20 Best Book to Movie Adaptations Ever

POSTED BY , UPDATED ON October 9th, 2015

20 Best Book Movie Adaptations

Novels and movies are two totally different entertainment mediums, and converting a lengthy novel into a feature film is a hell of an undertaking. Hollywood, however has a tradition of retaining both the theme and the original spirit of the novels into their film adaptations. Although, not every Hollywood book movie adaptation remains faithful to the original script, but the 20 best book to movie adaptations that we are going to list today did manage to preserve the real essence of their original source:


20. The 39 Steps

The 39 Steps

Image Credit: criterion.com

The John Buchan’s adventure novel (published in 1915) was adapted in many feature films but the best adaptation came from Alfred Hitchock in the form of The 39 Steps (1935), starring Robert Donat, Lucie Mannheim and Robert Donat.

Not only is the film considered a Hitchcock classic, but it is also considered to be the best mystery movie of all time by various film critics.


19. The Road

The Road

Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” (published in 2006) is about the adventurous journey of an ailing father and his son towards the ocean in a post-apocalyptic treacherous world.

The well received novel was turned into a feature film, that was both commercially and critically successful, by John Hillcoat in 2009.


18. Carrie


Carrie (1976) was based on Stephen King’s horror novel of the same name (published in 1974) and became a huge hit at the box office upon its release.

The movie is about a shy girl named Carrie and her strained relation with her community and her fundamentalist mother. Carrie possesses a unique psychic ability to move things without touching them which, due to certain turn of events, soon turns into a weapon of horror and destruction.


17. The Heiress

The Heiress

William Wyler re-imagining of Henry James’s romantic novel Washington Square (published in 1880), that revolves around the love story of a poor lad and a girl whose rich father considers the guy to be a fake and only interested in her daughter’s fairly large inheritance, produced an epic romantic drama in 1949 that is still loved by all romance genre fans.


16. Divergent


Divergent (2014) is a successful science fiction movie series based on Veronica Roth’s novel series of the same name and revolves around the life of Tris that sets on a mission to find the cause that makes every ‘divergent’ so dangerous and unacceptable to the society (a society that is divided into various factions).


15. The Double

 The Double

The Double (2013) is Richard Ayoade’s one of the best picture till date starring Mia Wasikowska and Jesse Eisenberg that brought to life Fyodor Dostoevsky’s 1846 novel that describes the life of a clerk who encounters a co-worker who though resembles his exact physical characteristics but is totally opposite to his nature; charismatic, confident and seductive with women.

The creative cinematography and brain-teasing screenplay of the film impressed audiences and critics alike.


14. The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

John Green’s 2012 romantic novel “The Fault in Our Stars” got adopted by Josh Boone in 2014’s movie with the same name and became an instant success. The plot revolves around two teen cancer patients who meet at a cancer support group and fell in love.

Both Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley shined throughout the film and despite some differences between the novel and the film, the film adaptation was widely praised for bringing to life the original novel very well.


13. The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel

Although many major World War II battles are very well-preserved in various Hollywood war classics, but one of the most trickiest real World War 2 related missions was brought to life by George Clooney in the form of The Monuments Men (2014) which was itself a weak adaptation of Robert M. Edsel/Bret Witter’s book; The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History (published in 2009).

This war drama is centered around an Allied forces mission that was conducted to secure precious art masterpieces from the German thieves. It performed well both at the box office and with the critics.


12. Edge of Tomorrow

 All You Need Is Kill

Based on 2004’s All You Need Is Kill novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, this Doug Liman’s master piece rocked the box office upon its release in 2014, thanks to the stunning performance of Tom Cruise and a witty action packed screenplay.

The storyline is centered on a not-so-brave military officer that keeps reliving his day each time after getting killed in a war against aliens that only he can win.


11. The Prestige

 The Prestige

Christopher Nolan adapted Christopher Priest’s book (published in 1995) of the same name in The Prestige (2006) that depicts the competition between two former partner magicians who compete each other for creating the ultimate magic trick.

The contest soon takes a darker angle and the brilliant screenplay keeps intact the true nature of this unusual story. The film made both commercial and critical success.