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The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books  

Ranker Film
778 votes 127 voters 30 items

List Rules Vote 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. 

list ordered by
1
Journey to the Center of the E... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Pat Boone, Bernard Herrmann, Arlene Dahl

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
2
The Iron Giant is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Jennifer Aniston, Vin Diesel, Cloris Leachman

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 ...more
3
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

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 ...more
4
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young

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, ...more
5
The Hunger Games is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

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
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah, Carolyn Jones

The Body Snatchers

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1956 American black-and-white science fiction film produced by Walter Wanger, directed by Don Siegel, and starring Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter. The film ...more
7
2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

"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 ...more
8
The Martian is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig

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 ...more
9
The Hunger Games: Catching Fir... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson

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 ...more
10
The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Yvette Mimieux, Rod Taylor, Alan Young

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 ...more
11
Dune is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Sting, Patrick Stewart, Alicia Witt

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 ...more
12
The Thing is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Kurt Russell, Keith David, John 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
13
Minority Report is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell

"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
14
Metropolis is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Theodor Loos

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
15
The Running Man is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Brown, Jesse Ventura

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. ...more
16
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson

Mockingjay

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is an upcoming 2015 adventure film directed by Francis Lawrence with a screenplay by Peter Craig and Danny Strong. It is the second of two cinematic parts ...more
17
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff

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 ...more
18
Children of Men is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Michael Caine

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 ...more
19
A Scanner Darkly is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Robert Downey Jr., Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder

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 ...more
20
The Lost World: Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Julianne Moore, Steven Spielberg, Camilla Belle

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 ...more
21
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Zooey Deschanel, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich

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 ...more
22
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, ... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

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 ...more
23
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards, Amy Smart

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
24
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Will Smith, Emma Thompson, Salli Richardson

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 ...more
25
Timeline is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Gerard Butler, Paul Walker, Michael Sheen

Timeline

Timeline is a 2003 science fiction adventure film directed by Richard Donner, based on the novel of the same name by Michael Crichton. A team of present-day archaeologists are sent back in time ...more