If you choose to do a remake of an excellent film, will changing the cast plus ramping up the violence and hysteria make it a better film? The answer is: Not really. Although three Oscar winners on board helps a bit. It is embarrassing to see a story painted in such broad strokes for an American audience.
When the Oscar-winning "El secreto de sus ojos" came out of Argentina in 2010, I was so blown away I couldn't wait to buy my own copy. I reviewed it in July, 2010. (Obviously I was prepared to dislike this remake, but at least director Billy Ray ("Captain Phillips") worked with the original screenwriter Juan Jose Campanella. That made me curious...
As with the original, the police officers are frustrated and dismayed by all the bureaucratic maneuvering. They can find the killer but can't control the bureaucrats. In this version, the bone of contention is our hero's employer, Homeland Security. His boss won't let him join the manhunt because a mosque has been bombed and he has a job to do.
I re-watched "El secreto de sus ojos" so I could give this new version a fair hearing. The remake is actually better than I expected. (I'll bet you didn't think I would admit it, did you? ...smile...) This is pretty good, but the original is spectacular.