These Are Some of the Top 5 Best Films Based on Book

In many ways, movie producers are under a great deal of pressure when adapting books, especially ones that already have a committed fanbase.

Many dislike it when their favorite stories are recounted, especially when entire plot arcs must be omitted owing to time limits or when characters are given the Hollywood treatment and look nothing like their depiction.

The cliche that “the movie is never as good as the book” may have some truth, but there are exceptions to every rule. Incredibly, there are even films that are superior to the books they are based on.

1. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Howl's Moving Castle, one of the best films produced by Studio Ghibli (which is saying a lot, considering how many classics they've produced), is a fascinating retelling of Diana Wynne Jones' original 1986 novel.

Despite retaining much of the book's original humor, the addition of a war-based plot gives the film a darker tone. During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Hayao Miyazaki was eager to make a film decrying the atrocities of war, and he does so masterfully.

These Are Some of the Top 5 Best Films Based on Book

If you've read the book, it's intriguing to see how the tale unfolds on film. It's difficult to dislike it for being different from the original because it's evident that both plots are attempting to accomplish different goals, and this is ultimately one of the best anime films ever made.

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2. Harry Potter (2001 – 2011)

The Harry Potter films are comparable to Lord of the Rings. Indeed, if there had never been any films, the books would have been popular and there would have been a core of very devoted admirers, but it would not have been the international phenomenon that it did.

Hogwarts and Diagon Alley, as well as a large cast of colorful characters, were brought to life magnificently in the films, as were several breathtaking places, such as Hogwarts. At the center of the film are Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, whose portrayals of Harry, Hermione, and Ron are pretty spot-on and have won the world over.

These Are Some of the Top 5 Best Films Based on Book

Those who grew up with the books may have had qualms about the decisions to eliminate certain themes and characters (frankly, the world was robbed of Rik Mayall as Peeves the poltergeist), but the films introduced the wizarding world to many new Potterheads and continue to be a strong family favorite.

3. Lord of the Rings (2001 – 2003)

It is impossible to discuss great novel adaptations without mentioning Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. These films brought a whole new generation to Middle Land and helped the epic story reach those who would not have encountered it otherwise (because let's be honest, Tolkien is fantastic, but he is a touch wordy).

Today, Lord of the Rings (in both book and cinematic form) has become a mainstay of popular culture, and films played a significant role in this. Indeed, we consider them to be among the greatest adventure films ever made.

These Are Some of the Top 5 Best Films Based on Book

Not only does this trilogy bring the magical land of the Middle World to life in a way that is still visually astounding twenty years later, but the cast did such an excellent job portraying the characters. Considering Ian McKellen‘s portrayal of Gandalf, it is difficult to consider the character without being impacted by his portrayal.

Yet, it's not just him; they're all outstanding! Elijah Wood is fantastic as Frodo, Sean Bean is appropriately gloomy as Boromir, the late Christopher Lee is brilliantly menacing as Saruman, and, well, let's stop there or otherwise we'd be listing the entire cast – which is what the credits are for.

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4. Sherlock Holmes (2009)

The notorious tenant of 221b Baker Street is one of the most often portrayed characters in film history, making it difficult to choose just one Sherlock Holmes film.

Whether it's Ian McKellen portraying a more introspective Holmes at the end of his life, Benedict Cumberbatch as modern-day Holmes, Barrie Ingham as Basil in The Great Mouse Detective, Nicholas Briggs in the fantastic Big Finish audio dramas, or Jeremy Brett in the 1980s adaptation, there are a plethora of outstanding portrayals of the great detective.

These Are Some of the Top 5 Best Films Based on Book

For this post, we've chosen Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes picture from 2009, starring Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Watson.

Some will undoubtedly argue that this is not based on a book because it follows an entirely original plot, but that's part of what makes it so good – nobody can get mad at it for changing a story they adored in written form because it adds to the overall Sherlock Holmes mythos, rather than retelling it.

This is a large, entertaining Hollywood adventure, and it's great to see the characters in such a film. If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, you must view this. If you enjoyed this film, you should read the source material.

5. Little Women (2019)

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is another book that has been adapted numerous times, and it's simple to understand why: the timeless story of four sisters growing up together and then each finding their way in the world will resonate with many individuals.

Although it has been adapted seven times thus far, we wish to focus on the most recent adaptation, which received widespread critical praise and won multiple Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay.

These Are Some of the Top 5 Best Films Based on Book

Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen do a fantastic job of bringing Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth to life (respectively), while the film's breathtaking landscape immerses you in the world of Civil War-era Massachusetts.

It makes a few minor alterations to the books (mainly concerning Jo), but they're interesting to watch, and it's also intriguing to observe the connections between the film and present feminist issues. Both it and the original book are highly recommended. You will likely become as enamored with the March sisters as thousands of others have been.

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Summing Up

Reading is amazing. Everyone is aware of this, including film producers. Why are so many of the most successful films of all time based on novels? Exactly. From the Lord of the Rings trilogy to The Shining, and from Forrest Gump to Matilda, the number of films based on novels are huge, so we've compiled a list of the best ones.