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The Best Movies About Writers 

Ranker Film
Updated June 9, 2020 1.9k votes 252 voters 16.1k views 81 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.

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1
Dead Poets Society is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Lara Flynn Boyle

Released: 1989

Directed by: Peter 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 ...more

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2
Midnight in Paris is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hiddleston

Released: 2011

Directed by: Woody 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

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#768 of 1,026 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #919 of 1,210 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #709 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

3
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Bootsdad added Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

Released: 1980

Directed by: Stanley 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, ...more

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The Making Of 'The Shining' Was A Bigger Nightmare Than The Film's Story #3 of 253 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #46 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

4
Capote is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Cooper, Catherine Keener

Released: 2005

Directed by: Bennett 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 ...more

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#214 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Books #220 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Starslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
Stranger than Fiction is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah

Released: 2006

Directed by: Marc 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, ...more

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#700 of 1,026 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #455 of 1,210 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #891 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

6
Misery is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan

Released: 1990

Directed by: Rob 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

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Behind The Scenes Of Annie Wilkes Hobbling Paul Sheldon In 'Misery' #6 of 253 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
Secret Window is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Johnny Depp, Maria Bello, John Turturro

Released: 2004

Directed by: David 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 ...more

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#36 of 253 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #307 of 850 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #818 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

8
Finding Forrester is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Sean Connery

Released: 2000

Directed by: Gus 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 ...more

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#249 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Books #614 of 728 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #113 of 162 The Most Inspirational Sports Movies

9
Almost Famous is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson, Anna Paquin

Released: 2000

Directed by: Cameron 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 ...more

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#266 of 1,210 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #533 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
Wonder Boys is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Robert Downey Jr., Katie Holmes, Michael Douglas

Released: 2000

Directed by: Curtis 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 ...more

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#652 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #159 of 301 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

11
Fear and Loathing in Las... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Johnny Depp, Cameron Diaz, Christina Ricci

Released: 1998

Directed by: Terry Gilliam

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a 1998 American dark comedy film co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam, starring Johnny Depp as Raoul Duke and Benicio del Toro as Dr. Gonzo. It was adapted ...more

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12
As Good as It Gets is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
looksharp added Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Julie Benz

Released: 1997

Directed by: James 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

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#203 of 1,210 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #414 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
Adaptation is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Released: 2002

Directed by: Spike 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

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#715 of 1,210 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #248 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
Barton Fink is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Frances McDormand

Released: 1991

Directed by: Ethan 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 ...more

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15
Finding Neverland is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
looksharp added Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Dustin Hoffman

Released: 2004

Directed by: Marc Forster

Finding Neverland may refer to: Finding Neverland (film), 2004 semi-biographical film about playwright J. M. Barrie Finding Neverland (soundtrack), soundtrack of the film Finding Neverland ...more

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#797 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #150 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Crylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

16
Kill Your Darlings is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
iriska added Daniel Radcliffe, Elizabeth Olsen, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Released: 2013

Directed by: John 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 ...more
17
Shakespeare in Love is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
looksharp added Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Judi Dench

Released: 1998

Directed by: John 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

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#660 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #390 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

18
Limitless is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
looksharp added Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Bruce Lee

Released: 2011

Directed by: Neil Burger

Limitless is a 2011 American thriller film directed by Neil Burger and starring Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, and Robert De Niro. It is based on the novel The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn.

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#73 of 253 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #181 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Books #320 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

19
Atonement is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Saoirse Ronan

Released: 2007

Directed by: Joe 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

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20
The Words is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper

Released: 2012

Directed by: Brian 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 ...more

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21
My Left Foot is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Daniel Day-Lewis, Fiona Shaw, Brenda Fricker

Released: 1989

Directed by: Jim Sheridan

My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown is a 1989 Irish drama film directed by Jim Sheridan and starring Daniel Day-Lewis. It tells the story of Christy Brown, an Irishman born with cerebral ...more

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22
Shadowlands is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
looksharp added Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger, James Frain

Released: 1993

Directed by: Richard Attenborough

Shadowlands is a 1993 British biographical film about the love-relationship between Oxford academic C. S. Lewis and American poet Joy Davidman, her death from cancer, and how this challenged ...more

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23
Saving Mr. Banks is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
looksharp added Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Emma Thompson

Released: 2013

Directed by: John 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 ...more

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24
Annie Hall is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Sigourney Weaver

Released: 1977

Directed by: Woody 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).

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#301 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #313 of 1,026 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

25
Sideways is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Sandra Oh, Virginia Madsen, Thomas Haden Church

Released: 2004

Directed by: Alexander 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 ...more

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#600 of 1,026 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #1,018 of 1,210 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever