Movies on Netflix that are based on books


No matter whether we’re movie buffs or bookworms, great stories inspire and entertain us to the fullest, and at times the experience stays with us forever. However, many a time we as book lovers don’t like the onscreen interpretation of certain stories and hence become concerned about their translation to the big screen. Nevertheless, you always have the option to either read the book or catch the movie depending on your literary needs.

Here we have listed some of the best film adaptations that are available on Netflix. Remember, the list may be updated later but this one is primarily on what book-to-movie adaptations are available now. I’m not too sure whether you love the book more or the movies, but there are a few that are worth watching. So, let’s stream these on Netflix.

The Color Purple (1985)
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker, this is a period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Menno Meyjes. The film stars Danny Glover, Adolph Caesar, Margaret Avery, Rae Dawn Chong, Whoopi Goldberg, and Oprah Winfrey in her debut film. The storyline of the film is very powerful as it shows the issues African American women faced during the early 20th century that includes violence, racism, poverty, etc.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
Based on the novel of the same name by Stieg Larsson, this psychological thriller is directed by David Fincher. The film which won many movie awards also won an Academy Award for Best Film Editing. Ever since its release, the book has gained a great following. As far as the book is concerned, as soon as you pick it up, there is no going back – the characters are so intriguing, and the story is so engrossing. The book is a part of the trilogy that includes: The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Fincher’s film version is indeed captivating.

The Maze Runner (2014)
Based on James Dashner’s 2009 novel of the same name, ‘The Maze Runner’ is the first installment of a movie series, which was followed by the second movie ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ (Release: September 18, 2015). As a modern Sci-Fi action adventure, this movie stands out with some incredible performances coupled with a very amazing dystopian setting. The bestselling novel, as well as the film, follows Thomas, who wakes up trapped in a hugely fortified maze with no memory of who he is, and only to know that he is not alone and there are many other boys and girls who are trying to find a way out of the ever-changing labyrinth.

The Hunt for Red October (1990)
This one is based on Tom Clancy’s 1984 bestselling novel ‘The Hunt for Red October’. Set in the Cold War era, the film is an old-fashioned action-adventure submarine thriller in which Captain Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) is the commander of a new Typhoon-classed Soviet submarine that causes the entire US navy on alert as Ramius moves closer to the US seaboard. CIA analyst Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) believes that Ramius is trying to defect and even attempt an unauthorized nuclear attack. The film stars Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill, James Earl Jones, Richard Jordan, Tim Curry, Courtney B. Vance, and Tomas Arana.

Still Alice (2014)
A linguistics professor and her family find their bonds tested when she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Based on Lisa Genova’s 2007 bestselling novel “Still Alice”, the film narrated Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie, this Martin Scorsese film is based on the non-fiction memoir by a former stockbroker and trader Jordan Belfort. The film follows the real-life story of Belfort and his brokerage house Stratton Oakmont, Inc. which was engaged in microcap stock fraud for which Belfort was jailed and his firm was shut down in the 1990s.

Pitch Perfect (2012)
Based on ‘Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate a Cappella Glory’ by Mickey Rapkin, this loud comedy movie offers you great performance and excellent musical numbers. The movie follows a university all-girl Cappella group as they compete against another group to win Nationals. Over time, this has been a sleeper hit and has become one of the top-grossing musical comedies. Ever since its release, the film has become a series with the release of its sequel Pitch Perfect 2 (2015), and another one Pitch Perfect 3 under production to hit theatre in 2017.

Mean Girls (2004)
Wow! This movie has some beautiful ladies in the cast, including Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Rachel McAdams, Lizzy Caplan, Tina Fey, and Lacey Chabert. ‘Mean Girls’ as a teen comedy is in part based on Rosalind Wiseman’s non-fiction novel Queen Bees & Wannabe.

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Director Robert Mulligan’s classic ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is based on Harper Lee’s 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. It stars Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Mary Badham as Scout. Interestingly, when the book was first published, it went on to sell more than 30 million copies worldwide. This is regarded as one of the best movies made in the last century with characters that portray two extreme sides of humans: cruelty and humanity. The film won three Academy Awards (including Best Actor for Peck, Best Adapted Screenplay for Horton Foote, and Best Art Direction for Henry Bumstead, Alexander Golitzen, and Oliver Emert) out of eight for which it was nominated, including Best Picture.

P.S. I Love You (2007)
Starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler in lead, this film is based on the 2004 novel of the same name by Cecelia Ahern. The film follows a young widow Holly discovers that her late husband Gerry has left her 10 messages, all ending with P.S. I Love You, intended to help ease her pain and start a new life.

Pride and Prejudice (2005)
‘Pride & Prejudice,’ one of the greatest love stories of all time, is brought to the screen with an adaptation of the beloved masterpiece of Jane Austen published in 1813. Director Joe Wright collaborates with some of the finest actors, including Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn, and Judi Dench to portray the classic tale of love, misunderstanding, and romance.

The Great Gatsby (2013)
Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel is an influential film. Set in 1920s America, the film follows millionaire Jay Gatsby and his neighbor Nick (Maguire), who recounts his encounter with Gatsby. 

The list will be updated later with some more names, as Netflix streams new movies.
Please update us, if you find any other movie based on books in the Netflix catalogue. 


This post is written, edited and published by the Cinecelluloid staff.

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