10 Movies That Are Much Better Than The Books

A dapting a book into a movie can be tricky and unpredictable. Most of the time, we leave the cinema disappointed. The characters that we fell in love with on paper are poorly brought to life, so many pivotal scenes are made lackluster, and we are overall left unfulfilled and frustrated.

However, there are a few examples where the cast, directors, and production exceed not only our expectations but end up making the movies better than the books they were based on.

The Godfather (1969)

This 1972 classic was based on Mario Puzo’s crime novel of the same name. Puzo participated in co-writing the screenplay for this brilliant movie which in turn overshadowed the book. The direction and production are so phenomenal it overshadows the text it was adapted from.

Election (1999)

Reese Witherspoon’s portrayal of the main character Tracy Flick in 1999 in this black comedy classic became a sensation. And the ending, while darker than the ending of its book of the same name by Tom Perrotta, ended up surpassing the original piece of writing.

American Psycho (2000)

American Psycho starring Christian Bale is a timeless mystery/thriller. Telling the tale of a likeable investment banker with more than a few skeletons in his closet, both the direction and acting performance make the movie a much more worthwhile watch than the book of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Stephen King is an institution in the horror genre, so much so that his non-horror works rarely get the same recognition. His novella named “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption” was brought to the big screen and became a bigger hit than the novella ever was. 

Silence of the Lambs (1990)

It’s one thing to make a brilliant screenplay out of an average piece of writing, but to elevate an already brilliant book is where the true feat lies. This 1990 crime film follows the journey of a young FBI investigator as she employed the help of a cannibalistic psychiatrist (named Hannibal) to catch a murderer who made suits out of human skin and had people glued to the screen holding their breaths while shaking with fear and anticipation. The original horror novel by Thomas Harris was a gripping read as it is, but somehow the movie made the experience even better.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway made waves in their roles as merciless fashion editor Miranda Priestly and her meek and wide-eyed assistant Andy. This movie is a must-watch for girls' nights in or just watching by yourself. Reading the original book which is based on Lauren Weisberger’s 2003 retelling of her first job as Vogue’s Anna Wintour’s assistant just doesn’t hit the same way afterward.

Fight Club (1996)

This is an adaptation that left even the original author at a loss of words. The director streamlined the storyline and characters and directed the story in ways that the original author admitted he never even thought about while writing the original text. The scenes are dramatic, the acting is immaculate, and the plot twist will leave your jaw hanging.

Pitch Perfect (2012)

This one seems the most obvious entry because anyone can tell how a movie about a group of acapella singers would be better than the book. The experience just isn’t the same when we're not hearing the Bellas harmonising spontaneously in any given setting.

Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003)

Enthusiasts of the book series might vehemently disagree with this but to tell the truth, the LOTR trilogy films are some of the most brilliant film adaptations from a book series ever made. The cinematography and acting as well as the artistic direction are simply immaculate and the story progression keeps you hooked.

The Shining (1980)

Another Stephen King adaptation making this list, the original book is a classic and the story of Jack Torrance and his descent into madness is captivating and bone-chilling. The 1977 adaptation is simply brilliant. The acting performances by the three main actors will leave gripping tightly onto your blanket or armrest.

These are just a few of the movies that we think are better than the books. Some others include A Walk to Remember (2002), The Graduate (1967), and the famous Forrest Gump (1994).

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