Crime Shows and Movies The Best Crime Movies Based on Books  

Ranker Film
58 votes 7 voters 29 items

List Rules Only crime movies based on or inspired by literature.

Here is a list of the best crime movies based on books, as voted on by you! Films based on crime novels have held some of the most acclaim and popularity in the world of cinema. People will flock to theatres to see new movies based on crime fiction whether they’ve read the book or not. Fans of any crime book will see an adaptation of their favorite novel; which if poorly made will be viewed as worse as any misdeed or transgression in the story. While others who are non-readers will see the movie, so they don’t have to read the book (the perfect crime)!

So, peruse the list and let your voice be heard in our rankings down below. The only real crime here is if you don’t share this list with your friends and rank the crime movies adapted from books you think are best! Don't see your favorite adaptation on the list, feel free to add it and check back to see how others rank your selections.

1
4 1
The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall
The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy from a screenplay by Mario Puzo and Coppola. Starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as ...more
2
3 0
The Girl with the Dragon Tatto... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Noomi Rapace, Marika Lagercrantz, Lena Endre
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a 2009 Swedish drama thriller film based on the novel of the same name by Swedish author/journalist Stieg Larsson. It is the first book in the trilogy known as ...more
3
3 1
The Maltese Falcon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor
The Maltese Falcon is a 1941 Warner Bros. film noir based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. Directed by John Huston, the film stars Humphrey Bogart as private investigator Sam ...more
4
3 1
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak
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 ...more
5
2 0
Mystic River is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Emmy Rossum, Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon
Mystic River is a 2003 American mystery drama film directed and scored by Clint Eastwood. It stars Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, and Laura Linney. ...more
6
2 0
No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson
No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Mayhem ensue after a hunter (Josh Brolin) ...more
7
2 1
The Talented Mr. Ripley is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon
The Talented Mr. Ripley is a 1999 American psychological thriller written for the screen and directed by Anthony Minghella. An adaptation of the 1955 Patricia Highsmith novel of the same name, ...more
8
2 1
The Town is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Blake Lively, Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm
The Town is a 2010 American drama film starring, co-written and directed by Ben Affleck. The film opened in theaters in the United States on September 17, 2010, at number one with more than $23 ...more
9
2 1
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck, William Windom
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. ...more
10
1 0
Along Came a Spider is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter, Anton Yelchin
Along Came a Spider is a 2001 American psychological thriller film directed by Lee Tamahori. It is a sequel to the 1997 film Kiss the Girls. The screenplay by Marc Moss was adapted from the 1993 ...more
11
1 0
Thief is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Willie Nelson, James Caan, Tuesday Weld
This film is a 1981 neo-noir film written and directed by Michael Mann and based on the 1975 novel by "Frank Hohimer". The film stars James Caan as the titular thief and Tuesday Weld ...more
12
1 0
A Simple Plan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Billy Bob Thornton, Bill Paxton, Bridget Fonda
A Simple Plan is a 1998 American neo-noir thriller film, and an adaptation of the 1993 novel of the same name by Scott B. Smith, who also wrote the screenplay. Directed by Sam Raimi, the film ...more
13
3 3
The Shawshank Redemption is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and ...more
14
2 2
In Cold Blood is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Robert Blake, John Forsythe, Will Geer
In Cold Blood is a 1967 film based on Truman Capote's book of the same name. Richard Brooks prepared the adaptation and directed the film. It stars Robert Blake as Perry Smith, Scott Wilson as ...more
15
1 1
Murder on the Orient Express is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall
This film is a 1974 British Technicolor mystery film directed by Sidney Lumet, starring Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot, and based on the 1934 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie.
16
1 1
Gone Girl is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry
Gone Girl is a 2014 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher and adapted by Gillian Flynn from her 2012 novel of the same name. It stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. Set ...more
17
0 0
The Girl Who Played with Fire is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Noomi Rapace, Per Oscarsson, Lena Endre
The Girl Who Played with Fire is a 2009 Swedish thriller film directed by Daniel Alfredson, and the sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It is based on the best-selling novel of the same ...more
18
0 0
The Thin Man is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Myrna Loy, Cesar Romero, Maureen O'Sullivan
The Thin Man is a 1934 American comedy-mystery film directed by W.S. Van Dyke and based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. The film stars William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and ...more
19
0 0
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Noomi Rapace, Hans Alfredson, Lena Endre
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest is a 2009 Swedish drama thriller film directed by Daniel Alfredson. It is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by the late Swedish author and ...more
20
0 0
Jackie Brown is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, Quentin Tarantino
Jackie Brown is a 1997 drama film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It is an adaptation of Elmore Leonard's 1992 novel Rum Punch, the first adaptation from Tarantino, and stars Pam ...more
21
0 0
The Girl in the Spider's Web is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, Sylvia Hoeks
The Girl in the Spider's Web is a 2018 American-Swedish crime thriller film directed by Fede Álvarez, based on the novel by David Lagercrantz. Computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Claire ...more
22
0 0
Red Dragon is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton
Red Dragon is a 2002 American psychological thriller film based on Thomas Harris' novel of the same name. It is a prequel to The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. The novel was originally ...more
23
0 0
Carlito's Way is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Viggo Mortensen
Carlito's Way is a 1993 American drama film directed by Brian De Palma, based on the novels Carlito's Way and After Hours by Judge Edwin Torres. The film adaptation was scripted by David Koepp. ...more
24
0 0
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins
Hannibal is a 2001 American thriller film directed by Ridley Scott, adapted from the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris. It is the sequel to the 1991 Academy Award-winning film The Silence ...more
25
1 2
Gone Baby Gone is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Crime Movies Based on Books
Morgan Freeman, Michelle Monaghan, Ed Harris
Gone Baby Gone is a 2007 American neo-noir mystery film directed by Ben Affleck and starring his brother Casey Affleck. The screenplay by Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard is based on the novel of ...more