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190 voters

The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books

Updated January 13, 2021 1.5k votes 190 voters 4.6k views45 items

List RulesVote up your favorite movies based on or inspired by sci-fi literature. No comic book, graphic novel, or manga adaptations.

This is a list of the best movies based on science fiction books. Science fiction movies adapted from books are tough to pull off based purely on how die-hard the fan bases are and how much sci-fi films generally cost to make. If sci-fi movies based off of books don’t give passionate fans exactly what they want it could cost a movie studio millions of dollars and be a black eye on the careers of their actors and directors. Films based on science fiction novels are a huge gamble, but when they pay off, boy do they pay off! Here’s a look at some of the best sci-fi books that turned into movies!

This list of the best sci-fi movies based on books has both new and old movies? If you don't see a film you know should be on this list, feel free to add it and check back to see how other users rank your additions. 

  • 1
    38
    20

    Blade Runner

    Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah

    Released1982

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

    Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir dystopian science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The screenplay, written...  more
  • 2
    29
    17

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter

    Released1968

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    "The Sentinel"

    2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and was partially inspired by Clarke's...  more
  • 3
    33
    23

    Jurassic Park

    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Jurassic Park

    Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the first installment of the Jurassic Park franchise. It is based on the 1990 novel of the same...  more
  • 4
    30
    21

    The Martian

    Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain

    Released2015

    Directed byRidley Scott

    The Martian

    The Martian is a 2015 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the novel by Andy Weir. An astronaut (Matt Damon) becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him gone, and must rely...  more
  • 5
    29
    26

    The Hunger Games

    Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson

    Released2012

    Directed byGary Ross

    The Hunger Games

    The Hunger Games is a 2012 American dystopian science fiction adventure film directed by Gary Ross, based on the novel by Suzanne Collins. In a dystopian post-apocalyptic future in the nation of...  more
  • 6
    29
    27

    The Iron Giant

    Jennifer Aniston, Vin Diesel

    Released1999

    Directed byBrad Bird

    The Iron Man

    The Iron Giant is a 1999 American animated science fiction comedy-drama film using both traditional animation and computer animation, produced by Warner Bros. Animation, and based on the 1968 novel...  more
  • 7
    23
    21

    Released2005

    Directed byGarth Jennings

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a 2005 British-American comic science fiction film directed by Garth Jennings, based upon previous works in the media franchise of the same name, created by...  more
  • 8
    17
    17

    A Clockwork Orange

    Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke

    Released1971

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    A Clockword Orange

    A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novella A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent images...  more
  • 9
    25
    28

    Dune

    Sting, Patrick Stewart

    Released1984

    Directed byDavid Lynch

    Dune

    Dune is a 1984 American science fiction film written and directed by David Lynch, based on the 1965 Frank Herbert novel of the same name. The film stars Kyle MacLachlan as Paul Atreides and includes...  more
  • 10
    16
    18

    Minority Report

    Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise

    Released2002

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    "The Minority Report"

    Minority Report is a 2002 American neo-noir science fiction mystery-thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and loosely based on the short story of the same name by Philip K. Dick. It is set...  more
  • 11
    14
    18

    I Am Legend

    Will Smith, Emma Thompson

    Released2007

    Directed byFrancis Lawrence

    I Am Legend

    I Am Legend is a 2007 American post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Will Smith. It is the third feature film adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954...  more
  • 12
    13
    21

    The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

    Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks

    Released2013

    Directed byFrancis Lawrence

    Catching Fire

    This film is a 2013 American science fiction action film based on Suzanne Collins' dystopian novel and the second installment in The Hunger Games trilogy. The film is the sequel to The Hunger Games,...  more
  • 13
    26
    43

    Journey to the Center of the Earth

    Pat Boone, Bernard Herrmann

    Released1959

    Directed byHenry Levin

    Journey to the Center of the Earth

    Journey to the Center of the Earth is a 1959 adventure film adapted by Charles Brackett from the novel of the same name by Jules Verne. Journey to the Center of the Earth was directed by Henry Levin....  more
  • 14
    12
    23

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1

    Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson

    Released2014

    Directed byFrancis Lawrence

    Mockingjay

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is a 2014 American dystopian science fiction adventure film directed by Francis Lawrence. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence); having twice survived the Hunger...  more
  • 15
    12
    24

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2

    Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks

    Released2015

    Directed byFrancis Lawrence

    Mockingjay

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is a 2015 adventure film directed by Francis Lawrence, it is the second of two cinematic parts based on the novel Mockingjay, the final book in the Hunger Games...  more
  • 16
    20
    39

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah

    Released1956

    Directed byDon Siegel

    The Body Snatchers

  • 17
    13
    30

    A Scanner Darkly

    Robert Downey Jr., Keanu Reeves

    Released2006

    Directed byRichard Linklater

    A Scanner Darkly

    A Scanner Darkly is a 2006 American animated science fiction thriller film directed by Richard Linklater based on the novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick. The film tells the story of identity...  more
  • 18
    10
    24

    The Lost World: Jurassic Park

    Julianne Moore, Steven Spielberg

    Released1997

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    The Lost World

    The Lost World: Jurassic Park is a 1997 American science fiction adventure directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the second installment in the Jurassic Park franchise. The film was produced by Gerald...  more
  • 19
    11
    27

    The Time Machine

    Yvette Mimieux, Rod Taylor

    Released1960

    Directed byGeorge Pal

    The Time Machine

    The Time Machine – also known promotionally as H.G. Wells' The Time Machine – is a 1960 Metrocolor time travel science fiction film based on the 1895 novel of the same name by H. G. Wells in which a...  more
  • 20
    12
    29

    Metropolis

    Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich

    Released1927

    Directed byFritz Lang

    Metropolis

    Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist epic science fiction drama film directed by Fritz Lang. The film was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou, and starred Brigitte Helm, Gustav...  more
  • 21
    15
    35

    The Running Man

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Brown

    Released1987

    Directed byPaul Michael Glaser

    The Running Man

    The Running Man is a 1987 American science fiction action film loosely based on the 1982 novel The Running Man, written by Stephen King and published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. Directed by...  more
  • 22
    4
    0

    Annihilation

    Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh

    Released2018

    Directed byAlex Garland

    Annihilation is a 2018 science fantasy action horror film directed by Alex Garland, based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer. A biologist (Natalie Portman) signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition...  more
  • 23
    17
    41

    Children of Men

    Julianne Moore, Clive Owen

    Released2006

    Directed byAlfonso Cuarón

    The Children of Men

    Children of Men is a 2006 science fiction thriller film directed and co-written by Alfonso Cuarón. The screenplay, based on P. D. James's 1992 novel of the same name, was credited to five writers,...  more
  • 24
    28
    61

    The Thing

    Kurt Russell, Keith David

    Released1982

    Directed byJohn Carpenter

    Who Goes There?

    The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a...  more
  • 25
    17
    44

    Starship Troopers

    Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards

    Released1997

    Directed byPaul Verhoeven

    Starship Troopers

    Starship Troopers is a 1997 American military science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Edward Neumeier. The story follows a young soldier named Johnny Rico and his...  more