36 Movies That Were Even Better Than The Books They Were Based On

36 Movies That Were Even Better Than The Books They Were Based On

These books mentioned on Ask Reddit were turned into AMAZING movies.

1. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. I watched the movie and loved it so much that I bought the book trilogy. The movie is beautiful but reading the book made me realize that it’s the cinematography and acting that make the movie so good – the actual plotline is really cheesy. The books are also written in a really simple way, for a much younger audience.

2. The Devil Wears Prada. I have admiration for the people who made the story for the screen, because the book is nothing similar. Amazing movie that came out of a very meh book.

3. Shawshank Redemption. It was part of a four-part novella release by Stephen King. The story was very short but very well written. I just feel like the movie really captured the spirit of the story and gave some depth to the characters. Plus, the acting was great.

4. The Mist. Even Stephen King agreed.

5. Big Fish. The movie explores the wondrous world of the father’s outrageous stories, but the book lacks all that lavish imagery. Instead it’s just a bitter retelling from spoiled child who thought his daddy didn’t love him enough.

6. John Hammond from Jurassic Park was much better in the movie. In the book he was kind of your standard greedy businessman. In the movie, he was a dreamy idealist with good intentions, which made it so much more heartbreaking when the park inevitably failed.

7. The Silence of the Lambs. It was incredibly drawn out at times and they were right to cut a lot of it out of the movie. The author also feels the need to describe the hell out of everything and it gets tedious to read.

8. The Notebook. Rachel McAdams brought flair and charisma that wasn’t in the book.

9. Trainspotting. The book is pretty good but the movie is a fucking masterpiece.

10. Blade Runner. The novel was good but the movie perfected the tone and quite honestly I thought Deckard was written better for the film.

11. It: Chapter One was great. Plus it didn’t end with all the kids banging Bev like the Stephen King novel. So it gets my vote!

12. The Martian, mainly because the visuals were amazing and it made the story so much better to be able to see everything.

13. Jaws, because everyone in the novel is a terrible person, and a lot of the tension in the film is removed because the guys hunting the shark just get to go home every night in the book.

14. Kingsmen is better than the comic. Mainly because they didn’t follow the comic all that much.

15. Holes. I don’t know if it was better but damn the movie did the book justice. One of my favorite childhood books and movies.

16. Fight Club. The book had a better ending, but it was written in such bizarre style it was a chore to read. And it’s a short book too.

17. Call Me By Your Name. The movie was a beautiful study of silences. In the book you experienced every thought going through a 17 year old boy’s head. It was manic. In the movie you had to rely on Chalamet’s performance to understand what was going on in his head.

18. The Graduate. The book that this movie is based off of was critically panned, but director Mike Nichols took interest in the absurd source material and directed one of the highest grossing films of all time.

19. Les Miserables because Val Jean’s inner debate lasts about 100 pages and the opening number is about a third of the book. It just goes on and on.

20. No Country for Old Men. The book is great but McCarthy’s style of writing makes it pretty difficult to read and follow the flow of what’s going on. Meanwhile, the movie has you on the edge of your seat, has a very eerie feel to it and the casting is very spot on.

21. American Psycho. The movie did a fine job portraying how insane he was. There were passages in the book that almost made me put it down and stop reading it, just too much. Pure shock value.

22. A Little Princess. The book was OK but it was definitely a children’s book. The movie was absolutely beautiful. Alfonso Cuaron is an amazing director.

23. The Ritual. The film only depicted the first half of the book, which is great because the book devolves into stupid, incoherent drivel after that. Seriously, the author had a good thing going for the first 220 or so pages, some really good characterization and chills, but then it got dumb. The novel should’ve stopped where the film did, instead of basically adding a half-assed, nonsensical sequel that nobody asked for as the second act.

Netflix actually did a fantastic adaptation of the book, and the film is far superior to Adam Neville’s novel.

24. The Secret Garden. Actually seeing the garden was amazing, and the acting was incredible.

25. Slumdog Millionaire. I feel that it’s somewhat cheating (in regards to this question) for films like Slumdog Millionaire, Forrest Gump, and Jojo Rabbit because they aren’t even trying to be faithful adaptations. They take a lot of liberties and go in a lot of different directions than the source material. So whether it’s even the same story as the book Q&A on which it’s based is debatable. But I certainly enjoyed it more.

26. Might be unpopular but I think The Princess Bride. I found Buttercup’s character way worse in the book, even to a point where I was like okay dude cut ties you’re better off without her and in the movie I never feel that really.

27. Children of Men. The movie was a million times better. The book had no scope.

28. Stardust. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Neil Gaiman, and the Stardust book was really good, but the movie was absolutely enchanting. I mean, seeing Robert DeNiro as Captain Shakespeare? Life-changing. Not to mention a much better ending.

29. I think Arrival was better, and that’s coming from someone who really liked the short story. The movie is just better at telling that story overall.

30. Last of the Mohicans. Boring slog of a book. Epic period-piece action movie.

31. The Godfather. I like the book, but the film is phenomenal.

32. Schindler’s List. The book was almost unreadable. Then again I’m a dumbass.

33. JoJo Rabbit was better than Caging Skies. The book was so goddamn bleak that it probably wouldn’t have been adapted otherwise.

34. Forest Gump was way better that the book it was based on.

35. Who Framed Rodger Rabbit. The book was supposed to be written as film-noir, but it ends up as a disjointed mess. The characters are there, but they have none of the charm of the movie. Eddie isn’t a good man, who’s ruining his life with booze after the loss of his brother; he’s a drunk asshole, just because. Roger is dead. Etc…

The plot is also different; the movie took the idea of humans and Toons interacting, and went in a completely different direction.

36. Queen Bees & Wannabes mostly known by its movie adaptation name as Mean Girls. I mean they’re basically nothing alike but the book is supposed to be a self-help book. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

January Nelson

January Nelson

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.