Watchworthy
260 voters

The Best Movies About Writers

Updated June 9, 2020 2.8k votes 260 voters 16.5k views81 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.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    Kill Your Darlings
    47
    13

    Kill Your Darlings

    Daniel Radcliffe, Elizabeth Olsen

    Released2013

    Directed byJohn Krokidas

    Kill Your Darlings is a 2013 American biographical drama film written by Austin Bunn and... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Dead Poets Society
    61
    31

    Dead Poets Society

    Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke

    Released1989

    Directed byPeter Weir

    Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter... more on Wikipedia

    More Dead Poets Society 

    #127 of 314 The Funniest '80s Movies#80 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • 3
    Saving Mr. Banks
    42
    13

    Saving Mr. Banks

    Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell

    Released2013

    Directed byJohn Lee Hancock

    Saving Mr. Banks is a 2013 period drama film directed by John Lee Hancock from a screenplay... more on Wikipedia

    More Saving Mr. Banks 

    #72 of 97 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies#359 of 557 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

  • 4
    The Ghost Writer
    43
    17

    The Ghost Writer

    Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor

    Released2010

    Directed byRoman Polanski

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

    More The Ghost Writer 

    #225 of 280 The Best Whodunit Movies#30 of 31 Great Movies Set Along the Coast

  • 5
    Midnight in Paris
    44
    24

    Midnight in Paris

    Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard

    Released2011

    Directed byWoody Allen

    Midnight in Paris is an American 2011 romantic comedy fantasy film written and directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    The Shining
    42
    23

    The Shining

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall

    Released1980

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by... more on Wikipedia

    More The Shining 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories About Shelley Duvall From 'The Shining'The Making Of 'The Shining' Was A Bigger Nightmare Than The Film's Story

  • 7
    Capote
    35
    20

    Capote

    Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Cooper

    Released2005

    Directed byBennett Miller

    Capote is a 2005 biographical film about Truman Capote, following the events during the... more on Wikipedia

    More Capote 

    #219 of 364 The Best Movies Based On Books#84 of 236 The Best Movies Based On True Stories

  • 8
    Secret Window
    36
    22

    Secret Window

    Johnny Depp, Maria Bello

    Released2004

    Directed byDavid Koepp

    Secret Window is a 2004 American psychological thriller film starring Johnny Depp and John... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Insomnia
    28
    15

    Insomnia

    Al Pacino, Robin Williams

    Released2002

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    Insomnia is a 2002 American thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan, and starring Al... more on Wikipedia

    More Insomnia 

    The Best Essential Oils for Sleep#55 of 144 The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time

  • 10
    Almost Famous
    31
    20

    Almost Famous

    Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson

    Released2000

    Directed byCameron Crowe

    Almost Famous is a 2000 comedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron Crowe and starring... more on Wikipedia

    More Almost Famous 

    #409 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#512 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 11
    As Good as It Gets
    27
    16

    As Good as It Gets

    Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt

    Released1997

    Directed byJames L. Brooks

    As Good as It Gets is a 1997 American romantic comedy film directed by James L. Brooks and... more on Wikipedia

    More As Good as It Gets 

    #37 of 50 The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked#81 of 836 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

  • 12
    Stranger than Fiction
    34
    25

    Stranger than Fiction

    Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman

    Released2006

    Directed byMarc Forster

    Stranger than Fiction is a 2006 American comedy-drama-fantasy film directed by Marc Forster,... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
    32
    23

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

    Johnny Depp, Cameron Diaz

    Released1998

    Directed byTerry Gilliam

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a 1998 American dark comedy film co-written and directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Misery
    37
    29

    Misery

    Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates

    Released1990

    Directed byRob Reiner

    Misery is a 1990 American psychological thriller film based on Stephen King's 1987 novel of... more on Wikipedia

    More Misery 

    Behind The Scenes Of Annie Wilkes Hobbling Paul Sheldon In 'Misery'#4 of 242 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

  • 15
    Wonder Boys
    29
    20

    Wonder Boys

    Robert Downey Jr., Katie Holmes

    Released2000

    Directed byCurtis Hanson

    Wonder Boys is a 2000 Romantic comedy film directed by Curtis Hanson and written by Steve... more on Wikipedia

    More Wonder Boys 

    #219 of 299 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time#24 of 120 The Best College Movies Ever

  • 16
    Adaptation
    28
    21

    Adaptation

    Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep

    Released2002

    Directed bySpike Jonze

    Adaptation is a 2002 American comedy-drama metafilm directed by Spike Jonze and written by... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Barton Fink
    24
    17

    Barton Fink

    John Goodman, Steve Buscemi

    Released1991

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

    Barton Fink is a 1991 American period film written, produced, directed and edited by the Coen... more on Wikipedia

    More Barton Fink 

    #593 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films#203 of 252 The Funniest '90s Movies

  • 18
    Finding Forrester
    30
    24

    Finding Forrester

    Anna Paquin, Matt Damon

    Released2000

    Directed byGus Van Sant

    Finding Forrester is a 2000 American drama film written by Mike Rich and directed by Gus Van... more on Wikipedia

    More Finding Forrester 

    #532 of 629 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked#35 of 151 The Most Inspirational Sports Movies

  • 19
    Shakespeare in Love
    24
    18

    Shakespeare in Love

    Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck

    Released1998

    Directed byJohn Madden

    Shakespeare in Love is a 1998 British-American romantic comedy-drama film directed by John... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Atonement
    22
    16

    Atonement

    Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch

    Released2007

    Directed byJoe Wright

    Atonement is a 2007 British romantic drama film directed by Joe Wright and based on Ian... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Tolkien
    13
    5

    Tolkien

    Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins

    Released2019

    Directed byDome Karukoski

    Tolkien is a 2019 American biographical drama film directed by Dome Karukoski. An orphaned... more on Wikipedia

    More Tolkien 

    #15 of 53 The Best New War Movies Of The Last Few Years#13 of 14 Films About Historical Figures That Got Blasted By Their Family & Friends

  • 22
    Colette
    13
    8

    Colette

    Keira Knightley, Dominic West

    Released2018

    Directed byWash Westmoreland

    Colette is a 2018 British biographical drama film directed by Wash Westmoreland. Pushed by her... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Annie Hall
    18
    16

    Annie Hall

    Woody Allen, Diane Keaton

    Released1977

    Directed byWoody Allen

    Annie Hall is a 1977 American romantic comedy film directed by Woody Allen. Neurotic New York... more on Wikipedia

    More Annie Hall 

    #2 of 63 Movies Set in Brooklyn#319 of 366 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

  • 24
    Sleuth
    21
    20

    Sleuth

    Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier

    Released1972

    Directed byJoseph L. Mankiewicz

    Sleuth is a 1972 mystery thriller film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The screenplay by... more on Wikipedia

    More Sleuth 

    #165 of 553 The Best '70s Movies#62 of 84 The Best Movies Based on Plays

  • 25
    Deconstructing Harry
    23
    25

    Deconstructing Harry

    Demi Moore, Jennifer Garner

    Released1997

    Directed byWoody Allen

    Deconstructing Harry is a comedy film written and directed by Woody Allen and released in... more on Wikipedia

    More Deconstructing Harry 

    #19 of 60 The Best Woody Allen Movies#55 of 63 The Best Ever Robin Williams Movies