Top 10 Movies Made Better with an Extended Cut

June 7, 2020

Alternate cuts that made the movie better.

While most movies that you see in the cinemas are usually the final cuts, there are times when a director’s cut/extended cut/unrated cut will accompany the home video release. These alternate cuts are the main selling point in most cases, which lets you see alternate or additional footage assembled after the movie was shown.

It’s become so common nowadays to see different versions of a movie, but here we list down our favorite movies that we think became better with additional/recut footage.

Blade Runner – While the original sci-fi epic released in 1987 wasn’t exactly well-received, this Final Cut version released for the special edition Blu-ray is now regarded as the best out of the seven (!) available versions of the movie.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – The theatrical versions of The Lord of the Rings trilogy already is an example of fine epic filmmaking, but the extended cuts that were released on DVD and Blu-ray expand the story to more incredible detail. With each the first two movies extending its runtime to more than three hours and the last movie to more than four hours, you will be treated to more stories inside Middle Earth that you haven’t seen before.

Doctor Sleep – Already regarded as one of the best modern horror movies, the theatrical cut of this sequel to The Shining actually had to cut out some scenes when it was released in cinemas. The director’s cut adds more background to each character, which gave the finale more depth.

Kingdom of Heaven – Ridley Scott’s epic story added more than 45 minutes of footage on the movie’s original two and a half hour running time. This addition added more background story along with characters that were originally cut from the theatrical release and overall made the film a cult classic.

Superman II – The behind the scenes drama while shooting the first two Superman movie starring Christopher Reeve resulted in original director Richard Donner being replaced by Richard Lester. While the theatrical version of Superman II was met with commercial and critical success, Warner Bros. reached out to Richard Donner to help him finish his original cut, now famously known as Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut.

Aliens – James Cameron offered an action-packed take on the original Alien when he made this sequel. The special edition adds more detail into Ripley’s life, including a scene where she had a daughter that could explain the maternal instincts she had while protecting Newt.

Watchmen – Zack Snyder’s take on the famed graphic novel was praised for its near-perfect adaptation to the comic just like his previous effort, 300. While a director’s cut of the movie already exists, Snyder went back and incorporated Tales of the Black Freighter (originally released as a standalone animated spinoff) into the movie, resulting in a new three hour and thirty-five-minute cut that is considered the best version by fans.

Troy – The movie already gave us exhilarating battle scenes and a different side of Bred Pitt we haven’t seen before, but the director’s cut offers more insight into the famous story and yes, more action scenes.

Waterworld – Once called the most expensive film ever made, this futuristic epic starring Kevin Costner was originally considered a flop but is now regarded as a cult classic. The ‘Ulysses Cut’ adds more than 40 minutes of new material gives us more insight into each of the film’s characters.

The Exorcist – This 1978 horror classic was remastered in 2000 that included the subtext ‘The Version You’ve Never Seen’. Aside from digitally restoring the video and enhancing the audio, this cut included a new ‘spider-walk’ scene that kept us up for days.

Any other movies that you think should be on that list? Give it a shoutout in the comments below!

by Victor
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff.