Top 10: Best Book-to-Movie Adaptations of the Millennium


The book was better than the movie. It’s an adage that has become only more prevalent as time wears on. Literature has been a fertile ground for stories for film since the dawn of the medium. In many ways, book adaptations never used to be seen as mere cash grabs. One need not look further than the American Film Institute’s List of 100 Greatest American Films of All Time to find some of the best book-to-film adaptations. A whopping eight of the top 10 films were adapted from books: “The Godfather,” “Casablanca,” “Raging Bull,” “Gone with the Wind,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Schindler’s List,” “Vertigo” and “The Wizard of Oz.” 

Powerful adaptations aren’t just limited to the old classics. Since 2000, cinema has seen many great books turn into powerful films. While the multiplexes have suffered through countless “Twilight” films and is in the throws of “50 Shades of Grey,” there are still literary adaptations that make good use of their original text. This weekend, we will see the release of The Girl on the Train,” the much anticipated adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel. Will it be more “Gone Girl” and less “50 Shades of Grey?” Only time will tell. In the meantime, to refrain from quoting too many AFI easy picks, we are going to count down the 10 best book-to-movie adaptations of the new millennium.

Click through to view the list.

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Written by Christopher James

Christopher James has been an Oscar obsessive ever since watching his first ceremony at age 5 when "Titanic" won Best Picture. He is a recent graduate from Loyola Marymount University with degrees in Screenwriting for Film and Television and Marketing. Christopher currently works in media strategy and planning at Liquid Advertising, based out of Los Angeles, CA. You can find Christopher running on the sunny beach, brunching at trendy restaurants or mostly just sitting in a dark room watching movies and TV in sweatpants. Follow me on Twitter @cwj92movieman


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Luke McGowan

The Lotr books are masterpieces and the films are masterpieces. I think it’s the only film I like as much as the books

Joey Magidson

The Martian is one you’re missing.

Christian Thompson

I love the inclusions of The Hours, Brokeback Mountain, and 12 Years a Slave. Personally, I’d add Gone Girl, The Help, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Room.


1. The Perks of Being A Wallflower
2. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
3. The Wolf of Wall Street
4. Gone Girl
5. Batman Begins (comics are books too)


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