watchworthy presents

The Best Movies About Writers 

Ranker Film
Updated March 23, 2020 1.8k votes 247 voters 15.7k views 79 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.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
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

More Dead Poets Society 

#112 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #65 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

More Midnight in Paris 

#154 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #779 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

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

More The Shining 

#3 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #61 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies The Making Of 'The Shining' Was A Bigger Nightmare Than The Film's Story

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

More Capote 

#226 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
Misery is listed (or ranked) 5 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

More Misery 

#11 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time Behind The Scenes Of Annie Wilkes Hobbling Paul Sheldon In 'Misery'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Stranger than Fiction is listed (or ranked) 6 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

More Stranger than Fiction 

#1,243 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #281 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #460 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

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

More Secret Window 

#31 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #336 of 410 The Best Rainy Day 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

More Finding Forrester 

#252 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Books #532 of 721 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

9
Adaptation is listed (or ranked) 9 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

More Adaptation 

#235 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Books #51 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
Almost Famous is listed (or ranked) 10 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

More Almost Famous 

#89 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #22 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

11
Wonder Boys is listed (or ranked) 11 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

More Wonder Boys 

#654 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #203 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
Fear and Loathing in Las... is listed (or ranked) 12 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

More Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 

#112 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #375 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas'

13
As Good as It Gets is listed (or ranked) 13 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

More As Good as It Gets 

#159 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #116 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Madelisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

14
Finding Neverland is listed (or ranked) 14 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

More Finding Neverland 

#97 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #234 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Barton Fink is listed (or ranked) 15 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

More Barton Fink 

#743 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #10 of 37 Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters The Most Memorable Quotes From 'Barton Fink'

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
Limitless is listed (or ranked) 17 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.

More Limitless 

#77 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #220 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Books

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

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

More Shakespeare in Love 

#216 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #80 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

19
The Words is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
Saving Mr. Banks is listed (or ranked) 20 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

More Saving Mr. Banks 

#265 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time #41 of 92 The Best Movies To Stream On Disney+ #343 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

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

More My Left Foot 

#312 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #209 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Starslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

22
Atonement is listed (or ranked) 22 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

More Atonement 

#117 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #401 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

23
Shadowlands is listed (or ranked) 23 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

More Shadowlands 

#623 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #399 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #28 of 78 The Best Period Romance Movies

24
Sideways is listed (or ranked) 24 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

More Sideways 

#659 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #181 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Starslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

25
Annie Hall is listed (or ranked) 25 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).

More Annie Hall 

#1,331 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #154 of 1,017 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever