Looking for the best movies based on books? Explore our top 50 list to find your next favorite title.
Top 50 movies based on books you should read
Movie adaptations of books have given life to many stories. Many of the world’s best movies started as ideas in talented authors’ minds.
In this article, you’ll see an extensive list of movies based on books everyone should read. Then, we’ll introduce a new way to read your favorite stories.
The best movies based on books
Books are often the source material for great movies and TV shows. Pair a well-written narrative with minds like Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, or David Fincher, and you can rest assured something incredible will reach the big screen.
If you’re unsure where to start, here’s a list of the most gripping stories and their movie adaptations:
1. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
A brutal movie with a hint of dark humor.
2. It by Stephen King
A horrifying story that raised the bar for horror.
3. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Every crime drama fan should watch this cult and Academy Award-winning classic about the Italian mafia.
4. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
A gripping story that will put shivers down your spine.
5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A thrilling movie based on a highly regarded classic often read in high schools and middle schools.
6. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
An adventurous trilogy for fantasy lovers and an Academy Award winner for Best Picture.
7. The Shawshank Redemption by Stephen Kind
An exciting thriller based on the horror king’s brainchild.
8. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
A sequence of eight movies based on the legendary book series, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint.
9. The Social Network: Youth Film 2.0 by Neil Archer
One of the most critically acclaimed films on Netflix.
10. The Wizard of OZ by L. Frank Baum
An adventurous movie based on the well-known children’s novel following the life of Dorothy.
11. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
An Academy Award-winning film based on a New York Times bestselling novel.
12. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
An American Civil War tale based on a classic Pulitzer-winning novel.
13. Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
A series of adventures directed by Peter Jackson and preceding the events of “The Lord of the Rings.”
14. The Shining by Stephen King
A chill-inducing horror based on Stephen King’s first hardback best-seller.
15. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
A coming-of-age story about the lives of four young women.
16. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
A now Disney-owned fantasy love story full of adventure and humor from the novel of the same name.
17. Adventures of a Mathematician by Stanislaw Ulam
A true story about one of the world’s greatest minds.
18. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
A psychological fantasy that serves as a critique of the medical world.
19. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
A comedy-drama based on a bestselling novel, starring Anne Hathaway.
20. Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally
An intense biography you’ll think about long after seeing it.
21. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
A thrilling adventure packed with action and plot twists that had many Oscar nominations and awards.
22. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
A wonderful children’s fantasy series based on best-selling books.
23. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
A romance movie adaptation of a book that changes people’s views on social conventions.
24. Forrest Gump by Winston Groom
A touching Hollywood comedy-drama that will make you laugh and tear up.
25. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
A beautifully written and acted movie based on another Austen classic.
26. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
An exciting sci-fi adventure perfect for family movie nights.
27. The French Connection by Robin Moore
A profound documentary about New York City’s narcotics issue for which the screenwriter won an Oscar.
28. Solaris by Stanisław Lem
An impactful science fiction movie with philosophical undertones.
29. Raging Bull by Jake LaMotta
A film adaptation of a famous boxer’s memoir depicting his violent world.
30. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
An iconic film based on an international best-seller.
31. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
A satirical comedy nominated for several Golden Globe Awards.
32. The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector
A touching Brazilian drama following a woman’s pursuit of love.
33. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
A legendary thriller about a cunning man infiltrating a circle of socialites.
34. Matilda by Roald Dahl
A young girl with psychic powers is helped by her teacher to overcome the tragedies of her life.
35. Election by Tom Perrotta
A comedy romance about a high-schooler running for student body president.
36. Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace
An Academy Award-winning movie about a betrayed prince sold into slavery.
37. L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy
A complex and riveting web of plots and characters that’ll get you thinking.
38. Room by Emma Donoghue
A riveting story with a claustrophobic and haunting feel to it.
39. Wonder Boys by Michal Chabon
A comedy-drama about a writer trying to overcome his biggest block.
40. MASH by Richard Hooker
A collection of hilarious stories bound to get you on the floor laughing.
41. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
A coming-of-age drama about the struggles of an African-American woman.
42. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
An award-winning drama set in World War II.
43. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
A visually unique story of a woman living through the Iranian Revolution.
44. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
A beautiful love story you’ll shed a few tears over.
45. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
An inspiring story of women’s triumph in a man’s world.
46. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
A 1946 classic that feels modern and relevant decades later.
47. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
A thought-provoking piece about the line between good and evil.
48. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
An engaging criticism of modern-day culture.
49. Don’t Look Now by Daphne Du Maurier
A captivating horror adaptation that is faithful to the original story.
50. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
A cult horror that’s a must-watch for fans of the genre.
What is the best movie based on a book?
Many consider Schindler’s List the best due to its compelling and impactful story.
What books will become movies in 2022?
The best titles include Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie and Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith.
What book should be made into a movie which hasn’t yet?
Some may say Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon, a New York Times best-seller.
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