Entertainment

The Best Movies Based On Books

List Rules
Only movies that were adapted from novels or short stories—no comic books.

Here is a list of the best movies based off books, voted on by cine-bibliophiles everywhere. Many movies are based off of books but whenever a new movie based on a book comes out there is an endless amount of whining about how Hollywood isn't original and why can't they write their own stories? That's simple, it's because these amazing stories are already written and Hollywood has the means to bring them to life, and sometimes they do it better than even your imagination thought possible  (then again, sometimes they simply can't do the original book justice or were later also adapted into TV shows to continue the story or do it better). It's no surprise that popular movies are often inspired by classic literatures and works of art, but which one is the best?

This list looks at the films based on the books - novels, literature, or nonfiction - that made you want to reread the book, started endless "which was better the movie or the book" debates, made you squeal with delight that you pictured it that way in your head, and just blew your frickin' mind.

What are the best movies based on books? Vote on the top movies based on books and share this with your friends to get their opinions, too!

Want to vote on more lists about book adaptations? Check out this list of film franchises based on books, and our roundup of movie adaptations that the book authors loved.

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list ordered by
  • The Godfather (1969) by Mario Puzo
    Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, this mob drama, based on Mario Puzo's novel of the same name, focuses on the powerful Italian-American crime family of Don Vito Corleone ...more
  • The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien
    The Lord of the Rings is a film series consisting of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson. They are based on the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. The films are ...more
  • Schindler's Ark (1982) by Thomas Keneally
    Businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) arrives in Krakow in 1939, ready to make his fortune from World War II, which has just started. After joining the Nazi party primarily for political ...more
  • Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (1982) by Stephen King
    Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and her lover and is sentenced to a tough prison. However, only Andy knows he didn't ...more
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee
    To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote was based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee. It ...more
  • Jurassic Park (1990) by Michael Crichton

    In Steven Spielberg's massive blockbuster, paleontologists Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) are among a select group chosen to tour ...more
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) by L. Frank Baum
    The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the most well-known and commercially successful adaptation based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard ...more
  • The Princess Bride (1973) by William Goldman
    The Princess Bride is a 1987 American romantic comedy fantasy adventure film directed and co-produced by Rob Reiner. It was adapted by William Goldman from his 1973 novel of the same name. The story ...more
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1988) by Thomas Harris
    The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott Glenn, ...more
  • Forrest Gump (1986) by Winston Groom
    Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, ...more
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) by Roald Dahl
    The last of five coveted "golden tickets" falls into the hands of a sweet but very poor boy. He and his grandpa then get a tour of the strangest chocolate factory in the world. The owner leads five ...more
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962) by Ken Kesey

    When Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) gets transferred for evaluation from a prison farm to a mental institution, he assumes it will be a less restrictive environment. But the martinet Nurse ...more
  • The Body (1982) by Stephen King
    After learning that a stranger has been accidentally killed near their rural homes, four Oregon boys decide to go see the body. On the way, Gordie Lachance (Wil Wheaton), Vern Tessio (Jerry ...more
  • Psycho (1959) by Robert Bloch
    Phoenix secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), on the lam after stealing $40,000 from her employer in order to run away with her boyfriend, Sam Loomis (John Gavin), is overcome by exhaustion during a ...more
  • Harry Potter is a British-American film series based on the Harry Potter novels by author J. K. Rowling. The series is distributed by Warner Bros. and consists of eight fantasy films. A spin-off ...more
  • The Godfather (1969) by Mario Puzo
    The compelling sequel to "The Godfather," contrasting the life of Corleone father and son. Traces the problems of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) in 1958 and that of a young immigrant Vito Corleone ...more
  • Gone with the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell
    Presented as originally released in 1939. Includes themes and character depictions which may be offensive and problematic to contemporary audiences. Epic Civil War drama focuses on the life of ...more
  • Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family (1986) by Nicholas Pileggi
    A young man grows up in the mob and works very hard to advance himself through the ranks. He enjoys his life of money and luxury, but is oblivious to the horror that he causes. A drug addiction and a ...more
  • Jaws (1974) by Peter Benchley
    When a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) wants to close the beaches, but mayor Larry ...more
  • The Green Mile (1996) by Stephen King
    Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) walked the mile with a variety of cons. He had never encountered someone like John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), a massive black man convicted of brutally killing a pair ...more
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) by C. S. Lewis
    The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of fantasy films from Walden Media, based on The Chronicles of Narnia, a series of novels by C. S. Lewis. From the seven novels, there have been three film ...more
  • Misery (1987) by Stephen King
    After a serious car crash, novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), who claims to be his biggest fan. Annie brings him to her remote cabin to recover, ...more
  • The Shining (1977) by Stephen King
    Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer's block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and ...more
  • Catch Me if You Can (1980) by Frank Abagnale

    Catch Me If You Can is a 2002 American biographical crime drama film based on the life of Frank Abagnale, who, before his 19th birthday, successfully performed cons worth millions of dollars by ...more
  • Nothing Lasts Forever (1979) by Roderick Thorpe
    New York City policeman John McClane (Bruce Willis) is visiting his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and two daughters on Christmas Eve. He joins her at a holiday party in the headquarters of the ...more