273 voters

The Best Movies About Writers

Updated April 30, 2021 2.2k votes 273 voters 17.1k views107 items

List of movies about writers, as ranked by film critics and fans. Movies about writers are always interesting and filled with depth because the screenwriters truly understand what goes on in the mind of the scribe. These films follow writer characters through some real life issues like writer’s block, intense jealousy between writers, and being driven mad by genius. Other films take a more fantastical take on the plight of the writer with serial killers, stalkers, and characters that come to life. No matter the genre, these films follow the same overarching themes that real life writer’s actual experience.

Many of the movies on this list think of storytelling as therapy, where the writer is spinning a yarn in order to battle their own struggles. A few of the films follow real life novelists and screenwriters during the experiences that caused them to write their greatest works.

If you’ve been wondering, “What are the best movies about writers?” this list has every film you need, from thrillers where writer’s go crazy, like Secret Window, to horror movies where fans go too far, like Misery,to simple contemplative movies like American Splendor. The movies on this list feature the most memorable fictional writer’s in film history.

  • 1

    Dead Poets Society

    Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke


    Directed byPeter Weir

    Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter Weir and starring Robin Williams. Set at the conservative and aristocratic Welton Academy in the northeast...  more

    More Dead Poets Society 

    #77 of 512 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked#43 of 246 The Best Rainy Day Movies

  • 2

    The Shining

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall


    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny...  more

    More The Shining 

    Fan Theories About 'The Shining' We Can't Stop Thinking AboutThe Dark History Of The Overlook Hotel From 'The Shining'

  • 3

    Midnight in Paris

    Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard


    Directed byWoody Allen

    Midnight in Paris is an American 2011 romantic comedy fantasy film written and directed by Woody Allen. Set in Paris, the film follows Gil Pender, a screenwriter, who is forced to confront the...  more

    More Midnight in Paris 

    #102 of 115 The Best Movies to Watch on Mushrooms#96 of 152 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

  • 4

    Secret Window

    Johnny Depp, Maria Bello


    Directed byDavid Koepp

    Secret Window is a 2004 American psychological thriller film starring Johnny Depp and John Turturro. It was written and directed by David Koepp, based on the novella Secret Window, Secret Garden by...  more

    More Secret Window 

    #318 of 727 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time#28 of 58 The Best Movies Based on Stephen King Books

  • 5


    Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Cooper


    Directed byBennett Miller

    Capote is a 2005 biographical film about Truman Capote, following the events during the writing of Capote's non-fiction book In Cold Blood. Philip Seymour Hoffman won several awards, including the...  more

    More Capote 

    #83 of 302 The Best Movies Based On True Stories#58 of 122 Great Movies That Place In The '60s

  • 6

    Almost Famous

    Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson


    Directed byCameron Crowe

    Almost Famous is a 2000 comedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron Crowe and starring Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit. It tells the fictional story of a teenage journalist writing...  more

    More Almost Famous 

    #410 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#104 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

  • 7

    Stranger than Fiction

    Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman


    Directed byMarc Forster

    Stranger than Fiction is a 2006 American comedy-drama-fantasy film directed by Marc Forster, written by Zach Helm, and starring Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah, and...  more

    More Stranger than Fiction 

    #53 of 126 The Funniest Movies Starring SNL Cast Members#42 of 43 Movies You Have to Watch Twice to Get Every Joke

  • 8


    Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates


    Directed byRob Reiner

    Misery is a 1990 American psychological thriller film based on Stephen King's 1987 novel of the same name and starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, Richard Farnsworth, and Frances...  more

    More Misery 

    Behind The Scenes Of Annie Wilkes Hobbling Paul Sheldon In 'Misery'#6 of 232 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

  • 9

    Wonder Boys

    Robert Downey Jr., Katie Holmes


    Directed byCurtis Hanson

    Wonder Boys is a 2000 Romantic comedy film directed by Curtis Hanson and written by Steve Kloves. An international co-production between the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan, it...  more

    More Wonder Boys 

    #210 of 290 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time#45 of 141 The Best College Movies Ever

  • 10

    Finding Forrester

    Anna Paquin, Matt Damon


    Directed byGus Van Sant

    Finding Forrester is a 2000 American drama film written by Mike Rich and directed by Gus Van Sant. An African-American teenager, Jamal Wallace, is invited to attend a prestigious private high school....  more

    More Finding Forrester 

    #571 of 668 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked#37 of 95 80+ Great Movies About Black Teens

  • 11

    Finding Neverland

    Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet


    Directed byMarc Forster

    Finding Neverland is a 2004 historical fantasy drama film directed by Marc Forster and written by David Magee, based on the 1998 play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee. The film is about...  more

    More Finding Neverland 

    #89 of 386 The Best Movies Based On Books#114 of 136 The Best Movies Based On Plays

