Entertainment
11.7k voters

The Best Movies Based On Books

Updated May 14, 2021 131.8k votes 11.7k voters 424.8k views380 items

List RulesOnly 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.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    3,167
    876

    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field
    Forrest Gump (1986) by Winston Groom

    More Forrest Gump 

    16 Extremely Messed Up Things About Forrest Gump That'll Change How You See It#1 of 50 The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

  • 2
    1,574
    725

    The Wizard of Oz

    Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton
    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) by L. Frank Baum

    More The Wizard of Oz 

    The Original 'Wizard of Oz' Books Are Shockingly Violent Compared To The Judy Garland Classic#16 of 115 The Best Movies to Watch on Mushrooms

  • 3
    1,776
    855

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck
    To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee

    More To Kill a Mockingbird 

    'To Kill a Mockingbird' Quotes That'll Change How You Think#95 of 666 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

  • 4
    1,487
    682

    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes
    Schindler's Ark (1982) by Thomas Keneally

    More Schindler's List 

    #2 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books#15 of 225 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

  • 5
    2,027
    991

    The Godfather

    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando
    The Godfather (1969) by Mario Puzo

    More The Godfather 

    How 'The Godfather' Became An American Classic Even Though It Was 'Nightmarish' Behind The Scenes#2 of 123 The Best Mafia Films Of All Time

  • 6
    932
    405

    Psycho

    Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh
    Psycho (1959) by Robert Bloch

    More Psycho 

    #793 of 1,139 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time#8 of 24 The Best Movies with Twist Endings

  • 7
    1,498
    697

    The Princess Bride

    Billy Crystal, Robin Wright
    The Princess Bride (1973) by William Goldman

    More The Princess Bride 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories About André The Giant In ‘The Princess Bride’#14 of 304 The Funniest '80s Movies

  • 8
    1,752
    781

    Jurassic Park

    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum

    Jurassic Park (1990) by Michael Crichton

    More Jurassic Park 

    Here's Just How Wrong Jurassic Park Is About Dinosaurs#2 of 102 The Best 1990s Action Movies

  • 9
    761
    329

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962) by Ken Kesey

    More One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 

    #19 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes#3 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture

  • 10
    1,349
    628

    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

    Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) by Roald Dahl

    More Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory 

    Willy Wonka Fan Theories That Are Pure Imagination#128 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • 11
    2,875
    1,281

    The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth
    Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (1982) by Stephen King

    More The Shawshank Redemption 

    Behind The Scenes Of 'The Shawshank Redemption,' And The Making Of An Unlikely Classic#2 of 126 The Greatest Directorial Debuts Of All Time

  • 12
    3,018
    1,404

    The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    Elijah Wood, Ian McKellan
    The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien

    More The Lord of the Rings Trilogy 

    The Best Insults from The Lord of the Rings#7 of 103 The Very Best Movie Franchises

  • 13
    1,732
    652

    The Silence of the Lambs

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins
    The Silence of the Lambs (1988) by Thomas Harris

    More The Silence of the Lambs 

    You've Been Watching Silence Of The Lambs Wrong For Years: It's A Comedy#1 of 123 The Best Intelligent Horror Movies

  • 14
    1,218
    379

    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman
    The Body (1982) by Stephen King

    More Stand by Me 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Stand By Me' That Prove The Film Shaped The Child Actors#7 of 291 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

  • 15
    1,171
    547

    Gone with the Wind

    Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh
    Gone with the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell

    More Gone with the Wind 

    #3 of 28 Civil War Movies List#77 of 782 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

  • 16
    2,414
    717

    Harry Potter Franchise

    Danielle Radcliffe, Rupert Grint

    More Harry Potter Franchise 

    #1 of 97 The Best Film Adaptations Of Young Adult Novels#52 of 315 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

  • 17
    1,428
    601

    Jaws

    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss
    Jaws (1974) by Peter Benchley

    More Jaws 

    Behind The Scenes Of Every Death In ‘Jaws’#3 of 73 The Greatest Movies To Watch Outside

  • 18
    586
    207

    Catch Me If You Can

    Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Catch Me if You Can (1980) by Frank Abagnale

    More Catch Me If You Can 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Catch Me If You Can'#138 of 557 The Best Film Scores Of All Time

  • 19
    1,905
    1,038

    The Chronicles of Narnia Franchise

    Will Poulter, Tilda Swinton
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) by C. S. Lewis

    More The Chronicles of Narnia Franchise 

    The Best Characters in the Chronicles of Narnia, Ranked#77 of 196 The Best Adventure Movies

  • 20
    685
    357

    The Godfather Part II

    Al Pacino, Robert De Niro
    The Godfather (1969) by Mario Puzo

    More The Godfather Part II 

    #67 of 456 The Most Quotable Movies Of All Time#5 of 90 The Best Movies That Are Super Long

  • 21
    1,920
    433

    The Green Mile

    Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise
    The Green Mile (1996) by Stephen King

    More The Green Mile 

    #3 of 173 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made#4 of 440 Your Favorite Movies of the 1990s

  • 22
    813
    416

    Goodfellas

    Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson
    Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family (1986) by Nicholas Pileggi

    More Goodfellas 

    15 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Goodfellas'#507 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

  • 23
    1,369
    849

    The Shining

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall
    The Shining (1977) by Stephen King

    More The Shining 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories About Shelley Duvall From 'The Shining'A Timeline Of The Beef Between Stephen King And Stanley Kubrick Over 'The Shining'

  • 24
    626
    337

    Blade Runner

    Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) by Philip K. Dick

    More Blade Runner 

    25 'Blade Runner' Fan Theories That'll Have You Dreaming Of Electric Sheep#64 of 512 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • 25
    954
    454

    Misery

    Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates
    Misery (1987) by Stephen King

    More Misery 

    Behind The Scenes Of Annie Wilkes Hobbling Paul Sheldon In 'Misery'#5 of 231 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time