The Recycling Name Game. Films that Share the Same Title

This fall promises to bring a decent helping of original films. While summer seems to be designated as the season of sequels and remakes, colder weather signals fresh ideas. Two films on the roster did seem familiar, but mostly due to their names. Passengers and The Edge of Seventeen are new releases slated for 2016. Though they share their names with previous films, they have nothing to do with them. Using film titles more than once is nothing new to the film industry. Let’s take a look at movies that share a title but nothing more.


Passengers (2016) The Film stars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt as two people who wake up from a cryogenic pod, prematurely. While everyone else is still aboard the ship hibernating for another 90 years, they apparently fall in love.

Passengers (2008) The Film stars Anne Hathaway in a drama that soon becomes a mystery about a group of survivors who were in the same plane crash. Hathaway plays a grief counselor who is trying to unlock the mystery of why these people keep disappearing.

Passengers (2016)

The Better Movie? The 2016 film definitely looks promising and features the two biggest stars in Hollywood right now. The 2008 film was a bit of a snoozer and the "shocking" twist would only surprise Amish teens who are on Rumspringa.

Edge of Seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen (2016)  Hailee Steinfeld stars as a teen who is going through the miserable reality of being an average adolescent. Her life becomes even more unbearable when her brother begins dating her best friend and she is left behind as a big lonely mess.

Edge of Seventeen (1998) Coming of age film about a young gay man on his last day of school in 1984. Living in middle America in the 80s makes being a gay teenager even more complicated. But he finds support in a close-knit group of friends and people who care about him.

The Better Movie? While it is unfair to say since the new film has not been released, the trailer for the 2016 release seems a bit bland. Nor does it provide any evidence that it is more than just a teenager with R-rated problems. The 1998 film is endearing, entertaining, and one of the more underrated coming of age films of the 90s.

Kicking and Screaming

Kicking and Screaming (2005) Ridiculous comedy starring Will Ferrell as a man who becomes a soccer coach for his son's team. All while pushing him to be the athlete that he never was as a child. Just like his father, played by Robert Duvall, he has high expectations but his kid is not athletic either.

Kicking and Screaming (1995) Hilarious low-key comedy about a group of friends who recently graduated college and wander around in search of their next step in life. It was Noah Baumbach’s first film and includes hysterical performances by Eric Stoltz and Chris Eigeman. And let's not forget the queen of 90s indies, Parker Posey.

The Better Movie? The 1995 Noah Baumbach film is by far the better film and is exceptional in its own right. The film carries little plot but the dialogue is highly quotable and every actor gives a memorable performance.


Crash (2004) An all-star cast which includes Sandra Bullock and Don Cheadle make up an ensemble drama that tells many interwoven stories within Los Angeles. The film mostly deals with racial tension and losing loved ones.

Crash (1996) Bizarre drama from David Cronenberg who is known for mostly bizarre films like VideoDrome and The Fly. James Spader plays a guy who discovers an underground community of people who are sexually aroused by car accidents.

Crash (2004)

The Better Movie? The 1996 Crash is definitely an acquired taste but still entertaining for those who know what to expect. The 2004 Crash is probably the better film but the fact that it won the Academy Award for Best Picture is baffling, especially against superior films like Brokeback Mountain and Capote.


Twilight (2008) That sparkly vampire movie. Bella’s the lip biting plain teenager who lives in Forks, Washington and falls in love with some dead guy who broods a lot and has a strange family, even for a vampire.

Twilight (1998) film-noir with a stellar cast including Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon and Reese Witherspoon. Witherspoon plays a teenage runaway who is captured by Newman and then later lives with Witherspoon's former movie star parents. After that, the film becomes a twisty thriller and features a rare topless scene with Reese Witherspoon.

The Better Movie? Although it is not exactly stiff competition, the 1998 film is the better of the two.

Employee of the Month

Employee of the Month (2006) A Dumb comedy with terrible acting. Jessica Simpson plays the voluptuous beauty and object of affection to Dax Shepard  and Dane Cook. The three work in a Costco-like store and hilarity ensues, or is supposed to ensue, as they try to one-up each other. It took a few years to see Dax Shepard was too good for the flick.

Employee of the Month (2004) Dark comedy with Matt Dillon having a rough day after he gets fired from his job and his girlfriend dumps him. He goes back to the bank he is fired from and plans on robbing it but there is already a robbery in progress. Unfortunately, the fellow bank robbers rope him into their scheme.

The Better Movie? Both movies can be skipped. But, if you had to pick one, you might want to go with the Matt Dillon one simply because the performances are better. Besides, who wants to see Dane Cook rambling incessantly?

Jersey Girl

Jersey Girl (2004) Writer/Director Kevin Smith tries out a PG-13 feel good movie that doesn’t live up to his foul-mouthed other films. Ben Affleck plays a man who has to raise his young daughter in New Jersey after his wife dies during childbirth. He misses his big city job and now works in construction with his dad played by the incredibly awesome George Carlin. He also falls in love with the adorable video store clerk, Liv Tyler.

Jersey Girl (1992) A typical and forgettable romantic comedy that isn’t terribly funny. Jamie Gertz stars as a woman from Jersey who moves to Manhattan and falls in love with Dylan Mcdermott.

The Better Movie? Only the jaded viewers disliked Kevin Smith’s sweet romantic comedy. It has a better story, better actors, and many more laughs than the blah 1992 film.

The Avengers

The Avengers

The Avengers (2012) Insanely popular superhero film featuring some of the biggest names in Marvel comics. Joss Whedon writes and directs this visually spectacular film that has fine performances and plenty of humor.

The Avengers (1998) Cute action  film based on the 1960s British television show of the same name. Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes play the eponymous spies who must thwart Sean Connery’s weather controlling mad scientist.

The Better Movie? Obviously, the top-notch 2012 film.