Total Nerd The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books  

Ranker Film
651 votes 110 voters 30 items

List Rules Only 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 movies from sci-fi books!

Think this list of the best sci-fi movies based on books is a failed launch? Then by all means, share with your fellow sci-fi friends and rank the films yourselves! It’s on you to make this list out of this world!

list ordered by
1
23 12
The Iron Giant is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Jennifer Aniston, Vin Diesel, Cloris Leachman
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
2
19 13
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young
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
3
16 10
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 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
14 9
Journey to the Center of the E... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Pat Boone, Bernard Herrmann, Arlene Dahl
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
5
14 10
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah, Carolyn Jones
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
6
13 11
The Hunger Games is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
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
7
10 10
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
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
6 7
The Hunger Games: Catching Fir... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson
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
9
9 11
Dune is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Sting, Patrick Stewart, Alicia Witt
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
10
5 6
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 – 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
6 8
The Running Man is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Brown, Jesse Ventura
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
12
6 8
Metropolis is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Theodor Loos
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
13
13 18
The Thing is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter
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
14
8 12
Minority Report is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell
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
15
8 12
Children of Men is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Michael Caine
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
16
10 15
The Martian is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig
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
17
6 10
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 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
3 6
A Scanner Darkly is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Robert Downey Jr., Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder
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
19
8 13
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Zooey Deschanel, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich
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
20
5 9
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson
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
21
2 5
The Stepford Wives is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Tina Louise, Mary Stuart Masterson, Katharine Ross
The Stepford Wives is a 1975 science fiction–thriller film based on the 1972 Ira Levin novel of the same name. It was directed by Bryan Forbes with a screenplay by William Goldman, and stars ...more
22
2 5
The Stepford Wives is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Nicole Kidman, Christopher Walken, Bette Midler
The Stepford Wives is a 2004 American sci-fi dramedy film. It was directed by Frank Oz from a screenplay by Paul Rudnick and stars Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler, Christopher ...more
23
4 11
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Will Smith, Emma Thompson, Salli Richardson
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
24
6 14
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards, Amy Smart
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
25
4 12
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
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