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May 14, 2024

Highest Rated Movie Adaptations on IMDb

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Welcome to the ultimate list of the 10 best movies adapted from books, but don’t just take our word for it, every movie on this list is taken from the IMDb top 250 movies list, so they must be good! 

We wanted to settle the debate once and for all, which movie is best? But of course, we aren’t just talking about every movie ever made, we are all about books here at WeBuyBooks so we wanted to find out which book-to-movie adaptations are best. What is a Movie Adaptation?

Since the dawn of film, books have been used as the inspiration behind some of the greatest pieces of cinema ever created. A movie adaptation is where the story, setting, and characters are taken in whole or in part from a book is taken and turned into a feature film. From The Shining to Lord of the Rings, some of the world's greatest pieces of literature have created the foundations for an ever-growing film industry.

What is IMDb?

If you haven't heard of IMDb, where have you been? IMDb is the go-to place for everything movie and TV show-related. Want to find out which actor starred in that film you saw last night? Or want to find out who produced that classic western your dad used to make you watch every Christmas? IMDb has got you covered. 

Not only does IMDb offer a tonne of useful information on movies, but it also has a universally recognised rating system. Nearly every film ever produced has a score on IMDb, and each score is a result of public votes. So, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to use IMDb's Top 250 Movies List to finally find out what the 10 best films based on books are.


Top 10 Highest Rated Movies Based on Books


Film Adaptation: The Shawshank Redemption

IMDB: 9.3
Original Book: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption
Original Author: Stephen King

The Movie: Based on the novella, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King, Shawshank Redemption has taken the top spot on the IMDb Top 250 Movies list, so it’s no wonder it's widely considered to be one of the best movies ever made. In the year following its release in 1995, Shawshank Redemption received seven Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay, however, the film did not win any awards. 

Synopsis: Shawshank Redemption follows Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins) after he arrives at Shawshank State Prison to serve two consecutive life sentences for the murder of his wife and her lover. As Andy Dufresne buckles down to do his time, he encounters a series of misfortunate trials and is eventually befriended by Ellis “Red” Redding (played by Morgan Freeman). 

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Film Adaptation: The Godfather

IMDB: 9.2
Original Book: The Godfather
Original Author: Mario Puzo

The Movie: The Godfather is possibly one of the most well-known films of all time, so when we found out that it’s an adaptation of a novel, we had to put it on our list. The Godfather, which received a total of 11 Academy Award nominations, was originally based on the based on the Puzo novel The Godfather. Since its release back in 1971, the Godfather has seen incredible success receiving the Best Picture and the Best Actor awards at the 45th Academy Awards just to name a couple of its numerous accolades.

Synopsis: The Godfather follows the powerful Italian crime family of Don Vito Corleone. As the story progresses, the Don’s son is pressured into joining the family business and ends up being taken down a path of violence and betrayal. Featuring some of the greatest actors of the day including Diane Keaton, Marlon Brando, and Don Vito Corleone, The Godfather is a must-watch for any film buff.

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Film Adaptation: The Dark Knight

IMDB: 9.0
Original Book: The Killing Joke - Graphic Novel
Original Author: Alan Moore

The Movie: When it comes to on-screen portrayals of Batman we have seen a few, but when it comes to public opinion, none can compare to the 2008 film The Dark Knight with Christian Bale and Heath Ledger. Based on the 1988 graphic novel The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, The Dark Knight delivered a dark and exciting version of Batman with Christian Bale delivering a Batman that walks the line between hero and vigilante with Heath Ledger’s unmissable performance of twisted yet cunning Joker.

Synopsis: The Dark Knight is a gripping action thriller that pitches the Batman (Christian Bale), along with his allies, Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) against a new criminal on the block, the Joker (Heath Ledger). Throughout the film the Joker makes it his goal to bring down Batman and everything that he holds close.

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Film Adaptation: The Godfather Part II

IMDB: 9.0
Original Book: The Godfather
Original Author: Mario Puzo

The Movie: Released in 1974, the Godfather Part 2 is again based on elements taken from the Mario Puzo 1969 novel, The Godfather. Considered by some to be even better than the first Godfather film, The Godfather Part 2 has won a host of awards in its lifetime including Best Picture and Best Art Direction at the 47th Academy Awards, as well as the Best Actor award which was awarded to Al Pacino at the 29th British Academy Film Awards.

Synopsis: The Godfather Part 2 takes place around 7 years after the first film and continues the story of the Corleone family business. Throughout the film, a light is shone on the life of Vito Corleone, from his childhood in Sicily to becoming one of the most powerful mafia dons in New York.

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Film Adaptation: Schindler’s List

IMDB: 9.0
Original Book: Schindler's Ark
Original Author: Thomas Keneally

The Movie: Number five on our list is the historical epic drama, Schindler’s List. Based on the book Schindler’s Ark by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally Schindler’s List is one of most highly regarded Holocaust films from the last 30 years. In the years following its release in 1993, Schindler’s List won a host of awards including Best Picture at the Academy Awards, Best Film at the BAFTAs, and Best Motion Picture in the Drama category at the Golden Globes.

