Entertainment

The Best Movies About Writers  

Ranker Film
1.7k votes 230 voters 14.6k views 69 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.

list ordered by
1
Midnight in Paris is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hiddleston
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
2
Dead Poets Society is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Lara Flynn Boyle
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
3
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Bootsdad added Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers
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
4
Capote is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Cooper, Catherine Keener
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
5
Stranger than Fiction is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah
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
6
Misery is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan
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
7
Finding Forrester is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Sean Connery
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
8
Kill Your Darlings is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
iriska added Daniel Radcliffe, Elizabeth Olsen, Jennifer Jason Leigh
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
9
Almost Famous is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson, Anna Paquin
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
10
Secret Window is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Johnny Depp, Maria Bello, John Turturro
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
11
As Good as It Gets is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
looksharp added Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Julie Benz
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
12
Barton Fink is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Frances McDormand
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
13
Wonder Boys is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Robert Downey Jr., Katie Holmes, Michael Douglas
Wonder Boys is an American 2000 comedy film directed by Curtis Hanson and written by Steve Kloves. The film was based on the novel of the same title by Michael Chabon. Michael Douglas stars as ...more
14
Adaptation is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Maggie Gyllenhaal
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
15
Finding Neverland is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
looksharp added Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Dustin Hoffman
Finding Neverland is a 2004 American semi-biographical film about playwright J. M. Barrie and his relationship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan, directed by Marc Forster. The ...more
16
Saving Mr. Banks is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
looksharp added Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Emma Thompson
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
17
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Johnny Depp, Cameron Diaz, Christina Ricci
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
18
Shakespeare in Love is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
looksharp added Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Judi Dench
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
19
Vita and Virginia is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Gemma Arterton, Elizabeth Debicki, Rupert Penry-Jones
Vita and Virginia is a 2018 British biographical romance drama film directed by Chanya Button. Poet and novelist Vita (Gemma Arterton) and literary icon Virginia (Elizabeth Debicki) embark on an ...more
20
Shadowlands is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
looksharp added Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger, James Frain
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
21
Limitless is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
looksharp added Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Bruce Lee
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.
22
Atonement is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Saoirse Ronan
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
23
The Words is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper
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
24
My Left Foot is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Daniel Day-Lewis, Fiona Shaw, Brenda Fricker
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
25
Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Writers
Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins, Colm Meaney
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 ...more