The Best Movies Based On Stephen King Books

Horror writer Stephen King ranks among the most prolific of contemporary American authors. This is a complete list of feature films and miniseries based on his writings, including work written under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, and the sequels to films based on Stephen King books. The rankings are determined by the votes of Ranker users.

With the second installment of King's classic It hitting screens soon, what better time to look back on the man's long and storied list of adaptations? (NOTE: King's short stories, novellas, and other work have also inspired numerous TV shows, and you can check out the full ranking of all Stephen King adaptations to see where those fall.)

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  • Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and her lover and is sentenced to a tough prison. However, only Andy knows he didn't commit the crimes. While there, he forms a friendship with Red (Morgan Freeman), experiences brutality of prison life, adapts, helps the warden, etc., all in 19 years.
    • Actors: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler, Clancy Brown
    • Released: 1994
    • Directed by: Frank Darabont
    3,782 votes

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  • 2
    3,512 VOTES
    Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) walked the mile with a variety of cons. He had never encountered someone like John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), a massive black man convicted of brutally killing a pair of young sisters. Coffey had the size and strength to kill anyone, but not the demeanor. Beyond his simple, naive nature and a deathly fear of the dark, Coffey seemed to possess a prodigious, supernatural gift. Paul began to question whether Coffey was truly guilty of murdering the two girls.
    • Actors: Tom Hanks, David Morse, Michael Clarke Duncan, Bonnie Hunt, James Cromwell
    • Released: 1999
    • Directed by: Frank Darabont
    3,512 votes

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  • Misery
    Photo: Misery
    3
    3,216 VOTES
    After a serious car crash, novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), who claims to be his biggest fan. Annie brings him to her remote cabin to recover, where her obsession takes a dark turn when she discovers Sheldon is killing off her favorite character from his novels. As Sheldon devises plans for escape, Annie grows increasingly controlling, even violent, as she forces the author to shape his writing to suit her twisted fantasies.
    • Actors: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Frances Sternhagen, Richard Farnsworth, Lauren Bacall
    • Released: 1990
    • Directed by: Rob Reiner
    3,216 votes

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  • 4
    3,273 VOTES
    After learning that a stranger has been accidentally killed near their rural homes, four Oregon boys decide to go see the body. On the way, Gordie Lachance (Wil Wheaton), Vern Tessio (Jerry O'Connell), Chris Chambers (River Phoenix) and Teddy Duchamp (Corey Feldman) encounter a mean junk man and a marsh full of leeches, as they also learn more about one another and their very different home lives. Just a lark at first, the boys' adventure evolves into a defining event in their lives.
    • Actors: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell, Kiefer Sutherland
    • Released: 1986
    • Directed by: Rob Reiner
    3,273 votes

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  • Carrie
    Photo: Carrie
    5
    2,863 VOTES
    In this chilling adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel, withdrawn and sensitive teen Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) faces taunting from classmates at school and abuse from her fanatically pious mother (Piper Laurie) at home. When strange occurrences start happening around Carrie, she begins to suspect that she has supernatural powers. Invited to the prom by the empathetic Tommy Ross (William Katt), Carrie tries to let her guard down, but things eventually take a dark and violent turn.
    • Actors: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, William Katt, Amy Irving, John Travolta
    • Released: 1976
    • Directed by: Brian De Palma
    2,863 votes

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  • It
    Photo: It
    6
    1,624 VOTES

    It

    Seven young outcasts in Derry, Maine, are about to face their worst nightmare -- an ancient, shape-shifting evil that emerges from the sewer every 27 years to prey on the town's children. Banding together over the course of one horrifying summer, the friends must overcome their own personal fears to battle the murderous, bloodthirsty clown known as Pennywise.
    • Actors: Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Bill Skarsgard
    • Released: September 8, 2017
    • Directed by: Andres Muschietti
    1,624 votes

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