These Are The Best Book-To-Movie Adaptations
Some people only watch the movies while others swear by the books are always better. Then, of course, there are those who love to compare both. No matter which side of the spectrum you’re on, there’s no denying the excitement of finding out that one of your most beloved books is going to be a major motion picture (and hoping the cast and crew don’t totally botch the book!). Seeing the characters you so vividly dreamed of in your head come to life on the big screen is something to marvel over. From the classics like The Wizard Of Oz to ’90s smash hits like Jurassic Park, any book has the potential to have a killer book-to-movie adaptation, but we think these stand out.
See which actress is in three of our favorites!
Silver Linings Playbook
A critical and commercial success, Silver Linings Playbook is based on the novel by Matthew Quick. It quickly became one of the hottest films of 2012 and featured an all-cast including Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Julia Stiles, and more.
The acclaimed novel deals with the struggles of bipolar disorder that surprises, entertains and enlightens viewers all while provoking a very delicate subject matter. The film even gave Lawrence some major critical acclaim that set her apart from her stint in The Hunger Games, further leading her to become one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Who hasn’t related to sixteen year-old Lara Jean in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before? The hit Netflix film is an adaptation of the smash YA novel by Jenny Han and fans cannot get enough!
As Lara Jean’s unrequited love letters get sent out mysteriously, magic starts to happen for the adorably awkward heroine, including an unexpected romance with the always-adorable Noah Centineo. Fans of the book are just as smitten with the movie and are looking forward to a sequel sometime in the near future. Until then, it’s all about being hopelessly in love with someone who has no idea you exist.
Crazy Rich Asians
Based on the hit book by Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians is everything you’ve been waiting for. Featuring Constance Wu of Fresh Off The Boat, a mix of comedy and heart come together in this unforgettable story following Rachel Chu as she spends a summer with her boyfriend in Singapore.
Rachel finds herself smack dab in the middle of nosy relatives, private planes, excessive mansions, and more money she ever saw in her life as she tries to navigate new and old money. It’s definitely a ride – both in print and on screen – you’ll never forget!
Garrard Conley’s hit memoir Boy Erased is best read or watched when you’re in need of a good emotional breakdown. Starring Nicole Kidman, Troye Sivan, Lucas Hedges, and Russell Crowe, this one packs on the heat as Conley shares his experiences of his parents attempting to “cure” him of his homosexuality by sending him to a conversion camp for gay teens.
Boy Erased is a heartbreaking, real-life depiction of an awful situation turned around. Conley comes to a point of self-realization that withstands all trials as it inspires others who may have gone through a similar situation. It also teaches others tolerance, love, and understanding.
The Hunger Games
Based on the trilogy series by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games, which was proceeded by Catching Fire and Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2, followed the story of dystopian District 12 resident Katniss Everdeen as she took part in Panem’s Hunger Games: a battle royale death match sponsored by the Capitol.
Similar to other teen hits like Twilight, Harry Potter, and Divergent, The Hunger Games went on to be a global phenomenon and it still delights readers and movie fans alike to this day. It even put Jennifer Lawrence on the map for superstardom.
Based on the series of novels by Veronica Roth, Divergent follows Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) in a dystopian Chicago where people are categorized into five factions. As Tris dives head first into a decision she struggled with for so long, she then meets Four who opens up her world and her future.
As Tris discovers herself and her strength for the first time, new revelations are made and she soon finds out that being different may just be the key to everything. If you’re still not obsessed with these movies, check yourself!
Sense & Sensibility
1995 saw the movie adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility starring Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, and Hugh Grant.
As Austen’s first published novel, this story is one that is beloved for its social critique, and unabashed romanticism. Ang Lee’s adaptation remained faithful to the book and to the beliefs of the 19th century while fusing it with modern Hollywood at the time. It is still accepted as the best Austen adaptation to date. Plus, who hasn’t wanted to reenact the entire movie in all of its proper glory?
Chuck Palahniuk probably he had no idea he was creating a cultural phenomenon when he was writing Fight Club, but who knows how cult classics are born?
As a depressed man suffering from insomnia meets a rather strange soap salesman, he soon finds himself living in his house after his perfect apartment is destroyed. Bored, the two men form an underground club with strict rules and fight other men who are fed up with their mundane lives. Directed by David Fincher, and starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter, Fight Club is still one of the most controversial and talked-about films of the 1990s.
Written by Anne Proulx, Brokeback Mountain speaks to the doomed romantic in everyone as life tends to get in the way of everything difficult and worthwhile.
The one was quite controversial during its release in 2005 as the story followed two sheep herders who fall in love one drunken night. It’s then that even throughout marriages, they still keep in touch some 20 years later, sparking up the notion of forbidden love in a way that had not yet been expressed at the time.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Based on Steig Larsson’s alarming book, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a rather unsettling yet exciting film. While some scenes are taken from later books in Larsson’s Millennium Series, it doesn’t undermine director Niels Arden Oplev’s thrilling adaptation of the beloved novel.
