recognizable in a universal story way.”

In both movies, the protagonists are military men, who, exhausted and beaten down, leave their familiar settings and head into new worlds. Jake Sully of Avatar heads to the fantasy world of Pandora, while John J. Dunbar of Dances With Wolves discovers the tribal beauties and joys of the Lakota. Both have leg injuries, and both find solace in the new worlds that they settle into.

2 John Tucker Must Die / The Other Woman

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These two movies were released almost a decade apart, but they were scarily similar in many ways. The most important similarity was the plot, where the offending male, aka John Tucker/ Mark King, has three relationships at the same time, thus cheating on all three women. When the women find out, they decide to take revenge on him while acting like everything is all right.

If the broad story wasn’t enough, even their pranks on their boyfriend are pretty much the same in both movies: slipping hormone injections or estrogen powder instead of protein powder. The characterization is also pretty identical. The Other Woman could be a remake.

1 Matilda / Carrie

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Split image of Carrie and Matilda

At first glance, there is nothing in common between Matilda and Carrie. After all, one is a fantasy comedy film, while the other is a supernatural horror movie. However, the main thread running through these two unlikely movies is the same.

Both Matilda and Carrie are young girls who aren’t treated very well by their families. They both also start developing psychokinetic powers that nobody really understands. While Carrie takes a gory turn, Matilda veers more into the feel-good territory (and her parents actually feel sorry for their behavior). Even the titles of the movies, named after their female protagonists, hint at the similarities.

NEXT: 10 ’90s Cult Classics That Are Ready For A Remake


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