The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels Films

The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels

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List Criteria: Movies must be adaptations from YA books.

List of best movies based on young adult literature written by some of the best young adult writers. These films were all inspired by or adapted directly from novels written for a young adult or teenage audience. Many of these books are widely regarded as "classic children's literature" that has been popular and even assigned to students in schools for decades. Others - such as recent hit films like "The Hunger Games" and the "Harry Potter" series - are based on newer works that have become important cultural phenomena in the past few decades. Some of the most popular, beloved, and highest grossing movies of recent Hollywood filmmaking, in particular, originated in stories from young adult books.

The massive success of "The Hunger Games" - which scored one of the highest opening weekend totals in US box office history - has inspired other studios and filmmakers to look to young adult literature for ideas, and a number of other YA books are already set to be adapted in the coming years. (For example, Orson Scott Card's sci-fi thriller "Ender's Game" has long been considered for a big-budget film version.) Many of these YA books, like "Harry Potter", take place in magical and fantasy worlds, making the stories even more compelling on a big screen. A few young adult book adaptations came out to considerably less fanfare, such as the first release from the ongoing "Percy Jackson" series - "The Lightning Thief" - but these are widely seen as exceptions rather than the rule.

This list compiles the best films ever made based on books for young adults. Be sure to vote for your favorites and move them up the list, and if your favorite movie based on a book for tweens or teens has been left off, be sure to add it at the bottom of the page.


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  • 16 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 405
    - 102


    Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Gary Oldman

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  2. 2
    + 428
    - 114

    the people's #1
    Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Gary Oldman

    ;
  3. 3
    + 364
    - 104

    most listed
    Emma Watson, Robert Pattinson, Daniel Radcliffe

    ;
  4. 4
    + 411
    - 132


    Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore

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  5. 5
    + 270
    - 115

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Liam Neeson, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy

    ;
  6. 6
    + 235
    - 54


    Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, John Cleese

    ;
  7. 7
    + 226
    - 59


    Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Helena Bonham Carter

    ;
  8. 8
    + 233
    - 63


    Emma Watson, Robert Pattinson, Daniel Radcliffe

    ;
  9. 9
    + 223
    - 124

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan

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  10. 10
    + 226
    - 59


    Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Helena Bonham Carter

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  11. 11
    + 226
    - 47


    Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Julianne Hough

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  12. 12
    + 217
    - 86


    Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd

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  13. 13
    + 183
    - 111


    Zooey Deschanel, Josh Hutchersonm, AnnaSophia Robb

    ;
  14. 14
    + 172
    - 111


    Jude Law, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee

    ;
  15. 15
    + 185
    - 98


    Kirsten Dunst, Robin Williams, Patricia Clarkson

    ;
  16. 16
    + 163
    - 95


    Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Elsa Lanchester

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  17. 17
    + 152
    - 91


    Robin Williams, Pierce Brosnan, Sally Field

    ;
  18. 18
    + 155
    - 100


    Gerald McRaney, Limahl, Moses Gunn

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  19. 19
    + 119
    - 96

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kirsten Dunst, Christian Bale, Claire Danes

    ;
  20. 20
    + 145
    - 118

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Meryl Streep, Jim Carrey, Jude Law

    ;
  21. 21
    + 137
    - 77


    Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane

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  22. 22
    + 148
    - 35

    ranked low on reranks & added by WillowHalverson
    Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson

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  23. 23
    + 111
    - 49


    Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter

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  24. 24
    + 130
    - 85


    Teri Hatcher, Dakota Fanning, Ian McShane

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  25. 25
    + 91
    - 37


    Jason Isaacs, Saffron Burrows, Rachel Hurd-Wood

    ;
  26. 26
    + 116
    - 40

    added by courtneythevamps
    Kaya Scodelario, Dylan O'Brien, Patricia Clarkson

    ;
  27. 27
    + 121
    - 80


    Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Keith Richards

    ;
  28. 28
    + 114
    - 54


    Maureen O'Hara, John Mills, Hayley Mills

    ;
  29. 29
    + 135
    - 46

    ranked low on reranks & added by whitetigerfan
    Kate Winslet, Shailene Woodley, Ashley Judd

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  30. 30
    + 78
    - 41

    added by ElizabethR.Hill
    Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Heike Makatsch

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  31. 31
    + 102
    - 57


    Debbie Reynolds, Danny Bonaduce, Henry Gibson

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  32. 32
    + 77
    - 35


    Emma Thompson, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth

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  33. 33
    + 92
    - 88

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Nick Nolte, Seth Rogen, Mary-Louise Parker

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  34. 34
    + 107
    - 72


    Akihiro Miwa, Akio Ōtsuka, Takuya Kimura

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  35. 35
    + 137
    - 116


    Uma Thurman, Pierce Brosnan, Rosario Dawson

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  36. 36
    + 86
    - 61


    Miley Cyrus, Ewan McGregor, Marion Cotillard

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  37. 37
    + 86
    - 35

    ranked low on reranks & added by courtneythevamps
    Chloë Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Stacy Keach

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  38. 38
    + 87
    - 71


    Camilla Belle, Liam Cunningham, Vincent Schiavelli

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  39. 39
    + 108
    - 97


    Nicole Kidman, Eva Green, Ian McKellen

    ;
  40. 40
    + 57
    - 76

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kirk Douglas, Peter Lorre, Paul Lukas

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  41. 41
    + 75
    - 58


    Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Emily Watson

    ;
  42. 42
    + 87
    - 59


    Dean Stockwell, Margaret O'Brien, Herbert Marshall

    ;
  43. 43
    + 84
    - 71


    Blake Lively, America Ferrera, Nancy Travis

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  44. 44
    + 94
    - 58

    added by WillowHalverson
    Shailene Woodley, Willem Dafoe, Laura Dern

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  45. 45
    + 73
    - 48


    Kim Richards, Kyle Richards, Ray Milland

    ;
  46. 46
    + 69
    - 59


    Chuck Connors, Fess Parker, Dorothy McGuire

    ;
  47. 47
    + 47
    - 10

    added by jsnungaray
    Russell Brand, Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig

    ;
  48. 48
    + 48
    - 10

    added by punksnotdead
    Russell Brand, Steve Carell, Julie Andrews

    ;
  49. 49
    + 73
    - 61


    Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, AnnaSophia Robb

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  50. 50
    + 61
    - 68


    Mirai Shida, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Kirin Kiki

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101 +

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