This has been a pretty well-kept secret, but New Moon, the second movie based on the Twilight series of books, comes out in theaters this Friday. And that got me thinking about other movies based on books. Here are some I enjoy:
A weird book and an exceedingly weird film. But both were good.
Not the best movie, but I loved the book so much that I was still entertained.
That’s right — there are Rambo books. So cross that off your List of Awesome Things that Need to Happen.
Second Chuck Palahniuk movie on this list, and this was an excellent adaptation. But no matter how many times I talk or write about him, I always have to look up the spelling of his name.
Full Metal Jacket
I’ve never read the book, but I imagine it would be a rough read, much as some parts of the movie are a rough watch.
The movie is so great that it’s hard to read the book without seeing all the scenes from the film.
Second only to The Godfather in mobster movie awesomeness.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
I haven’t even read the Harry Potter series, but the movies have been well done.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
It was hard to imagine how the book would be turned into a movie, especially with the weight of over 25 years of fan expectations hanging over the production. While there were things left out, on the whole I thought it was a good adaptation, although the casting of Sam Rockwell as Zaphod Beeblebrox had a lot to do with it.
The Last of the Mohicans
I liked the movie better than the book. There, I said it. I think it’s the stirring soundtrack.
No Country for Old Men
The Cohen brothers did an absolutely amazing job of adapting the book into a movie.
Once Upon a Time in America
This often gets overlooked when talking about the best mob/gangster movies, but it’s one of the best.
The Princess Bride
Excellent book, excellent movie. So many quotable lines, it’s ridiculous.
I’m going to make some of my English teachers weep by admitting this: I can’t stand reading Charles Dickens. And yet, one of his books led to one of my favorite holiday movies. Between that and the fact he has an awesome coif/beard combo in the pic on his Wikipedia page almost makes me want to try Great Expectations again. Almost.
Stand By Me
Technically this was based on a short story, but that short story was published in a — wait for it — book. So I’ll allow it.
The Hunt for Red October
I’ve never read a Tom Clancy book, just because it’s not really my bag. And yet I love this movie. When it’s on cable (usually 10-20 times a day), I always tune in, at least for a few minutes.
The best sports movie ever made, in my opinion.
The Shawshank Redemption
This was loosely based on a Stephen King novella. Why is it that his novels generally aren’t that great as films, but his shorter works have led to two fantastic movies?
To Kill a Mockingbird
I don’t think the movie lives up to the book, but then again that’s pretty hard to do, considering how good the book is.
Irvine Welsh is one of my favorite authors. I think his novel Glue would make an even better movie than Trainspotting, if possible.
There are obviously many more fantastic movies based on books that I’m overlooking here due to time constraints, etc. In fact, I’ve just thought of three to add, but I’m staying strong! Okay, they’re High Fidelity, American Psycho, and Lawrence of Arabia. But that’s it! And Into the Wild. Ahhh!
Check out our Great Reads, Great Movies list for some more movies from books.