  • 12


    Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep


    Directed bySpike Jonze

    Adaptation is a 2002 American comedy-drama metafilm directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman. The film is based on Susan Orlean's non-fiction book The Orchid Thief, with numerous...  more

    More Adaptation 

    #51 of 69 The Best Movies About Incels#45 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books

  • 13

    Saving Mr. Banks

    Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell


    Directed byJohn Lee Hancock

    Saving Mr. Banks is a 2013 period drama film directed by John Lee Hancock from a screenplay written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith. Centered on the development of the 1964 Walt Disney Studios film...  more

    More Saving Mr. Banks 

    #300 of 557 The Best Film Scores Of All Time#69 of 109 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies

  • 14

    Barton Fink

    John Goodman, Steve Buscemi


    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

    Barton Fink is a 1991 American period film written, produced, directed and edited by the Coen brothers. Set in 1941, it stars John Turturro in the title role as a young New York City playwright who...  more

    More Barton Fink 

    #204 of 252 The Funniest '90s Movies#18 of 37 Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters

  • 15

    Kill Your Darlings

    Daniel Radcliffe, Elizabeth Olsen


    Directed byJohn Krokidas

    Kill Your Darlings is a 2013 American biographical drama film written by Austin Bunn and directed by John Krokidas in his feature film directorial debut. The film had its world premiere at the 2013...  more
  • 16


    Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch


    Directed byJoe Wright

    Atonement is a 2007 British romantic drama film directed by Joe Wright and based on Ian McEwan's 2001 novel of the same name. The film stars James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan, Romola...  more

    More Atonement 

    #31 of 174 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made#207 of 223 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

  • 17

    The Ghost Writer

    Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor


    Directed byRoman Polanski

    The Ghost Writer is 2010 thriller film written by Robert Harris and Roman Polanski and directed by Roman Polanski....  more

    More The Ghost Writer 

    #307 of 334 The Best Political Films Ever Made#31 of 32 Great Movies Set Along the Coast

  • 18

    The Words

    Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana


    Directed byBrian Klugman, Lee Sternthal

    The Words is a 2012 mystery romantic drama film, written and directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal in their directorial debut. It stars Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons,...  more
  • 19

    Annie Hall

    Woody Allen, Diane Keaton


    Directed byWoody Allen

    Annie Hall is a 1977 American romantic comedy film directed by Woody Allen. Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer (Allen) falls in love with the ditzy Annie Hall (Diane Keaton)....  more

    More Annie Hall 

    #2 of 63 Movies Set in Brooklyn#363 of 924 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • 20

    Shakespeare in Love

    Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck


    Directed byJohn Madden

    Shakespeare in Love is a 1998 British-American romantic comedy-drama film directed by John Madden, written by Marc Norman and playwright Tom Stoppard. The film depicts an imaginary love affair...  more

    More Shakespeare in Love 

    #35 of 50 The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '90s#85 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture

  • 21


    Sandra Oh, Virginia Madsen


    Directed byAlexander Payne

    Sideways is a 2004 American comedy-drama film written by Jim Taylor and Alexander Payne and directed by Payne. A film adaptation from Rex Pickett's novel of the same name, Sideways follows two men in...  more

    More Sideways 

    #24 of 76 50+ Quirky Romance Movies That Are Unique in Their Own Way#18 of 52 The Funniest Road Trip Comedy Movies

  • 22

    As Good as It Gets

    Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt


    Directed byJames L. Brooks

    As Good as It Gets is a 1997 American romantic comedy film directed by James L. Brooks and produced by Laura Ziskin. It stars Jack Nicholson as a misanthropic, homophobic, racist,...  more

    More As Good as It Gets 

    #38 of 50 The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked#66 of 440 The Best Movies Of The 1990s

  • 23


    Keira Knightley, Dominic West


    Directed byWash Westmoreland

    Colette is a 2018 British biographical drama film directed by Wash Westmoreland. Pushed by her husband to write novels under his name, Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) fights to make her talents...  more
  • 24

    Deconstructing Harry

    Demi Moore, Jennifer Garner


    Directed byWoody Allen

    Deconstructing Harry is a comedy film written and directed by Woody Allen and released in 1997. This film tells the story of a successful writer named Harry Block, played by Allen, who draws...  more

    More Deconstructing Harry 

    #15 of 60 The Best Woody Allen Movies#54 of 63 The Best Ever Robin Williams Movies

  • 25


    Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins


    Directed byDome Karukoski

    Tolkien is a 2019 American biographical drama film directed by Dome Karukoski. An orphaned author (Nicholas Hoult) finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at...  more

    More Tolkien 

    #17 of 57 The Best New War Movies Of The Last Few Years#13 of 14 Films About Historical Figures That Got Blasted By Their Family & Friends