Following disgraced financial reporter Mikael Blomkvist, he finds a chance to redeem his honor after being hired by wealthy Swedish industrialist Henrik Vanger to solve the 40-year-old murder of Vanger’s niece. Joining Blomkvist on his dangerous quest for the truth is Lisbeth Salander – a strange investigator with some trust issues of her own.
Back in 2012, you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing someone riveted by Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Whether you had read it, planned on seeing the movie, there was no escaping the mystery and the allure of the entire story.
When Amy Dunne, who has a seemingly perfect life, goes missing, all eyes are on her shady husband, Nick, played by Ben Affleck. Fun fact: Reese Witherspoon produced the film and almost played Amy, but withdrew after chatting with director David Fincher about the vision he had for the role.
Speaking of Reese Witherspoon, our list wouldn’t be complete without this great book-to-movie adaptation.
Author Cheryl Strayed turned her troubled marriage and her mother’s death into the most rewarding and impulsive decision of her life. Wild follows the story of Strayed as she hiked more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Throughout its pages (and on the screen), she traverses California, Oregon, and Washington State with no prior experience to her name, and she did it all alone.
The movie stars Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern and is one of screenwriter Nick Hornby’s most successful films. Witherspoon and Dern were both nominated for Academy Awards for their performances, as Strayed and Strayed’s mother, respectively.
Nicola Yoon’s smash hit YA novel Everything, Everything was a hit in print and on the big screen. Teen girl Maddy (played by Amanda Stenberg) is unable to leave her home due to an immunodeficiency that makes her allergic to almost everything, leaving her imagination to wander and hopes to possibly squander.
Her life then changes for the better when she meets Olly (Nick Robinson), the boy next door. Olly opens Maddy’s world to possibilities once unknown, leading her to think about a future she didn’t know she could have. Grab those tissues!
The Fault In Our Stars
Who wasn’t utterly obsessed with John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars during its beginning? Maybe it had something to do with the fact that its movie starred Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort?
When 16-year-old cancer patient Hazel Grace meets Gus Waters in a cancer support group, they spark up an unbreakable bond that fans have cherished since. Filled with adventure, love, pain, and heartbreak, The Fault In Our Stars has become one of the most quoted books of a generation.
When it comes to Emma Donoghue’s Room, nothing has captured an audience more. The “room”is home to five-year-old Jack, but for his mom (played by Brie Larson) it is the eleven-by-eleven-foot prison where she has been held against her will for seven years.
A story of the incomparable love between mother and child, along with dealing with harrowing circumstances, Room is as compelling as it is heartbreaking. It also earned a Best Actress win for Brie Larson, and nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
The Wizard Of Oz
A family favorite for generations, L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz got the movie treatment back in 1939, simply titling it The Wizard Of Oz, leading legions of fans for generations to come to fall in love with the story of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and little Toto too as the gang makes their way through unusual places like Munchkinland, forests, and the Emerald City. From Halloween costumes to reenactments to hit the Broadway play Wicked, there’s no denying the impact The Wizard Of Oz has had on pop culture.
Fun fact: Dorothy’s iconic ruby slippers were actually silver in the book. Imagine that!
Based on Michael Crichton’s 1990 sci-fi novel, Jurassic Park has been Universal Pictures’ most beloved and successful franchise.
When Dr. John Hammond (played by Richard Attenborough) created a theme park in which genetically cloned dinosaurs roam freely, he invites his grandchildren and scientists to take a tour of the facility in advance to its opening. Needless to say: things do not go very well. Hilarious (and rather terrifying) fun fact: The infamous animatronic T-Rex in the movie weighed about 12,000 pounds and would sometimes mysteriously turn on when it rained, scaring the cast and crew!
If Beautiful Boy does not shatter you into a million tiny little pieces, who are you?
Based on the two memoirs by David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy shares the story of a father and son relationship that is repeatedly put to the test due to the son’s shocking and staggering drug addiction. A real-life look at a family in crisis from multiple directions, Beautiful Boy eloquently and unapologetically dives into the trials of drug addiction and how one family is intent on breaking it no matter what it may take.
Does Jennifer Lawrence just slay every single thing she does? That answer would be a resounding YES!
Based on the novel by Jason Matthews, Red Sparrow follows the story of Dominika (Lawrence) – a ballet dancer who can no longer perform due to an injury. As she falls into the hands of the wrong crowd with the Russian government, she is then recruited to be a spy. As she is tasked with seducing a handsome CIA agent, Dominika realizes her chance for freedom from the state that is controlling her and her body and vows to break free.
A Wrinkle In Time
Based on Madeleine L’Engle’s hit novel, A Wrinkle In Time received the Disney treatment this year and fans cannot get enough of this beloved story!
When Meg Murray (Storm Reid) learns that her missing astrophysicist father is still alive, thanks to three mysterious women (Oprah Winfrey’s Mrs. Which, Reese Witherspoon’s Mrs. Whatsit, and Mindy Kaling’s Mrs. Who), she discovers that he has traveled through time to another dimension. She then goes on a quest to find him while discovering a few things about herself and resilience along the way.