Synopsis: The film is based on the actions of businessman Oskar Schindler during the Second World War. Throughout the war, it is believed that Oskar Schindler saved around 1000 Jewish lives by keeping them safe under his employ instead of subjecting them to the liquidation of the Krakow Ghetto.

IMDb Top 10 movies Based on Books - Schindler's List.png   Don’t forget, if you have read the books that the films on this list are based on, why not earn a little extra cash to put towards your next cinema trip with WeBuyBooks?  

Film Adaptation: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

IMDB: 9.0
Original Book: The Lord of the Rings
Original Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

The Movie: Last on our list and coming in at number 5 on IMDb’s top 250 films list is Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy novel Lord of the Rings, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is the third instalment in the film adaptation trilogy and has set the standard for fantasy fiction films since its release in 2003, winning numerous awards, drawing a worldwide fan base, and inspiring countless toys, games, and TV series.

Synopsis: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King brings the Lord of the Rings trilogy to an end as the Fellowship endeavours to finally complete the task they were sent to finish by destroying the One Ring and bringing an end to the reign of Sauron.   IMDb Top 10 movies Based on Books - Lord of the Ring The Return of the King.png

Film Adaptation: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

IMDB: 8.9
Original Book: The Lord of the Rings
Original Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

The Movie: Released in 2001, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring film adaptation is the first instalment of the epic fantasy trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s book, The Lord of the Rings. Within the first 5 days of the cinema release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring it grossed over $120 million setting a new record. In the following years, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring received nominations for countless awards, of which it won numerous including the Best Cinematography and Best Original Score at the Academy Awards, as well as the Best Film awards at the British Academy Film Awards.

Synopsis: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring sees Gandalf send Frodo and Sam off on an adventure to take the One Ring to the safety of the Elven sanctuary of Rivendell. There, the fellowship is formed and given the epic task of destroying the One Ring by taking into the heart of the Dark Lord Sauron’s home.

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Film Adaptation: Forest Gump

IMDb Score: 8.8
Original Book: Forest Gump
Original Author: Winston Francis Groom, Jr.

The Movie: After its release in 1994, Forrest Gump soon became a household favourite. Upon its release in theatres across the United States and Canada, Forrest Gump soon became the highest-grossing film ever released by Paramount even surpassing Raiders of the Lost Ark. By the time it was finally removed from cinemas, Forrest Gump had grossed a total of just under $678 million worldwide.

Synopsis: The Forrest Gump film adaptation is based on the novel Forrest Gump by Winston Francis Groom, Jr. and follows a young boy whose childhood is wracked with disabilities. These disabilities prove to be no obstacles for Forrest however, as he grows up to lead an extraordinary life.

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Film Adaptation: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

IMDb Score: 8.8
Original Book: The Lord of the Rings
Original Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

The Movie: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is the second film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and its success is on par with both its prequel and its sequel. Released in early December of 2002, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers met astounding success at both the box office and the award ceremonies. Thanks to the film's incredible, camera work, acting, and set/costume design, not to mention world-class directing, it was nominated for a plethora of awards including Best Picture at the Academy Awards, Bets Costume Design at the British Academy Film Awards (which it won), and best Fantasy Film at the Saturn Awards (which it also won).

Synopsis: Following the breaking of the Fellowship at the end of the first film, the Ring Bearer Frodo, and his trusted companion Sam, go alone into the fires of Mordor. Meanwhile, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli aim to track down Merry and Pippin after they are kidnapped by a group of Uruk-Hai.

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Film Adaptation: Fight Club

IMDb Score: 8.8
Original Book: Fight Club
Original Author: Chuck Palahniuk

The Movie: last on this list of the top ten films adapted from books is Fight Club. Released in 1999, just three years after the launch of the book on which it is based, Fight Club quickly developed a devoted fan following. The world premiere took place at the 56th Venice International Film Festival and when it was released to the public in cinemas across the US and Canada a month later, it grossed $11 million in its first weekend. Compared to the other films on this list, Fight Club didn’t receive quite as many accolades, but over the years, appreciation for this film has grown exponentially, earning it the title of a cult classic.

Synopsis: Based on the 1996 novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, the film follows the rather boring life of an unnamed protagonist who suffers from insomnia. His life takes a however when he meets the mysterious soap salesman Tyler Durnam. As the two become friends, boredom leads them to start an underground fight club where others can come and vent the frustrations of their own mundane lives.

IMDb Top 10 movies Based on Books - Fight Club.png   And that concludes our list of the best films adapted from books with a little help from IMDb. Do you agree with this list? Maybe there are some other movies that you would change, let us know on our Facebook and tell us why you think the list should change.   Don’t forget to fund your next cinematic experience by selling all your unwanted books on the WeBuyBooks App! It only takes a few minutes, and you can rest easy knowing that your next movie will be on us!

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