Top 10 Movies based on Books and Novels

Best Movie Adaptations of Books :

Ever Since filmmakers started making movies, they started looking for sources to Adapt as a movie. Georges Méliès the father of Science Fiction cinema was the earliest filmmaker to adapt a book into movie. Adapting Cinderella in 1889, working on first Shakespearean Movie in Hamlet (1907) and Creating the world of Science Fiction by adapting Jules Verne’s From Earth to the Moon and H.G.Wells’s The first men in the moon in A trip to the moon. 

In 2011,  director Martin Scorsese directed Hugo, a movie based on a book The invention of Hugo Carabet which was based in Georges Méliès’s life and career, completing a circle of life.

So Without further ado, let us sit back and enjoy top 10 Movies which were based on books:

10 : The Shining (1980)

Jack goes insane

Arguably one of the best horror movie ever made, Director Stanley Kubrick’s Masterpiece is one ride you can not miss. Based on a Stephen King novel of the same name, The Shining terrifies everyone with excellent acting from Jack Nicholson. The Movie follows Jack Torrance and Wendy Torrance a couple who move in to a hotel for its keeping in the winters with their son. But things start getting stranger as Jack a writer gets affected by the evil in the hotel.

9 Harry Potter Franchisee (2001-2011)/Lord of The ring Franchisee (2001-2003)

Moving from horror to fantasy, how can you leave Harry Potter alone. Building up a magical world and another movie universe, The Author J.K.Rowling’s Fantasy series spanned 10 years. Not only this is the second highest Movie Franchisee of all time, just after MCU, it made its own world, where we can just sit and hope for Spin offs to keep on rolling. Get on work J.K.Rowling! We need more.

If there is another franchisee which can stand proudly proclaiming the position as the best movie adaptation. It would be Lord of The rings Franchisee, directed by Peter Jackson and based on J.R.R.Tolkien’s masterpiece. Creating a world of Elves, Dwarves, Dragons, Hobbits and Magical Rings and envisioning genius of Tolkien on a big screen, Peter Jackson recieved Worldwide Critical Acclaim and garnered 17 out of 30 Academy Awards nominations.

8. The Silence of The Lambs (1991)

Praised for Sir Anthony Hopkin’s terrifying performance of Hannibal the Cannibal, The Silence of the Lambs is a thriller masterpiece. Directed by Jonathan Demmee, it stars Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling a young FBI trainee. Written by Thomas Harris in his Hannibal series, it can be regarded as the best psychological thriller ever made and it deserves it praise. The movie is the only horror movie to win an Oscar for best Picture.

7. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

Based on the Novel of the same name written by Ken Kasey, this American Drama stars Jack Nicholson again in a career defining performance of a Criminal serving a sentence who is transferred in a correctional facility for mentally challenged people after he pleads insanity. Balancing the Humor with emotions, director Milos Forman received all five main oscars for the movie and they deserved it all, especially best actor and Actress.

6.Gone Girl (2014)


Directed By David Fincher, Gone Girl is a chilling ride of high octane thrills that will get you to the edge of the seat. Written by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl is probably the latest in this list which does not mean that it is not as good as others. Couples who want to destroy their relationship must watch the movie together on a date, because it will get messy and claustrophobic. Strikingly well directed and acted by Academy Award winners Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike Gone Girl is one hell of a ride.

5.Fight Club (1999) / Psycho(1960)


One of the most widely misunderstood movie, the movie has been studied and Analyzed countless times. The revelation in Fight Club is one of the best twist of all time and can make you go crazy. Another one from Director David Fincher, it stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena  Bonham Carter and Jared Leto, the movie did not do well in theaters but has now a cult status. The novel written by author Chuck Palahniuk , has a slightly different ending.

I decided to put Psycho on the same position as there are already a lot of thrillers and I just can’t create this list without Psycho. Genre defining movie and one of the first Psychological thriller ever made, Psycho was directed by none other than the master of mystery Alfred Hitchcock. Written by Robert Bloch Psycho stirs your goosebumps and steps beneath your skin. Regarded as the greatest movie ever made, It deserved that spot. Who can forget the Shower Scene.

4.2001: A Space odyssey (1968)

The best SciFi ever made, 2001 A Space odyssey has confused the audience for years. The Science Fiction writer Arthur C.Clarke wrote a short story The sentinel which inspred the movie and with Stanley Kubrick, he wrote the novel with same name side by side the movie was produced. Another entry from Stanley Kubrick and dealing with heavy themes of evolution and A.I. the movie is often hard to understand. But once you realize what the director wants to say, it forms a tranquil unreal experience. His use of Practical effect still stands in front of CGI.

3. Shindler’s List (1993)

Schindler's List

This Emotional World War Drama can destroy your stone cold heart. Based on real story and novel Schindler’s Arc by Australian writer Thomas Keneally. The movie is often listed in one of the greatest films ever made and stands as one of my personal favorites. Directed by Steven Spielberg, it stars Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes and tells the story of Oscar Schindler who saved countless Jewish lives in Nazi germany after witnessing persecution of Jews in Poland. The last scene of the movie can even make grown up men cry.

2. The Godfather (1972)


The Definitive Mafia movie, The Godfather cannot be described as a movie, it is a cultural Phenomenon . Based on Mario Puzo’s novel having the same title, the movie was released in 1972. Directed by Francis Coppola the movie follows Don Corleone, head of Mafia family who decides to give all his business to his son Michael. This causes rift in his family. The movie has often been stated as the best Crime movie, had many iconic scenes and who can forget the famous dialogue, “Offer that he can’t refuse”

Honorable Mentions

Jurassic Park
The Green Mile
Life of Pi
Blade Runner
V For Vendetta
Forrest Gump
The Exorcist

1.The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Brooks was here

Which other movie could have topped this list. The Shawshank Redemption holds the top position in top 250 Movies in IMDB(international Movie Database). Based on Another Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, The movie follows themes like Justice, Punishment, life and more importantly Redemption. Praised for its acting, direction and Realism Shawshank Redemption is not just a movie, it is hope in disguise. Morgan Freeman’s narration elevates the story further. Exploring the meaning of Freedom. The movie asks the question are we really Free and what exactly is Freedom. The famous scene “Brooks was here” is an example of Direction and Story Telling Done right.

The Lead actor once said that wherever he has travlled across the world, people always stop him and tell him, “That movie changed my life”

Yes it changed mine too.

11 thoughts on “Top 10 Movies based on Books and Novels

    1. There is Flight Club there. Do read it first :p
      I left out a lot more than these three. Probably for part two someday .
      Angels and demons is a good movie, but not as great as these.
      Davinci code only had the last scene as it’s saviour with Hans Zimmer’s Chevalier de Sangreal running in the background.
      The novel was much much better.

  1. Great selections! I really enjoyed reading your post 🙂 Have you ever shared this on any movie/TV platforms?

  2. Thank you very much for reading and appreciating the post Mariza. Readers like you help me in writing more.
    No I haven’t shared it to any movie/TV platform. Should I?
    in retrospect it is a good idea. But I am not aware of good ones.

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