9 Best Movie Adaptations of Novels That You Will Love ...

By Leeann

Some of the greatest movies in the past can be attributed to the fact that they are also the best movie adaptations of novels. Nowadays I find that original stories are truly good are hard to come by, and the movies that stay with us are the ones that have jumped from the page to the screen. Some of the biggest films and film franchises in the past have been from books! Here’s a list of the 9 best movie adaptations of novels that you will love!

1 Harry Potter

On iTunes: trailers.apple.com

There is only one way to kick off a list of best movie adaptations of novels, and that’s with Harry Potter. It is the single most successful movie franchise of all time, worldwide. That’s nuts! And to think there was a time when J.K. Rowling actually didn’t want it to be made into a movie because she wasn’t sure how it would turn out. She said the reason behind this was because she didn’t want to hurt the integrity of the book. I mean, I sort of understand, the books are incredible, but imagine where we’d be without the Harry Potter movies! Thankfully she came to her senses, right?

2 The Godfather

On iTunes: trailers.apple.com

For those who didn’t know, The Godfather, which is one of the most critically acclaimed films of all time, and seen as perhaps the best movie in existence, was originally a book. Written in 1969 by an Italian American author, The Godfather is without a doubt one of the best movie adaptations of novels ever made. It gave the film industry some of its best actors and one of the greatest stories ever told. It’s not every day that a movie like The Godfather is made. This film, perhaps even more than the original novel itself, is a true icon.

3 Fight Club

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

Rule number one of Fight Club – you do not talk about Fight Club! I love this movie with a passion. Not just because it has a very good-looking Brad Pitt (although that helps) but because of just how good a film it is! I didn’t even realize it was a book originally until I became obsessed with the film and decided to learn everything about it. To me, the best movie adaptations of novels occur when a film puts onto the screen the exact world the reader envisioned and when it’s able to set the mood of the book as well. Fight Club definitely achieved this.

4 The Lord of the Rings

On iTunes: trailers.apple.com

I might be a bit biased, I admit, because this trilogy as a whole is what I consider to be my favourite movies. I have all the extended DVDs, I did the whole marathon when the movies came out in theatres, the whole nine yards! When you think of all the work that went into this film, the new technology, the way Peter Jackson was able to capture such a vivid and highly complex book, it truly has to be one of the best movie adaptations of novels ever seen in the film industry. It took him 12 years from start to finish to make The Lord Of The Rings. He managed to make a film out of novel that, for the longest time, people said would be impossible to do. Well, Peter Jackson clearly didn’t have that word in his vocabulary.

5 The Bourne Series

On iTunes: trailers.apple.com

I’ve never read this series, but just by watching the films, I can safely say that the Bourne series are some of the best movie adaptations of novels that have hit theatres in the past 10 years. There are always arguments between the loyal book lovers and the filmgoers. On one side, you have the readers saying that it was nowhere close to being like the book. What audiences have to understand is that it’s an ADAPTATION. It can’t be an exact replica, because what works on the page doesn’t always work on the screen. The Bourne series is incredibly successful as a franchise, and it was all based off a book, so I count that to be pretty impressive.

6 The Hunger Games

On iTunes: trailers.apple.com

This series is probably the most popular choice right now for the list of best movie adaptations of novels, and I completely understand. The first movie was nothing like I expected; since it was seen as the next Twilight, I of course compared the two. After seeing The Hunger Games, however, I was completely impressed. The books themselves are easy reads, but every bit as violent as portrayed on screen. It helps that Jennifer Lawrence is leading a pack of deliciously talented actors, and I love that it’s a leading lady in an action role!

7 The Notebook

On iTunes: trailers.apple.com

Yes, this was a book to begin with, and it’s what started a series of Nicholas Sparks movies in the industry. It’s because of the success of this film as one of the best movie adaptations that we have The Vow, Dear John, The Last Song, and a slew of other gloriously sappy yet adorable movies to watch. The Notebook did it right – they found 2 incredibly talented actors, a director who was new to the genre, and one great book to play off of. All of Nicholas Sparks’ books revolve around love and its trials and tribulations, but The Notebook took it to a whole new level of just being a seriously well-made movie.

8 Bridget Jones’s Diary

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

I love, love, LOVE this series, and I can watch it over and over again and really never get bored of it. It’s hard, and quite rare that a comedic, coming-of-age novel gets made into a movie. What makes it one of the best movie adaptations is the fact that it just doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is exactly how the book is. With books of this genre, what makes it a hit with readers is how it's relatable, and funny, yet self-deprecatingly sad at the same time. You can read Bridget Jones and say to yourself ‘yep, totally see where you’re coming from,’ and you can do that while watching the movie as well!

9 Pride and Prejudice

On iTunes: trailers.apple.com

The recent remake with Keira Knightley is one of my absolute favourite period pieces, so that may be why I think it’s one of the best movie adaptations of a novel to grace our screens. This book itself is a classic, and there’s a reason there have been so many productions of it: because it’s a timeless story of growing up and falling in love. It’s always beautiful to see each adaptation take its own form, and when a story can still speak to you a century later, it’s clearly a timeless classic. When films of this caliber are made, it’s hard to stay current yet true to the book at the same time, and as far as I can recall, this movie does just that!

It’s always exciting to watch a movie adaptation of a book, and there are tons more coming out soon too! I think it’s important to remember whenever we watch movies based off books that it’s not there to be compared. So many things work in a movie that could never work in a book, and vice versa. The important thing is that the films do the book justice, be it by making people want to go out and by a copy of the book, or just to satisfy long time fans of that particular novel. So tell me, what are some of your favourite movie adaptation of novels?

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